#TwitterSmarter: Mastering Real-Time Content Curation with Twitter

My recap and answers I have provided for the 9/28/2017 #TwitterSmarter chat hosted by @MadalynSklar and guest @Ross_Quintana.  Join the conversation every Thursday at 1pm EST.

twittersmarter

Q1: What Makes Twitter Important as a Social Platform for Brands?

  • Twitter makes it easy to find and connect with thought leaders & customers
  • Twitter will aid with SEO and drive traffic to your site or community
  • lists & a dashboard makes is so easy to socially listen and engage

Q2: How has Content Curation Evolved on Twitter?

  • You only have 140: be efficient, use graphics or video, & URLs with utm codes
  • Using lists makes it easy to send the right content to the right audience

Q3: Why does the Real-time Nature of Twitter Matter to Your Content Strategy?

  • Real time is great when attending conferences and trade shows – helps create a buzz
  • Twitter makes it easy to engage with customers when they reach out to you

Q4: What are Many Businesses Failing on Twitter and Why?

  • Business fails on twitter: 1) Too much brand talk 2) Not engaging customers 3) Not relevant tweets
  • Twitter fails: 1) Not measuring via utm codes 2) Tweeting too often 3) Arguing in public
  • Not using pictures, graphics, or video in tweets

Q5: What Types of Content Should I Curate and What Format Works Best?

  • Depends on your audience. For example, a B2B – best practices & how-to’s can work best
  • If you are a restaurant: what are your daily specials? Include pictures
  • Experiment and measure – keep what works, change what is not

Q6: What is Anchor Content and How Can I Use It?

  • Anchor Content = a custom url with your brand name in it
  • Anchor content is your brand’s tweeting backbone – what will help your customer / audience the most

Q7: How Much Self-promotion Should I Do and What are the Best Ways to Do It?

  • Brands do need to promote & show thought leadership, but 70% should be customer-centric
  • Write a blog with a customer who uses your product – about you, but with a trusted endorsement
  • If you are providing trusted, customer valued content, THEY will promote it for you

Q8: How Can I Optimize My Content Curation Efforts and Be Data-Driven?

  • Add utm codes to your url and let Google Analytics tell the story

If #Twitter is part of your business, and it better be, please join #twittersmarter to interact with fellow professionals and learn some great Twitter tips.  I look forward to your questions and comments.

Best,

Toby

Advertisements

#Bufferchat: Day In The Life (Of A Social Media Manager)

Bufferchat

My recap of the 9/27/2017 #Bufferchat hosted by @buffer.  Join the conversation every Wednesday at 12pm EST.

Q1: What is the first thing you do when you get started with work for the day?

  • Job 1 is to check mentions / direct messages in my community & on Twitter
  • I purposely do not start with email at that can often be a black hole
  • I check into my board to see what projects are pressing

Q2: What are your main areas of focus in your work as a social media manager?

  • Curate content for social platforms – rather than thought leadership, I seek customer-centric
  • Find content that Account Managers and Sales ppl can use to best engage customers
  • Share content that educates and interests my customers
  • How can I educate and help people in a way that starts conversations – it’s not called “social” media for nothing

Q3: How do you organize/structure your work day with tasks/projects?

  • To stay on track, I use Outlook reminders and boards to organize tasks and projects
  • Schedule my tweets and blog posts with and

Q4: Approximately how long do you spend directly on social media platforms throughout your work day?

  • When I am scheduling tweets and blogs, that is the most time, but about 2 hours a day is normal
  • I always respond to direct messages and mentions – customers expect (and deserve) acknowledgement
  • Ensure you have a social dashboard – it will make content easy to digest

Q5: As a social media manager, do you collaborate with a team or mainly work autonomously? Which do you prefer?

  • I collaborate with a team to triage questions that arrive via social
  • I curate content a place it into a social library for the team to use
  • For the most part, I work alone, but find, create, and share content to help others

Q6: Which part of your work do you enjoy the most, and why?

