14 must-dos to improve your social impression in 2014

social_christmas_tree

Just like you I was totally tempted to surrender to the bubbly, mulled wine, cookies and cakes so I started with the yearly housekeeping and just then it occured to me that I am meant to do the yearly tidying to my social as well.

Well whilst you decorate your Christmas tree and warm up for the New Year cheer, this is a suitable time to do a little social media housekeeping. Here are top 14 stars to add glamour and sturdiness to your social cheer. Get them all done and you’ll enter the New Year with a stronger base.

  1. Verify your Google profile – Google+ made colossal progress this year. You can try some simple updates. If you haven’t already, customize your URL so your company page is legitimate and easier to find and share.
  2. Tarot card readings didn’t fetch you well this year? Try Twitter Cards? Well I find Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards very promising. They allow you to collect leads directly from tweets. Christmas is a great time to try new things, and these have no form for users to fill in – cherry on the top, isn’t it?
  3. Fine tune your content – Now is a good time to review all the content shared and plan ahead. Be creative. Experiment!
  4. Take a Google Analytics course – No business is complete without acumens. Insights is everything. Google analytics course will be a true investment of your time and money, well only the time as it’s free now.
  5. A lot can happen over LinkedIn –Sponsored Updates allow businesses to promote any post from their company page directly into a specific demographics’ news feed. Give it a go.
  6. Be the “Titleholder” – Had a good social 2013? Highlight your work with internal staging, newsletter and creative comms using Vine, videos, infographics. Celebrate your social triumph!
  7. “My father taught me many things … keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” (Yes, I was watching “Godfather” last night. Yes, Again!)Take a few steps back and get the wider view of the marketplaces. Understand what worked well for your competitors and what didn’t. Learn and take notes to fin-tune your social strategy.
  8. Play with video – Now you can create and edit videos on the Instagram app as well as photos. And what’s more, these videos outdo the 6 second restriction of Vine, so it’s worth testing which platforms work best for you.
  9. Get on the right side of the law – The legal systems of any nation wasn’t  made with social in mind so they have had to adapt. Get better prepared for legislation in 2014. An appropriate time to refresh and brush the legal knowledge. Research time!
  10. Re-state your statement  – Once you’re aware of the legal risks, you’ll no doubt want to get your housekeeping in order. Re-draft your social policy; it should cover everything from changing passwords to protecting the company against liability caused by your workforce. Many free and reliable workbooks are available online.
  11. Sieve and revive – Get rid of the channels which are not suited for your business and re-focus your efforts on active platforms.
  12. Surf the net for inspiration – This is a great time to do a bit of research. Some casual surfing can land you with great ideas for the next twelve months. Start by checking out what competitors have been up to!
  13. Social also needs some “alone-time”  – While business is not that chaotic and busy, reflect upon the risks and vulnerabilities in social. What worked for you and where could you improve? How will you go about making change? Who else in your company could you tempt with cake to get some guidance?
  14. Before you get Christmassy – Before you pour that drink to your success, plan the social media content and dispenser during the holidays. There should be Christmas in the virtual world as well. Isn’t it?

Wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happier 2014!

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Nurturing vs. Building Community In Social

Community is the holy grail of Social media. Without community, there is no social. Mind you, if your focus is not right then you may just miss the bull’s eye by a thin line or shall I say a thin curve (Ah! I have been working out so I can mention ‘thin’ and ‘curves’ now)

Well if you’re thinking building a community is nothing but just a number game then yes, you are not wrong. Please note, I am saying “your aren’t wrong”. Members can be bought. Yes, they can be bought. Paid media, contests, promotions, etc. There are many ways. Principally, you can only buy the “Building” for your community. And, these numbers may or may not be necessary. Sometimes enormous followers can get you credibility. Sometimes it creates a base for future nurturing however I personally believe that there’s always a start and start is always with ‘1’ or shall we say ‘0’. I would say start with a clear purpose and members or followers for your community will come automatically. Do not worry much about the number game when you make a start. So now if you’re thinking that building a community is about quality numbers, you’re right. Please note, now I am saying “You’re right”.

