Craig understands that what scales is creating a
useful, working site that listens to its users...
"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
“We’re not here to replace existing channels
of communications and customer care...
(which channels would those be?)
...but to complement them.”
“Tip for Rogers: instead of hiring ppl for Twitter,
why not try hiring ppl to answer your phones?”
"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
@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?”
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
• 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
(kinda 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...
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 people-centrically instead - for the entire
• Thinking about every • Trying to get people to
person as a consumer ‘fan’ you - celebrate
- someone who either you and your
consumes or doesn’t company. Making it all
consume your product about how awesome
your product and/or
• Only seeing your service is.
customers through the
lens of their behaviour • Thinking in terms of
around your product or sending the right
service signals and reaching
the right inﬂuencers.
• Thinking about people in • Being less concerned
a complex manner. with inﬂuencers and
Whether it is buying or more concerned with
their personal lives. Not how you can make your
slicing to suit a speciﬁc customers inﬂuential.
• Listening. Collaborating.
• Being concerned about Integrating feedback.
serving your existing Learning and innovating
customers - helping with all of the great
them really rock. Helping feedback and
them achieve their goals. interaction.
...if it doesn’t help your customers rock ﬁrst and
foremost, it isn’t people-centric.
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).
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.
people could give a ﬂying snake about brand
consistency or frequency of posting (unless you are
spamming), but they will pay attention to
consistency in listening, community contributions,
relationships and caring...
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 people-
centrically, putting 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.