#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

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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

#Bufferchat: Building Your Social Media From Scratch

Bufferchat

My recap of the 3/22/2017 #Bufferchat hosted by @buffer and @TrafficJamMedia.  Join the conversation every Wednesday at 12pm EST.

Q1: If you could only start off by investing in one social platform, how do you decide which one it should be?

  • Look at features and reach
  • If determining a community platform: features and cost vs free
  • What platform does my target audience use?
  • What analytics are built in, will you need a 3rd party tool?

Q2: How much time should someone expect to spend on social media per week?

  • Depends what you are using social for: marketing, customer service, social listening…
  • If you are on Social, you better be engaging when customers reach out
  • Using a content calendar and scheduler tool will help streamline your efforts & make you efficient
  • I monitor a community as well as social media – 2/3 hours per day

Q3: How do you find great content to share on your social media profiles?

  • To find content I utilize my community, Google Play Newstand, LinkedIn Elevate, Twitter
  • Through tweetchats, I have met thought leaders – followed them – share their content
  • I participate in discussions on online communities with fellow Community Managers & Social Media pros

Q4: What are good “rules of thumb” for how often to post on various social platforms?

  • I am posting and responding within my community every day
  • I post to once a week
  • I post to Elevate a few times a day as it gives content to fellow employees to share
  • I am on A LOT

Q5: What are some things to avoid when just starting out on social media?

  • Trying to be everywhere ie using too many profiles
  • Not having consistent brand identity across different platforms
  • Not responding to questions
  • NEVER USE AUTO DM’s or canned responses – tailor your answer
  • Not utilizing utm codes and

Q6: How can you start to measure the business value of your social media activity?

  • Measure the increased traffic to your web site, your online store, knowledge base
  • You can measure ROI in Knowledge Base Views / Correct Answers in your community – these equal case deflection
  • In – look at Sessions – Pages per session – Ave. Session Duration – all should be increasing
  • Look to your CRM for cases before social, then cases after social – formal cases should go down
  • In my community – I look for increases in: Questions – Engagement Rate – Correct Answers – Active Members

Q7: What’s your #1 piece of advice for brands just starting out on social media?

Thanks again @buffer – see everyone next week!

Cheers,

Toby

#Bufferchat: Social Media Analytics

Buffer

My recap of the 3/15/2017 #Bufferchat hosted by @buffer and @RivallQ.  Join the conversation every Wednesday at 12pm EST.

Let’s kick off with an icebreaker! If you’d like, share where you’re tweeting from… & where you wish you were tweeting from!

Icebreaker: Tweeting from Needham MA – I am the – would love to visit Australia (it’s summer there now)

Q1: Why track and measure social media analytics?

  • You cannot improve what you are not measuring
  • Analytics help you report the success of your efforts up the management chain
  • Analytics help you identify the content your customers love (and my not like so much)

Q2: If you could only pick one social media metric to capture, what would it be and why?

  • The ideal metric will depend on the Social Tool you are using
  • For Twitter: time on site – shows you directed them to content they like
  • For my community: questions asked – As this number increases, it shows my community is trusted by my customers
  • No matter a Social Media campaign or a Tweetchat – engagement is the Key

Q3: What tools work well for capturing analytics across your social media platforms?

Q4: How often do you (or should you) analyze your social media data?

  • Monthly, Quarterly, Annually
  • It can depend on the campaign: email, social, blogging, etc
  • Remember to compare year over year – how did you move the needle?

Q5: Have you ever made a big shift in your social media strategy because of analyzing data?

  • Have not made a major shift – thankfully small tweaks have made the difference
  • Always testing hashtags and content types

Q6: Where are the best resources for better understanding social media analytics?

  • tweetchats (like this one)
  • I would like to learn the best resources, but there are some easily sourced content via Google search
  • I network with other Community Managers – we trade best practices

Q7: If you could wave a magic wand and have any analytics feature you wanted, what would it be?

  • I would wish for the one perfect tool: easy to use, digs deep into the network, creates solid dashboards

Thanks for reading – I look forward to you comments and hope to see you at the next #bufferchat.

Cheers,

Toby

#SproutChat: Social Media Listening vs Monitoring

sprout

My recap of the 3/1/2017 #SproutChat hosted by @sprout_sarah  & @SproutSocial   Join the conversation every Wednesday at 3pm EST.

Q1: What’s the difference between social listening and monitoring?

  • Social Listening leads to engagement – monitoring is simply seeing what is out there
  • Social monitoring can lead to trouble: why are ppl taking about my brand this way? Engage and find out
  • Social Listening will help you improve your product, service, and customer trust
  • No matter listening or monitoring – you should wonder why ppl are going to 3rd party places rather than talking to you

Q2: Why is it important to go beyond just monitoring brand mentions and responding reactively?

  • Responding builds customer trust
  • Responding uncovers product improvement and sales opportunities
  • Engagement creates happy customers and happy customers talk positively about you
  • Most brands make it hard to speak with someone – Engage and be a champion

Q3: How can a brand surprise and delight customers when providing social customer care?

  • The fact the brand actually engaged
  • Problems happen – brands that engage and solve them create and keep loyal customers
  • Reply within 1 hour – Show empathy – Admit fault in public – Confirm resolution and satisfaction
  • Do not use canned responses – make them personal and show you have actual people who care within your organization

Q4: What are some good ways to keep track of ongoing conversations with members of your community?

Q5: What are some creative ways to use Twitter boolean (advanced) search to find opportunities to engage?

  • Have not used it 😦 Love to hear more
  • Answer from @sprout_sarah – Here’s a comprehensive cheatsheet on Advanced Search for Twitter, SUPER helpful: Twitter Search

Q6: What are the best ways to keep track of trends while listening on social?

  • I use a board – makes it easy to classify and find ideas
  • Follow people and add them to lists – then you can add the list to a dashboard to easily monitor it

Please stop by the next #SproutChat and join the conversation.  I look forward to your comments and collaborating with you.

Cheers,

Toby