• Russ Fradin
    Russ Fradin on July 29, 2014

    Why Employee Advocacy Matters

    Employee advocacy is an emerging new marketing strategy where companies empower their influential employees to authentically distribute brand approved content, create original content, and in turn earn recognition and rewards for their activity and participation.
  • alexmoffit
    Alex Moffit on September 4, 2014

    John Doerr on OKRs and Goal Setting at Google and Intel [VIDEO]

    “Ideas are precious, but they’re relatively easy. It’s execution that’s everything,” says John Doerr, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and the man who introduced Objective & Key Results (OKRs) to Google. Google widely credits OKRs for helping the company grow from 40 to 40,000 employees. Other businesses including LinkedIn and Twitter have also embraced OKRs.
  • Greg Gerik
    Greg Gerik on September 16, 2014

    Shaking Up Social: Attending the Social Shake-Up in Atlanta

    Last year, the Social Shake-Up was one of the best social conferences to attend and this year promises to be even better. Here are a few of the hottest topics and sessions at the Shake-Up this year that are sure to deliver and drive this industry forward.
  • ddarnbrough
    Drew Darnbrough on September 19, 2014

    The Power of Hindsight: Using Historical Twitter Data to Make Better Decisions

    WEBINAR: Tuesday, September 23rd, 11:30am EDT How many times have you looked back and thought, “If only I’d known x”? We’ve all experienced the power of hindsight, and luckily now businesses can harness that power by analyzing historical social data.
  • I’ve written a bit recently about how the mental approach we take to a task has a profound impact upon how successful we are at it.
    I’ve written a bit recently about how the mental approach we take to a task has a profound impact upon how successful we are at it.  This is especially so if the task involves any kind of learning or self-improvement.

    A recent study highlights just how powerful this could be.  It highlights how telling people a simple message, such as that hard work is more important than genetic ability, is enough to cause changes in our brain, and cause us to strive harder to achieve our goals.

    The findings suggest that our brain is altogether rather receptive to this kind of message, that our intelligence is something that results from hard work and effort rather than anything more innate.

    “Giving people messages that encourage learning and motivation may promote more efficient performance,” say the researchers, from Michigan State University.

    “In contrast, telling people that intelligence is genetically fixed may inadvertently hamper learning.”

    Now, of course, this isn’t particularly revolutionary thinking, and there have been many studies down the years that have highlighted this very fact.  Indeed, Stanford’s Carol Dweck has published a book exploring the role our mindset plays in our success this year.

    Where this study stands out however is that they are arguably the first to have uncovered the changes in our brain upon receipt of such messaging.

    “These subtle messages seem to have a big impact, and now we can see they have an immediate impact on how the brain handles information about performance,” the researchers confirm.

    To test the brains response to the messaging, two groups of participants were asked to read separate articles.  One primed readers to believe that their intelligence was largely genetically determined.  The other suggested that the brilliance of people like Einstein and da Vinci was down to their environment.  Their genius certainly wasn’t genetic.

    Each participant was asked to remember the salient points from the article, before then completing a computer based task whereby their brain activity would be recorded.

    The findings revealed that the first group (the genetic intelligence one) paid a lot more attention to their responses than their peers in the other group.  The researchers suggest that they were perhaps more concerned with their performance than their peers.  The worrying thing is however that this additional attention merely manifested itself as extra stress – there was no boost in performance at all!

    The other group fared much better.  They weren’t anywhere near as stressed as their colleagues, and tended to react well to mistakes.  What’s more, they would also learn from these mistakes, and become much better the next time round.

    All of which is rather interesting.  What kind of mindset does your own workplace promote?

    Struggling on how to gain more traffic on the internet world? The article here portrays you one of the best method of driving traffic using the social media i.e Twitter card.

    The importance of internet traffic to any business cannot be stressed enough. It is so crucial that a sparse number can spell doom for your business. The top guns in the industry suggest diversifying it that is driving traffic from varied streams. It is not wise to rely entirely on Google given its affinity for algorithmic updates. Twitter is as good as Google when it comes to driving qualified traffic to your website and features such as Twitter cards make it all the more better.

