Social Media: Do You Create or Curate?

To create something means bringing an idea, a concept or a visualization to life.  It also means that it never existed before.  In social media, the creation process involves taking your own photos, drawing your own images, writing your own text without any other references other than your thoughts, making your own videos and putting together your own designs.

To curate means something different.  Curating involves researching, finding, gathering, organizing and sharing the content of another person or entity to present it to the public.  The question becomes if it is possible to “borrow” or to “copy in parts” the work of another party without consent.  That may be cause for copyright infringement. 

What exactly is copyright?

“Copyright is the exclusive legal right to produce, reproduce, publish or perform an original literary, artistic, dramatic or musical work. The creator is usually the copyright owner. However, an employer—for example, a film studio—may have copyright in works created by employees unless there is an agreement in place stating otherwise.” (Government of Canada, 2016)

To know more about copyright, watch the following video:

What does infringement mean?

“The action of breaking the terms of a law, agreement, etc.; violation.  The action of limiting or undermining something.” (Lexico, 2019)

It is easier now to understand that “using” someone else’s content online is not acceptable and is illegal.  Anything that is found on the Internet is not necessarily available to be shared or used freely without obtaining consent from the owner of the content.  The credit must be given to the owner of the content, which is, in general, the creator of the content itself.  So, when you are curating, it is important to indicate to whom the content belongs to, where it comes from and where it was found.

The content that is being found online is as valuable as the written content of a book, the lyrics of a song, the logo of a company or a simple photograph.  It is important to respect and research all content that is being use in any content that is dedicated to social media in order to know if it is licensed and to whom it belongs to.  Once done, a permission can be requested to copy or share, in whole or in parts, the content in question.

There is a lot more to say about copyright infringement and its importance, but the goal of this blog is to raise awareness among social media users and the proper ethic regarding “borrowing” someone else’s content.  So, the next time you will need content for social media, will you create or curate?

References:

Creativelaw.co. 1200 x 926 png. [Image online]. Retrieved at https://binged.it/2Z1kj35

Hope. (January 9, 2019). Creating vs. curating content: how to avoid copyright infringement on social media [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.hopelinker.com/2019/01/09/copyright-infringement-on-social-media/

Lexico. (2019). [Online dictionary]. Retrieved from https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/infringement

Government of Canada. (September 7, 2016, p. 1). What is copyright? [Website]. Retrieved from https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/wr03719.html 

Government of Canada. (September 7, 2016). What is a copyright? (Canada) [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljNS5p3cqls&feature=youtu.be

You are not sure if you are creating or curating your content on social media? Are you confused about copyright and infringement?  To know more, read my blog at https://bit.ly/2WskiU5

Are you wondering if your content on social media is subject to infringement? Read my blog at https://bit.ly/2WskiU5 #copyright #infringement

COM0015 – Blog #1: Weapons of Choice

Can we take a minute to talk about the phenomenon of information overload which really began with the development and mainstream use of the Internet and social media platforms? Every day alone an immense amount of social media content is created by the massive number of social media users. However, thanks to social media trend listening and monitoring tools, sorting through and locating relevant information for our unique individual or organizational needs has also never been easier — therefore with an increased surge of information, a means to filter, sort and organize that information must follow.

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Source: GIPHY

To digress slightly, there’s a saying my father frequently uses — “we can’t afford to make all the mistakes ourselves”, and when he says this he’s referring to our time resource.

This same type of message can be applied to the multitude of growing resources available on the Internet, where individuals and organizations curate lists of social media listening and monitoring tools, for others’ use. These influencers and early adopters, through trial and error help to sort and simplify the options available for others, and therefore influence the use of tools utilized by later adopters, thereby becoming trend setters. This was in fact how I stumbled upon my favourite RSS reader, Digg, a social media trend listening tool, along with Hootsuite, my monitoring tool of choice.

