Let’s Get Social

Did you know that less than 1% of web visits come directly from social media tactics?

According to a new report from ForeSee Results, if you are hoping for a rise in traffic to your website, you may need to come up with a new plan.

In an attempt to measure social media ROI, ForeSee developed a “Social Media Value Benchmark,” which ranks web visitors based on how the customer came to the site, how much time they spent, how they felt about the experience and whether they’re likely to return.

ForeSee’s initial results, after surveying nearly 300,000 consumers, was that people who were influenced by social media spend more and are more satisfied and loyal customers than those who aren’t influenced by social media.

That is great to hear, until you remember the stat that says only 18% of visitors were influenced by social media and only 1% came in on a direct link.

Even if those customers spend more money than the average customer, is that worth the time and effort invested in social media? Although many small business users see social media as a “free” source of marketing, that is not completely true. It may not cost you a monthly fee but it costs you time -- and time is money.

The bottom line is that social media isn’t necessarily the marketing silver bullet. Just because Facebook works for a soda company doesn’t mean it will work for a bowling alley. Keep your target market in mind whenever you’re developing marketing strategy. Email may work better for a company with an aging consumer base, but a company selling to teenagers almost always needs a thriving social media plan.

Always remember who your customers are and why they buy your products. It may not matter if only 1% of people follow your link from Facebook to your website if that 1% spreads the word.

Article inspired by the writings of Cynthia Boris

Small Business Gives Best Customer Service

Americans are fed up with bad customer service and they are willing to pay more to be treated better. The good news for small business owners, however, is that 81% of consumers think small business delivers better service than big businesses do!

That’s the discovery of a new survey that finds that, now that the economy is improving, seven in ten Americans are willing to spend an average of 13% more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service.

Despite their desire to spend more for better treatment, Americans don’t believe businesses are doing much to meet their needs -- and in some cases, they are getting very angry about it. In fact, 60% believe businesses haven’t increased their focus on providing good customer service and 26% think companies are actually paying less attention to service.

Willing to pay

Not only are consumers willing to pay more for service, they are willing to forego the purchase altogether if the transaction is not handled properly, the survey found. Seventy-eight percent of consumers said they have ended a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience. On the other hand, the promise of better customer service is a draw for shoppers: three in five Americans said they would try a new brand or company for a better service experience. Word of (bad) mouth

Companies that are not focusing on service should beware. Consumers are eager to tell their friends about the service they receive -- good and bad. And, with social media and the Internet, it doesn’t take long for the information to spread.

In fact, Americans say they tell an average of nine people about good experiences, and nearly twice as many (an average of 16 people) about poor ones.

“There are many who subscribe to the convention that service is a business cost, but our data demonstrates that superior service is an investment that can help drive business growth,” said Jim Bush, executive vice president, Amex World Service. “Investing in quality talent, and ensuring they have the skills, training and tools that enable them to empathize and actively listen to customers are central to providing consistently excellent service experiences.”

Getting angry

Not surprisingly, Americans report getting angry about poor customer service. More than half of respondents (56%) admit to having lost their temper with a customer service professional.

The survey found:

    • Consumers ages 30 to 49 are the most frequently angered (61%)

  • Young people are more patient, with more than half of those ages 18 to 29 saying they’ve never lost their temper with a service professional (54%)

Americans who have lost their temper due to a poor service experience will express their displeasure in several ways, including insisting on speaking to a supervisor and hanging up the phone. Two in five Americans have threatened to switch to a competitor.

Frustrating phrases

The most irritating customer service tactics are sending customers to another source for help, according to the survey. Putting customers on hold and long wait times were also cited as particularly annoying.

Article from Business Daily.Com

The 10 Plagues of Facebook Status Updates

  1. Complaining. We've all got a Debbie Downer in our feeds -- the person whose every status update conveys the unbelievably tragic series of events that have befallen him or her. And they seem to get increasingly worse and worse. "Flight delayed." "Seated next to screaming baby." "Ran out of peanuts." And it only gets worse from there.
  2. Bragging. The only thing worse than a complainer is a bragger. Too bad there's not (that I know of) a Facebook version of Tweeting Too Hard. Some people really just need to get over themselves.
  3. Passive-Aggressiveness. Don't you just hate when people use their status updates in a thinly veiled attempt to say something to someone specific that they don't have the guts to say directly? And don't you just hate when you're not sure if you're the person they're calling out?
  4. Cryptic. Almost as bad as the passive-aggressive post is the cryptic one. The one practically begging you to comment, "What happened?"
  5. Partying. How many people must be fired before we realize that we might not want those pics of us chugging beer online?
  6. Working. I can handle a little self-promotion for one's company every now and then. I even appreciate the occasional link to an article or video related to one's business or industry. But I can't stand the people who are all work and no play on Facebook. If I wanted to know everything about your company, I'd become a fan of your company.
  7. Insomnia. As I write this at 1:45 a.m. after one energy drink too many (prompting an insomniac update of my own), I'm reminded how many people out there toil away on Facebook in lieu of sleep. And then admonish themselves via status updates. "Why am I awake?!?!"
  8. Checking In. OK, I don't hate check-ins, especially from a marketer's perspective. But I can't stand people who use multiple check-in apps so that each stop on their bar crawl triggers five status updates. And all you working folk might want to remember that these things have timestamps.
  9. Doing Nothing. If you haven't posted in over a month, you're either not interesting or you're not interested in Facebook. Either way, I'm no longer interested in you.
  10. Parenting. If the 10th plague in Egypt was death of the firstborn then the 10th plague of Facebook status updates is birth of the firstborn... and the endless stream of pics that follow. Baby's first this. Baby's first that. I get it. I have kids and grandkids of my own. That's a lot of firsts. At least set up a profile and let the kids post "themselves." At least it's sort of funny that way. And it can also help you build up critical social signals for your kids in the hopes that they can one day claim their rightful spot atop the search results pages for vanity queries. After all, by the time they're grown, likes will be a higher ranking factor than links.

Honorable Mentions:

  1. Misspelling. Gotta love these responses!
  2. O.A. Over-Acronyming.
  3. Linking. Save it for Twitter.
  4. Quoting. Say something original!
  5. Syncing. Do I really need to be informed by 10 different social networks that you're on a flight from LGA to SFO?
  6. Ville-ans. Where do people find the time for all these Villes?

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