Snapchat and Instagram Stories will disrupt Social Customer Care in 2017

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Customer Service is undergoing a major evolution, with online communication moving away from private, anonymous, one-to-one channels toward public one-to-many channels that are mobile, social, and attached to real identity. In brief, social media is changing the entire business of customer service, posing great challenges and presenting new opportunities for brands. In the midst of this seismic shift, though, it’s important to remember that the core principles of great customer service still apply.

Quality customer service — regardless of channel — relies on a meaningful dialogue between brands and their customers. That being said, the growing preference for social media as a preferred channel requires your organization to re-think its customer service strategy. You need to adopt a Social First approach.

Let’s start with some context: 5 Facts about Social Customer Care

Social customer care is quickly becoming a standard offering in the contact center world. The evidence is overwhelming. Consider these statistics:

  • Twitter reports that customer service interactions have increased 250% in the last two years.
  • Top brands respond to customer service requests on Twitter in just minutes, while the worst take hours, if not days.
  • 60% of customers expect companies to respond within the hour. The average response time ranges from 1-5 hours.
  • Twitter and Facebook are more accurate and faster at delivering customer service responses than email (48% and 44% more successful respectively).
  • Customer service response time by brands actively using the channel has improved by 13% on Facebook in the past year. Yet almost 90% of customer Facebook comments are ignored.

The most anticipated trend for 2017 is the use of bots, but…

There is no way to talk about 2017 and customer service without mentioning bots. And as 2017 unfolds, you will certainly see continued adoption of bots to handle the easy and predictable. Beyond that, expect this to be the year bot makers continue to make huge strides at improving the AI that powers them, but not being ready for primetime.

So, what is the new trend?

The point is, social media is all about user behavior and custom. And 2016 has increasingly shifted everyone towards the use of snaps & stories. Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook have thought us the concept of ephemeral videos. Well, users learned this concept so well that are now applying it to social customer care. How? Let me show you an example…

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That’s exactly how you want customer service to be: simple and immediate. Why would you spend time writing an email? It’s much faster to take a picture or a video of what’s not working, and share it on Instagram/Snapchat (sending it to the brand or @-mentioning it). Wow. Now, try not to pass out (especially if one of your performance metric is customer satisfaction) and think about implication & impacts:

  • It’s ephemeral, so regardless of your SLA you have 24 our to reply to this request. Or, you might have lost a conversion, maybe a customer. Clock is ticking…
  • It might be public, that means other potential customers can see that. And this is not good for your brand image. Clock is ticking even faster…
  • It’s an image, that your AI/bots probably won’t be able to process, at least not today. You’ll need an authentic human to deal with this.

Is this Marketing’s Job?

Traditionally, the task of monitoring and managing social media falls to the marketing department. It has been perceived as yet another platform to build brand awareness, advertise products and services, and share entertaining and informative insights to a wide network of potential customers.

But the reality is that social media has grown into a full-fledged customer service channel, with 47% of social users reporting that they’ve used it for interacting with customer care profiles. Despite this large-scale adoption, companies are lagging behind. Leaving social platforms under the responsibility of the marketing team means that users who are seeking customer service through these tools aren’t being heard. In fact, Twitter reports that only 9% of their users who’ve reached out to a brand on Twitter have heard back from the company.

It’s your contact center team that knows how to address issue resolution, deliver optimal customer experience strategy, and respond to customer complaints. They’re the ones who know how to forecast and schedule support on a 24/7 basis, while providing a customer support workflow process that best facilitates issue resolution. They’re the ones who are measured on metrics like Average Speed of Answer and First Touch Resolution – metrics that matter in social as much as voice or email.

Ok, let’s turn the challenge into an opportunity

First-thing-first. This is a brand new trend I’ve noticed in the last week. It might not be your priority #1 item, but it’s definitely something you want be mindful of.

Second, the question of whether the responsibility of social media monitoring lies with marketing or contact center teams is not a new issue. However, now more than ever is the time to start answering that question with an honest, data-backed strategy.

While social care may be operationally secluded in many organizations, the pressure from users to seamlessly move from one channel to the next and other departments wanting access to data will continue to rev up in 2017. This will create demand for better integrations between CRM, marketing systems, data aggregators, social networks and third party software providers.

There is no company that serves all of these functions in a great way, so you might have found something to talk about in 2017…

Let me know what you guys think in the comment. And if you’re into vegan food check out @sweet_kabocha AKA TheBlueBride.com for some great recipes.

[Sources: Conversocial, B2C,  Spreadfast]

 

 

How much do Influencers get paid?