    If this is the first time you’ve heard of Twitter cards, you needn’t get confused. They are easy to understand and use. They make your tweets look more beautiful and engaging by allowing you to embed photos, videos and other media. It is as easy as including simple HTML coding to your webpage. These cards are for Twitter what Meta tags are for Google. When a user tweets links to your content, the card is automatically added to the tweet and becomes visible to all their followers.

    How Twitter Cards help Your Business

    If asked to state it objectively, it increases the traffic to your site. However, it does so in varied ways. They are as follows:

    • It increases referral traffic
    •  It increases readership
    • It increases click through rates
    •  It can be used to builds leads

    Types of Twitter Cards

    There are 6 main types of Twitter Cards. Understanding the difference between each will help you decide which type of card to choose at different stages of business promotion.

    1.  Summary Cards: This is the most basic type. As the name suggests, this type is typically used to provide a short summary of a product, service, event or business. It features a title, a short description, a thumbnail image and a Twitter handle. It allows you to show or hide a tweet summary. The word limit for the title is 70 characters while that for the summary is 200 characters.

    2. Photo Cards: A photo card allows you to place a photo you would like to be delivered with your tweet.  The photo is the point of focus here and is placed center front. You can click on the photo for a larger detailed view. The minimum image size is 280 pixels wide and 140 pixels high. The images should also not be more than 1MB in size. Photo cards are among the simplest to work with and the images are automatically resized to various devices.

    3.  Gallery Card: The gallery card allows you to present a collection of related photos and not just one photo. A gallery card can take up to 4 images of size less than 1 MB. It requires that you specify the URL to the image representing each photo. The gallery card allows you to attribute the photographs to the photographer.

    4. App Card: By creating an app card, you can represent your app and persuade people to download the app embedded in the Twitter card.  The app card has space for the name, a short description, the icon, ratings and price. It is available for iOS and Android platforms on the official website.

    5. Player Card: Twitter cards are not only about text and images. The player card allows you to deliver rich media in the form of audio streams and video clips to users across the globe. It is included in the tweet so that the person viewing or hearing it can view and hear it right there. It has a title and 200 character description in addition to the media file.

    6. Product Card: A product card allows you to share information about a product via text and image much like a summary card. It allows for a title, a thumbnail image of the product or retail item and a short description of 200 characters. In addition to this, you can specify key details such as the price, product location and availability.

    Besides these, there are lead generation cards that help share email addresses and website cards that direct people to a homepage on clicking a button.

    How to get started

    It is fairly simply to get started with Twitter cards.  It starts with embedding some code onto the website based on the type of card you want to work with. After this is done, it needs to be validated by the Twitter Developer website. Once approved, you can tweet the URL and measure the results. There is a twitter card preview tool that lets you run and test you card, particularly the code implementation, before it is made public. You should use it.

    Twitter has recently foiled an incident involving policemen during a highway robbery that got the suspects running off with 2 million pesos. This short articles places importance in the power of social sharing in nipping crimes in the bud.

    Invisible crime – an injustice that has been witnessed by many but later on, dissolves and is discarded and forgotten by the public.

    On September 1, 2014, Filipino netizens were in a frenzy upon discovering a photo, which shows several cops huddled against a single vehicle, in what looked to be a road bust operation. Later on, it had been unveiled that the picture, taken by an uncredited source who happened to be on the scene, was actually highway robbery perpetrated by the same policemen present on the shot.

    It was Twitter, not the local police, who got wind of the report. The story circulated like wildfire, and it was the same viral photo that gave birth to several news headlines and TV reports, which totally opened the whole incident to the nation.

    The power of social sharing has gained legitimate footing through how the case was solved. This could have been left in the dust if it weren’t for the photograph, and it’s empowering to think that civilians can now play the role of public investigators with social media as their information badge pass.

    Social Media and Crime Fighting

    Again, Twitter has displayed its importance in aiding police officers against high-profile injustices. Social media has fostered teamwork between the police force and civilians. The Boston Marathon Bombing ended in great chaos when high-level explosives detonated near the finish line. Eventually, the Boston Police Department (BPD) released a humble statement, in which the force has invited civilians to participate in the investigation.

