Posts tagged social media

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Recap: Social Media Week 2014 - NYC

By Trish Fontanilla, VP of Community & Customer Experience at Vsnapimage

Last week, over 800 events took place in Bangalore, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Lagos, Milan, New York, and Tokyo for Social Media Week. More than 25,000 people attended SMW and hundreds of thousands of people streamed online and connected with their mobile apps. I was one of the many social media fans that flocked to NYC to attend events at the Highline Stage and AOL. Here are a few of the common themes I saw throughout the week:

Stop focusing on content length, start focusing on value and how your content is being consumed.

More and more, we’re typing in 140 characters, but that doesn’t mean all of our communication needs to fit into a text message. Editor-in-chief at The Atlantic James Bennet, emphasized during the panel “Is Social Killing Storytelling”, that as human beings, we’ll always want long-form pieces. He believes (and I do too) that we all have a basic need to deeply understand the world around us. But, you have to be a great storyteller and provide value if you want to keep your audience’s attention. Content that’s overly salesy or even bland is what drives customers away, not the length.

Once you’ve pulled together a great piece, you need to think of what your customers are ready to experience and when. Are they reading your blog on their phone during an hour long morning commute? Glancing at your newsletter between meetings during the day? Or looking at your website on their tablet during TV commercial breaks at night? And speaking of phones and tablets, Mashable CMO, Stacy Martinent, shared that 45% of their traffic comes from mobile. On top of that, 2013 was the year that mobile met desktop/laptop usage for social networking. You really can’t afford to have a site that isn’t mobile-friendly! 

PS - Don’t forget, advice without measurement doesn’t mean much. See what works for you and your audience.

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The center of every great business is community.

I can’t really write a blog post without mentioning community or “being human”, can I? The best SMW panel that paid tribute to both was, "Build a Brand that People Don’t Buy, they Join" with panelists from Zady, Naked Wines, and charity: water. While those companies all have a “social impact” slant, they’ve all worked to build amazing brands as well. Just like customers won’t read a piece that doesn’t provide value, they also don’t want to associate with a company or community that doesn’t speak to them like human beings.

Paul Young from charity: water talked about how important it is to map out the community experience. How are you inspiring people to use your product? What are you doing to make your customers feel connected? Make your community a part of your story.

You should also empower them to be evangelists with a clear story they can share. Let them know the valuable role that they play, and don’t forget to say thank you. By the way, I love how much “thank you” was emphasized during SMW. Via letters, tweets, or videos, the power of thank you goes a long way.

Social video = more sales.

If you’re a Vsnapper already, you probably believe in the power of video. And a big topic for SMW was around shareable video (I refuse to call it viral). While there are differences between one to one video (where Vsnap falls) and social video, I think a lot of the insights work both ways. One of the sessions I went to was Unruly’s, “7 Key Insights To an Always-On Video Strategy”, which focused on their measurement for social video success (share rate equals the number of shares divided by the number of views - droppin’ science).

According to a McKinsey study, shared video increases purchase intent by up to 50X via word of mouth. But why do people share videos? 2 reasons: There’s a psychological aspect - inspire emotion (more on that below) and people will share. Also with social video, you have to consider social motivation. This is what Unruly refers to when measuring videos:

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Some of the other research findings shared by Unruly COO Sarah Wood were:

  1. Make videos emotional - 65% of viral videos using exhilaration have brand recollection, followed by hilarity at 51%.
  2. Be positive, and your video is 30% more likely to be shared.
  3. Think beyond babies and cats - this is really just a callback to number 1.
  4. Be true to your brand.
  5. Take the time you need to tell the story - They actually found no correlation between shareability and runtime. Another reminder that good content is everything!
  6. Don’t over invest in content and under invest in distribution - A video that’s seen by few cannot be shared by many.
  7. Reach light buyers outside owned channels to increase market share.

Whew, and that was just a few of the things I learned in NYC! For more on Social Media Week, check out the hashtag #SMW14 for tweets from all over the world.


Filed under smw14 trish blogs vsnap smwnyc smwunrully smwaol smwmovement social media week social media

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Why 2014 Is The Year Social Selling Goes Mainstream

By Guillaume Delloue, Director of Marketing at Vsnap

Ten years ago social media mainly consisted of college students looking up each other’s pictures. Today, it’s a crucial component of any organization, large or small, public or private. And although it’s widely used by customer service folks, marketers and PR professionals, many salespeople remain skeptical. 2014 will be different. As the year of “social acceptance”, it’s when the sales community will fully embrace social selling. Here are four reasons why:

Customers Live On Social Media

A decade after the launch of Facebook you’d be hard pressed to find anyone without a social presence on the web. In 2013 nearly three-quarters of Americans reported using social networks, while 80% of millennials log on at least once a day. No longer awkward or uncomfortable to use, social networks have become one of the primary ways people communicate. In order to sell to today’s customers, you must be prepared to meet them where they live digitally — and that’s on social media.

