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14 09, 2010

Are You Ignoring Your Facebook Friends?

By |2017-03-03T12:07:12-05:00September 14th, 2010|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |18 Comments

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Pie Graph depicting age range percentages on facebook
In traditional marketing, companies worry about their message to the customer. In social media marketing,  what matters is not what you say but what others say about you. Jet Blue put millions into promoting their brand and in one incident, Steven Slater, the employee that “blew his customer service cool,” jumped out of the plane on the evacuation slide and became the new Jet Blue brand.

Social media is a platform for showing your personality and building relationships. By commenting on other’s status you can begin to show you care. Any social media presence on Facebook needs someone who’s “social” to build the brand. It doesn’t have to be the owner or CEO. Although according to Melissa Ward, Managing Partner of New Ward Development, LLC, a company specializing in helping businesses develop a strong online presence, she believes it’s a good idea for the CEO to be in the social space.

“This way the CEO can spend time posting/writing so he/she can learn what their prospective customer wants to know. It shows the CEO is listening and sharing with the consumer, says Melissa. If the company is small,  a consultant can help them create a social media plan, implement the plan and track the results.  Facebook needs to monitored by someone who loves engaging in the conversation. A larger company can hire a “Community Manager” with staff to promote and monitor the Social Networking space. “

For many businesses their primary customer has moved from male to female. According to a new study released by Oxygen Media and Lightspeed Research, as many as one-third of women aged 18-34 check Facebook when they first wake up, even before they get to the bathroom. According to research finding at   the University of Southern California, 67 percent of women under 40 said they feel as strongly about their internet communities as their offline ones, while only 38 percent of men said the same. It’s no secret that women like to talk and engage more than men. Unless you can engage them, their monetary value is useless.

What does this mean? Women are becoming everyone’s target customer and we know they are taking over this aspect of social media.

Knowing your customer on line is as important as off line. “You can’t build a strong on line marketing program unless you know your target customer, says Melissa. If you don’t understand who you’re talking to, how will you know how to engage them?  Social media marketing starts with the customer and ends with the customer. Although there are companies that have their campaigns run by “experts in social media,” most successful social media marketing campaigns are run by the company.”

A few tips from my interview with Melissa:

Know your customer. Just like traditional marketing, you need to find the right ones.

Try different campaigns to engage your prospective customers; use questions, discussion and surveys.

Try campaigns at different times of the day to see if the time makes a difference. Maybe your customer is on line at 7am rather than in the afternoon.

React to what’s being said and interact. The best way to get to know your Facebook friends is to check out their posts and get involved in the conversation.

Watch for negative comments and take them seriously. Make it possible for people to deal with you offline as well as on line. Handle all complaints as quickly as possible. If you feel the complaint is not serious or you are being harassed, notify Facebook (or whichever site) and deny them access to your site.

Melissa’s theory, “Having an outside company design your strategy and work with you for the first few months is a good idea. This way you can understand the technology and how it works. After your company is comfortable with the technology, I turn it over to them.  I may be the social media expert but when it comes to knowing “your’ customer”, you’re the expert.

Be mindful of what you post; your mother wouldn’t approve, it’s probably not a good idea. Melissa’s personal policy is: “If I don’t want my grandmother or daughter to read it, I don’t post it online. There is always looking on your behalf, for good or for bad.  “

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20 11, 2009

Differentiation Builds Your Competitive Advantage and Delivers Customer Service

By |2017-03-03T12:07:15-05:00November 20th, 2009|Categories: Building a Brand, Competitive Advantage|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Differentiation Builds Your Competitive Advantage and Delivers Customer Service

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Differentiation Flaunt It Honey!

My definition of customer service is giving the customer more than then they expect, i.e. Red Hot Customer Service. That’s exactly what JetBlue did Friday, October 30th at JFK International Airport.

Customers going through the terminal dressed in costume could show off their dance moves at the first-ever silent Halloween Eve disco. Friday I receive an excited call from Elin, designer supreme at Leader Carpet telling me about the event in J.F.K. Airport.

Elin’s comment: “Isn’t that cool?” I asked her what made it cool and she replied “It just is.” She’s right, it just is.

Here’s how it worked: When you went through security you would be given a set of headphones. Through these headphones you could hear a deejay spinning music. Of course, no one else in the terminal would hear the music.

That’s why it was called the “Silent Disco.”
“Our Silent Disco is about giving customers and crew members the chance to tune in to some great music, to burn some energy before getting on a flight or to shake out the stress of the week,” said Kim Ruvolo, brand manager for JetBlue Airways.

The event was produced by JetBlue partnership with Super fly Marketing Group.

So what do Jet Blue’s customer s think? In order to find out, JetBlue took a poll:

Disco at JFK?

Would you dance in an airport lounge?

  • No: It is way too embarrassing
  • Yes: I’ve got it and I flaunt it
  • I don’t know: Depends if I’ve had anything to drink

I checked out the poll and 41% said yes and 37% said I don’t know.

So, 80% of the customers will dance for one reason or another.

I call this customer service at its finest; assuming they got to their destination on time, no foolishness like overshooting the run way by 100 miles, or losing some serious luggage. This is just doing your job or the price of admission to be in the airline business.

Customer service is delighting your customer, making them smile, going beyond the call of duty, or doing something that makes you unforgettable. The key, as brand manager Kim Ruvolo said, is to give the customer something different.

Being different can also build your competitive advantage—but only if the customer loves it. My friend in Boston told me about an experience she had with her hair dresser of at least 20 years. It seems she showed up at her regular appointment to find the usual docile German Shepherd guarding the couch. The closer my friend came to the couch, the more menacing the German Shepherd became. She said it really scared the wits out of her; the dog had never exhibited this kind of behavior. Eventually the owner came to her rescue and asked my friend if she had done anything to frighten the dog! My friend, a little in shock, eventually got her hair done and went home. On her answering machine was a call from her hairdresser.

“It’s a good thing she called,” said my friend. “She was about to lose a good customer.” My friend, however, goes on to say there was no apology, just more defense for the dog. The dog also has a stomach problem, making it even more questionable whether he should be at the workplace.

What’s next? My friend called to tell me she has a new hairdresser, and she’s done a marvelous job!
No amount of silent disco dancing could fix this problem.
What could they have done to make it better?

  • Leave the dog home; he’s obviously too sick to be at work.
  • Leave the owner at home, she’s obviously too sick to be at work also.
  • Stop defending the customer since the dog was already defending himself.
  • Give the customer a free trip to the Bahamas; I’m sure she would have invited me to go along.
  • Give the dog a gift certificate to the vet or
  • Get someone to take the dog to the vet.

What would you have done to make this right?

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