Somehow, some way, I have become comfortable with change. But, it wasn’t always that way. Last year, Dustin and I got married; we each took new jobs; we moved across the country; and we became more grateful for each other than ever. Now that we’ve learned to thrive in change, there’s more to come. Isn’t that always how it happens? Continue reading
As social media scales, more consumers turn to the channel for customer service. In fact, in 2012, brands only responded to about 30% of questions posed via social media. In 2013, this rate more than doubled to 62%, which is a startling 143% year-over-year increase (source).
Business Value of Social Media Customer Service
Customer service via social media proves valuable to the bottom line. Consumers who interact with brands on social media spend more money with that brand and are more likely to recommend that brand. And, customer service via social media is coveted among consumers. When asked how companies could build loyalty, the top answer, chosen by one-third of respondents, was providing “exceptional 24/7 customer service” (On Social, Brands Use Rewards, Customer Service to Foster Loyalty – eMarketer).
Hiring for Social Media Customer Service
As social media customer service scales, there is an increasing demand to hire individuals and teams to service this area. But even though hiring is for the social media channel, social media experience is not as important as one might think to successfully provide customer service via social media. Because of a variety of factors (outlined below), it can be a very tricky position to fill. Continue reading
Recently, I outlined why I’d like to join General Electric (GE) to visit wind turbines in Cape Cod, MA for part of GE’s famed #GEInstaWalk. #GEInstaWalk is a real-time tour highlighing some of GE’s most advanced technologies. And, three super fans and three Instagram influencers were invited to chronicle the experience.
I checked multiple times on the day that they were to announce the winners, and I was thrilled (and honestly, shocked) when I received an Instagram message inviting me to attend. Not only was I going to have the privilege to go on an amazing adventure, I was going to get to meet three renowned Instagram influencers, two other super fans, staff from the agency who coordinated the event, and staff from GE’s renewable and corporate communications teams. THRILLED! I knew that my husband would be a little jealous as I have him to thank for my appreciation and respect for clean energy. (He did his PhD dissertation on the systems that protect wind plants during faults. He’s a nerd in the *best* sense of the word.)
It was a once-in-a-lifetime trip from the well-organized planning to the thoughtful welcome gifts to the incredible access we had to one of the most brilliant machines on earth: wind turbines. Towering 264 feet in the air, these 77 megawatt wind turbines are a sight to behold. I could hear the blades whooshing above me, and their technology is so advanced that the position and direction of the blades adjust to the wind in real-time to optimize energy output. Here are some of my favorite parts of the adventure:
It was a fantastic trip, and I have an even greater appreciation and respect for GE’s technology and renewable energy. Thanks, GE!
- They invite world-renowned artists to visualize illustrations through the imagination of a child.
- They post historical facts and images on their Pinterest page, and when I posted a personal comment on one, I was amazed when GE personally responded to me.
- They lead the social media industry with #6SecondScienceFair (profiled earlier on my blog here: Vine User-Generated Contests: Best Practices and Case Studies)
Dustin found out in 2011 that he has a gluten allergy and must eat gluten-free. His allergy isn’t as severe as individuals with Celiac disease (who can become very sick from only a few crumbs of gluten), but it does wreck havoc on his body. We both work full-time, so when he first began eating gluten-free, (I’m embarrassed to admit) he mostly relied on eating out options. Gluten-free takeout options were widely available in Atlanta.
When we moved to Albany, NY, the options for eating gluten-free takeout were no longer as widely available. It was cold at night, and it wasn’t as easy to pop around the corner for a quick bite to eat. I also had some much-needed time off during a transition between jobs, so it was the perfect opportunity for a fresh start.
And, it worked. Continue reading
Before we moved from Atlanta, GA to Albany, NY, Julia Cantor recommended Dustin and I document our expectations for the big change. She knew we had no idea what we were in for, having lived in the Albany area in college and having made a big move on the east coast (Boston to Atlanta to join Engauge) herself. And, she was right!
But, even though we didn’t know what to expect, we are much happier and more settled than we anticipated to be by this time. Dustin has started his job, and I start a new one on January (more to come on that). We love the area (I tell ATL people that Albany resembles Decatur to give perspective) and have even found a church we love.
A quick roundup of 10 highlights, learnings and surprises:
Brands know that users share content. In fact, users create and share original content more than any other time in the history of civilization. And, brands understand that there’s an opportunity to surface and collect content related to the brand experiences. Yet, brands have not yet harnessed this behavioral trend at any meaningful scale. Some of the difficulties are related to legal ambiguities. And there is just so much “stuff” out there; it can be hard to know where to begin.
In response to this opportunity, marketers have created tools to help brands sort through the clutter. And, we’ll soon reach the tipping point in which it is not the exception, but the rule, that brands leverage user-generated content (UGC) as a key content source within their strategy.
Here is a quick roundup of some of the tools in the space that are designed to surface and filter the best of user-generated content for brands: Continue reading