posted by on FaceBook, Service Philosophies

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Last Saturday, I came across a thought provoking status update on a Facebook page for a women’s political group I like called Chicks on the Right. (For the record, I like several from across the political spectrum). Here’s how it read: “Nuked last thread. Would like fans here to enjoy some snarky humor, but not bring the conversation down into hateful lunacy. We started our site to snark on politics-but also to give conservatism a makeover & rise above stereotypes. Racial slurs & pure viciousness aren’t part of our makeover strategy. If that means we lose some of you, so be it. We’ll stick w/the folks who like civility along with their great heels!”

Uh oh. Censorship? In social media? How could they? Isn’t hitting the delete key in social media a no-no? Well, at the risk of sparking some healthy debate, (which I admit I love to do) I’m going to part company with that sentiment, at least to the degree that I’d like to qualify it.

Granted, my example is from a political page whose objectives are not going to be exactly the same, for example, as your business or personal pages. Nonetheless, any type of page may get negative comments for various reasons, so the same principles of common sense and judgment in dealing with them should apply. In the above scenario, the page’s creators felt the thread in question had deteriorated into an all out slugfest between posters, with no apparent objective except to insult, demean, and debase. Though risky, judging by many of their friend’s comments, taking a strong stand for civility was a good move. Also key in this decision was that they explained why they deleted the thread – they didn’t just do so and hope no one would notice.

Contrast this with the following scenario: On your Facebook business page, a customer weighs in with some complaints. What if more complaints follow, perhaps even with bad language and naming one or more employees thought to be rude or incompetent? Should these types of comments be deleted? Absolutely not. They hurt, they’re negative, but they must be left intact and dealt with openly and quickly. In fact, what I tell my clients is that when they respond in the open forum, they should offer to contact people individually by phone, or even better, meet with them in person if possible. This shows a commitment to solve problems presented, and hopefully takes them out of the public spotlight.

In short, comments on a Facebook page, Blog, or other online mediums that disagree with a position taken, issue complaints, or question hotbed issues for your company should not be deleted. Those should be addressed calmly by addressing specific complaints and dispelling misinformation first and foremost. On the other hand, for comments replete with profanity, racial and/or sexual slurs, personal insults, and/or threatening language that seem to serve no useful purpose otherwise, hitting the delete key just may be a good option. It’s a judgment call. My opinion is that there is nothing wrong with making the types of careful distinctions noted in managing contributions to your online mediums when necessary.

What do you think? Is deleting ever justified, or is it a no-no? Ever deleted comments? Why or why not?

posted by on Site News

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Here’s a revealing exercise: In one or two short sentences, state your company’s service philosophy.

Did you have to think very long, or did it just roll off the tongue? Still thinking?

Let’s up the ante just a bit: If you were to ask a client or customer to do the same, could they?

I’m a firm believer that a company’s service philosophy should meet a few key objectives. It should: convey something you want your customers to know that helps them, reflect your company’s core values, be something they can readily relate to, and be easily remembered. Two examples from my hometown of Charleston are these: Well known in the luxury car business as the owner of Baker Motor company, Tommy Baker has a service philosophy that really resonates:  ‘The answer is yes. Now, what’s the question?’ Think about that for a moment. It’s simple, straightforward, and reflects a commitment to give his customers what they ask for, because he knows that keeping them happy is at the core of his success. Another motto that really strikes a chord is the one for Nason Medical Center: ‘Don’t wait on healthcare. Let healthcare wait on you.’ Everyone can relate to the frustration of a long wait in the Doctor’s office, and Nason has committed to eliminating that for their patients. I wonder just how many people have chosen them over other providers for just this reason? Given their growth to date, I daresay quite a few.

Think about your business’s service philosophy. Is it short, savvy, and to the point?  Does it offer something of value that people need or want? Is it easy to remember? If not, it might be time to rethink the message you’re communicating. Be sure it hones in on one or two key things you are committed to doing well for your customers.  You’ll get people’s attention, and they’ll want to do business with you.

