Thursday, October 27, 2011

Social Media doesn’t have to be a “venting” venue


Not the best way I would describe how a company should setup its social media strategy.

I’m sure that Linkedin has social media strategies that go way beyond just being reactive but recently, that was my experience in my communication efforts with this primarily online company.

I had a couple questions/issues that I needed resolved with the previously mentioned company (I actually could have easily handled the issues myself if their restrictions weren’t so restricted). I decided to use whatever form of communication they directed me to use to contact them (I was open to calling them, emailing them, etc.), their preferred form of communication was for me to fill out a customer service form on their website and that someone would get back to me.

I submitted a form on a Monday. I waited and submitted another form on Thursday. On the next Monday, I had reached the point where I found their preferred method useless. I decided to send another form and only wait a couple hours…by noon on that Monday, I decided to communicate my way, via social media.

I jumped on Linkedin’s highly trafficked Facebook page (89,000 “likes”) and did a couple different things. First, I wrote on their wall at the very top of the page stating I was still waiting for a representative to get back to me regarding ANY of my three emails needing attention to resolve a very simple issue. I copied my submitted paragraph and then proceeded to go to their postings and left that same paragraph on three different posts in the comments sections.

I had an email response within 5 minutes helping me with my account.

I did not like having to do that. I tried their private recommended form of communication to handle an issue. When it started out, I didn’t even have a complaint. Their was nothing wrong with their service, it was just an issue that only they could fix.

Throughout this process, I came to a conclusion. Companies are starting to put more effort and energy into reacting to complaints on social media (public forum) when if that effort and energy would just be focused on the private lines of communication, the customers would be happier and social media wouldn’t have to act like a public complaint box.

When you have an issue needing assistance, what do you do?

What is an acceptable amount of time to just sit and wait for a response?

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Google Buzz-kill

(photo courtesy of

The Google Buzz “kill”

This past weekend, we bid a grand farewell to the let down that was Google Buzz. If you are unfamiliar with Google Buzz, just imagine any successful and engaging social media platform like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ but take away the “successful and engaging” part and presto…

When Google Buzz was first released back on February 9, 2010, I was so excited - finally, the best online company was getting into the social media game. I was excited for an entire hour. After that hour, confusion set in…what is this? Google, the company made famous for its clean and easy-to-adventure platform was suddenly confusing and left everyone embarrassed for saying they were fans of Google.

Immediately Google Buzz became annoying. From the constant random updates flooding my inbox (so that I wouldn’t “miss” anything) to the confusing “What-am-I-even-looking-at?” question everything was a big mess. I immediately jumped off the Google bandwagon and began to doubt any future announcement of a Google product.

Google did a great job of knowing Google Buzz was a terrible platform and immediately began working on a “version 2” of a social media platform which launched in June 2011 (Google+). My hesitant praise for Google+ became immediately extinguished and this platform (in my opinion) spurred most of Facebook’s recent changes which I actually applaud Facebook for doing.

While I would love to begin using Google+ more than Facebook, this “social media thing” is meant to be “social” - meaning I will have to wait until more people see some of the advantages of Google+ (and wait on Google+ to launch its business pages).

Anywho, Google Buzz, it was a good try. Now, Google+, don’t become a buzz kill like your older brother.

For a video all about Google Buzz:

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Social Media Explosion

These past few months the technological capabilities offered to enhance social media have exploded.

Three to four years ago, we were blown away by the smooth customizable options offered on MySpace (you mean we get to add music to our page?!?!) Now, MySpace is considered “the ghetto” of social media and what once ruled social media floundered into selling for a measly $30 million while Facebook continues to increase its revenue to be worth in the $80 billion range.

All of this has got me thinking; there are so many different options now, there are so many upgrades, so many new launches and businesses jumping into this “wild west” industry called social media that I feel that Back to the Future II is just around the corner (especially now that that Nike is now making the laceless shoes).

Now, we even have Siri (which will be added to Apple’s new iPhone 4s) which will start to have conversations with the phone user; when will we finally get our hover boards?

We saw Google jump into the game with Google+ in June which I thought was so impressive that even Facebook was in trouble. Immediately after Google+ launched and gained enough momentum to hit 10,000,000 accounts faster than any other social media company ever had - Facebook made a round of “improvements” that had lots of loyal followers upset, “Enough with the changes!” most would exclaim - not me. Facebook’s changes were right on the money. With more/better privacy features and a much smarter use of their very valuable homepage space (by separating “updates” and “top news”), Facebook is poised to be number one for a little bit longer.

Just a couple weeks ago, Facebook announced they will be taking their tremendously successful platform (currently in beta) into a “timeline” platform - yet another step in the right direction. Google+, it is time for you to roll out your “business page” options which, in my opinion, was the catalyst in taking Facebook from a big business into the biggest business on the block.

- Casey Cornett