The Global Source for Social Media Researchers

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  • 8 Nov 2017 5:06 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Social Media Listening and Research led by Sunny Jung Kim, PHD at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College

    Jack Murtha

    NOVEMBER 07, 2017

    opioids,social media,sunny jung kim,dartmouthThe potential is clear. Oozing with photos, videos, and text, social media platforms offer untold data to researchers studying public health issues. Since some people assume a sense of anonymity exists on these websites, they’re especially useful for exploring topics that otherwise might be cloaked in secrecy.

    Take drug use, for example.

    A new study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research examined 91 papers that used analytics to mine such data from social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, confirming their power in this area. Led by Sunny Jung Kim, PhD, a biomedical data science expert in the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College, the researchers developed a 4-part framework to guide future inquiries.

    The “large scale” of social media posting made by people who use or have used prescription drugs like opioids for nonmedical purposes will “provide insight into important novel discoveries of collective public health risk behavior,” Kim and her colleagues wrote.

    “More specifically, social media communication data aggregated by drug use-related search keywords,” they went on, “can indicate the level and stage of drug dependence, the actions of patients engaging in addiction recovery support groups, former users with or without relapse episodes, or current users with or without dependence.”

    What does that mean? Well, according to the review, researchers can use social media drug data to develop insights for the individual and society at large. What’s more, those takeaways may relate to almost any aspect of problematic drug use, from coordinating just-in-time interventions and preventative campaigns to taking a bird’s eye view of changes in associated black markets or widespread use habits.

    Kim’s team broke down their framework into 4 sections describing what sorts of information can come from these social media probes and why they’re important.

    1. User characteristics. Most studies reported on their subjects using general groups, like college students, adolescents, Twitter users, or more. They often found that the type of drug use varied by demographic. Gaining a greater understanding here, Kim and her team said, can inform interventions and other campaigns. So far, though, research has paid less attention to analyzing this in conjunction with the second spoke in the wheel of the framework.

    2. Communication characteristics. Every study in the review analyzed this component, which focused on how people discuss drug use, past or present. For example, one report detailed how some people spoke of prescription stimulants as a so-called “study aid,” examining how social network factors explained nonmedical use. This framework deals with how people portray their feelings about drugs and risky behaviors, according to the authors.

    3. Mechanisms and predictors. This area remains “largely underexplored,” the researchers noted. But social media data on attitudes and risk perceptions can shed light on the motivation for sharing potentially damaging information and even produce clinical insights. Reaching out to other people with substance use disorders, for instance, could signal a need for social support.

    4. Psychological and behavioral outcomes. Although studies have touted the significance of this aspect, it remains understudied. Future research into this might require population-level-based surveys and longitudinal follow-up interviews, the authors wrote. It could yield models and insights regarding the clinical implications of social media as behavioral intervention platforms, they noted.

    The study advocated future research mix methods, incorporating survey, recruitment, and more. It also pushed for a multidisciplinary approach, bringing together data scientists, social scientists, and clinicians. All the while, they must consider the precision and sensitivity of social media big data, the authors said.

    Going forward, investigators may use this framework to execute various computational linguistic, social network, and machine learning analyses.

    But, the researchers added, they must keep in mind the ethics of data mining, interviewing, and disseminating results gathered on a platform that’s public but in some cases incorrectly thought to be private or anonymous.

    Just 4 studies claimed to have gained Institutional Review Board approval, while 2 said the requirement was waived. “In most studies, potential ethical issues and practices were not discussed in detail,” the authors wrote. “This might be, in part, because the social media data in their studies was considered publicly open or because discussing ethical aspects was not directly within the scope of their study.”

    In the future, however, the researchers urged their peers to strike a balance between ethical principles and potential scientific discoveries. This, they noted, should begin prior to launching a study.

  • 30 Oct 2017 4:39 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

     A strategy is always the best way to start and social media listening is no different. Great post by Christine B. Whittemore:

    What is Social Media Listening?

    Social listening is more than looking at a few tweets or some Google alerts on a sporadic basis. Rather, it's a systematic approach to monitoring what's being said online on social networks by real people about your company, your brand, your people, and your industry and listening carefully from the perspective of your customers so as to make your business better informed about what matters to them.

    You need both monitoring and listening for an effective strategy. That's so you can truly draw insights from what you observe and hear. And, whereas monitoring can be done by those with less experience, listening requires deeper knowledge of your business and industry.

    As you develop your strategy, you'll want to make sure you include that higher level of business knowledge on your team, as well as someone nimble and curious who's willing and able to monitor social networks and explore the conversations that happen.

    Monitoring sees the trees; listening views the forest.

    Social media listening matters people are talking about you. You can't stop them. Ignoring them doesn't mean they won't talking about you. So, even if you don't like what people are saying, it's important to be listening so you can do something about what you hear.

    A listening strategy takes into account reviews and complaints. It provides you with context for the solutions you provide and may help you identify thought leaders. Furthermore, 

    • It helps you refine what you know about your buyer personas.
    • It enables you to gather insights.
    • You can validate content ideas for your web pages, blog articles and valuable offers.
    • You have the opportunity to take part in conversations and truly be social.

    This is the richness of social networks and beauty of online listening. Talking has always happened. So now, instead of having to physically locate the millions of real-life water cooler conversations taking place, you can monitor and listen virtually based on social conversations.

    How to Create a Social Media Listening Strategy?

    You'll need to have social accounts set up, including a Twitter account at a minimum. Then, follow these 8 steps.