Well you will find all social media practitioners saying this a lot, do something with your community because until you will do something worthwhile with your “big strength” they are nothing but just the false weights and you’re just spending a lot of energy to just ‘look’ good. The key is to ‘feel’ good and not just ‘look’ good. (Ah! It’s evident that girl is struggling to give in to some vino and Macaroons. Of course, it is. What on the earth ‘feel’ ‘look’ good jazz has to do with the Community Building!)

Believe you me, with this social media week coming up, I get to meet many CMOs / Digital Officers / Social Media Practitioners (more than I anticipated) who said to me: “I just want to have more followers for my company than my golf buddy’s company.” (Sadly, they weren’t joking).

Well let’s cut the humour now and submit some sense. (Did I just sense a grin here? Well! In my defence, my cocktail buddies laugh on my most one liners and a bit later, on all ) Yes, back to the topic now. I submit an idea: Nurture a community; don’t just build it. Nurturing a community means you encourage interactions, create engagements. Create an environment of communication (Let me say it for the last time, there is only one way to have communication i.e. ‘two-way’ communication). You need to get people talking. Maybe not talking with your brand, but sometimes simply talking with each other. Remember Entertain, Express, Express, Enable!

Nurturing a community means you are providing utility, usefulness and support for your community. When you articulate, it may sound little but in the practical world there’s a big difference between A presence and to HAVE a presence.

Look at it this way, if you can raise the community is an indicator on whether you should even be spending time in a social community or not. Can you get members talking? Can you get members engaging? Can you get members to act?

If not, you may like to consider other advertising options. Email marketing and other traditional methods that may have given you ROIs in the past.

Ask! Listen! Understand! Engage!

Before you give up on your ‘Building’, try this:

  • ASK! Ask your community a question where the answer sincerely impacts your business decisions.
  • Listen! Open ears will help you identify an opportunity where you can help your community and win their loyalty and trust. Go an extra mile wins hearts in social world too.
  • Understand! Understand the contribution and efforts made by members. Give them the limelight and show gratitude for their contributions.
  • Engage! Get people talking and create engagements. Host meet-ups, Q&A. Trivia Questions on a launch. Ways are many.

The essence of social community is same as the ‘house’ and ‘home’ theory. Everyone prefers a place to connect and not just the lumps of concrete hence nurture your ‘Building’ to a ‘Community’.

If you have done something similar in your business, please share your story. If you want to try this and still not sure how to go about it, feel free to leave your question.

Why is bad feedback a GOOD thing?

ImageWe all fancy a perfect cup of coffee to start our day. Expectations are high, especially when someone else is making it for us. So I was fair to get angry when my partner didn’t brew it perfect for me. Time for him to light a LAMP.

We can always improve. We’re normal people “The Mango People” and have absolutely no problems admitting we’re not perfect. While we always aim things to go right 100% of the time for every single customer, we do slip sometimes. Despite every effort and will, we do go wrong sometimes in the realistic world. What is most important in realistic world is learning from mistakes, correcting them and moving forward.
When you receive negative feedback from a customer, use the L.A.M.P. approach (This is just my personal term, it came up with my morning coffee)
Listen
Let’s give the customer our ears. What does this customer have to say? Why are they saying it? What happened during their experience to take it down a bad road.

Acknowledge and Apologize
We acknowledge that a bad situation happened and apologize for it. We own up to the mistake.

Make it Better
What can we do to turn this situation around? We give our time, free service and whatever else it takes to fix the problem. If we cannot fix it, we escalate issues to someone who can.

Push Improvement
After the dust clears from the bad experience and the customer has rode off happily into the twilight, we’re left with one question, “how can we make sure this doesn’t happen again?” We’ll improve our methods by learning from what went wrong.