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Effectively Manage a Social Media Crisis [New eBook]

Effectively Manage a Social Media Crisis [New eBook]

This article originally appeared on t2MarketingInternational.com.

We hate to think about it, but we should always be prepared for the case of the dreaded social media crisis.

The speed at which information travels has increased exponentially with the advent of social media. Therefore, when a crisis breaks, a carefully thought out strategy and proper mechanisms need to be in place in order to mitigate the issue before it spirals out of control.

In our latest eBook, we walk you through the proper steps to managing a social media crisis, and provide you with an easy-to-follow document that will allow you to outline every aspect of a crisis, making it that much easier to handle should it ever occur.

Click here or on the image below to download the eBook today and find out how you can properly plan for a social media crisis and mitigate an issue spiralling out of control!

How 2 Manage a Social Media Crisis

How to Win Friends and Influence People (On Social Media)

How to Win Friends and Influence People (On Social Media)

Almost 80 years after its first run, the tenets from Dale Carnegie hold true. (With a few notable differences.)

From the greatest businesspeople in the world (Warren Buffett still has his certificate from Carnegie’s course) to the not-so-impressive (Charles Manson reportedly used these techniques to influence his followers) people have found value in Carnegie’s lessons in How to Win Friends and Influence People. Today, on social media, a lot of this still applies. But some adaptation is needed for the modern era of communication.

How to Handle Your Fans and Followers

In order to properly handle members of your community, it is important that you not criticize, condemn or complain about them. You should also regularly show your appreciation for those members. That is especially true on social media.

Letting your fans and followers know that you appreciate their involvement in your community goes a very long way. One brand in particular that does this well is Cadbury. Here is one of the gestures they made to show their appreciation:

Making People ‘Like’ You

Now, the term ‘Like’ means something somewhat different on a social network like Facebook than what Carnegie had in mind, but the concept still holds up.

Of the six core traits that will lead to people liking you, there are a few that are particularly important on social media. First, developing a genuine interest in your fans and listening to what they have to say will improve the personal connection they have to your brand. What’s more, sending personalized messages using users’ names will be an important component of your communications strategy on social as well.

The idea of making people feel important when you talk to them is paramount when it comes to improving the customer experience. I don’t want to feel like ‘just another customer’ when I reach out to a brand. Even if that might be the case, I, the customer, should feel like the only person that matters when engaged with a brand online.

Winning People with the Way You Think (Your Brand’s Message)

“The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.” Truer words have seldom been spoken.

As a brand, the moment your start to argue with a customer on social media, you’re wrong. It doesn’t matter how right you are, you’re wrong. It is important to know when you’ve been beaten, and when to walk away. Getting into a debate is not worth the harm it will almost certainly cause.

Often times, when a customer is upset, they simply want to be acknowledged and heard. Social media can be that platform. Simply letting a customer voice their displeasure and responding in a respectful way can be a major factor in turning them into a brand advocate, rather than a detractor.

Turning a complaint into a constructive conversation about how your products or services can be improved is beneficial for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that your business can improve its operations as a result.

Conclusion

If you haven’t read through Carnegie’s book, and you or your brand spend time talking to people (which you almost certainly do) it is worth a read. While there is some content that is dated, there is clearly a lot of information that can help you better communicate with your community on social media (and other forms of communication).

My Outstanding Social Care Experience with WestJet

My Outstanding Social Care Experience with WestJet

Last week I had the privilege of experiencing the phenomenal social care reputation that WestJet has built for itself firsthand.

My birthday was last Friday, June 13th. I was speaking at a conference in New York that ran from June 11-12. I would be flying back to Montreal the night of the 12th, but was only scheduled to arrive after midnight on the 13th – my birthday. I had heard and read stories of the phenomenal social care provided by WestJet, but had yet to experience it myself, so I decided to put their reputation to the test.

I sent out a tweet:

I didn’t think much of it – maybe I would get a ‘Happy Birthday’ tweet the next day, or at most an announcement on the plane wishing me a happy birthday. Never did I expect the level of social care I received.

What is social care?

First off, what exactly am I referring to when I talk about ‘social care’? Well, social care is a concept that has come about in recent which refers to customer service on social media. In a recent study by Nielsen, it was discovered that one third of online adults prefers to engage with a brand on social media (Twitter, forums, live chat, etc.) rather than through conventional forms of communication (such as the phone or even email). (Source)

The idea behind the former is the concept of social care – providing the customer service experience on these social networks in a very real-time, unfiltered medium. It can be a daunting idea for many brands. Most prefer to stay as far away from this Wild West of customer service altogether. But for those brands that harness it and really apply themselves – creating strategies for every possible scenario – it can pay off in a very big way. Perhaps the most notable example of social care comes from Comcast. A lot of marketers are familiar with this example because of how much this model did to improve the brand’s perception and actual performance.

In 2007, Frank Eliason joined Comcast as their Executive Support Manager. This wasn’t all that glamorous a position considering Comcast was widely seen as having some of the worst support in the industry. Eliason completely turned that around by introducing the world to @ComcastCares, the Twitter support division of Comcast. The idea here was to offer real-time (or close to it) service to customers so they would not have to turn to the phone, on which they had become accustomed to abnormally long wait times. For a lot of marketers, this is a must-know case study. And a lot of companies have implemented equally successful programs, including WestJet.

What’s so great about WestJet?

The last time I flew WestJet, social care – or Twitter, for that matter – did not exist. It’s not that I’ve had a vendetta against the airline, I have simply never booked a flight that happened to be on the airline. But I had read stories. Much like Comcast had done, WestJet had made a name for themselves with a whole slew of social media-heavy stunts. The most recent came at Christmas time, and involved buying a plane-full of people Christmas gifts that were presented at their destination. (You can read a case study I wrote about it here.) I wanted to see if they were as wonderful on the micro level as they when it came to large campaigns. They did not disappoint. Not too long after my initial tweet (see above) I received this:

I was pretty impressed – they were listening to me. I was even more impressed when they informed me that my flight had been delayed due to weather, and I would likely miss my connecting flight and have to spend my birthday in an airport hotel. We went back and forth and they were updating me via direct message on Twitter, and while I wasn’t too happy about the delay, knowing about it long before arriving at the check-in counter softened the blow a little bit.

So, the next morning I woke up at 4 o’clock, prepared myself for an exhausted birthday flight and headed to the airport. I got on my plane, pulled out my tablet and started doing some work. We landed in Montreal at 8:15, and I came out of the walkway to this:

Great social care from WestJet

Then there was this:

My Social Care Experience with WestJet

And finally, once I got to the office, I received this:

I couldn’t believe it. A single tweet resulted in what was hands down the greatest customer service experience I had ever had. (And probably a better one than most people have ever experienced, quite frankly.)

WestJet had gone so far beyond any norms when it came to customer service, simply by listening and responding.

So what can brands learn?

This is a prime example of what people mean when they talk about engagement. Bryan Kramer is known for coining the term H2H – Human 2 Human. That’s really what it’s all about. People want to engage with someone, not a corporate cover. They want to feel like there is someone who actually cares about the customer on the other side. A corporate Twitter account is worthless unless you plan on using it to really connect with your followers on a level deeper than simply referring them to your website.

It might have been a while since I had flown WestJet before, but I can promise you that the next time I take a flight and they offer the route, they’ll be my first choice. That’s the power of social media. It’s that simple.