    1. Determine your goal for listening online

    As with any business activity, it's important to identify your goal or purpose. Otherwise, how can you determine that the resources spent - which can involve a lot of time - deliver value? How can you evaluate progress and determine what to modify? How can you ensure that the right people are involved and that the right decisions are made?

    If your goal is thought-leadership, can you identify someone within the organization with a strong passion and deep knowledge relevant to the industry to participate in outreach?

    If it's customer service, do you understand what your current customer service resolution practices are? Have you identified members of the team who can respond quickly if and when they are needed? In the early days of social media, vocal social customers benefited from inconsistent practices because of the lack of coordination between online and offline conversations.

    If you're trying to engage with a specific audience, do you have team members with knowledge of the space to become active and lend advice?

    Determine your goal for listening online

    2. Find relevant conversations online

    There are two aspects to finding conversations online. One has to do with where people hang out digitally and the other with the terms that generate relevant conversations.

    Where do your constituents hang out online?

    • It's important to figure out where your constituents spend time online. Perhaps this is something you know because of the work you've done developing personas. If you aren't sure, ask your customer facing associates what comes up in their conversations. 
    • When it comes to 'constituents,' don't necessarily only think of customers. Consider all of the groups in the marketplace that are important to your business. This may include suppliers, specifiers as well as influencers and fans. Each group may have different social habits and hangouts.
    • This will vary depending on your business and industry. 

    If you aren't sure, go and explore and experiment by listening intensely, lurking more than actively participating in social network conversations. 

    What are the right conversation or search terms to explore with?

    Finding the right conversation terms can be difficult depending on how noisy your industry is.

    For example, real estate is noisy with many shout-outs about properties for sale, rather than insightful observations about markets.

    Marketing is noisy, too, mostly because there are so many passionate marketers sharing sharing too much valuable content.

    On the other hand, (non-profit) causes tend to be findable and consistent in their content topics, making connecting with online constituents more straightforward.

    To find meaning, you'll need to figure out how to exclude information that isn't helpful, and hone in on what's particularly meaningful to you.

    To start with, though, search your category and industry, look for #hashtags and Twitter chats, list important trade shows and professional organizations and list any #hashtags they use. Explore what terms competitors use and be on the lookout for influencers.

    Find relevant conversations online

    Search terms range from specific to broad

    As you establish your listening strategy baseline, pay attention to the range of terms used. As with search engines, the more specific the social search term (i.e., company or brand names), the more likely it is that those talking about you know you (i.e., customers). The broader the terms (i.e., problem statements, category observations), the less likely the conversation has to do with you and the more insightful it may be about your greater industry.

    If you think of the buyer journey or customer lifecycle stages, this makes sense.

    You'll want to create social search streams for both extremes and possibly even some in between, especially if you are in social conversations with new prospects as well as more qualified ones.

    Be aware that many terms in social networks have multiple meanings. For example, 'steam' has to do with the vapor form of water, as well as STEM which became STEAM with the addition of Art, steampunk, steam engines, steam ovens, steam showers and even online gaming.

    As you discover those other irrelevant meanings for your social listening, keep track of negative terms you can use (e.g., jobs) to refine the search.

    3. What to do when you find relevant online conversations?

    As you get going with your social media listening strategy, you'll have the opportunity to get further immersed by following the profiles of interesting social voices, perhaps even favoriting their updates and engaging with them by saying 'thank you' or asking a question. Ideally, you'll have fresh content and ideas to contribute in addition to interacting with followers and fans.

    In fact, that involvement is what takes a listening strategy to another level, transforming it into a valuable, living, interactive source of insights and perspectives.

    As you develop your strategy, determine what you're willing to do.

    4. Prepare for the unexpected online

    It's really important as part of developing your social listening strategy to do some scenario planning so you know what to do when the unexpected happens. This is the equivalent of PR101 so you are prepared to respond regardless of the situation.

    The first is to decide what level of engagement you are willing to do on an ongoing basis. I recommend that you consider doing more than just passively monitor; that allows you to smoothly take action if necessary.

    Although there have been plenty of headlines touting horror stories (e.g., 12 Shocking Social Media Horror Stories), you'll find far more success stories (e.g., 10 Top Social Media Marketing Success Stories) and feel good stories (10 Times Social Media Made the World Better in 2014) happening. That said, it's important to be ready for the worst in case it happens - for example, Internet trolls or others who aren't reasonable, especially when it's a full moon.

    Remember what your goals are. If there's a chance that customer service issues can come up on social networks, then include your customer service associates in your strategy development so the listening teams knows how to respond and take the conversation offline and direct it to the experts.  

    5. Can you involve others in your organization in your social media listening?

    When you think how every person in your organization is an ambassador for your brand and your business and regularly interacts with people via his or her own social networks offline and online, why not involve all of them socially and digitally on your company's behalf?

    It's more social for everyone, it makes your business more nimble and it offers you better insights.

    If you're concerned about how to ensure everyone represents your company, consider including in your code of conduct social media guidelines that you review regularly with employees. It sets the stage for discussions, how to refer to customers, permissions needed, etc.

    6. Establish a listening process

    Next, you want to establish a process for your listening.

    Decide on search terms to get started with, ideally single words or tight combinations of words.

    Conduct general searches to identify influencers to follow and relevant #hashtags.

    Create search streams to monitor those influencers and #hashtags, as well as Twitter lists - either public or private. Depending on the tool you use, you may even be able to easily monitor prospects and customers.