Listening

Upon recommendation from others, I began using Digg, an RSS reader that I really liked and frequently used until very recently. Long story short Digg shut down (who else is still mourning its loss?) and I swiftly went to work looking for another RSS reader which is how I found this article which walked me through how to move my RSS feeds over to a new, very similar platform — Feeder, which I am quickly becoming fond of. For me it serves as a platform to monitor industry and brand keywords in one central location, using my RSS feeds from Google Alerts. With Feeder you can easily create folders to organize and classify your feeds. I was drawn to Feeder because of how easily and seamlessly I was able to integrate and continue using my existing RSS feeds from Digg.

Monitoring

In terms of monitoring tools, Hootsuite is my go-to tool. I have an affinity for Hootsuite simply due to its customizable dashboard, enabling me to be able to closely monitor the elements I wish to monitor. Another draw to Hootsuite is its intuitive layout and compatibility with other platforms. The only beef I do have with Hootsuite however is its less than ideal integration with Instagram. Luckily tools like Later make up for this pitfall which easily allow you to plan and schedule posts.

giphy

Source: GIPHY

News & Updates

Does anyone else have a personal passion for health and nutrition like I do? I just so happen to work within the health and wellness field in a social media capacity, so keeping an eye on health related trends is anything but a chore. For this, I find value in following Canadian based nutritionists, Meghan Telpner and Joy McCarthy’s blogs to gain inspiration and understand what these highly regarded individuals are discussing in regards to health trends, recipes, and popular product and product categories. The content these nutritionists create directly relate to the mindset of my organization’s target audience which is why I find their blogs such valuable resources. To stay organized, I use Feedly as my one-stop-shop to organize all of the health related blogs I find beneficial to follow. Along the same lines, I try to stay on my social media A-game  through the utilization of Social Media Today which features articles and infographics pertaining to everything digital marketing. The best part about this website is that the website’s homepage is organized into a dashboard with tabs at the top of the page relating to specific areas: ‘Social Media Updates’, ‘Trending’, ‘Social Marketing’, ‘Digital Strategy’, ‘Content Marketing’, and ‘Influencers’.

What I’ve learned?

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I’ve always have this desire to keep all of my tools organized in one location — or in this case, website or application. For a long period of time I was continuously searching for that one resource that would help me achieve this. With this in mind, I think the greatest challenge has been to understand and realize that with the multiple different processes one must engage in when working within the social media realm — from monitoring, to listening, to observing industry trends — that while some tools will come close to being able to fully encompass all of the needed functions, multiple tools are not only necessary, but advantageous.

COM0015 – Blog #1: The best stuff, and how I find it

As we’ve seen in our reading, there a ton of great ways to monitor what’s happening among online communities, and to track new content as it is shared with the world. For me, though, nothing holds a candle to the late, lamented Google Reader. It was easy to use, it was free, and it had a clean, simple interface that I found led to a great user experience.

Until I come across a monitoring tool that captures my heart and bandwidth the way that Google Reader did, my preferred approach is an ad-hoc one, using Instagram and Facebook searches.

Solid listening skills

I’m in control

There are two reasons that I prefer to do manual searches of mainstream sites like Instagram and Facebook for the purpose of social media monitoring. The first is that it gives me the illusion of control; I type in the keywords or hashtags I want to search, and I determine for myself if what comes up is relevant or not. Of course, I know that I’m still at the mercy of the platforms’ algorithms, and that I’m not seeing everything. Nonetheless, a part of me still feels that what I find through manual searches and analytics tracked on a spreadsheet will be more accurate.

The second reason is that, because these Instagram and Facebook are now so ubiquitous, they are considered “safe” by the IT group at my work. I am trying to explore tools like delicious.com and diigo.com, because they are new(er), they are still blocked by the firewalls that IT has set up; this means that if I come across something interesting while surfing at my desk, in order to save it to most social bookmarking sites, I would need to go to the “trouble” of finding that same content using the browser on my cell phone (thereby eating into my own data plan) and bookmarking it there.

Where’s the good stuff?

My two go-to sources of news and updates are Jezebel and CBC.

Jezebel is a prime spot for feminist commentary on cultural trends, from the trivial, like the latest Snapchat filter, to the revolutionary, like the #metoo movement. Jezebel is owned by the same company as Gizmodo (Gawker Media), and the two sites cross-publish from time to time. So when I make my regular visits to Jezebel for its take on news and culture, I am also often presented with tech articles from Gizmodo, where I can get more technical information about the tools supporting or driving the trends.

