your social media
by tara ‘missrogue’ hunt
strategy won’t save you
twitter isn’t the answer.
facebook isn’t the answer.
blogs, vlogs, photosharing, text messaging and IM
aren’t the answer.
none of these are guaranteed to
1. social media doesn’t scale
2. social media is only a band-aid
3. social media is about...being social
4. trust is at an all-time low
1. it doesn’t scale
“Craigslist gets more trafﬁc than either eBay or
Amazon .com. eBay has more than 16,000
employees. Amazon has more than 20,000.
Craigslist has 30.” sept 2009, wired magazine
craig’s social media strategy #1
craig’s social media strategy #2
craig understands that social media doesn’t scale,
but creating a useful, working site that listens to its
"The truth is that a lot of people complain about
craigslist...few of them complain about the
design...They seldom complain about amazing
new features they imagine they might possibly
want to use, because they are too busy
complaining about the simple features they depend
on that don't work as well as they'd like. By
eliminating marketing, sales, and business
development, craigslist's programmers have
cut out all the cushioning layers that separate
them from the users they serve..." sept 2009, wired
30 staff members.
number of social media gurus?
2. it’s just a band-aid
"For all the good that @comcastcares does on
Twitter in order to help unhappy customers
Comcast is still reviled for its lousy service." Steven
Hodson, The Inquisitor, September 5, 2009
impressive! but wait...
ah...comcast cares is a charity!
results of a more likely search...
@comcastcares is a victim of our nepotism. We
desire to validate ourselves so strongly, that we will
idolize less than lofty examples.
"Customers wouldn’t feel the need to embarrass
us en masse, if our customer service channels
weren’t so completely broken." Bob Knorpp, The Beancast
why it’s a band-aid
• not everyone that is having trouble with the company is going to be on twitter
• the comcast staff on twitter don’t answer every complaint (I checked thru the
last 3 days of complaints and only 1/3rd were addressed)
• for those they DID answer, many people didn’t engage their ‘Can I help?’
• competitors also troll for the same keywords and take advantage of this
• what happens when customers start asking, “WTF don’t you ﬁx the problem
instead of just being my Twitter buddy?”
3. social media is about...being social!
we probably don’t need research to tell us this,
“we are wired to connect” Goleman on the ﬁndings of his research.
reasons why adults & teens use online networks
Stay in touch with friends 89% 91%
Make plans with friends 57 72
Make new friends 49 49
Organize with others for an event, issue or cause 43 n/a
Make new business or professional contacts 28 n/a
Promote yourself or your work 28 n/a
Flirt 20 17
nowhere even close to the top of that list is the
desire to be sold to...or ﬁnd interesting new
products to buy...or have a chit chat with a brand
the social networks aren’t really changing us that
• around the world, studies have shown people maintain between 4 and 7 close
friends at any given time
• in 2007, Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, discussing the social graph,
showed that the average user had about 110 ‘friends’
• social scientists wondered whether the web had changed our ability to have
more close friends
• Christakis and Fowler analyzed a universities data (students who had 110
average friends) and looked at close vs ‘internet’ friends
• Christakis and Fowler found that the average Facebook user actually had 6.6
4. trust is at an all-time low
trust” in the
title in 2009:
so...who can we trust?
the myth of super-connectors
• the path of inﬂuence is not predictable
• a burst in trafﬁc sent by an inﬂuential blog/event is not usually sustained
• our inﬂuences change frequently as do our needs
• inﬂuence can grow fast or slow, but can disappear fast or slow as well
• there is a big difference between ‘DISCOVERY’ and ‘BUYING DECISIONS’
• super-nodes/ • friends/family
inﬂuencers • product reviews (to a
• friends/family lesser extent now)
• word of mouth • sales agents (inﬂuence
• branding outcome depends on experience
(cool, I’ll remember that - helpful?)
for a time when I need • multiple other factors,
it) including cost
• rarely a purchase • purchase outcome
• may be connected to a
decision later on
close to wide network close network has higher
in other words...
I may learn about something cool from Tim O’Reilly
(famous dude), but I may actually buy something
completely different based on the experience and
advice of Carol Ellen (BFF).
buying decision process (AIUAPR)
• awareness - this is where marketing comes into play. Getting the message
out that a product exists. Could be WOM, could be SM, could be an ad.
• interest - aka “sexiness” is this something that piques my curiosity? Usually
where branding comes into play.
• understanding - is it relevant to my needs? what is this all about? Good copy
goes a long way, but so does good product design and usability.
• attitudes - does it do what it says it does? is it really all that? This is where
friends/family come into play as well as consumer reviews. Trust is core here.
• purchase - this may take a while if it’s a big ticket item, but the analysis isn’t
over yet. User experience is key here.
• repeat purchase - loyalty or recommendations to others...if the product
hasn’t lived up to it’s expectations, this can really inﬂuence attitudes going
this is all way more complicated than simply
opening a twitter account or making a facebook
you should be happy that it’s complicated. it
makes our work MUCH more interesting.
if merely setting up a Facebook page or providing
customer service on Twitter were the answer...
1. forget ‘social media strategies’ -- think customer-centric business strategies
2. forget marketing -- think customer happiness
3. forget inﬂuencers -- think enthusiasts
4. forget campaigns -- think learning cycles
5. go deeper than trust -- raise whufﬁe
social media isn’t a strategy, it’s one of the
communication tools available. It’s a great and
potentially personal tool, but don’t stop there.
think customer-centrically instead - for the entire
• You do everything you can to • You have a long list of customer
keep your customers on your relations policies. Any exception
website. to those policies has to go up the
chain of command for approval.
