Tag Archives: Linkedin

Be good to your customers…especially in the world of social media

There is a story about Lego responding to a client’s letter that has gone viral. The basic premise – a Lego fan builds a set, against his father’s wishes he takes the completed set out and ends up losing a mini-figure. His father suggests he writes to Lego, which he does, and Lego responds by sending him a replacement as well as extra Legos. Great story. And good marketing buzz for Lego. Not only did they make an even bigger fan of the 7 year old, but they got a tremendous buzz about their actions – outlets from Huffington Post to Yahoo! wrote about the story.

Blue Ninja!

Be the ninja of good customer care

So what is the moral of the story? Take care of you customers…d’uh. Okay that is the obvious. But what this really shows is the greater importance good customer care takes with the rise of social media. Before blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and other social outlets, the above story might have been picked up by a local newspaper reporter as filler. Good story, but buried in the business section of the Sunday edition. With social there is long tail as well as a wider reach. The originally story came out earlier this year, I just read about it and I am now blogging about it. Long tail.

Of course this sword can cut both ways. Have a bad customer care story and that could hang around your neck for much longer than it took to resolve the issue. Or if your fried chicken actually seems to be a brain or a kidney- aka what happened with KFC – click here, but be forewarned it isn’t too “appetizing” to view. Same holds true for Dell that dealt with huge headaches, both in terms of recall as well as image when one of their laptop batteries caught on fire and was videoed and spread like…ahem…wildfire on the web. This was the catalyst for Dell placing more emphasis on social listening.

These examples demonstrate the importance of being much more in tune with customer service and listening to what your customers are saying, and doing. Social media has given everyone a megaphone. Regardless of how loud or quiet that megaphone is, it is out there. End of the day customers will always vote with their wallets, but now they have another way to vote – with social media. One could argue that when it was only with a wallet, you could always expect to find another “sucker” for your products. The reality was the wallet voting is buried in the aggregate. Social media makes the vote personal and pointed. Take a cue from Lego and always treat your customer well – provide outrageous service and it will come back to you in spades. And take another cue from Dell – make social media key to your customer listening and service.

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Filed under Consumer Product Goods, Current Events, Customer Service, Social media

LinkedIn – strokes our egos and gets free marketing

Some of you might have received an email from LinkedIn recently stating that your profile was in the top 5% or … gasp 1% of all LinkedIn. Congratulations! You are either a one in 10 million or one in 2 million! Putting this in perspective, if you are in the 5%, it is as if you were congratulated for living in New York, actually living in NYC is more “prestigious” since there are about 8.2 million residences of NYC. If you are in the 1% then it is as if you were just one more person living in Houston. Whoohoooo…

Not exactly the same as being the holder of the winning power ball ticket. But hand it to LinkedIn, they have tapped into a basic desire – where do we rank. This gets more showcased with the openness of social media. We know exactly how many friends we have on Facebook and how many people are following us on Twitter. LinkedIn tells us what percentage we are as well as what our “number” is…Klout gives us a number and a ranking amongst our social sphere.

What LinkedIn has done, better than the others, is made our number something to talk about. They send us emails thanking us for being one of the first 250,000 users or million users. They give us a percentage of viewership. And what do we do? We post it on Facebook, Tweet about it or blog about it (like right now). This gives LinkedIn a long tail of marketing buzz. Kudos to LinkedIn and their marketing.

So when you think about a new marketing campaign, think about the numbers and how you can appeal to our desires to always be ranked higher than the next.

If you are curious…I was in the top 1% so as if I was living in Houston.

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Filed under Marketing, Social media

Twitter flips off Linkedin

Okay I used another headline for inspiration on my title – Twitter Gives LinkedIn The Bird (LNKD). An interesting decision by Twitter. The basics are that you cannot use Twitter to push content to LinkedIn and populate the “share an update” part of your LinkedIn account. The reverse will continue to be feasible – if you post on LinkedIn you can push that to Twitter. Clearly Twitter wants to be the platform and the vehicle for content creation, it does not want to share that content repository.

I guess someone doesn’t like peanut butter and chocolate…

Rumors are that both companies could not agree on an advertising deal or that Tweeter got spooked at the password hacking that struck LinkedIn. Whatever the reason, I think this is a gamble for Twitter. The relationship between Twitter and LinkedIn gave it a position of strength vis a vis other social platforms…namely Facebook. The “Whats on your mind” feature on Facebook is a great vehicle to communicate with our network…people we want to be in our circle. The power of tying LinkedIn and Twitter is that via Twitter you could a larger public audience while still tying back to your professional circles. This make Twitter/LinkedIn a stronger social vehicle for businesses and professional communications.

