When most people think about social media they immediately think about Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and any other website they use to update and share their life online. But there is another huge purpose social media serves: customer service.
An article from Online Media Daily made a good point; social media is instant and can be amplified. It’s the place your customers will go to share a great or poor experience. It is estimated that by the end of 2013, 80% of companies will use social networks for customer service. The key is to prove that your account is not inactive and that you care a lot about what they have to say. This will create more loyal customers and hopefully newer ones, too. Most businesses get it. They are on Facebook and Twitter. They have teams that manage their social media accounts, making sure that good comments are appreciated and complaints are resolved.
The people love it! A study by J.D. Power & Associates for Netbase found that most everyone wants companies to listen to what they say.
But it’s not all so easy. That same study found that “40% of consumers under 55 and 54% of consumers over 55 agreed that ‘companies that listen online are intruding on customers’.” So, consumers are glad that companies are listening and using social media to their advantage, but don’t necessarily want them listening all the time. That study also found that most people believe that they should be able to talk about companies online without that company listening in, yet should monitor online conversations to improve products and services.
So the takeaway? Social media is a great tool for enhanced customer service, but be careful how you use it. Consumers want you to speak when you are spoken to.
In light of my SEO presentation, I decided to write my blog about Instagram. A little late due to the guest speaker write-up, but better than never. Of course, this would have made much more sense with my presentation, but oh well.
On February 26, Instagram surpassed 100 million users. (Side note: I feel like in 50-100 years from now, days when social networking sites reach a certain number of active users will go down in history and will probably become national holidays. Just wanted to throw that out there so then in 50 years I can say, “I called that”.) This was a big accomplishment because it came a short month after Instagram actually started releasing its active user numbers, which was after their terms of service hoopla.
The article highlights this growth as most impressive especially when compared to Instagram’s closest competitor, Twitter (which I kind of, sort of agree with). According to the article, Twitter may have 100 million more active users than Instagram, but that took over 6 years. Instagram is gaining ground and doing it fast.
So how is Instagram considered in competition with Twitter? I wouldn’t have recognized that kind of relationship at first because they are two entirely separate methods of communication; pictures and tweets. There seems to be two different needs that they both fulfill. However, the article brings up some examples in which Instagram was staking a little bit of claim on typical Twitter real-time territory, one of which was the Grammys. I could see where the line is drawn there, maybe, if you had to decide which social media platform to use during the Grammy’s or something of that nature. But how many times in the day are we on Twitter AND Facebook AND Pinterest AND (insert favorite website name here)? Exactly.
And brands are more involved with Twitter than Instagram anyway, with almost 100% of the Top 100 brands worldwide having a Twitter account. Only about 59% of those same brands have an account on Instagram.
Personally, I feel like brands can express themselves better on Instagram. Why? It’s visual. Maybe limited to the size of the screen of your phone, but not by characters. And if you wanna post a picture you gotta link it in your tweet. How annoying! And brands are getting a ton of engagement on Instagram. Out of the most followed brands, the top 8 are responsible for 80% of the engagement on the platform.
It makes sense that certain brands that are targeting younger consumers would strategize via Instagram, so in that sense I could see it becoming a bigger competitor against Twitter.
I don’t know, I think I just like Instagram more.
I’d first like to say thank you to Brian for taking the time out of his schedule to come and visit class on Tuesday. I may have felt mildly overwhelmed afterwards, but I’m glad that I heard everything he had to say. He offered a very realistic idea of what we need to prepare for and gave us the appropriate tools for us to do so. His presentation didn’t consist of him rattling off what he does at his job and then hoping that we would ask a lot of questions to take up time, which I liked. It was incredibly enlightening with it’s lists of life lessons, but also made my head spin due to the amount of information.
Before Mr. Swansick’s presentation, I had never heard of funnels. Now I can impress a future boss with my new found knowledge of funnels.
Oh yeah, and I really appreciated the meme’s. It made the presentation not so serious.
The tools and apps he recommended were great! I really like Rapportive and that Mr. Ritter didn’t even know he was on it. I think it will come in handy in the future. Buffer was cool, but I didn’t really see me using it in the future. It’s still good to know about though. Open Site Explorer was really awesome too. I had no idea that you can actually find that much information about a website for free. Code Academy and all the other coding tutorial websites were the coolest. I got really excited and wanted to go home right then and start learning as much as I could. I think I was relieved when Brian said that he wasn’t very good at coding, but learned enough with these tools to be successful. It was encouraging, for sure.
I’m not really sure what I was expecting from guest speaker, Brian Swanick, on Tuesday night, but needless to say it was a great way to spend class time and I think it was highly beneficial for all of us. And I can’t wait to get some awesome business cards from Moo.
This week I found some articles on Emarketer dealing with real-time. They seemed to read together well. The first talked about the significance of real-time marketing, but weighed in on the factors that are holding companies/clients and agencies back from using this exciting new outlet of marketing. The second emphasized more of the positives of real-time and focused more on location data in regards to mobile targeting.
Advertising and marketing professionals understand the importance of real-time social data, but what I got from this article is that the manner of interpreting it is not as advanced, yet. It’s obvious how big of an impact it makes (need I cite the super bowl, again?) And according to a survey by Emarketer, 53% of marketers worldwide plan to make greater use of it this year. The plan though isn’t to just send a tweet at the right time, it’s to create more engaging, relevant content that yields high responses. “Some marketers are also using real-time social data for product development.”
So what’s stopping them? Apparently, more than I realized.
According to another study done by Emarketer, about 40% of companies and agencies alike said that a lack of tracking capabilities and analytics is what is holding them back.
The same amount of agencies said the lack of budget/buy-in from organization heads and the lack of joined-up thinking was holding them back. I can see where the lack of buy-in can hold clients and agencies back, but I feel like if they don’t start using it they will rapidly fall behind the pack.
The second article talked about how marketers are integrating geofencing and geoaware targeting into their mobile campaigns. According to the article, geoaware uses real-time location data to send specific messages to the user based on their distance from the nearest retail location while geofencing targets users based on a set distance from a location of interest.
Geofencing and geoaware are still a smaller part of mobile location-based targeting types than DMA or audience. The article suggests that this is due to their ease of use, or lack there of. But there are some industries that are taking advantage of this new mobile targeting such as retail, consumer goods, travel and restaurant. The restaurant industry utilizing this kind of targeting makes sense because you can target someone while they are out and about looking for some place to go and eat.
It sounds like everyone is going to start adapting to these new targeting opportunities and that everyone is looking to find new ways to capture and interpret the data these campaigns provide.