  • Conversations, conversations, conversations
  • It is fantastic to sit back and watch community members help one another
  • If I get a like, comment, or questions on content I have created – I am rewarded.
  • When I check Google Analytics as see that ppl are not only clicking my links, but spending time on site too
  • Tweetchats are not only important parts, but very rewarding

Q7: If you had more hours in the day to focus on new skills or projects for your social media work, what would you focus on?

  • I would like to improve my HTML chops
  • More webinars, classes, and learning in general – maybe start a podcast
  • Develop the perfect analytics platform

Thanks again @buffer – see everyone next week!  If you have questions about online communities, I am always happy to chat.

Cheers,

Toby

Before The Wheels Come Off The Wagon

o-COMPLAINING-facebook

Your company has an online community and utilizes social media – GREAT!  Listening to and engaging with your customers is always a great idea, but this blog is not about social benefits; I am going to discuss planning for the inevitable problem.

No matter your product or service, there is no way to avoid problems and the public complaints that follow: mistakes will be made and customers will get upset.  They will turn to Twitter, Facebook, or your Community to let you (and the public) know about their pain.  How are you going to triage and manage these complaints and keep drips from becoming a flood?  Have a plan.

Each firm has different staffing levels and available resources; this chart is a guide to help you formulate your triage plan.  No plan is perfect, nor will it prevent issues; however great companies do not hide from trouble, they take ownership and tackle it.

Capture

Don’t let your fear of public complaints keep you from utilizing social media or creating a community.  Have a plan and the thick skin to deal with it – your customers will reward you for it.

I welcome your questions and comments.

Best,

Toby

Community Manager ROI: Customer Retention

CMGR

I have to take my hat off to Andrew Dennis (@AndrewDennis33) for this excellent piece on the importance of customer retention.  Andrew shows why it is important to retain customers, I am going to discuss who can help you make it happen.

Think about your online community and all the customers who visit and participate daily. These folks are not only paying your bills, they are potential brand ambassadors and peer to peer customer service reps.  Your Community Manager engages this valuable group daily, is their advocate, will triage their issues, and gains their trust.

When it comes to ROI, a strong community will:

  1. Provide peer to peer support: customers will answer each other’s questions and share tips.
  2. Develop a knowledge base from conversations and answers provided within the community into a two-sided knowledge base for customer self-learning.
    • Internal: what the product was designed to do
    • From Customers: what the product CAN do
  3. Provide trusted product reviews for potential customers.
  4. A reduction of formal cases filed with your Support or Engineering teams.
  5. A treasure trove of customer-centric content for your social media efforts.

Thank you Andrew for clearly communicating the importance of retention, now we must work with our Community Manager(s) to make it happen.  I look forward to your comments and questions.

Best,

Toby

 

Run Your Business Like a Rock Band

Management

Good day everyone, I wrote this some time ago, but some lessons need to be remembered.  This piece was inspired by an article from “The Boston Globe:”

What businesses can learn from the Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead provided us with more than memorable summer nights; they showed the way to business success. I will focus on two ideas and how they relate to Community Management and Customer Service.

1. Be Transparent
“The Grateful Dead’s authenticity endeared them to fans and allowed the band to experiment. They found that mistakes are quickly forgiven if a company is transparent about what it’s doing.”

Trust is everything in business and your business will disappear if your customers do not trust you. Come forward and admit to your mistake, apologize and fix the problem or policy. Problems happen, the very companies do not sit back and hope the problem goes away, they take action to fix the issue AND admit they made a mistake.
Transparency is not just about customer service, it relates to your financial accounting too. Enron (and others), lost customer trust and fortunes because of greed and terrible ethics. Don’t keep two sets of books.
Great service and sound ethics are foundations on which you should build your company.

2. Give, and you shall Receive 
“The Grateful Dead removed barriers to their music by allowing fans to tape concerts for free. That brought in new fans and grew sales for concerts, records, and merchandise. They showed that when content is free, more people hear about a company and eventually do business with it.”