    Develop a schedule for regular monitoring, interaction, content sharing, and to acknowledge new followers.

    7. Identify tools for listening and monitoring social conversations online

    Identify tools for listening and monitoring social conversations online

    When you get started with your strategy, you'll want explore the individual social networks directly so you get a feel for how each differs from the other. This also provides you with perspective on the dynamics of the individual network, how people interact with one another, what the rhythm of the interactions is, whether there are special terms or ways of communicating, ... 

    Look at groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, check Google+, Instagram and Pinterest, the question-based social network, Quora, YouTube and any others that might be relevant to your business.

    In many ways, each network is akin to visiting a foreign country; before immersing yourself completely, you want to get a feel for the lay of the land.

    In addition, you'll want to use some general social search tools to research your terms and identify people, terms and hashtags of possible interest.

    • For example, Social Mention and Twazzup, and FollowerWonk to search through Twitter bios.
    • To search specifically for hashtags, explore Tagboard which is very visual and looks across several networks (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Google+...).
    • It's a good idea to check Board Reader in case some of your constituents are active in forums.

    Twitter Chats can be a gold mine of valuable insights, and invaluable opportunities to connect with influencers and others who care passionately about the topics being discussed. Be sure to check through the Twitter Chat Schedule in case a chat relevant to your business exists.

    Tools to Make Social Listening More Efficient

    Be sure to calibrate your results from one search tool to another. This will help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of each one.

    As you get more sophisticated and knowledgeable, you will want to evaluate paid tools that make listening and monitoring more efficient. My favorite is HubSpot's Social Monitoring Tool. I also use Hootsuite.

    If you are looking for a social CRM, try Nimble.

    A calendar makes social listening more efficient

    Bonus Tip: Check Social Referrals in Google Analytics 

    As you do your research, don't forget to regularly check your website analytics social referrals. It's both confirmation and validation that what you are doing with your social networks is generating results and traffic to your website.

    • Check that you recognize the networks generating traffic
    • Review how qualified the traffic is (i.e., bounce rate, time on site, pageviews...)
    • Integrate that information into your social listening strategy 

    Bonus Tip: Benchmark Your Business in Google Search

    Be sure to review what listings come up in a Google search on your business name. If you notice directly listings, check them out; claim them if you haven't already, add relevant information about your business. 

    If review sites appear (e.g., Yelp, Google+ Local/Google My Business) with reviews, look them over. Acknowledge them publicly or privately depending on the network, get to the bottom of bad reviews, and start to encourage customers to leave reviews.

    8. Develop a routine for your social media listening strategy

    Ideally, you will want to develop a daily routine and schedule to regularly monitor, observe, listen, participate. Planning for this means that you show up regularly and consistently as you would in real life for networking and interaction. 

  • 20 Oct 2017 1:30 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Generation Z is more in tune with technology and online engagement than any prior generations. 


    How do we define the youngest generation? Gen Z is most commonly defined as those born after 1996, divided into two groups: those born between 1997 and 2005 (The First Connected Kids) and those born 2006 to 2015 (The Technology Inherent). The oldest members of the generation are now 20. The oldest millennials are now 37.

    Because members of Gen-Z are different in key ways from millennials, the demographic shift holds some implications for brands and retail marketers. According to Nielsen’s new Total Audience report, millennials and Gen-Z now comprise 48 percent of the total media audience.

    Differences of Gen Z

    While members of Gen-Z look like millennials from an overall device ownership perspective, there are a few key differences. According to Nielsen, they watch less conventional and DVR-based TV than earlier generations. They also spend far less time accessing the internet via PCs than older groups. Gen-Z spent only eight minutes per day online via PC. The vast majority of their online time is spent on mobile devices.


    Millennials care more about prices than Gen Z

    This is arguably because they came of age during the recession. Sixty-seven percent of millennials surveyed said that they would go to the website to get a coupon, whereas only 46% of Gen Z polled said they would do the same. Millennials also tend to click on more ads; 71% of Millennials in a recent poll said they followed an advertisement online before making a purchase, however only 59% of Gen Z’ers said the same.

    Members of Gen-Z are more likely to buy in stores than millennials and prefer it to e-commerce, according to multiple studies. However, technology heavily influences those mostly in-store purchase behaviors.

    According to a Euclid Analytics consumer retail behavior survey, Gen-Z uses mobile apps and features on mobile phones more than other demographic segments in retail stores. Texting and Snapchat in particular are much more heavily used:

    The use of Snapchat is the most dramatic difference between Gen Z and other groups. More than 40% of Gen Z respondents say they use Snapchat in a store, compared to only 15% of other respondents. Texting remains the most popular activity overall, especially with Gen Z. Half the Gen Z respondents say they text while in a store, compared to 39% of other respondents. The only mobile feature Generation Z uses less than other groups is Google search.



    Gen Z Is More Entrepreneurial

    According to Gen Z marketing strategist Deep Patel, “the newly developing high tech and highly networked world has resulted in an entire generation thinking and acting more entrepreneurially.” Generation Z desires more independent work environments. As a matter of fact, 72% of teens say they want to start a business someday.