CBC is more closely tied to my organizational interests. Working for a government department, much of my time is spent preparing for and responding to news coverage. CBC, being a national news site, covers federal policies and spending very frequently, and I need to know what they’re saying about my department and Minister so that I can anticipate their reaction to upcoming issues, as well as the questions they are likely to have for us. CBC also has really interesting radio programs that talk about the place of tech in our culture, and about apps in development (e.g. Spark, Quirks and Quarks, Day 6), and through that I often learn about broader industry issues that will help my professional development.

Photo credit: paulsgraham.ca

A new listening tool? That sounds scary to me…

As I said, Facebook and Instagram, being such mainstream tools, are the ones which I am most comfortable. But I know that, in order to advance in the communications field, I need to change my social media habits. The New York Times published an interesting article related to this recently, Why Trying New Things Is So Hard to Do. The crux of the article is:

“Habits are powerful. We persist with many of them because we tend to give undue emphasis to the present. Trying something new can be painful: I might not like what I get and must forgo something I already enjoy. That cost is immediate, while any benefits — even if they are large — will be enjoyed in a future that feels abstract and distant”.

There might be better monitoring tools out there, but after a work day spent at the computer, when I get home, I’m often ready to unplug, rather than hopping back online and exploring new tools. So, my question for you, dear reader: how do you push yourself to try new tools? How many monitoring platforms did you experiment with before deciding on your favourites?

COM0015: I spy with my little eye.. or monitoring current events

COM0015: I spy with my little eye.. or monitoring current events

When it comes to monitoring trends and the latest news online there are plenty of options.  Some programs gather all the information of all (most) of your social media platforms in one lovely package to glance over. Others keep all your favourites sites or blogs gathered together so you can read all the newest news in one place! All of them have their uses but they may not be the best thing for you. Let’s take a quick glance at two of my favourite, and explain the reasoning as per why I use them.

I am a consultant for a direct sales company that sells cooking products. Not only do I need to keep an eye on the trends that competing companies are offering but I also need to observe and listen to what fellow consultants are doing.  And because I am a mom of two young children I need micro-information that is quick to monitor and read up on. That means that pages of blog posts, up to date emails, and massive data packages are of no use to me. I just do not have the time.

The one place where you will most likely find me is on Facebook. I love looking at the insights. They make it quick and easy to look at (pretty graphs make me happy).

Capture

source: https://www.facebook.com/business/a/page/page-insights

I mostly enjoy the “Pages to Watch” option. This allows me to select fellow consultants or competing company ones and allows me to see what is working for them and what is not. If I want to see what they are posting, all I have to do is click on their pages to go check them out when I have the time.

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source: facebook.com

My second favourite is the microblogging leader: Twitter. I can access my twitter on mobile wherever I am and at any time. I can also keep a more watchful eye on accounts or persons I believe I need to monitor. I love their lists feature. I can keep them private (so no one needs to know I am spying on them – I mean…no I mean spying), or group them in a public list that others can see.  Twitter also allows me to see what is trending (locally, countrywide, etc…) and also lets me do a hashtag search (also known to us old folks as the pound or number sign #). Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Quick shout out to Instagram that allows me to see trending hashtags in the foodie and cooking world!

For my current lifestyle, portability and quick looks are what I want. I have found that Facebook and Twitter are those who work the best for me. The best tools to use are the ones that you are going to use. No point spending money or assembling great RRS feed lists if you are not going to use them. Find what works for you. Just remember to be adaptable and pay attention to the tools that are available as something better may show up.

What are you using to pay attention to the latest news and updates in your field?

It’s My Life

Can we change who we are?

When commenting on someone’s discussion forum I was reminded of a privacy issue around personal information online.  Basically, there was a ruling in the European Court of Justice that determined that personal information must be deleted if it “appear[s] to be inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purpose for which they were processed and in the light of the time that has elapsed.” (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/10827005/Google-must-delete-your-data-if-you-ask-EU-rules.html).  In a nutshell this means that if you had an affair 10 years ago that was revealed online, or had declared bankruptcy 15 years ago, or been caught doing drugs and had posted it on Facebook Google had an obligation to delete the link according to the above criteria.  BUT, it was not required to remove the information.  Therefore if someone looked hard enough, they would be bound to find it (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/10827005/Google-must-delete-your-data-if-you-ask-EU-rules.html).

