Strategies 101

Does Your Blog Content Need Punching Up? 7 Tips

Does Your Blog Content Need Punching Up? 7 Tips
By June 18, 2012 Strategies 101

Blog floundering? Visitors dropping in but not staying around? Here are seven ways to revitalize your company’s online presence.

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Conflict And Community: Are You Prepared?

Conflict And Community: Are You Prepared?
By January 21, 2011 Strategies 101

street signLEADING THOUGHTS There are many types of communities: there are user forums and more permanent communities – some “walled” and some open. Blogs are absolutely living, breathing communities, where comment discussions are oftentimes more valuable than the content itself. There are also ad-hoc communities that result from people coming together to discuss something — picture a “tweetchat” that comes together to discuss something. These are all communities, and although they are different in formation process, duration, barriers to entry (signup, pay wall, professional qualifications), and other aspects — they are all built with a purpose of bringing people together who share an interest and passion. When passionate individuals get together and engage with each other, it’s like music to people like me. A shared passion inspires engagement, action, reaching goals, discussion, discourse… and conflict.

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Goal Setting Continued… Goal #2: Excellent Customer Experience

Goal Setting Continued… Goal #2: Excellent Customer Experience
By December 28, 2010 Strategies 101

smiley face LEADING THOUGHTS Welcome back! Last week, we wrote about the importance of goal setting for your engagement strategy, as it relates to social media in this particular example. What you do on the social web, just like any other business activity, can’t be haphazard. Social media is fun and exciting, and I fully understand the temptation of doing it for the sake of doing it. However, it’s a business activity, and you should approach it as such, with a plan for execution and measurement, metrics appropriate for your goals, and maybe even its own P&L.

Last week we talked about increasing awareness as a goal. If you don’t increase awareness, you won’t increase the number of unique users, and without that, you won’t grow your revenues (which is, or at least should be, your #1 goal). Sure, you could live off strong awareness for a while, getting everyone to try your product, maybe even buy it once. However, if your product doesn’t deliver what you promised it would, no one will want to repurchase or purchase after the trial runs out. There’s a word for that — hype. You don’t want to be one of those. You will risk turning off your loyal early brand champions, possibly resulting in bad word of mouth. For revenue to sustain and even happen at all, you need to tend to goal #2: customer experience.

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Benchmarking: If You Don’t Know Where You Are, How Will You Know Where You’re Going?

Benchmarking: If You Don’t Know Where You Are, How Will You Know Where You’re Going?
By December 16, 2010 Strategies 101

LEADING THOUGHTS In a recent post, we discussed the importance of tracking and listening to social media. As a follow-up, I’d like to take a stab at attacking measurement. Although both listening and measurement stem from tracking social media, there are differences between the two. In one of my articles for Mashable, I wrote about these differences. The short of the story is that the main difference is intent: for listening, the intent is to discover what people are saying in realtime and prioritizing for follow up. For measurement, however, the intent is to recap metrics, track performance over time and against competitors. In this post, I discuss the steps you can take to successfully measure social media. To recap, these steps are:

  1. 1) Have a goal
  2. 2) Align your team members, other teams, and leadership
  3. 3) Always consider context
  4. 4) Select platform wisely
  5. 5) Conduct a social media audit
  6. 6) Dig deeper
  7. 7) Do A/B testing

In this post, I want to address benchmarking, without which metrics is meaningless. Benchmarking provides the context that you need in order to make metrics meaningful. Imagine you start measuring social media, and you discover that you had 1,000 social media mentions in all channels. Now what? Is that good or bad? I have no idea! To really understand this, you need context. What’s customary for a product like yours? How much buzz is the product category garnering? How does it compare to your own performance? Let’s dig in and figure out what you should be benchmarking against.
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All Ears: Listening Is One Part Science, Two Parts Art

All Ears: Listening Is One Part Science, Two Parts Art
By December 8, 2010 Strategies 101

hand LEADING THOUGHTS Back in the day, businesses could afford to keep an arm’s length from their customers. While just about every company waxed poetic about customer support and being customer-centric, for most it was simple rhetoric, something people wanted to hear. Customer support and sales were the only departments that were really and truly touching the customer, listening and responding to the customer, whether he or she was happy or somehow unhappy about the experience. Our CEO Jon Ferrara likes to refer to this as the “castle analogy”, where companies tried to keep the customer away with castle walls, moats and artillery. Now that social media has played an equalizing role, bringing companies and customers together, the castle walls are successfully coming down. You can’t engage with anyone — a customer, or a prospect, or a partner — until you really learn how to listen. And by that, I mean really listen and really hear. When someone tells you that there’s a technical issue with your product, don’t simply shrug it off and chalk it up to user error. Make sure you 1) dig in and really understand the issue, 2) empathize with the customer, 3) establish a guideline of what to expect in terms of resolution, 4) communicate the issue back to the relevant team members and 5) keep the communication loop going back and forth.
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