    Gen Z Has Higher Expectations Than Millennials

    Millennials remember playing solitaire, coming home to dial-up internet and using AOL. Generation Z was born into a world overrun with technology. “When it doesn’t get there that fast they think something’s wrong,” said Marcie Merriman, executive director of growth strategy at Ernst & Young. “They expect businesses, brands and retailers to be loyal to them. If they don’t feel appreciated, they’re going to move on. It’s not about them being loyal to the business.”
    Gen-Z is the next generation of mass-market consumers. While they share some of the behavior patterns and characteristics of millennials, they have distinct preferences and expectations that brands and retailers must understand and address.



  • 6 Oct 2017 4:44 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Even if your bank doesn't use social media, Regulators still say you're still responsible. What you need to know from Joanna Belbey~

    Joanna Belbey 

    I help regulated firms use social media effectively. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

    social media monitoring


    There’s a misconception among banks that if they prohibit their employees from using social media, they can avoid the risks of damaging their brand or being out of compliance with regulatory requirements. The greatest risk is doing nothing to prepare for the crisis ahead.

    The Stages (And Opportunities) Of Social Media

    Regulated firms such as banks, typically ramp up the use of social media slowly. They may start with having a corporate presence that is closely aligned with their existing corporate brand, essentially moving their website to social. Or perhaps they may use social media as a way to make their firm more accessible for customer service or to show a more light hearted, personal tone. Or Human Resources might use social media for on-campus recruitment and to share positive stories about staff. During the next stage, firms may allow their employees to access social networks at work to make connections and do research, but use technology to block them from making comments or engaging. Or employees may be allowed to use social media for business and to communicate with clients and prospects but only if they agree to have their posts archived and share corporate-provided content that has been pre-approved in some way. From there, as time moves on, these employees may be allowed to post third party content and speak in their “authentic voice”, just as long there is technology and processes in place to capture these posts and make sure they are appropriate. Along the way, the C-Suite may recognize social media as an opportunity to build firm awareness, encourage engagement with employees and clients and enhance personal reputation. Or most recently, firms may encourage “employee advocacy”, where employees are provided with positive information about their firm and invited to share it on their personal networks. This is a powerful opportunity to promote the bank by trusted members of a community.

    Regulators Say Your Bank Is Still Responsible, Even If You Don’t Use Social Media

    However, in spite of the opportunities of using social media, there are plenty of banks that are still on the sidelines. However, whether or not you use social media as a marketing tool, a way to engage your community, or as an opportunity for your CEO, you still are responsible for the reputation of your bank. Even if your bank makes the decision not to use social media proactively and prohibits your employees from using it, there are still people talking about your bank on social media. People are having the conversation, whether you are there or not. It's better to be in the conversation to correct misconceptions, fix mistakes, or resolve customer service issues from a brand point of view. However, there is also a regulatory responsibility to protect the reputation of your bank and to protect your customers. The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), a consortium of retail banking regulators, states in its social media guidance that “based on its own risk assessment, a financial institution that has chosen not to use social media should still consider the potential for negative comments or complaints that may arise within the many social media platforms and when appropriate, evaluate what, if any, action it will take to monitor for such comments and/or respond to them”. And we’ve seen that regulators across industries tend to be consistent with the desire to protect consumers / investors / patients, so even if you aren’t a bank, the same principles will apply.

    Create Social Media Policies For Everyone

    Every bank should have social media policies that specifically lay out what’s allowed and what’s not allowed for their employees, by position. Marketing teams may have one set of rules and associated persons another. These polices are most effective when they use real-life examples that are relevant to employees and their families, spell out the consequences of not adhering to polices and are enforceable. Even when firms don’t use social media for business, firms still have a responsibility to train their employees to be sensible and aware. Nothing is private on social media. It’s easy to track down where you live or work. A misstep or controversial opinion from someone’s personal social media account can result in a social media firestorm that ultimately reflects negatively on your bank. Therefore banks need communications plans that include social media, whether they are using it or not.

    Prepare For A Communications Crisis

    In the early days of social media, people were more forgiving about mistakes and responsiveness. Not so today. The public expects that your bank will respond immediately during a crisis. That means you need to take steps today to prepare for the communications crisis that may happen at any time. Firms should gather together key stakeholders, such as Legal, Compliance, HR, Investor Relations, Marketing and Senior Management to explore and answer questions such as:

    • How can we listen to what people are saying about our bank?
    • What do we do when someone mentions our bank?
    • How do we handle customer complaints?
    • What is our process for correcting factual information (such as hours and locations) about our bank or branches?
    • How do we protect our brand when it’s being hijacked on social media?
    • What is our human resource process when an employee becomes the subject of a public controversy when using social media?
    • What if a highly visible person, such as President Trump, tweets at us?
    • How do we categorize and prioritize a crisis? Who does what in the event of a crisis?
    • Who needs to authorize responses from the bank? What is their contact information?

    Don't wait to figure out the answers to these questions while in the middle of a crisis. Plan ahead to create clear cut processes to protect the reputation of your bank now and in the future.

    Contributor’s note: To learn more details about banking and social media, watch “Social Media and Compliance for Banks and Credit Unions,” a 45 minute conversation that I had with Andrew Swinney, social media manager for Kasasa, a wholesale financial services company. 

    Follow Joanna on Twitter @Belbey


  • 4 Oct 2017 8:10 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Listening shouldn't just be used to respond to negative posts about your brand. It can do so much more for any business. Take a look at what State Farm has done:

    By: Samantha Wood

    jake from state farm

    Humanizing your brand online isn’t always easy, especially if you work in an industry that’s perceived as stuffy and stodgy. But State Farm Insurance is shattering those preconceived notions by using social listening to personalize their brand in unexpected ways.

