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2 Social Customer Service Metrics: 3 Case Studies

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photo credit: Flickr

How has marketing changed thanks to social media? Well, now 90% of customers are influenced by online reviews. Some companies cringe when they hear this: The decision whether to buy can come down to a good or bad Yelp review. And we all know some customers can be finicky, their opinions arbitrary and skewed. But some can be incredibly on point.   

Since so many people are influenced by consumer reviews, customer service is a new form of marketing. Customer satisfaction turns into word of mouth, word of mouth converts the potential customer.

Word of mouth/peer-to-peer marketing isn’t just happening via review platforms. It’s happening constantly on channels such as Facebook and Twitter, to name the major players. For that reason, social media listening, or monitoring, helps marketers and business owners understand more about the following:

  •         How people are talking about a brand – positive/negative sentiment
  •         Likes, dislikes concerning products
  •         Additional products or product modifications customers want  
  •         Complaints

The sheer volume of conversation going on allows businesses to analyze metrics and adjust customer service and marketing based on the numbers (i.e. number of negative posts about a product vs number of positive posts). Peer-to-peer marketing doesn’t exclude business-to-consumer social marketing—it runs alongside it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We can learn quite a lot about what customers want, and what they like, from social media metrics. We can also learn from businesses who are doing this well. Here’s a look at some of the exemplars in different industries.

Five Guys

The burger franchise is all about social media for marketing and customer service. Through their efforts, Five Guys has one million followers on various channels, which has helped them open twelve-hundred locations worldwide. Online Marketing Specialist, Kenneth Westling, identifies three facets of the Five Guys social media campaign that contribute to its success:

  • Prioritizing customer service
  • Involving employees at home and abroad
  • Monitoring “engagement metrics” and “tailoring content based on what works for each social network audience”

Five Guys looks at posts related to brand and keywords and creates content based on what people are saying. Further, they use geo-locational data to zero in on marketing successes, product and service issues, and how people are feeling about unique campaigns around the world. They use Hootsuite to track as many types of hashtags about their company as possible and reach out to consumers on an individual level, talking with them, not at them.

UPS

The shipping company created a Customer Communications team to focus on, “Daily content and managing brand communications and reputation.” This team corresponds directly with a social customer service representative team, which reports to the overlying Social/Digital team. The Social/Digital team is more concerned with metrics and strategy. In terms of metrics, they measure the following:

  •         Conversation sentiment
  •         Engagement
  •         Organic audience growth
  •         Pull-through on Calls to Action

Their social customer service representatives work on responding to customer issues as quickly as possible. They get the most customer service inquiries on Twitter, then Facebook. They use social media to, “Serve as a barometer for customer concerns or business opportunities.” UPS’ efforts are an example of compartmentalizing different aspects of the social strategy, but integrating each team with the other.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines just landed on the list of Fortunes’ Top 50 Most Admired Companies. One reason is the companies’ practically legendary social media presence. Southwest’s “best practices” for social customer service include:

  •         Consistent engagement
  •         Timely action
  •         Genuine brand response

Southwest recently created a Listening Center, which they use to solve service issues, share information about their brand, and provide “one-contact resolution” to customers—which reflects their emphasis on personalization—they have teams devoted to each network and encourage flight attendants to post on social media when they find out about a customer’s special occasion.

As a take-home, here are five essential metrics to track:

  •         Engagement rate – amount of interest in a piece of content, divided by number of fans/followers
  •         Share of voice – your mentions vs those of a competitor
  •         Response time – amount of time it takes to respond to a query
  •         Response rate – percentage you responded to mentions
  •         Clicks – number of clicks

Any customer relationship management software can help you track these metrics. And ultimately, your social media campaign will benefit the more you listen.

 

Daniel_Matthewscropped_150x150Daniel Matthews is a freelance writer and musician from Boise, Idaho. In 2006, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in English with a Creative Writing Emphasis from Boise State University. Throughout his twenties, Daniel worked as a Psychosocial Rehabilitation Specialist, a marketer, and a server. Last year he took the plunge and became a full-time writer. Daniel believes one of the most important, if not the most important aspect of modern business is the understanding and appreciate of diverse cultures. Please find him on Twitter.

 

1 5 Ways to Get The Most Out of Your Social Media Marketing This Year

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing, and today’s guest post is from our newest team member – Alex Boyer– Enjoy!

photo credit: shutterstock

You have always been told your business needs a presence on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, but you have yet to see tangible results. Don’t give up! Here are five simple steps to kick-start your social media this year.

Set a Goal

You should set a basic goal for your social media activities for the year. This can be something simple like “increase participation in specials or sales,” “interact with existing customers and strengthen brand loyalty,” or something more complex like “Create a personality for your brand.” Every social media post for the year should in some way help you achieve that goal.

For example, take two popular restaurants in the Kansas City area: Grunauer (@grunauerKC) and Blanc Burgers and Bottles (@BlancBurgers). Blanc uses social media to remind their customers of daily and nightly specials, and release photos of new burger creations. Gurnauer forgoes the daily specials and instead uses their Twitter account to create personality for the restaurant, cheering for local sports teams and commenting on news stories. Both restaurants have significant social media following and every post from both fulfill their respective goals.