Customers Expect You To Sell On Social Media

Customers are also getting used to buying and being sold to on social media. It’s already been shown that social conversations can accelerate deals. Of course, the same way aggressive sales tactics rarely work, you shouldn’t be bombarding prospects with tweets begging them to buy your product. Instead, use social media to get more info about your prospect’s interests, discover influencers, keep opportunities warm or stay in touch with past clients.

Customers Want To Engage With You On Social Media

As a salesperson, you shouldn’t be on social just to reach customers, but also so that customers can reach out to you. For example, an informative LinkedIn profile may be the one push that convinces a prospect to call you back about an offer. Similarly, replying to a customer’s questions via Twitter may be the perfect opportunity to ask for a referral. Spend some time improving your personal brand on social and you’re sure to reap the benefits of inbound selling.

Customers Will Be More Mobile

If there’s one fact everyone in the business community seems to agree about, it’s the unstoppable rise of mobile. According to Morgan Stanley, the number of mobile devices will exceed the number of desktop computers in 2014. The big winners in that shift? Apps and mobile friendly sites. And since smartphones are the primary way customers access social networks, you can expect the web to get even more social. Consider how your organization could use a mobile strategy as part of its sales process. You can be sure your competitors will.

Filed under Social media social selling guillaume blogs sales Sales Philosophy

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What To Look For When Hiring Stellar Customer Service Representatives

By Guillaume Delloue, Director of Marketing at Vsnap

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Last year a Reddit user posted his awesome exchange with a Netflix customer service rep. The viral story proved what customer-lovin’ companies from Virgin to Zappos have been saying for decades: there’s no substitute for making your customers feel awesome. In fact, this user’s story probably did for Netflix’s brand what thousands of dollars’ worth of advertising never could — all thanks to a man named Captain Mike. So to help you hire the next captain of customer service, we’ve put together some of the key qualities to look for in stellar candidates.

Empathy

Merriam-Webster defines empathy as “the ability to share someone’s else’s feelings”, and it’s a defining trait of all great customer service reps. In order to truly help customers, you have to do more than just understand their problem — you have to feel how it affects them. An example of such compassion happened when United Airlines delayed a flight so that one of its passengers could visit his dying mother. Any robot can diagnose an issue, but only empathetic individuals can feel how it actually interferes with a customer’s life and respond in a way that shows genuine understanding.

Great Timing

Part of what makes Captain Mike’s response so remarkable was that he wasn’t trying to end the conversation as quickly as possible. Instead, he stayed in character and played along for as long as was needed. And although most brands don’t have the freedom to create movie-inspired characters on the fly, you should look for individuals who are able to wrap-up customer interactions in a way that feels both natural and satisfying to the end user. Speed is critical too, as many customers expect a reply within 30 minutes after making contact.

Creativity

All customer service reps are expected to follow some form of guidelines. But the best ones are those who think creatively around those confines and deliver remarkable experiences in spite of them. Whether that’s by acting proactively, personalizing messages or coming up with surprises, creativity is often the difference between “average” and “outstanding.” Of course, customer pros also know the difference between bending the rules and acting irresponsibly!

Curiosity

The greatest customer service reps have an insatiable thirst for knowledge. During off-hours, you might catch them learning more about their product or service, gaining useful insights into their customers or keeping up to date with the latest trends and technology. Curiosity drives their exceptional behavior and keeps them at the top of their game. So when hiring, look for individuals who are passionate about always expanding their horizons.

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While we’re on the topic of #customerlove, quick reminder, Dave and Trish will be speaking at the Social Media for Customer Care Summit in San Francisco at the end of the month. So if you plan to attend or live nearby, you should totally go and say hello!

Filed under Customer Love customer service vsnap guillaume blogs Social media netflix united airlines

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Has True Enterprise Social Media Engagement Entered the Early Majority?

By Dave McLaughlin, CEO & Co-Founder at Vsnap

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Rod Favaron says it’s happening.

Trish Fontanilla and I spent a couple of hours on Thursday at VCJ Venture Alpha East, a conference targeted toward limited partners in VC funds. (Thanks, MassChallenge, for the free pass!) One of the sessions featured Alastair Goldfisher, Editor-in-Chief of the Venture Capital Journal, chatting with Favaron, who is the CEO of Austin-based Spredfast, a social media management software tool. With him was Adam Marcus, of OpenView Venture Partners, one of Spredfast’s investors.