• You measure number of visitors
and time spent on your website as • You need to create multiple
whether you are successful. instructional videos so that your
customers will understand how to
use your product.
• When budgets get tightened, you
make cutbacks in areas like
customer service, marketing, • You demand social media
support staff and design. strategies that win over the
‘inﬂuencers’ to blog or tweet
about your product.
• You are bothered by a customer
describing your product in their
own words that doesn’t match
• You send customers to other • Your customers are doing things
websites. with your product you never
dreamed and are posting videos.
• You measure how many people
refer their friends to you as • Inﬂuencers are adding you as
success. friends on social networks.
• When budgets get tightened, • You work with your competitors
you tighten operational costs. towards better customer
experiences for all.
• Your only customer service
policy is to do right by the • You know you compete for your
customer. customers’ attention with
...if it doesn’t help your customers rock ﬁrst and
foremost, it isn’t customer-centric.
creating customer happiness
what makes people happy?
• autonomy (feeling that your activities are self-chosen and
• competence (feeling that you are effective in your
• relatedness (feeling a sense of closeness with others)
• self-esteem (set-point, or the person’s natural propensity
from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA).
5 ways to create feelings of autonomy
1. give people tools to personalize their experiences
2. build businesses that democratize previously inaccessible industries
3. offer clear and attractive choices/help people make choices that are good for
4. be open and transparent
5. make feedback simple and remove barriers between employees and
6. don’t lock people into your network/product
5 ways to increase feelings of competence
1. create ﬂow...simple entry point to more complex systems
2. allow ways for mentors to interact with newbies (create rewards)
3. build consecutive levels of achievement into the experience
4. plant ‘easter eggs’
5. don’t talk down to your customer...make it fun (think Gary Vaynerchuk)
5 ways to increase relatedness
1. build in multiple ways for customers to interact
2. create multiple collaborative experiences
3. create simple ways for customers to share experience with friends
4. build in easy referral systems and bonuses
5. help the customer be more generous
6. create online/ofﬂine meeting experiences
probably haven’t tried your have tried and LOVE your
are really busy and have
are dying to get YOUR
multiple companies trying to
get their attention
have an audience of various
have a sizable audience sizes, but with your help
could grow that audience
will move onto the next will remain loyal as long as
product review tomorrow you rock their world
aren’t guaranteed to give have already sung your
you a good review praises
rewarding your enthusiasts
(be careful of creating the wrong incentives - too much free stuff and commissions
• refer a friend codes for their blog/twitter followers
• thank you note with a small gift
• passing along journalists that are doing a story on your company to the
• give them a backstage tour of your facility (zappos does this - it’s awesome)
• name a feature that came from his/her feedback after him/her
• blog a success story about that customer
• send a birthday/Christmas/Hanukkah/thank you card
limited time campaign ongoing process - no end
less planning up front and
more putting stuff out to
lots of planning up front,
customers, getting feedback,
leading up to the big launch
learning, tweaking, rinse,
pull (with a small amount of
about customer acquisition about customer satisfaction
if the word grows slowly, lots of time for grassroots
campaign may be over b4 growing of buzz - and by the
people catch wind. time it tips, it’ll be better!
• reputation • number of people who know you
• trust • number of people you can count on
to bring you soup when you are
• current and potential access to
• positive sentiment
ideas, talent and resources
• saved up favors (reciprocity)
• number of people you know
• your known accomplishments
whufﬁe is more complex than trust and may or
may not care about inﬂuence, network size and
popularity, but does care about whether or not you
deliver on your promises.
social media tools are great. they’ve raised the bar
and they’ve empowered customers.
AND we can work them into an overall strategy to
help direct customers make a good buying
social media tools and AIUAPR
• awareness - help spread the word that our products exist - ‘post this to
Facebook’, following keywords and getting in front of potential
customers, search engine optimization, blogging, tweeting, attending
social functions/BarCamps, publishing valuable information and reports
• interest - focus on design, blogging/tweeting behind the scenes, telling
your story, posting videos and photos of our product in action, ‘follow
us on twitter’/’become a fan on Facebook’, get involved in the customer
• understanding - good copy/content, posting videos and photos,
collecting feedback/having conversations with people who are potential
social media tools and AIUAPR (2)
• attitudes - learning from customer reviews, allowing for customer reviews
and ratings, following keywords to improve/put back into your product,
allow people to ask for others’ opinions on social networks, responding to
let people know you’re listening, collaboration, making it simple to give
• purchase - make it super simple to discover, share and purchase, creating
multiple distribution channels, share decisions on social networks, sharing
purchases on FB/twitter, posting photos to Flickr, following up with simple
• repurchase - creating badges, tell-a-friend referral programs, keeping
track of preferences, deep web monitoring of feedback, tracking &
recording and putting lessons back into the learning/improving
social media won’t make our companies better or
make people love us, however...
we are lucky that these tools allow our customers
to connect, speak out, talk back and share more
readily with their friends.
if we are doing our job right - i.e. thinking customer
centrically, putting their happiness ﬁrst, rewarding
enthusiasts, learning not launching and raising
whufﬁe - those connections, conversations and
some of that sharing will lead to our success.
share/remix/spread ... but don’t forget to attribute.