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Since January, more than 200,000 posts per month on Instagram, a picture-sharing app owned by Facebook, have been tagged with “#ad”, “#sp” or “#sponsored”, according to Captiv8, an analytics platform that connects brands to social media “influencers”. Hiring such influencers allows companies to reach a vast network of potential customers: the soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo has a combined following of 240m people across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Social media offer brands their best opportunity to reach cord-cutting millennials: Snapchat, another picture-sharing app, reaches 40% of all American 18- to 34-year-olds every day. Moreover, these platforms can make consumers feel they have gained unprecedented access to the lives of the rich and famous. That lets sponsors interact with their target audiences in ways that traditional advertising cannot match. In turn, demand from marketers for these channels has made social media lucrative territory for people with large online followings.

Captiv8 says someone with 3m-7m followers can charge, on average, $187,500 for a post on YouTube, $93,750 for a post on Facebook and $75,000 for a post on Instagram or Snapchat. Nice work if you can get it.

[Source: The Economist]

The Dark Social: see no evil, but learn to Trust and Measure It

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You may or may not have heard of ‘dark social’, but I can guarantee if you use social media, you will have created ‘dark social’ visits. That is, if you have ever seen an interesting news story and grabbed the link and sent it to a friend on Facebook Messenger, or texted your mum asking if she still wants those tickets to see Mumford & Sons for her birthday and included a link to the venue’s website.

What Is Dark Social?

If you work for a social brand and have ever needed to dig into a traffic source report using your favorite web analytics tool, you may have noticed a giant bucket of ‘direct’ traffic and thought to yourself what is this?The phrase originally coined by Alexis Madrigal from the Atlantic, ‘Dark Social‘ simply means the sharing of content through channels other than social media, whether by email, private message or even SMS. By definition, dark social traffic can’t be attributed to a known source, as the referring source lacks the tags required by analytics software that provide information about the site it was seen on. Unlike other ‘direct traffic’ sources such as from social media, which comes from links shared, contains tags that tells your analytics software where the link was shared originally and how visitors have ended up on your website.

Times Have Changed

In the early days of the web, everything was link-based, so we either discovered something via search, via link, or we went to the site directly by typing it into the browser or via bookmark. So if a site visitor arrived at the site without a referrer s/he had to be a direct visitor. But this was in the time of a simpler, smaller web, and before the rise of mobile.Unlike those early days, there are now many ways a visitor can arrive at a site without going to the site directly. Here are a few:

  1. Native Mobile Apps. Mobile apps either fire up a browser instance in-app (like Facebook) or force safari/chrome to open a new browser window (like Instagram) with the URL in question in the browser. In both cases, the browser itself is going to directly to the site and thus it looks like direct traffic when viewed in GA.
  2. Email. Most email-providers like Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook don’t pass a referrer when a user clicks the link to protect privacy and security for that user.
  3. Chat. This can be in the form of chat-based native mobile apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat or web/desktop based chat like Google Hangouts, IRC, or Slack. Chat clients of all kinds do not pass referrers either!
  4. Secure browsing. If you’re browsing on a site using HTTPS and click a link to a site using HTTP a referrer won’t be passed.
  5. Organic search. In some browser configurations, google won’t actually pass a referrer when a user clicks a link from an organic search.

We only consider the first three of these to be dark social, but the point here is that most direct traffic is actually far from direct. If you’re measuring your web traffic using only standard web analytics, you’re missing key insights about how people are actually discovering your content and products

So, why do I care?

Dark Social is getting bigger and bigger. As you can see from the following pictures, a number of different researches from Radium One, ChartBeat, SmartInsights are estimating Dark Social to accounts for 70% of social sharing , up to 82% for mobile sharing!dark socialThink about that for a second. As a social marketer, social sharing is the lifeblood that sustains and amplifies your efforts, and it turns out you can’t even see that it’s happening in most cases. Imagine if the paid search didn’t know about 70% of their effective keywords!The dominant sharing paradigm of today isn’t actually posting articles to Facebook (though that’s obviously hugely important). The use cases for dark sharing are so plentiful:

  • A wife texting a husband about a concert she’d like to attend
  • A group of friends on a group email chain sharing content about their favorite sports team
  • A friend WhatsApp’ing a pair of shoes she’s going to buy
  • A colleague Slack messaging a recent industry announcement

There are so many places where it makes more sense to share 1:1 instead of 1:many, and many times when a private forum is more appropriate. That doesn’t mean this sharing isn’t social! It absolutely is and you need to be able to understand it to both prove and improve the total efficacy of your efforts.