    Many false leads entered the conversation tunnel; Twitter did not had a role in solving the crime, but it broke the encroaching divide between the Boston Police Department and the Boston public. In the end, BPD used Twitter to announce the capture of the true culprits. You can read the detailed report here.     

    Twitter and the Future of Local Crime Fighting

    The Philippines has its fair share of policemen going berserk. Sadly, the country is deeply plagued by men in blue uniforms and satisfyingly, Twitter cut down their ranks and a massive manhunt is now in place to capture those implicated in the incident.

    It’s really easy nowadays to share photos online and with timing and relevance, social media has become the best source of information between peers, between agencies, and other organizations that consume a bottomless pool of online media. The power of sharing has never been more important until now!

    While there are no reliable statistics that can strongly support Twitter’s handling of crimes, it can be said that it has the potential to replace hackneyed methods in reporting public anomalies like kidnapping, bombing incidents, shootouts, and other crime that can endanger lives in a matter of seconds.

    Have you used Twitter in reporting a crime that has happened near you? Sound it off in the comments below!

    Customer service has rapidly progressed on social media. Gone are those days when your customers would write a letter or pick up the phone.

    Customer service has rapidly progressed on social media. Gone are those days when your customers would write a letter or pick up the phone and wait in queue for the customer service executive to solve their problems. Now your audiences take to social platforms immediately to voice their displeasure and expect an instant reply. You haven’t encountered anything like this? You might need to check if your audience know you exist.

    It is important that you start strategizing on how to make your social platforms the new frontier for customer service. The tips mentioned below will help you become the ultimate hotline for customer service.

    1. Encourage and Respond to Feedbacks

    Social media provides the ultimate opportunity to connect with customers through customer service. Providing customer service can be an entry point to an ongoing relationship, it is a great opportunity for conversation and connection with the brand. It shows the customers that you care about them and can be a great beginning to a long lasting relationship if it’s done right.

    Example – The official Xbox support Twitter handle encourages their followers for their feedback and responds to all their queries in real-time. This is a great example of customer service done right!

    2. Don’t respond like a Bot

    Today customers expect you to solve problems and answer questions quickly, efficiently and publicly, through whatever channel they choose. They want a quick solution, so it is essential that when responding to customer complaints/queries do not have the automated response for all of them, take some time out and draft personal messages and personalize the experience for them.

    robot tweet

    ExampleDominos India on their Twitter handle, has received a couple of complaints from their customers citing them being unhappy with delivery or product. Instead of reassuring their customers, they are sending out the same reply to almost everyone like a bot.

    3. Great Research Insights

    When your customers are taking their time out of their daily lives by posing – queries, complaints or even feedback sometimes. These insights are the perfect research tool for you, as you don’t have to look for the answers for your brand they are right there in front you. Make productive changes in your end product/service ultimately your goal is to make your customers happy and emerge victorious. Here is some more advice on mistakes you should avoid on Social Media.

    4. Share User Stories

    To increase the credibility in front of your customers, make use of customer testimonials in forms of them quoting of how you helped solve their problem or a video. Thus it increases the faith of other users, and in a way instils trust in them that if they are having a problem with your product/service you will help them out and that your support doesn’t end after selling to them.

    user stories

    5. Train your Personnel

    Now that you understand the importance of listening to your customers, the next step is to assign someone to actually do it. Don’t make the mistake like most brands that they give their interns the responsibility to handle their brand pages. Make sure you hire someone with the right skills and train them, to respond to customer queries/complaint. Make sure your social media person is in sync with the one who knows technical details about your product/services as well. Don’t miss to check these tips on handling complaints on Social Media.

    6. Make use of Add-on Applications

    It is very difficult to keep track of all social platforms and various actives happening on all of them. Thus it is always helpful to have external help in the form of 3rd party applications which makes the job easier for you to make sure you don’t miss out on a single thread of information. There are various social media tools you can use, it will enable you to organize all your requests and process them with just one click. These applications will be your additional eyes and ears!

    7. Transform their Negative experience into a Positive Experience

    You may belong to any industry, but you’re expected to provide a positive experience to your audiences. Negative experiences are the ones that stick best to their minds and are hard to erase. It will difficult to please all your consumers, but you need to make up by being extra polite and adhering to all their needs.