So what is it that Favaron says is happening?

He says that large companies, like Spredfast clients AT&TWhole Foods Market and T. Rowe Price, are shifting their use of social media tools. Whereas they were touting their Facebook Likes and authorizing two or three people to tweet, now they are enabling true engagement enterprise-wide, on a daily, ongoing basis. To use Favaron’s metaphor, they are shifting from thinking of social as a more powerful billboard to understanding it as a more powerful phone system.

“How many phones do you have in your company?” Favaron asks.

Now you might say this trend has been in process for a while and what’s your point, Dave?

My point is that I don’t have a good balcony view of how authentic this shift is at the large enterprise level. So when I see that Spredfast quadrupled its revenues and doubled its headcount in 2012, I take note. And when I see that they raised $18MM in February of this year to go meet this social media management need of the Fortune 1000, I take note. (source)

And I guess it has me wondering if we’re now moving from the Early Adopters to the Early Majority in terms of how corporations use social to really engage in the context of what Forrester calls The Age of the Customer, rather than as just another toolbox to tell the world what they do.

The Early Majority, as Geoffrey Moore readers know, is comprised of people who are pragmatists, not risk-takers. When the pragmatists get on board, that’s a transition worth noting. Because the vast majority of companies in the world are run by pragmatist decision-makers.

At Vsnap, we obviously believe in establishing Engagement as an equal to Marketing, and in pursuing tactics that are personal alongside those that are broadcast. Just look at our Twitter feed for examples. So for us, Spredfast’s success is exciting, since it looks like an affirmation of a tipping point in the adherence to this worldview that is the foundation for our product.

I love to share this succinct quote, from Fred Reichheld, creator of the Net Promoter Score in his book The Ultimate Question 2.0:

 “Business leaders must find ways to enable frontline teams to delight customers.”

Enable enterprise-wide engagement on a daily basis via social. Get to work figuring out the policies and protocols of putting all that into action. And then find ways to act on the mountains of information you gather that make your customers feel special, as Om Malik says in this awesome post.

What do people think – is this really happening at the large company level? Has all of this now moved into the Early Majority? What data do you have to affirm or challenge that?

(picture originally from spikelab.org

Filed under dave blogs vcalpha spredfast early majority vsnap customer love customer engagement social media enterprise engagement tools

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Internship @ Vsnap: Social Media/Marketing Intern

Social Media/Marketing Intern
Boston, MA
 
There is a video messaging revolution coming and Vsnap is leading the charge. Vsnap makes it easy to send, request, tag, and store 60 second video messages. This will be a fast-paced (we’re MassChallenge finalists) but fun, high-profile (the CEO’s last company was acquired by Paypal before it launched) internship and a stellar addition to your resume.

You should apply if:

  • you’re tech savvy
  • you’re kind of obsessed with social media (FB, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Google+) and you’re not afraid of the share button
  • you’re independent and proactive, but also able to work with a team when you need to
  • you’re comfortable chatting with people online AND offline
  • you’re a great writer
  • you’re funny… doesn’t everyone want to work with someone that has a good sense of humor?
  • you have excellent time management skills

Brownie points if:

  • you’ve got working knowledge of Excel, PowerPoint, and Photoshop

Responsibilities:

  • researching new target markets
  • contributing to the Vsnap blog
  • helping manage the Vsnap Facebook, Twitter feed, and other online presences (wikis, forums, etc)
  • monitoring the Vsnap brand and competitors
  • brainstorming different ways of outreach
  • assisting in campaign launches and promotions
  • loving (and using) Vsnap and making sure others do too

We’ll probably have you doing some nitty gritty office tasks too, but don’t worry, we won’t be sending you out for coffee. Cookies maybe… just kidding. Sort of.

Benefits:

  • We’re brand new so the learning opportunities are endless
  • You’ll develop amazing contacts in the startup world with brands, partners, and beyond
  • You’ll be in a really fun work environment (there’s a ping pong table and a pool table in the office… just sayin’)

Local candidates only. 10 hours a week, with flexible scheduling. This internship is for the fall semester.

To apply, email info [at] vsnap [dot] com with a resume along with links to your social media profiles and your blog if you have one (please link to your top 3 posts). Don’t have a blog? Send us a sample post you’d write for Vsnap. If you really want to win us over, you can make a video too.

Filed under job posting intern boston vsnap social media marketing woohoo