This raises some very interesting issues for me especially in the interest I’ve developed in personal branding.  I’ve spoken before about honesty and the importance of truth with personal branding and therefore it might seem logical to think I have everyone has a right to know everything about you.  I also firmly believe though, that everyone deserves a second chance.  I think you’d be very hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t done something in the past that they regretted; luckily for me the majority of it was pre-internet.

Most recently here in Canada there was a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court where it was decided that Google must remove search items globally when it has been decided in Canada that they are in breach of an injunction.  In this case, a company which manufactured something was suing a distribution company, claiming that the distribution company had stolen their technology, copied the product and was selling it as its own.  The manufacturing company argued that if the distribution company was only prevented from marketing in Canada then the theft would be ongoing and the Supreme Court agreed saying that it was not in breach of freedom of speech regulation (http://www.businessinsider.com/google-must-remove-worldwide-search-results-says-top-canada-court-2017-6).

There are far too many issues here to cover adequately within one blog, although I’m going to attempt to draw a conclusion here.  From right to privacy, to an internet without borders (who polices the internet???), to personal and corporate honesty there is the potential for great harm to come to both individuals and honest companies.  So perhaps we should try and keep it simple and although I’m not religious, I feel that this is perhaps the simplest and best conclusion I can arrive at: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

What do you think?  Should our mistakes from the past continue to haunt us?  Or should we get a second chance? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

  To find out more about your rights with your personal history online, check out my blog by clicking here. #privacy #google

  To read more about personal privacy online click here to read my blog “It’s My Life” or check out @privacyforum.

COM0015 – Blog#1: Evolving Tools and Tried and True Sources

I think it’s now pretty clear that social media isn’t going anywhere. Once you give people the opportunity to be part of the conversation – and to start their own conversations – it will be impossible to retract. Individuals and organizations that are able to use this to their advantage, to listen to these conversations and shape their messaging accordingly, are bound to be successful.

Social Media Pollsters

Last year we saw two of the most shocking election surprises in history. First was the Brexit vote, in which the UK surprisingly voted in favour of leaving the European Union. The second came in November, when Donald Trump (much to the awe of the news networks covering the event) won the presidential election over Hillary Clinton.

The polls had been wrong.

The United Kingdom was supposed to remain a part of Europe. And Hillary was supposed to be the newest resident of the White House. All the polls had said so.

Actually not all.

Traditional telephone polls had been calling for a ‘remain’ Brexit vote and a Democratic victory, but more sophisticated polling technology – that uses artificial intelligence to examine social media – were much more accurate. Advanced Symbolics, a company based in Ottawa, correctly predicted these upset victories, as well as the Liberal’s overwhelming victory in the 2015 federal election. Erin Kelly, the president and CEO of Advanced Symbolics (and a friend of a friend), explains in this article from Policy Magazine how and why social media polling is superior to traditional methods.

Social Media polling

From telephone calls to social media posts – is this the future of the polling industry?

I have not personally had the opportunity to use this technology but I’m a huge fan because it demonstrates just how valuable social media listening is. What would have happened if in the weeks before Nov. 8 voters knew that Hillary Clinton would likely win the popular vote but lose the electoral college and therefore the presidency? Would people in Britain have voted differently if they knew there was a serious possibility of leaving the EU?

Of course social media listening and monitoring is possible without the sophisticated equipment and fancy technology. Facebook is a great tool for anyone looking to monitor what people are saying. Almost everyone has a Facebook profile and it’s the place where people are most likely to share their opinions.

Where do I get my news?

I hate to be unoriginal and say Facebook and Twitter but: Facebook and Twitter. For breaking news from around the world there’s nothing better than these two platforms.