Draft a plan

Now that you have a goal to achieve, it is time to draft a plan for your social media year. You should start by creating an editorial calendar. Use your calendar to list your yearly sales events, local events (such as high-profile concerts or local festivals) and holidays. Keep an eye out for obscure holidays like “Talk like a pirate day” or “National Cheeseburger day,” as these are very popular on social media. You can even pre-draft social media posts for each of these events for use later.  If you ever reach a point in the year where you don’t know what to post, use this calendar for ideas.

You can even use the editorial calendar to plan “messages of the week,” content themes that you can use for a week or month at a time. For example, you can have your blog posts for a month focus on sales strategy. That way, you have a uniform starting point for each of your posts.

Social Specials

Give your customers a reason to interact with your social media by giving them “Social Specials”. These can include giveaways or discounts in store. Ask your fans to “Like this post for 10% off this week” or “Retweet for a chance to win.” In the case of discounts, you can even ask customers who come into your storefront if they have social media, and then tell them they can get a discount if they like your page. This will not only expand your social media following, but also engage users that are already customers. Plus, posting promotions on social media is cheaper than printing coupons in the newspaper.

Create a Dialogue

Social media platforms shouldn’t be used simply to distribute your messages, they should be a 2-way street between you and your customers. Use Twitter, Facebook, and your blog as a customer service tool as well. Allow your customers to come to you with their complaints, and address them promptly. Also, thank supporters for their kind words and share their positive reviews.  This gives your customers reason to interact with your social media pages, and creates a sense of community around your company.

Never Stop Creating Content

Finally, the most important step to getting the most out of your social media is to create content. You need to continue to create engaging, exciting content to draw new fans and keep your current fans’ attention.  You cannot forget about social media and must post regularly. The steps above should help you keep a steady flow of content for your supporters, but it is ultimately up to you and your team to keep executing. Your social media following cannot grow without content.

Social media marketing should be an important part of your marketing plan. Follow these five simple steps, and your social media presence is sure to grow over the next year.


Alex-Boyer-Photo-150x150-e1420769709443Alex Boyer is Community Manager and Content Ninja for Duct Tape Marketing. It is his job to create and scour the internet for the best content for small businesses. In addition, he will continue to grow the Duct Tape Marketing community through interaction with clients and consultants in the Duct Tape Consultant Network on our website and through Social Media. Alex has a background in political marketing, where in-depth opposition and messaging research is critical to a successful campaign. He is focused on taking those tactics and using them to help your small business grow and reach more potential customers.

1 From Zero to Thousands: 5 Steps to Get Your Social Media Up and Running

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Rachel Wisuri – Enjoy!

Social Media

photo credit:pixabay

Maybe you’re a new business, or maybe you’re an older business who recently decided to get active on social media. Regardless, you face the same problem: how do you build a successful presence on social media when no one on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram knows who you are?

Below, I’ve outlined 5 steps to get your social media channels up and running.

1. Choose the channels that work best for YOU

Not every social media channel will works for your business. As the Community Manager for a test-prep company, I’ve experienced that firsthand. Pinterest for test prep? Not the most efficient use of my time. (Have you ever heard your friends say, “Oh I saw the most amazing pin about math formulas today”? No? Didn’t think so.) So first, choose the channels that are right for your company.

How? Figure out where your customers already hang out. Set up a Mention or a Google Alert for your company’s name, and find out where conversations about you are already happening. (Or, simply ask your customers what their favorite platforms are!) You can also consider the demographic information for each channel and try to match that up with the demographics of your customer base.

2. Define your goals

As marketers, we know it’s much better to be able to track and define your success with hard numbers. Once you’ve chosen some channels, it’s time to set up your metrics for success. That will help you see if your hard work is paying off and help you decide if you should continue to invest in a channel that is not working as well as you’d like.

Some things to consider when setting up your metrics goals (a.k.a. how will you define success?):

  • Is getting a lot of followers your main goal?
  • Do you want to increase mentions of your brand online?
  • How important are likes, re-tweets, comments, and engagement to you?
  • What is your goal for response time to customers’ questions and comments?
  • Are you trying to increase clicks and drive traffic to your website?

3. Tell everyone you know.

Great, now you’re set up on the best channels for you and have started making your profiles look awesome. But you still have the same problem: no one is following you. 🙁

How to fix it: start an online conversation with your current customers to get the ball rolling. Move your existing customer base to your social media channels. Email them, put your account names on your business cards, and scream it from the rooftops. By driving their focus to your social media accounts, you’ll start to build a quality follower base that already likes you and what you have to say.

4. Think like a human being, not a social media robot.

Don’t just promote and talk about yourself. Don’t allow your conversations and posts to be one sided. When you act like a human being via social media and use it to interact with other human beings, you’ll be able to reach new potential customers and people who are genuinely interested in what you’re selling.