    State Farm Insurance assistant vice president of public affairs Joe Strupek

    Joe Strupek, Assistant Vice President of Public Affairs, State Farm Insurance

    We’ve all heard the old adage that you have two ears and one mouth because you should listen twice as much as you speak, and the same applies to a brand’s social media presence, according to Joe Strupek, assistant vice president of public affairs at State Farm Insurance.

    “[It’s] about 70% listening and 30% content,” says Strupek. “I think we would all agree that you learn more by listening and helping than you do just publishing.”

    Strupek shared some case studies and best practices for utilizing social listening on Twitter to humanize a brand.

    You Don’t Always Have to Respond

    One common mistake brands often make is feeling the need to immediately respond to all positive or negative tweets. But you first need to decide if the tweet even warrants a response.

    Many times, brands have taken a positive tweet by a consumer and retweeted or quoted it, but doing so can be risky. “[You] can turn a positive to a negative if the consumer wasn’t looking to become a company spokesperson,” he says.

    And the same goes for negative tweets. Most negative tweets should be addressed via private direct message, rather than in public.

    “The best response I have seen to a negative tweet for any brand is when a brand fixed an issue that was brought to their attention through social, and the consumer themselves follows up with, ‘Brand X fixed my problem!’” Strupek says.

    Use What You Hear

    One of the best examples of State Farm’s efforts at humanizing its brand involves the famous “Jake from State Farm.”

    You remember that commercial, right? A wife comes down the stairs at 3 a.m. to find her husband on the phone with someone, and she assumes he must be up to something. She grabs the phone and asks, “What are you wearing, Jake from State Farm?” To which he famously replies, “Uh…khakis.”

    The commercial was a huge hit, and Jake from State Farm became a well-known character on social media. State Farm even created a Twitter handle, @JakeStateFarm, and they’ve had some fun with it.

    When one little girl lost her Elf on the Shelf (who she had named Jake from State Farm, complete with a homemade pair of khakis), @JakeStateFarm stepped in. Using social listening, the company found a tweet by @Mandyloulou17 saying that her daughter had lost her Jake from State Farm elf.

    Omg! WE HAVE A SITUATION…WE'VE LOST JAKE FROM STATE FARM (aka @elfontheshelf)!!! Moving is horrible!

    — Amanda Webb (@Mandyloulou17) November 30, 2015

    Strupek explained that State Farm got another elf and even made him a new little pair of khakis. They shared some photos of him playing around their office, and of course sent the new Jake to the little girl.

    View image on Twitter

    View image on Twitter


    State Farm 


    .@Mandyloulou17 night security found this @elfontheshelfnamed @JakeStateFarm last night around 3am at HQ? Yours?

    2:00 PM - Dec 2, 2015

    •  33 Replies

    The tweets didn’t go viral, but they created a great rapport with the customer in trouble and brightened the Christmas season for this mom and her daughter without asking them to be brand ambassadors. The @JakeStateFarm Twitter handle is a fun tool for the State Farm brand and with 40.8K followers, it’s a huge success.

    View image on Twitter

    View image on Twitter


    State Farm 


    Replying to @Mandyloulou17

    @Mandyloulou17 @elfontheshelf @JakeStateFarm he's so excited that now he's running laps around the building!

    3:02 PM - Dec 2, 2015

    •  22 Replies
    •   Retweets

    Another great example? State Farm found a tweet where someone used their jingle “Like a good neighbor State Farm is there…I need food.” So, of course, they sent him pizza!

    Jan 13, 2015

    Michael Sly @MichaelTheSly

    Like a good neighbor @StateFarm is there...I need food


    State Farm 


    @MichaelTheSly Not sure if you are still hungry, but we would love to help. DM your address and favorite restaurant and we'll hook you up.

    10:44 AM - Jan 13, 2015

    •   Replies
    •  11 Retweet

    It’s such a simple concept, but it makes a personal connection with this customer, who may or may not already have State Farm insurance. But now, he’s going to spread the word about the #powerofthejingle.

    Screen Shot 2017-07-27 at 12.53.11 PM

  • 30 Sep 2017 7:08 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    In honor of Customer Service Week starting Oct. 2nd., here is a great post to make you think about using social media for customer service!

    August 4, 2016 in Customer Service

    Social Customer Service Stats

    Defend the Spend with these Social Customer Service Stats

    Fact: Social media is the #1 preferred customer service channel for a huge portion of your customers (and soon to be the majority of them). But no matter how many people prefer to use social media for customer service, despite how many customers are reaching out to businesses on social and expecting responses, and regardless of how many new solutions emerge to help brands address this, some bosses are still not convinced of the value of social customer service. We’re sure that your boss is delighted with your enthusiasm. However, you need to tie your vision for social care to their broader objective. They want ROI. First, you need data. Social customer service stats are a great place to start.

    So, if you are having trouble convincing your boss about the value of social customer service, we’ve got what you need. We’ve gathered the top 20 social customer service stats (from reputable sources including Harvard Business ReviewGartnerForrester Research and more) that will surely help you prove the value of social customer service. Most of all, you’ll help your boss defend the spend on this grand but vital initiative. 

    Don’t just take our word for it, see below for yourself!