StockSnap_FJD8MFBWAB

Almost anything that’s happening in the world will be broadcast on Twitter before anywhere else. People will tweet from a crisis before anyone else knows there’s a crisis. And reporters will tweet about a crisis before they have a story written. And even if you’re completely oblivious, the Trending Topics will tell you something big is happening. You won’t get many details with Twitter, but it’s definitely the place to find out you should be looking for them.

StockSnap_12ZSD6AWCT

You can get breaking news from Facebook too but that’s not the reason I like it. Many publishers on Facebook now use the Instant Articles feature, which means that if you’re reading it on a mobile device, the loading time is almost zero. This means you can actually read the article instead of giving up after looking at a blank page refusing to load. If all you’ve got is your phone to give you information, it’s important that you’re actually able to get that information.

By following and liking the organizations you want to receive updates from, you can tailor your newsfeed to show you exactly what you want to see.

 

So what do you think? Will social media monitoring soon replace the traditional telephone pollsters?

 

Images found at Stocksnap.io and edited by me.

COM0015, Blog 1: Tools and Resources

I have a full-time job, which limits the amount of time I can spend on social media work for FlashDesignsStudio.com (FDS). I created a Feedly dashboard as part of the Social Media Monitoring and Measurement course; however, I found it limiting. I prefer Hootsuite. I spend a half hour on the bus going back and forth to work each day. Hootsuite allows me to be productive during my commute. Through the Hootsuite app on my tablet, I can monitor my various streams and like, share or retweet effortlessly. Feedly does not have that capability. On weekends, I use Hootsuite’s online interface to schedule a week’s worth of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts. Hootsuite also connects to Drop Box, making organizing and posting images that much faster and easier. I sometimes use Ow.ly shortened URLs to track traffic.

On weekends, I use the Google Analytics plug in on the WordPress website to monitor traffic on the FDS website, which is one of the key success indicators. On a monthly basis, I can dig deeper into the website traffic and audience reports through the Google Analytics website. This is particularly useful to see who (demographic information) is coming from where (our social media networks or elsewhere). Having updated websites as far back as 1999, I am so thankful I no longer need to sort through raw website user data.

Of course, I also use Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics and Bitley to monitor and track social media activity, but I spend more time on Hootsuite and Google Analytics.

com0015-blog1-facebook-share

 

I have many sources of news. I think my best source of information is a set of Google Alerts (which I view through Hootsuite) that shows photography contests, exhibits and other events happening in the Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto triangle. As well as providing content for the website, blog, Facebook and Twitter, Norm and I use the information to plan our photo excursions and submit images to contests. When I finish well in a contest, I post it on the FDS social media networks. It is a testament to the quality and creativeness of my images.

While most photographers are aware of all the magazines, stores and manufacturers on social media, few know about Science Daily’s photography research RRS feed (which I also view through Hootsuite). Having worked with medical and academic journals for more than a decade and with newspapers and magazines for longer than that, I can understand complex ideas and explain them in plain, everyday language. I rewrite the photography research media releases with information from the published research paper and post as Technology News in News Flash, the FDS blog. These have included advances in lens technology and how researchers are data-mining social media photos to guide land use policy, conservation planning and development decisions. This is well suited for our more advanced photographer audience and positions FDS as being knowledgeable of the cutting edge.

Listen Up!

People have a lot to say!

It’s amazing how much valuable consumer feedback gets put online.  People are constantly posting their thoughts about the important things in their lives, including: products they love or hate; why they love or hate them;  what they wish was different and how they perceive a brand image.  A quick Google search confirms my belief that reviews and word-of-mouth advertising have a huge impact on consumer decisions.  I know that is true for me!  While I won’t automatically reject a product with one bad review, it does have an impact.  And positive reviews have an even stronger impact on my own decisions.

But are businesses listening?

It’s also amazing how much of this information escapes online marketers.  It is pretty standard for a company to respond to emails or posts to the company social media.  But what about mentions where the company hasn’t been tagged, and could easily never see?  I really enjoy Shopify’s blog because it covers many interesting topics related to ecommerce and marketing.  They recently posted an article that focused on the importance of listening to online conversations in order to collect and take advantage of this goldmine of consumer feedback.

Image result for goldmine

So why should a business listen to online conversations, and seek out interactions that consumers didn’t intend to initiate?