Customers are demanding access to knowledge in order to self-solve their problems. Providing an open knowledge base lowers your customer service costs, increases customer satisfaction, and shows your company is a thought leader. The Consortium for Service Innovation has published a paper about how Mathworks has turned knowledge-share upside down by publishing their entire knowledge base within their Community.
I can hear the question now: “But support contracts are a large part of our revenue, we can’t just give away our knowledge.”
Give away the knowledge, not the support. Customers who pay for a service contract are NOT paying for information, they are paying for immediate support and people to solve their problems for them.
Stop funneling your customers into horrible phone queues: listen to them on social media and build them a community where they can interact with you (and other customers) to learn, share knowledge, and solve their problems.

Rock on!

Cheers,
Toby

#TwitterSmarter: Manage Your Productivity and Time on Twitter

My recap and answers I have provided for the 9/1542017 #TwitterSmarter chat hosted by @MadalynSklar and guest @WriteOnLinline.  Join the conversation every Thursday at 1pm EST.

twittersmarter

Q1: How important is setting time for content creation, blogging and networking on Social Media, including Twitter?

  • A social calendar is priority one – too much is going on during the day to “wing it”
  • Setting times for content creation and publishing must be build into your content / social media strategy

Q2: What are steps to consider when setting goals for your Twitter activities (content creation, promotion, engagement)?

  • What % is Twitter in your overall plan? Is it the top, do you also manage a community?
  • How are you using Twitter? Social listening, customer service, blog / community promotion
  • How are you managing twitter – Hootsuite, Sprout, TweetDeck – How many on your team
  • What is your triage plan for questions

Q3: What are your best tips for managing your time on Twitter and staying on top of your Social efforts?

  • Build dashboards () from your lists
  • Set notifications

Q4: How can you build a Twitter Strategy that maximizes your efforts, your time and drives results?

  • Ensure you are measuring your efforts to know what works, what needs to be improved. UTM codes – Google Analytics

Q5: What are some tools that can help you manage your time and be productive on Twitter?

Q6: What are your favorite hacks to stay committed to keep consistent with execution and engagement on Twitter?

  • Twitter lists of people by specialty.
  • Social done well is about engagement and building trust, not something you “do.”
  • Define success and measure your efforts
  • Tweetchats

Q7: What are some simple techniques to balance real-time conversations and scheduling?

  • I have never use auto tweets are replies – respond and make it personal
  • Be authentic and share who you are
  • Balance scheduled content with real-time interactions
  • Balance personal content with 3rd party content

Q8: What’s your advice for anyone who’s starting out with Twitter & finds it challenging to be productive on a daily basis?

  • Don’t try to read everything in your feed
  • Ask a few questions and remember to thank people for their answers
  • Join a tweetchat and network
  • Lists and dashboards help you organize, consume, and respond

If Twitter is part of your business, and it better be, please join #twittersmarter to interact with fellow professionals and learn some great Twitter tips.  I look forward to your questions and comments.

Best,

Toby

 

#Bufferchat: Building Digital Skills

Buffer

My recap of the 9/13/2017 #Bufferchat hosted by @buffer.  Join the conversation every Wednesday at 12pm EST.

Q1: How do you make time for building new skills?

  • Building new skills must be done – boost your productivity and work smarter
  • Often I learn about new tools during tweetchats, make note of them, then check them out later
  • You cannot afford to not continuing to educate yourself

Q2: In your opinion, what are the 3 key skills marketers need today?

  • The ability to listen – The willingness to respond – Pick the right social networks

Q3: Do you feel like marketers need to learn coding skills? Why or why not?

  • Coding? I guess it depends on how the marketer is reaching their targets
  • Having HTML knowledge is important

Q4: What do you think businesses can do to help close the “digital skills gap” that exists today?

  • Do a better job with FAQs or Self-help documentation for their products
  • Set up online communities so customers can visit, discuss, and learn from each other
  • Online communities help your customers help each other (and lower costs) Sponsor meetups or write blogs that cover how-to issues
  • Send their employees to training sessions

Q5: What are low-cost ways you can strengthen your digital skills toolbox?

  • Tweetchats!
  • There are many (free) online tutorials, start with YouTube
  • Don’t just consume – blog about or upload skills you have – you may make some great contacts – share your knowledge
  • Do some searching and find a community that covers the software or skill you want to learn

Thanks again @buffer – see everyone next week!  If you have questions about online communities, I am always happy to chat.

Cheers,

Toby