Let’s Make It Clear With An Example

I have an ecommerce site selling ‘Pet Rocks’. I get 60% of my traffic from organic search, 10% from paid search, 25% from ‘direct’ and 5% from social media. My site has a 1% conversion rate (I sell 1 pet rock per 100 visitors) and on each pet rock I sell I make a £10 profit. I get 10,000 views a month, so that means I make £600 per month from people coming from organic, and only £50 per month from those coming from social media.example chart dark social If I currently spend £200 per month on outreach and £200 per month paying a freelance copywriter to write content for my sites blog, I can conclude that I’m making a tasty profit of £200 per month on my organic traffic (£600 revenue – £400 spending). However if I currently spend £100 per month on social media campaigns and only get £50 in revenue from social media then it looks like I’m wasting £50 per month on social media and it isn’t worth the money I’m spending on it. I’d better cut down by on my social media spending or wind it up entirely.Although the available data seems to back this up, I would actually be wrong to make this conclusion. If I analyse the traffic that comes to me direct, I find only 5% of it is going to my home page and the vast majority goes to various product pages and blog articles which have long URLs that people can’t possibly be typing in direct (unless it happens they have them bookmarked). It turns out these people have been coming to the site via ‘dark social’, and so I’d be wrong to write off my social media efforts.It turns out 4/5ths of the traffic that was being counted as ‘direct’ was actually ‘dark social’ and only 1/5th was people actually typing in the URL. This means if Dark Social is counted under the social section, social as a whole is making £250 in revenue from the 2,500 people it brings in, and thus my £100 social budget is more than justified. In fact, it might be worth trying out spending more to generate more buzz around buy pet rocks to generate further social traffic, both visible and dark.

Ok, This Is What You Can Do

The good news is that there are new tools that allow marketing professionals to correctly understand traffic origins and therefore study their behaviour and conversions. In this post, you’ll find 5 tools to help you track dark social sharing.Plus, as Chartbeat has identified, native mobile apps will pass an identifier in the UserAgent field even when they don’t pass a referrer. For example, Facebook passes FBIOS as a UserAgent string for a user accessing content from Facebook’s mobile app.Questions? Other way you know to track dark social?[Sources: Digiday, SmartInsights, Simply Measured, Huffington Post]

77 New Emojii! No condom, but get ready for arm-taking selfie, avocado and pancakes

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Be ready to update your social media post!

Unicode Consortium released 77 new emojis, including the highly anticipated avocado emoji, two strips of bacon, a (very topical) gorilla and an arm taking a selfie. Also included a handshake, pancakes, a green salad and a drooling face.

However, the new emojis doesn’t include a condom, as Durex petitioned for in an effort to promote safe sex.

See all the new added emojiis HERE

PS – You won’t see them until mid-2017 because of Apple’s and Android’s lengthy design process!

[Source: Digiday]

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Define your Online Video Strategy: Facebook Vs. YouTube

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If it were five years in the future, would you be reading this article or would you be watching it? As online video continues its inimitable rise, it’s an interesting question to ponder.

Just take a moment to read these statements:

With online video quickly becoming a key means for people to satisfy their information and entertainment needs, businesses that fail to include it in their digital strategies will do so at their peril.

So here comes the tricky questions, where should you publish your video?

Well, let’s start from the end, the viewers. You want viewers, right? And a lot of viewers make a lot of views… Well, the problem is that when it comes to define a view, there’s no consistency across online platforms.

Here’s a rundown:

Views Table

Ok ok, I’m here to suggest solutions, not to create confusion. While I was developing this chart, I thought that a quick POV about online video strategy could be of interest for a lot of you guys.

But, I have neither the time nor the inclination to write a whitepaper or record a video (pardon my english humor). So I thought “An infographic should be easy and fast to consume!”.

And here we are: there’s no discussion that the main players for videos are Facebook and YouTube, that’s why  I structured my visual as a comparison between the two platforms… eventually providing my recommended approach for your online videos!

As always… shoot me your feedback and comments. See you soon, I have to work on my Xmas video! 😉

Online Video Strategy

Online Video Strategy – Facebook vs YouTube

[Additional Source: The Guardian]

The Science of Instagram

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If you want to see data like this about your account specifically, check out the Instagram analytics tool released by Dan Zarella: PicStats.com

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I do believe the story of the present and near-future of social media is visual content. From the impact of images and video on Facebook and Twitter to the new crop of media-centric social platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, it’s clear that inbound marketers need to be turning out great visual content.

These are the findings Dan shared, after collecting a large Instagram database and analyzing it to identify the characteristics that make images work (or not work).

If you’re curious about the nerdy details of the dataset, there are details at the bottom of it.

[Source: Dan Zarrella]

The State of the Social Marketing Team 2015

Many companies are still trying to figure out how to tackle social media. They’re constantly asking themselves questions like, “Where should social media live in our organization?,” “How big should my team be?,” or “How should our social media team be built?”

To help address this common issue, Simply Measured surveyed over 350 social media marketers about their team structures and compiled their findings into this infographic! More information from the survey (as well as a separate look at the pain points these marketers face), download a complimentary copy of their 2015 State of Social Marketing Report.

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