How useful are Customer Services?

Are we more likely to get a sensible answer from within our own circle of friends than from a customer service team?

Does anyone remember a play called “6 Degrees of Separation”?

I watched it in the West End years before Facebook launched and all through the growing popularity of social media have often recalled the theory which, according to Wikipedia, is “the existential premise that everyone in the world is connected to everyone else in the world by a chain of no more than six acquaintances, thus, “six degrees of separation””.

A few weeks ago, we posed a question to Tesco about getting that sticky glue off their jars so we could re-use them for homemade jam and chutney. We never got a sensible answer from them on either Twitter or Facebook but we did get several answers from friends as well as from helpful people who we don’t know. I tried one of the suggestions from a relative and bingo – job done.

It makes me wonder whether the Tesco customer service team is just a PR exercise, poorly resourced, unknowledgeable or whether they are just less likely to know the answer to something I need because they have less in common with me than my own connections do. Mark Zuckerberg recently described this phenomenon as living in a bubble – he was talking about fake news and how it proliferates because people trust posts from people they know. In that case it had a negative impact but in ours it’s positive and it also shows just how powerful social media can be.

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Ever stumped for words?

Are you ever stumped for words? Would you talk to this dog?

Dr Feelgood were playing Wisbech Rock Festival on Sunday, and as we’re currently foster caring for Shaman’s Legacy Dog Rescue, we thought we’d take our little friend with us to see how she did in the crowds.  She was a star – very sociable with everybody and every dog she met…and she met quite a few!

Any dog owner will tell you that they speak to more people when they have their dog with them. Dogs break down the social barriers (real and imagined) that prevent people from talking to each other.  All sorts of different types of people felt comfortable to come and speak to us and our dog – people who would never have done so under other circumstances. And it made the occasion much more interesting and enjoyable.

Businesses are sometimes struck dumb when it comes to joining the social media conversation. Lack of time, lack of confidence or just lack of something to say – We can help. Every business faces different marketing challenges but these challenges are unlikely to be unique or unsurpassable. We’re professional marketers and communicators and we’ll present your business in the way you’d like on social media.

 

Get more e-shot opens…

Not only are we on the receiving end of countless e-shots, we have to admit to sending out our fair share for ourselves and clients.  There is, of course, a complex science behind successful email campaigns.  One of those key variables is the subject line – if it doesn’t grab you immediately, you’re not going to click it open, which is what it’s all about.

We tend to open a lot of e-shots anyway, as we’re naturally inquisitive and are always looking for new angles.  When we were told that this one included 144 catchy email subject lines guaranteed to stand out in a crowded in-box, of course we gave them an open!

We’re interested in what you think, though, as, to be honest, we’re not as impressed as we hoped.  A useful starting point, perhaps, but we think we could do better.  Keep an eye on your in-box…

 

#ElyHour: what we did…

This week we were pleased to be asked to co-host #ElyHour and give some #socialmedia input.  We decided to have a little play with a new product, Adobe Spark, to give our ideas a bit of pzazz  – or is it pizazz?  Here’s the link to our little videos. 

Our aim was to give an insight into some of the shortcuts which make using Twitter so easy.  If you’re interested in going deeper into some of the Dark Arts, a useful start point is this article which handily summarises 93 free Twitter apps, complete with links.

If we’ve been asked too many difficult questions, we’ll post answers here when we’ve found them!

 

Quality: a subjective notion…

We all want high quality content on our timelines.  It’s just I’m not convinced I want Twitter deciding what is quality and what isn’t.

That is what’s happening to your Notifications.  Where before you just had All or Mentions, there’s now Settings.  Click this on and you’ll see they have already decided that you want the Quality filter switched on.

Twitter tells us that “when turned on, it filters lower-quality content, like duplicate Tweets or content that appears to be automated — it does not filter content from people you follow or accounts you’ve recently interacted with”.  So it does filter content from accounts I’ve not recently interacted with.  I don’t want that, I’m happy to put up with duplicates, and I actually want to see some automated stuff because it’s our business!

We say #TakeControlOfYourTwitterTimeline but it will never catch on as a hashtag as it’ll probably be filtered out!

Direct Message – direct from your website…

Have a look over on the right.  Under our Twitter feed, you’ll see a Direct Message button – a brand new feature from Twitter.  Direct messages are a key battleground for #socialmedia platforms – Facebook is now handling an astonishing 60 billion messages a day.

Twitter, keen to keep up, now gives us the ability to offer a direct messaging option from a website.  And it’s easy.  Follow the steps in this Social Media Today article, and you can’t go wrong.  When it’s up, ping us a DM to check it’s working!

The Age Gap…

Another batch of impressive ‘A’ level results last week will send a new cohort of learners off to university this autumn.   Come three years’ time or so, what skills will they bring to the marketplace?  Or rather – what will they be lacking?  A study of recruitment managers in the US  identified the top 5 gaps in graduate skills as being:

  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Writing proficiency
  • Leadership

We’ve been reviewing our website (again!) and these are the very themes which we keep coming back to.  Our approach to social media is focused on using effective communication to help businesses meet their marketing objectives (which we go into more detail on here).  It’s been a while since I graduated!