To me this tie in gave Twitter a more grown up angle. Now that the tie has been broken, there is an opportunity for someone to fill that void. A twitter like app from LinkedIn? I understand that Twitter wants to validate its existence by hosting more content and being able to do all the wonderful data mining that allows (click here for a story about the partnership and why it made sense). But, cutting the cord with the adult in the social media room is a gamble.

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Linkedin IPOs: the floodgates for Internet 2.0 bubble?

So that other social networking site, the one for adults…I jest. The other networking site that is more geared towards professionals – Linkedin – went public this morning making many share holders wealthy. Unfortunately I am not on of them even thought I am one of the first 150,000 users, I was hoping when I got the nice email thanking me for being a long time LinkedIn user that it would accompanied with some equity. Wishful thinking. No surprise but Linkedin did very well the first day on the open market: opening at $81, hitting a high over $120 and closing at $93.10. Not a bad first day. Chart below:

With the like of Facebook and Groupon preparing for IPOs next year, does this indicate another tech run? A run that gave us the irrational exuberance of the late 1990s? I do not think so. The original Internet bubble was the wild west. Companies were getting ridiculous valuations for basically have a .com name. We all chased Kozmo.com and Pets.com thinking they were the next GE or USSteel. While there were some companies that emerged from that time – Amazon anyone – there was also a lot of burned investors and liquidation parties. So what is different this time? Well the fact we went through this during the first bubble. Companies such as Linkedin, Facebook and Groupon are under greater scrutiny. Yes we like seeing lots of eyeballs, but now we need to understand and more importantly SEE how you will make money. Having taken time to build their businesses, gaining visitors/clients and focused on the financial statements has placed firms like Linkedin, in a much better position than Webvan. I am sure that when Facebook and Groupon IPO there will be a wave of excitement, but there will not follow up with irrational investments in “dot coms” who are not grounded in business.

I think that is also why the likes of Twitter are not talking about going public. While Twitter speaks about being profitable and while the usage of Twitter continues to grow, there remains questions such as “what is Twitter really for?” Back in 1999 that would have been a good question for a tech company looking to go public. Today, you better have some cash flow  and real income statements if you want to IPO. That is better for both the companies and the investors. Irrational exuberance was fun, but do not need another ride on that merry go round.

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Filed under Social media, Technology

Social media – put different tools in different buckets

I was following a Twitter discussion tonight – #techchat run by MarketingProfs.  What was interesting was the discussion hinged around what social tools are most leveraged – twitter, facebook, linkedin, slideshare to name a few. What struck me was we need to take a more refined look at these tools. What do I mean by this?

Web sites, Slide Share and Blogs – they are the content buckets. They are the tools that will hold and generate the heavy amounts of content the real meat of your social marketing.These are the destinations for potential visitors to come and have a chance to engage at a deep level with our organization.

Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin – they are the hooks. While the last two sites can clearly contain more content than Twitter but they should all be viewed as hooks, with a little bit of content as the bait to pull visitors back to the heavier content tools mentioned above. Clearly you will need to have unique content to act as the bait to be leveraged via these social tools, but again they needed to be seen as attracting the visitor back to the content buckets.

I realize this is not rocket science, but too often I listen to social media talk where we mix all of these tools into the same discussion rather than thinking which are our hooks and which are our destinations. When putting together your social marketing plan make sure you think about how to use the hooks to get visitors back to your content hubs.

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Privacy…what does it mean?

An out take from JiveWorld10, was a key note from the founder of cellular telephony – Martin Cooper – who started off his presentation with the statement: “Privacy is dead.” A bold statement but one that has been expressed by many others, including the king of social media Mark Zuckerberg who stated that how we view privacy has changed. See his comments from his TechCrunch interview:

So does this mean our world is turn on its head and our private lives will be splashed all over Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, YouTube …. at some level yes.  However a couple of caveats.

First, the power of social media is user created content. Therefore if you do not want to have something out in cyberspace…do not put it there. When someone complains that their privacy has been violated yet they forget that they uploaded drunken pictures from their night out via their iPhone and checked in to every place they went via Gowalla…um just check your own behavior.

Second, with all that is being shared, uploaded, tweeted, blogged, checked-in to name a number of tools we use to participate in social media the volume of noise can protect some of our privacy. Our personal lives on cyberspace can become buried very quickly in the waves of noise that is being produced every second of the day.

By no means do I think we should display our social security numbers, home addresses and credit card numbers on our Linkedin profiles, however I also believe the issue of privacy is not as major a problem as it might be portrayed.

We still control what we share. Worried about Facebook and privacy, don’t post pictures you do not want others to see, watch what you write on your wall…tenants that hold true in the non cyber world!  Too many of use enjoy the power and flexibility of social media sites without thinking of the potential consequences. There is no doubt that as we become more connected there is more information that is accessible, there is no doubt that we must be more cautious with information but much of this comes down to personal responsibility and common sense.

Privacy is dead long live privacy.

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