    It is very important to be polite and considerate you can add in a little bit of humor but only if you think you can pull it off. You don’t have the power to please all your customers only through your products, but you can hell as make them love you with your interaction and customer service.

    vodafone social media

    Example – I think it is fair to say, we all at some point in time have complained about Vodafone’s network issues. But they provide exceptional customer service which makes up for their bad product sometimes.

    8. Keep it Mobile Friendly

    These days, most of your users are browsing social networks through some portable device such as a smartphone or tablet. Thus keep this in mind while sharing content/links to their queries that your site/page is Mobile optimized. So they can easily connect with you when they want too without any difficulty.

    9. Reply Promptly

    The more engaged you are, the less likely you are to have an online crisis. Thus it is very important to be spontaneous, and solve the problem/query for your customer so it doesn’t leave distaste in their minds about your brand. And very importantly social media is not a 9-5 job, Monday- Friday you need to be attentive and reply as soon as they post their concern you cannot wait until Monday morning to reply, it can be a catastrophic event for your brand sometimes if not handled well; so always be on the radar and be spontaneous.

    ExampleKLM is the perfect example when it comes to replying promptly they answer all your queries be it the smallest one, there was a particular person who asked a question in French and they answered their query in their dialect to personalize and at the same time make them comfortable.

    10. Learn To Apologize

    This is truly a golden rule, for customer service on social media. So repeat to self, “Customer is never wrong, even when they are wrong”. Always try to deliver value to your customers, when you did a mistake, simply accept it. They know there are humans behind the brand and you can make mistakes too. In some cases customers may be wrong as well; bring it to their notice in a right manner. Don’t do blunders like Times of India.

    social media blunder
    Customer Service is only about listening, and your customers talking. Do not take it for granted as it can make a lot of difference for your brand, with positive remarks it would spread awareness about your brand. But with one unsatisfied customer if not taken proper care, it could cost you your entire marketing efforts. Hence to maintain a healthy relationship with your customers, acknowledge their problems and revert swiftly.

    Have an exceptional good/bad experience with your customer? Do share with us in the comments section below.

    If you live on the planet Earth you have surely heard about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Some wil argue that this campaign is social media at its best.

    If you live on the planet Earth you have surely heard about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Everyone has done it, your friends, your family members, your co-workers, your grandma, and celebreites like Mark Zuckerberg, Martha Stewart, LeBron James, Justin Bieber, and more. One guy even dumped water on a baby to raise awareness. 

    Some wil argue that this campaign is social media at its best. Stating that it has brought attention to the non profit organization the ALS Association whose goals include "Providing care services to assist people with ALS and their families through a network of chapters working in communities across the nation and a global research program focused on the discovery of treatments and a cure for the disease." Some may say it is fantastic to support an orhganization who claims that its "efforts empower people to advance public policies in our nation’s Capital that respond to the needs of people with ALS." 

    Some may argue that it was a fad, a way for people (who my not have even donated) to draw attention to themselves. Some may also say that it is wastfulfor a non-profit organization to promote wasting water. According to the Washington Post over $5 million gallons of fresh water has been wasted on this to date. The ALS Association states on their website that "The ALS Association is the only non-profit organization dedicated solely to fighting on all fronts." This may not be 100% correct there are other organizations who strive to "fight ALS on all fronts" Including: The ALS Therapy Development Institute, The ALS Therapy Alliance, The Muscular Dirophy Association, Prize4Life, Project A.L.S, The Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins, and more. 

    To date the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to date has raised well over $114 million dollars for the ALS Association. Which is a fantastic fete-but what is the next step? When looking on their website they have an interesting response to the question "Can you give me a breakdown of how each Ice Bucket donation dollar will be allocated?" Stating:

    While research and care services to patients and their families are our top priorities, we cannot provide a breakdown at this time. We appreciate the sense of urgency that exists and are already engaged in discussions on how we’re going to put this money to work in the short term and into the future.

    Regardless of how you feel. There is no doubt that this demonstrates how a simple hashtag has tremendous power.