We’d love to hear your company’s service philosophy and how it’s working for you.  Do tell us about some you’ve come across that resonate and led you to patronize those companies. What do you like about them?  I look forward to brainstorming some ideas with you!

posted by on FaceBook

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So you’ve taken the plunge and added a Facebook Business Page to promote your company.  Welcome to an audience over 400 million strong! Not sure how to move forward? Here are just a few key points:

Consider your online brand. Should it differ somewhat from your traditional branding? It depends. For a Cosmetic Dental Practice page, for example, something like “Fixin’ Smiles and Taking Names” is a catchy and relevant moniker. Just be sure you have some unifying theme such as your logo and/or slogan from one medium to the next so people recognize you.  (We’ll have more about online branding  in a future Blog post.)

How often should I update my status? I suggest a minimum of one per day – preferably two. Mid morning/early afternoon and mid evening are generally good times to maximize exposure.

What types of status updates should I use? These should be informative as well as engaging, with the goal of letting folks know what you have of interest to them, and to get them talking about you in a way that provides positive testimonial. A couple of examples for a restaurant: Popular menu items people may want to try, and questions such as “What is your favorite entrée?” “Click “like” if …… (fill in the blank). One I saw recently is “Did you know that we make all of our condiments fresh daily? Taste the difference fresh makes!” You get the idea – think about some special aspects of your business you want to publicize, and consider from a benefit-to-customer standpoint.

Facebook Ads: Should you use them? These can be a very effective way to target your audience and increase traffic to your page.  You can quickly create image and text-based ads, advertise your own web page or something on Facebook like a Page or an Event, and/or choose to pay per click (CPC) or impression (CPM) in your local currency. For more info on this, click here.

Add photos and other forms of media: Personalize your fans’ experience by letting them see names and faces that make your business what it is to the public. Pictures of life at the office, after hours gatherings, and funny video clips are a great way to engage and entertain as well.

Link to other mediums: When appropriate, direct traffic to your website and any other online marketing mediums you use such as Blogs and Twitter. Not with every other post, but often enough so they remember you are there as well.  After all, you probably got here via my Facebook page link, right?

This list is my no means all inclusive, but will get you rolling. Run some ideas by us you’d like to try. If you already have some ideas that have worked well, what have been the results and how have they helped your business?

posted by on FaceBook, Site News

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Welcome to our website and thanks for stopping by! Our goal here is to provide you with up-to-the minute info on social media that you can use to your benefit and that of others. While the primary focus will be social media for business, much of what is offered can make your personal use of social media more relevant and fun as well.

Let’s start with a couple of neat features on Facebook that can make your personal experience there more enjoyable and useful:

  • Under the category of “Complaints I hear most often” is: How can I get rid of those game request from my friends who play (insert game name here) appearing in my feed? Just hover the mouse to the far right of the notice and “hide” appears. You can hide that app or the person – your choice.
  • Another neat feature is Lists. The longer you are on Facebook, and as the friends you acquire, groups you join, and businesses you fan grows, the more useful this feature becomes. Click on ‘Accounts’ then ‘Edit Friends’. You’ll see’ Create New List’ just left of center above your friends list, and you can use this to categorize friends, groups, news feeds, and businesses you have fanned. For example, I have reconnected with many old high school friends, and I have them listed together for quick and easy reference. I am also fans of several restaurants I patronize, and categorizing helps me in stopping by their pages to see their specials. A friend of mine who is a radio personality has lists that differentiate between people she knows and listeners. As you can see, the possibilities are vast in how you can organize info and tailor it to your preferred use. Play with it and make it work for you!
  • Did you know that Facebook has several news organizations with a presence there? Fan your favorites and breaking news will appear in your news feed. I find Facebook is often the first place I learn of breaking events.

These are just a few ideas to get you rolling. What are some neat features you’ve found useful? We’d love to hear about how you use them to customize and enhance your experience there.

Again, thanks for stopping by. Stay tuned for other relevant topics, such as “The Do’s and Don’ts of Facebook business pages”, “Why you should be on Twitter AND Facebook”, and much more!

Liz