    20 Social Customer Service Stats to Show Your BossCLICK TO TWEET

    #1-20 Social Customer Service Stats


    Social Customer Service Stat #1:

    It costs as little as $1 to solve a customer issue on social media, which is nearly 1/6 that of a call center interaction. – McKinsey & Co

    It costs as little as $1 to solve a customer issue on social media, which is nearly 1/6 that of a…CLICK TO TWEET


    Social Customer Service Stat #2:

    When companies engage and respond to customers over social, those customers spend 20-40% more with them. -Bain & CompanySocial Customer Service Stats 2


    Social Customer Service Stat #3:

    70% of those helped via social customer service return as a customer in the future. -AmbassadorSocial Customer Service Stats 3


    Social Customer Service Stat #4:

    71% of consumers who experience positive social customer care are likely to recommend the brand to others, compared with just 19% of customers who do not get a response. -NM Incite
    Social Customer Service Stats 4

    71% of consumers who experience positive social customer care are likely to recommend the brandCLICK TO TWEET


    Social Customer Service Stat #5:

    Failure to respond via social channels can lead to a 15% increase in the churn rate for existing customers. -GartnerSocial Customer Service Stats 5


    Social Customer Service Stat #6:

    Companies that invest in customer service on Twitter have found that resolving issues via Twitter can lead to over 95% of issues being resolved in-channel, and can achieve a customer satisfaction rating of over 90%. -McKinsey & CompanySocial Customer Service Stats 6


    Social Customer Service Stat #7:

    Twitter and Facebook are 48% more accurate and 44% faster at delivering customer service responses than email. -EpticaSocial_Customer_Service_Stats_7


    Social Customer Service Stat #8:

    60% of customers expect companies to respond to them on social within the hour. -TwitterSocial Customer Service Stats 8


    Social Customer Service Stat #9:

    Customer service interactions over Twitter have increased 250% in the last two years. -TwitterSocial Customer Service Stats 9

    Social Customer Service Stat #10:

    Companies that developed social care capabilities improved year-over-year revenue per contact by 6.7% through effective up-selling, cross-selling and customer churn reduction versus a 12.1% decline for those without that capability. -McKinsey & CompanySocial Customer Service Stats 10


    Social Customer Service Stat #11:

    Customers who experience positive social media interactions are nearly 3X more likely to recommend that brand. -Harvard Business ReviewSocial Customer Service Stats 11


    Social Customer Service Stat #12:

    Not answering a complaint decreases customer advocacy by as much as 50%. -Convince and ConvertSocial Customer Service Stats 12


    Social Customer Service Stat #13:

    Answering a social media complaint increases customer advocacy by as much as 25%. -Convince and ConvertSocial Customer Service Stats 13


    Social Customer Service Stat #14:

    77% of people say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service. -Forrester ResearchSocial_Customer_Service_Stats_14


    Social Customer Service Stat #15:

    55% of people say they are very likely to abandon their online purchase if they cannot find a quick answer to their question. -Forrester ResearchSocial_Customer_Service_Stats_15


    Social Customer Service Stat #16:

    For each 1% of shoppers who return for a subsequent visit, overall revenue increases by approximately 10%. If companies invest in keeping another 10% of existing customers happy enough to keep buying, they will double their revenue. -Adobe Digital IndexSocial_Customer_Service_Stats_16


    Social Customer Service Stat #17:

    When customers engage with a business through social media, they contribute about 5.6% more to the firm’s bottom line than customers who do not. -Ram Bezawada, PhD, University of Buffalo School of ManagementSocial Customer Service Stats 17


    Social Customer Service Stat #18:

    67% of consumers have used a company’s social media site for servicing, compared with 33% for social marketing. -JD Power & AssociatesSocial Customer Service Stats 18


    Social Customer Service Stat #19:

    82% of people who engage with a brand on Twitter for customer service report sharing their positive experience with others, while only 44% who engage on other channels (phone, email, chat, in-person) share their positive experience with others. -TwitterSocial_Customer_Service_Stats_19


    And finally….

    Social Customer Service Stat #20:

    Companies that have a well-crafted social customer service approach experience 92% customer retention. -AberdeenSocial Customer Service Stats 20


    • About The Author: Kristina Koller

      Kristina Koller is an Elvis Presley fan, avid online shopper and therefore obsessed with customer experience, and a marketer at Sparkcentral, in that order.

      More posts by Kristina Koller


  • 26 Sep 2017 2:04 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Great Blog Post on the advantages of social media listening! Thank you Ashley!

    by  Ashley Mamula

    Social Media Listening (1).png

    Ever wished you had a crystal ball and knew exactly what your customers were thinking? When used correctly, social media listening can be a lot more accurate than a crystal ball. Major companies like Intel, H&M, and Ikea all use social listening to discover candid feedback that helps their business differentiate products and services from the competition. Is your company prepared to capitalize on these insights?

    Social Media Monitoring and Social Listening: What’s the Difference?

    Social media monitoring and social media listening are two sides to the same coin– and a robust digital marketing strategy needs both. Social media monitoring focuses on engagement and performance metrics. It answers questions like, “How many retweets did this post get?” and “How many people clicked through to sign up for our discounted offer?” Social media listening focuses on what your customers are saying. It answers questions like, “What do my customers need?” and “What are my customers' main pain points right now?” Social media listening provides an added layer of candid nuance to your marketing and brand positioning that you won’t get through a customer performance survey or scanning your Yelp reviews. You know exactly what your customers are thinking the moment it’s happening. You can identify and capitalize on opportunities immediately.