  1. To learn what their consumers want.  Social media posts will provide the most honest opinion.  Businesses can use these comments to inspire positive changes that will increase customer satisfaction.
  2. To find opportunities to engage and educate new customers.
  3. To go above and beyond by offering solutions to complaints that consumers didn’t expect to have resolved.
  4. To gain exposure by “piggy-backing” on the social media reach of the account they are responding to.

With so much noise online, how does a business hear the real message?

The Shopify article lists their top eight services to facilitate online listening.  They include services like Hootsuite, that allow you to schedule your posts as well as as collect listening data, and other more specialized services like Sprinklr, that offer in depth listening and allow you to compare with the competition.  With all the clutter and noise online, it’s clear to me that social listening would be nearly impossible to do effectively without using one or more of these tools.

As more and more businesses take interest in the benefits of listening on social media, I am sure that there will be more and more social media listening tools popping up!  I expect that this will become the driving force behind many social media campaigns, because the ones that don’t will get left behind.

What is your experience?

I know I find it off-putting when I look at a business’s social media and see that customers have complained or asked questions, and the business didn’t respond.  Have you ever posted on social media about a product or service?  If so, what made you do it, and what kind of response did you get?

 

 

 

COM0015 – Assignment 1 -Blog 4 – Out of the Box

Combining everything that we already knew about SOCIAL MEDIA with all the cases we’ve studied and all the best tools that are to be had: it feels like I’m only ever getting half-way to a solution.  Before starting this program, I thought I had a hunch about a few tools and programs out there in the real world of business meets social media… but.. wait a minute: ‘Things are changing… how will I ever keep up?’

LISTENING + LEARNING + STAYING IN ACTION  = keep to keeping up with trends and generating new ways of looking at the world through the lens of #SocialMediaMeetsBusiness.

OutsideofBox.png

So what do I hope to accomplish with social media?  Is it working? Well, I’m constantly learning new tricks.

From what I gather, I’m using platforms that are suited to my particular field and/or project(s.)  I’m learning from others about the varied style of communication using social media = the ins and outs of sharing your message.  What works for some people is worth a try but it might not quite work for me.  I guess it’s all a question of finding a style and sticking to it..

GOING MOBILE?  Here are a few tools that might come in handy…

I’m always looking for social media inspiration: taking free webinars and online courses.  I have found a whole bunch of useful information about how mobile apps come into play

Instagram can house short videos… Hilary Rushford, of Dean Street Society, hosted a webinar called: ‘Doubling Your Instagram Following.’

Distributing a free workbook, her program talked about free tools for editing and posting images on Instagram.

VSCO CAM = where you add a photo to your library and she talked us through using the editing tools.

@HilaryRushford also talked about the PERISCOPE App = live mobile video streaming; which works really well when you’re sharing content on a road trip, from various locations.

Another useful tool that I’ve grown to love is HOOTSUITE Suggestions...

Right from my iPhone, I am able to call up HOT TOPICS that I can easily share on my Twitter and Facebook accounts.

FYI>> It gives you THREE topics to search for and you can assign unlimited accounts… so make sure that you tweak the settings before posting on multiple accounts.  Be #strategic in what you post and where.  Double check your postings on each platform to catch anything that goes wrong.  If in doubt, delete and give it another try.  Skill takes practice.

Puzzled by PINNING?

PINTEREST is a social media platform that would appear to have limited application to business… but Melanie Duncan’s webinar gave me a whole bunch of information about optimizing this platform to steer traffic from PINS back to your company site.

> The type of material you PIN is part of the formula.  Inforgraphics are the most popular format (they spread like wild fire.)

Melanie also suggest the following tools:

PICMonkey =  Protecting your content with a watermark

Easily creating infographics = www.infogr.am

Getting a Pinterest tab for your Facebook Page = www.woobox.com/pinterest

Pinterest stuff = Courtesy of Melanie Duncan (www.powerofpinning.com/course

> The BLOGEME poster thingy I built (featured image)  still lives on scribd.com which I’ve embedded on my personal blog (backdoor access = click expand button on bottom corner) http://ow.ly/MFQx302Y1sy

5 reasons why Social Listening is key to Company Success

In my initial blogpost, I questioned how companies are using Social Media to help build relationships and increase brand awareness and loyalty with their clients.