Engage in conversations like you would with your own friends — “like” relevant comments and statuses, and start conversations with interesting people and companies.

5. Provide useful information to your community.

Now, I’m not saying you should never talk about yourself, but do so in a way that will benefit your community. What are their main concerns? What do they need help with? This comes back to knowing your customers.

Now that you have these 5 steps under your belt, it’s up to you to upkeep your brand new follower relationships and make them last far into the future!

Bonus Tip: people love contests and free stuff, and your followers are no exception. Engage your new social media community by promoting fun competitions. Got some company pens or t-shirts to give away? Create a contest for your followers and promise the winners swag! They might even brag about it to their friends, which just equals more and more mentions for you!

Good luck and happy Tweeting!

My author photoRachel Wisuri is the Community Manager at Magoosh, an online test-prep company in the Bay Area. There, she spends her time making sure the Magoosh community is happy, healthy, and growing. In her free time she can be found eating peanut butter, listening to the Beatles, and lounging in the park.

 

11 Kiva Gives Entrepreneurs Some Wonderful Perspective

kivaMark Flannery co-founded Kiva.org with his wife a few years ago and their success has forever altered the way entrepreneurs in the developing world get access to the small amounts of capital that can make a huge impact on their businesses and lives. In doing so they’ve also opened up an entirely new channel of micro lending to businesses and individuals who would like a way to help the smallest of businesses get going.

I think it sort of brings all this talk of economic downturn into better perspective for me.

Matt stopped by the Duct Tape Marketing podcast recently to share the Kiva story.

The incredible thing about this system is that it’s a lending, not gifting, system that allows anyone to lend as little as $25 that might go towards a tiny fish selling business in Mozambique allowing the owner to buy more product and in doing provide a necessary service to a community.

Here’s how it works:

1. You go to the Kiva site and choose an entrepreneur who has posted and been screened for a need
2. You make a loan payment for as little as $25 through Paypal or credit card
3. Receive a journal so you can keep track of how your entrepreneur is doing
4. Withdraw or reloan the proceeds from your load

The amazing thing about this program which now raises millions of dollars a month for poor entrepreneurs is the load payback is at about 99%.

There a several other volunteer opportunities as well.

iLinc Web and Video ConferencingThis episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by iLinc – Web and Video Conferencing that’s easy to use, affordable and powerful enough to make your online meetings really come alive.

17 What Makes a Business Green?

There’s a lot of talk these days in marketing circles about “green business” practices and marketing. I spent some time talking about this very thing with Tim Sanders whose upcoming release – Saving the World at Work – dives into the topic in a very smart way. (Look for our chat on the Duct Tape Marketing podcast)

Being green isn’t just about recycling, it’s about nurturing, growing things, instead of just using them. In fact, being green has as much to do with purpose and people as it does plastic and paper.

Companies that want to lean on their greeness as a marketing advantage need to do three things, in this order:
1) Grow and nurture their people – hire people who think green, empower and inspire them to make wise choices
2) Grow and nurture their community – involve the purpose of the business in the local community
3) Grow and nurture their planet – only now does recycling and carbon exchanging make a true difference

The beauty of this somewhat expanded view is that even the smallest business can do this and make a meaningful difference.;

15 The lowest hanging green fruit

Shop locallyThe annual Earth Day celebration is a nice opportunity to focus on some of the not so earth friendly practices that small business owners can easily fall into.

Without a doubt small business owners can and should 1) recycle, 2) shut down computers at night, 3) turn out the lights, 4) ride a bike to work, 5) use web technology to eliminate routine cross town meetings, but . . . in my opinion the greatest environmental gains are available from buying local, buying from each other, getting the parts and products you use locally and emphasizing that your customers, referral sources and strategic partners do the same.

3 Kiva creates new way to fund small business growth

Kiva in UgandaMark Flannery co-founded Kiva.org with his wife a few years ago and their success has forever altered the way entrepreneurs in the developing world get access to the small amounts of capital that can make a huge impact on their businesses and lives. In doing so they’ve also opened up an entirely new channel of micro lending to businesses and individuals who would like a way to help the smallest of businesses get going.

Matt stopped by the Duct Tape Marketing podcast recently to share the Kiva story.

The incredible thing about this system is that it’s a lending, not gifting, system that allows anyone to lend as little as $25 that might go towards a tiny fish selling business in Mozambique allow allow the owner to buy more product and in doing provide a necessary service to a community.

The burgeoning venture has received incredible press attention from the likes of
(The Oprah Winfrey Show, NBC’s Today Show, and President Clinton’s book “Giving”.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You go to the Kiva site and choose an entrepreneur who has posted and been screened for a need
  2. You make a loan payment for as little as $25 through Paypal or credit card
  3. Receive a journal so you can keep track of how your entrepreneur is doing
  4. Withdraw or reloan the proceeds from your load

The amazing thing about this program which now raises millions of dollars a month for poor entrepreneurs is the load payback is at about 99%.

There a several other volunteer opportunities as well.