    Sounds great in theory, right? Here’s where most companies go wrong with their social monitoring strategy. They spend a lot of time focusing on what their customers think about their company, but very little time focused on what else their customers are saying. They’re so focused on tracking company or product mentions that they miss out on the bigger picture. Here’s how to course correct.

    3 Solutions for Customer Insights: Identify Needs, Influencers and Opportunity Windows

    Mining social media for customer insights doesn't have to be complex. Start by focusing on three key insights that bring the greatest value to your company: identifying customers needs, identifying influencers, and identifying opportunity windows.

    1. Identify customer needs. Knowing a customer’s pain points is critical. When you know their precise problems, you can pitch a solution that’s tailored to their needs. Use social media listening to track keywords or issues that are repeatedly referenced in social media conversations. Focus on the social platforms where your customers are most active, like LinkedIn groups and discussions dedicated to a specific industry topic. Keep in mind that social listening tools only work for public content so you won’t be able to track mentions in closed groups.

    2.  Identify who is influencing your leads. While it’s relatively easy to obtain a list of general industry influencers, this list would be a lot more valuable if you knew which of these influencers your lead follows. Social media listening provides valuable engagement data for leads in your marketing automation database. Discover who your leads interact with most frequently, which content they comment on, and what they have to say. With this information, you’ll be better positioned to understand which competitors or industry influencers are impacting your lead’s decision-making process– and how you can better differentiate your offerings.

    3. Identify opportunity windows. One of the biggest challenges facing today’s B2B marketers is not what content to produce but when to share the content for maximum impact. Share a case study at the wrong time and your insights will end up in the email trash bin. Share a case study at the right time, and your content could help eliminate decision-making barriers and get the deal closed faster. With social listening, you’ll know when a lead is most open to receiving relevant content. Social listening makes it easier to pass qualified leads to your sales team through lead scoring. You can then alert your sales team to follow up with valuable leads when they are engaging with your brand or relevant topics in your space.

  • 19 Sep 2017 1:59 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    What is Twitter for Customer Service?

    By @sarapics

    Monday, 19 September 2016 


    Twitter is the first place people go to for customer service. Sometimes it’s about having complaints addressed and questions answered, and other times it’s about saying thank you for great service or getting help with a really pressing issue.

    Twitter has changed the dynamics of customer service by not only encouraging interaction, but by enabling brands and customers to quickly connect –– often with hilarious results. To find out more about, Research Now conducted research on behalf of Twitter that looked into the reasons for all of this as well as the impact on brands.

    Customer service is now 1:Many

    Our research found that 61% of Twitter UK users surveyed admit that the public nature of Twitter affects what they Tweet about brands. For users, Twitter feels like the right environment to discuss customer service queries with brands. And not only with brands, but with other customers who may be experiencing similar issues. It’s an example of how Twitter transforms the customer service experience from a 1:1 interaction to a 1:many.

    Customer Service on Twitter and the impact on brands

    Customer service by industry

    What makes customer service on Twitter so widespread is that it is used by brands from all sectors. From finance, to retail, travel and telecoms. However, there are some sectors that are more active than others. Our research found that users are most likely to use Twitter as a customer service channel for retail and travel.

    As many as 40% of those who had recently used the platform for customer service had done so for retail; 33% for travel and 28% for telecoms.

    Another study we ran in conjunction with TNS explored the impact of customer service on Twitter for telco brands. Unsurprisingly, those who had a response from a brand had almost 3x higher brand preference than those who hadn’t and were also more likely to recommend that telco brand.

    For telco brands, customer service interactions are an opportunity to strengthen relationships with their customers. As many as 42% of telco Tweets consisted of requests for more information or questions, representing a key moment for brands to strengthen ties with their customers. A further 27% Tweeted at telco brands to extend, alter or sign a contract with them(2).

    Speed, friendliness and personalisation

    What users really want from a customer service interaction on Twitter is their problem solved. And the great thing is that Twitter is very good at making this happen. As many as 83% of those who used Twitter for customer service said their issue was addressed and fixed(3).

    Twitter is about what’s happening now. That means when it comes to customer service, users expect brands to respond quickly. Our research found that 24% of users ranked speed as the most important attribute for customer service on Twitter, while a quarter agreed that it’s important(4).

    We found that 71% of Twitter users expect a brand to respond to their query within an hour of Tweeting. For many companies that is not proving an issue. Our study showed that 63% of users who Tweeted a brand about customer service had a response within an hour. In fact, over a third of them had a response within 30 mins(5).

    Overall, 80% of those who used Twitter for customer service were responded to, and in fact 80% were satisfied with the customer experience on Twitter(6).

    Other important factors cited by users were when it comes to customer service on Twitter are friendliness and personalisation. When brands build this into their Twitter customer service, the results are often positive.

    Why customer service on Twitter is so important for brands

    How brands perform on Twitter impacts how users feel about them. Two thirds of users say their opinion of a brand would be improved if that brand responded to a Tweet(7).

    For brands, the dividends of delivering great customer service on Twitter can be really valuable. It drives and builds customer loyalty. Our study found that 96% of users who turned to Twitter for customer service and had a friendly experience with a brand would buy from that brand again.

    Equally important, an impressive 83% of them would recommend that brand to others. We see a similar impact when it comes to personalisation too.

    Those figures show how great customer service can contribute to the bottom line. This is borne out by a recent study we conducted in the US, which found that customers were willing to pay nearly $20 more to travel with an airline that had responded to their Tweet in under six minutes. When they got a response over 67 minutes after their Tweet, they would only pay $2 more to fly with that airline(8).