One way they are doing this is by actively listening to the dialogue happening on Social Media.

Following is an amazing example of a company using active social listening to help build relationships and increase brand awareness for their company.

KLM #happytohelp campaign:

KLM #happy to help campaign

The KLM #happytohelp campaign wonderfully illustrates the power of listening to the social media dialogue.  This active social listening is critical for building and maintaining company/customer relationships.


Being out-of-touch with customers can be costly

Bad customer service.  We’ve all experienced it.  It leaves a bad taste in our mouth and motivates us to let everyone know that they should NOT do business with the organization or individual that offended us.   

However, unlike the past, when bad mouthing by an upset customer was usually limited to one’s own neck of the woods, today,  a single “Tweet” or online posting by an irate customer can go viral – and in a short time, if not handled properly, has the potential to cause serious damage to an organization’s brand and reputation.

Comcast complaint goes viral

Nothing screams out of touch more than a company that disregards its customers or takes its clientele for granted.   In this day and age when consumers are increasingly savvy and competition is fierce, a company that remains out of touch with its clientele and the world around them is almost certainly doomed to fail.

That is why social listening is so critical to an organization’s success.   And listening doesn’t just mean being aware of what people are saying, it means responding to this awareness.  Put simply it allows a company to: Listen. Understand. Act.

5 reasons why Active Social Listening is key to Company Success

1.  It shows a company cares.

How often do we get frustrated when we don’t feel listened to?   My wife reminds me at times that I don’t LISTEN to her enough (ahem.touché.sigh)  While I hate to admit it, she’s often right.  Nothing is more insulting than having someone NOT listen to you.   But listening takes work, and to become good at it, one has to work at it (note to self).

A company that demonstrates caring through listening, has a greater chance of fostering increased customer satisfaction and loyalty to their brand.  Small gestures that show a company cares can go a long way to nurturing a longer term relationship with current and potential clients.   

In the following keynote address entitled “Care Immensely or Die!”, Gary Vaynerchuk, colourfully and passionately stresses the vital importance of caring in the new economy.

Gary Vaynerchuk %22Care Immensely or Die%22 Keynote Address

 2.  Listening allows a company to be aware of how people feel about their product/service. 

Knowing how people feel about an organization allows a company to react and adapt to changing circumstances and trends.  This knowledge enables a company to respond to peoples’ concerns in a timely manner.  A timely intervention with a client or potential customer can go a long way to holding onto an existing customer or acquiring a new one.  


3.  Listening gives insight into what people want/need.

Providing a product/service that people want or need is key to the success of any company.

Active Social Listening allows an organization to modify its current products or services according to the evolving wants and needs of the marketplace.  This ability to adapt to evolving wants and needs is critical for a company’s long term success.


4.  Listening provides knowledge about the competition and how others perceive them.

Social listening also enables an organization to know what its competitors are doing and how other potential customers are reacting to the competition.  This knowledge allows a company to adapt accordingly and potentially gain new customers who may be no longer satisfied with the company they have been previously dealing with.

 

5.  Consumers expect a timely response when they use social media to ask a question or post a complaint.

According to a consumer research study by Oracle, “more than half of consumers on Facebook expect a same-day response to questions and posts, where 52 percent of consumers using Twitter expect a company to respond within two hours.”  The study also found that 30 percent of Twitter users expect a response within half an hour.   

What does this all mean?   Quite simply, if a company wants to meet consumers’ expectations, they need to be actively listening and engaging in social media on an on-going and consistent basis.


How to listen to the social media dialogue

The following articles provide some great tips on how to listen to the dialogue on social media.

Are You Ready to Listen Differently in Social Media?

How to Gather Fan Feedback on Social Media

How to Deliver Exceptional Social Media Customer Service


Food for thought

* In your personal or professional life, do you spend enough time actively listening?

* Have you ever personally experienced a company that did not listen to what you had to say?

* Do you know of any other examples of companies doing a great job of active social listening?

I want to hear from you.    Please join me in the conversation.

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