    Customer Service on Twitter and the impact on brands

  • 15 Sep 2017 10:57 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Case Study: 

    Hot Toys for the 2017 Holiday 

    Objective: Determine what toys are being talked about the most in social media for the upcoming holiday season. 

    1. Set up the topic: How you set the topic up is very important and will determine the amount of time you will be devoting to harvesting the data. Every monitoring software platform is a little different. If possible, run the topic through multiple platforms and use different keyword variations. 

    2. Set a start date & end date: running a topic over time is ideal because you won't miss anything as the software gathers the data day in and day out. You may be able to identify significant trends that change over the course of the study.

    3. Organize the data: The software intelligence has the ability to begin this work for you and it tends to be 70%-80% accurate (Digital-MR). Tone, sarcasm, and colloquialisms all play an important role. The data is coming in from all sources as well, from Tweets to blog posts. Word Cloud top themes is a great place to start.

    4. Interpreting  the data: How should the data be quantified? Should an influencer's opinion carry more weight than the average person? For our study, a power house retailer dominated the online discussion by publishing results from a research study using children as participants. In many ways they set the tone for what is being discussed at this point of the study (September).  Will that continue a month from now? 

    5. Action the data: The data has been gathered, harvested and interpretation. Next it needs to be measured against the objective of the study. Consider how this data ties into other data streams within the company. Social Media data and brand perception is changing all the time. For best results this should not be used as a one time study. Incorporating social media research into your other methods is advised for optimal results. 

  • 13 Sep 2017 10:06 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Social media easy as 1-2-3

     By: Marianne Hynd, VP of Ann Michaels & Associates, Ltd. 

    Customer feedback programs can be an incredibly useful tool to help businesses maintain a strong customer experience. But, if it’s not used properly, then you’re not getting the information you need & you may not realize that.

    In the past, gauging the effectiveness of a customer feedback program was more difficult; can you be sure you’re asking the right questions, getting feedback on what’s important to shoppers? It was a lot of trial & error, and looking for trends in open ended responses.

    Now, social media is here, and there are some easy ways to make this more manageable.

    If you are not monitoring social media, and by this I mean social media that is outside of your company run social sites, you probably should as soon as possible.


    Well, for starters, you’re missing an entire conversation about your brand, products, and services. But, also important is the fact that there’s an entire segment of uncensored, unstructured feedback that is waiting out there that you can use to your benefit. You can take this data as use it as another piece of the customer feedback program and you can also use it to gauge the success of your traditional feedback survey. Are you asking the right questions? Are the scores you receive relevant and reflective of general customer satisfaction across the board? These are all questions that can be answered.
    Below are three tips on how to use social media data to your advantage as it relates to your feedback program:

    Use social media as a supplementary feedback channel. The more data you can get, the better. Using social media conversations is inexpensive and provides a wide range of feedback. What’s great about it is the fact that it’s people talking to other people rather than responding to a feedback survey. Why is this great? Simply put, people tend to be more open with their thoughts when talking with friends vs directly to the company. Additionally, if people are responding to a feedback survey, they are focused on providing feedback specific to the questions you’re asking. In social media, it’s more of a free range of thought, so you’re likely to get feedback about aspects of the experience that are not captured on a feedback survey.

    You can monitor social media in a few different ways; one is to make use of the monitoring features in your marketing platform. These days, most have an incoming monitoring component. Another option is to make use of a social media management service – this is a more high level approach, but one that can give you deeper content collection along with a variety of analytical reports to make sense of the conversations that are happening online.


    Compare unstructured feedback sentiment to your current program. Sentiment can be tricky in social media, as most programs are still using a basic sentiment analysis. As more and more turn to natural language processing, sentiment values will be more accurate. However, even with a basic sentiment analysis, manual analysis can be done. This is a benefit of using a social media management service – sentiment is manually set to ensure that the results are accurate.

    Take a look at your positive/neutral/negative ratio of comments in social media and compare to your feedback program results. Are they similar? If not, you may want to look at what you’re asking for feedback about. If, for example, your feedback scores are high/positive while social media shows more negative commentary, take a look at why that may be happening – are you not asking the right questions (ie social conversations show dissatisfaction with a particular aspect of your ordering process yet you don’t ask questions on your feedback survey about this), or are results of your feedback program not as accurate based on who you’re sending the survey to? Or, are people being incentivized a certain way, maybe for providing good feedback, so what they’re providing in terms of feedback is more positive than it might be if they were not incentivized? If the results vary between feedback and social media, some reflection may be needed.


    Find out if you’re asking the right questions & getting the right feedback to be successful. Similar to the point above, use social media data to find out what pains your customers; are they expressing dissatisfaction in an area that you’re not asking about in a feedback survey?

    One example may be a restaurant. In monitoring social media, they may find that customers are saying the wait times in the drive thru are too long, but your feedback survey isn’t asking customers about their wait. This may be a good opportunity to incorporate a relevant question and collect some data from customers at the point of sale to see if there in fact may be a bigger issue at stake.

    By looking for themes within your social monitoring program, you can find out what customers really like (and dislike) and enhance your feedback survey to capture the most relevant data possible.


    Both traditional feedback and social media monitoring are valuable channels for customer communication and satisfaction monitoring, and using both to complement each other will not only help your brand grow and strengthen its customer experience, but it will also provide you with ways to really listen to your customers and show that you are invested in them.

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