Internet Marketing

3 reasons to use social media for customer service

Customer service can make or break relationships. When it’s consistently satisfying needs, complaints are minimal and growth may be steady. When it’s consistently exceptional, the bar is set and patrons are often slightly more forgiving of slip-ups. When it’s bad, your company can develop a poor reputation that will eventually affect the bottom line.

Fortunately, thanks to technology there are a plethora of tools at our disposal that can help organizations stay on top of the needs of their customers and prospective customers.

1) You want to be where your customers are.

This week updated numbers were announced for Facebook - they’re up to 900 million accounts. Twitter announced a few weeks ago that they’re up to 500 million accounts. On these two networks alone, you will find customers and prospects for your business. Being able to answer complaints, compliments and queries through the channels people are using to discuss your business makes good business sense. You wouldn’t run a business without a phone or website. Social media is yet another essential communications tool.

2) You want to know what people are saying, even if they aren’t saying it to you.

With the advent of the Internet, businesses were given a gift on a silver platter - the ability to allow the world to find them. But it works two ways. Your business can monitor keywords for your industry, products and company name. Imagine the ability to respond to a need and gain business simply by being a good “listener”. Social media tools can give you the ears to hear far more than ever before.

3) You want to capitalize on scalable word-of-mouth marketing. 

You already offer quality products services with stellar customer service and people like to talk about your business any chance they get. That’s a powerful position to be in. Social media will take that to the next level for you. Based on the infographic below, people are 71% more likely to purchase based on social media referrals. 

Ecommerce Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing - Infographic

Ecommerce Marketing Software - All-In-One Inbound Marketing Software

The bottom line? Social media has a big mouth and big ears. Contributing value to the conversation will only benefit your business.

Have you ever had a great customer service experience through social media? Tell us about it!

Buzz, Brilliance and Blogging: Week ending April 28

Every week I compile a list of the noteworthy social media news (Buzz), balanced with valuable commentary (Brilliance) and I recently added Blogging to the mix as well. The links that follow are to sites and blogs that I read on a regular basis - consider them recommended reading for you too. Or you can just come back here each week for a taste of what stuck out to me.



It’s probably not a huge surprise to you if I say that women are more likely than men to have a blog or a Facebook page. This is good information for marketers to be aware of when they’re creating and distributing content.

Speaking of Facebook, they have been busy little bees this week making tweaks and changes. First off, the larger profile photos I mentioned last week are now live for profiles and pages. They’ve been making some design changes to how your friends are displayed on your timeline (I noticed this yesterday on mine.) Another new addition is trending articles. I also mentioned them last week and so far, meh. They’re all from readers, so I don’t find it’s useful with such a major limitation.

I still need to download it for mine, but if you’re an iOS (iPad) or Android user, you might want to check out LinkedIn’s new app. Apparently, it’s quite impressive from what I’ve heard so far. Based on this description, I’m quite looking forward to trying it out.

In other mobile app news, you can now know your Klout wherever you go if you’re an iPhone user. Of course, we have yet to see the Klouchebag app come out, so I don’t believe we have a complete mobile picture of influence without that.

Twitter spam occasionally reaches obnoxious proportions. That was the case a while ago, though it’s slowed down. Lately, I’ve heard that Twitter is working on solutions, but perhaps some of the problem is can be solved with greater daily vigilence by individuals?

Google+ has released a share button, which is different from the +1 button, but I actually wonder if that isn’t just more confusing to have two. I often share content using the +1 button, so that part seems redundant at the very least.


As a business, have you realized yet that social media is the easiest way to scale word of mouth marketing? As a client recently said to me, “social media is a big mouth”.

Email has gotten out of control for me, so I’m very interested in tools to help me manage it. For a change this week, I’m also going to try ignoring my email inbox. (And turn of notifications on your phone.) Come back next week and tell me if you’re more productive.

Do you display your Twitter stream on your business web site? You might want to think about reconsidering that decision.


I said there probably wouldn’t be anymore to share from Mitch Joel’s challenge, but I was wrong. And I want to share Amber Naslund’s in particular because when she writes about certain things like her philosophy (“I write to discover what I think.”), I relate to it so closely.

Do you want to know if you’re doing things wrong with your blog? Sometimes we need the constructive criticism/suggestions to help boost our efforts to the next level. Scan this article and see if you find three things you can work on this week to make your blog better. 

Blogging regularly can be challenging. Topic ideas can feel dry or boring or uninspiring. Rarely are there blogging memes that businesses can legitimately participate in, but I’m contemplating doing this one.

Fun Stuff

There are such creative, big personalities out there in the world and the Internet is allowing us to see them in action. This is one creative campaign to sell a car.

Sixty Second Social: There are no shortcuts

Social media has created an obsession with numbers, be it followers, views, Klout scores, fans…you get the idea. Some will tell you that the numbers don’t matter and in some contexts that’s true. All those numbers do is represent potential eyeballs on your content because there’s no guarantee that they’re actually paying attention.

Why are we so enamored of these numbers?

The root of this obsession essentially goes back to the human need for acceptance. A follow, like, pageview is perceived as a kind of personal endorsement. Someone is interested in you, wants to hear from you. The more that happens, the more you want it - it’s practically addictive.

This was on my mind as I read Mark Shaefer’s post about a guy who wants to start a twitter account and follow no one, a la Seth Godin. I can only guess that some of the high profile follow purges a few months back have reinforced the notion that following few and being followed by many is a sign that you’re a great and influential leader.

That may be true for some, but everyone who signs up for any social network starts out with zero connections. For the individuals who’ve done work that puts them in the public eye, they will amass a large following in a short time. Their value is already known and membership in this group is extremely small compared to the massive number of people who start out as relative unknowns.

The Bottom Line

You can buy new followers (though I hope you don’t), beg for views and entice new fans by giving an incentive. At the end of the day, you’re no further ahead if the people “following” you are ignoring everything you say. What works for someone like Seth Godin isn’t going to work for others. There’s no single tried-and-true method of doing social media and there never will be. Successful social media users are creative, open to new ideas and work hard at learning (and sometimes creating) the best practices for users.

If you want to grow an audience who’s paying attention, it will take time, effort and patience. The end result is worth it.

New Year, New Challenges, New Goals

I feel like I missed the New Year's post bandwagon now that we're on day five, but I'm going to ignore that and post anyway. I recently passed the four-month mark for The Media Mesh and I'm really proud of the consistency I've been able to achieve in that time. It's not easy with all the other things I have going on, but this blog is just one step among many on the path to a larger goal.

I've had a certain vision for 2012 a for quite a while now, but I realized recently that my vision isn't going to come to fruition. That's the way life goes sometimes and that's okay. I've been scrambling (mentally) to re-evaluate and re-assess what I want to do this year and how I can do it without compromising various areas of my life. This realization is so recent that I'm not there yet, and that leads perfectly into my first of three words that will define 2012 for me.

We all have busy lives and when life throws a curve ball at you that busyness can suddenly seem incredibly overwhelming. That's exactly what happened to me. So that means that I have to give myself more time to achieve the things I want to do. It also means I need to use my time more wisely. It's a precious commodity, so I don't want to waste a moment. That doesn't mean curtailing downtime. It simply means I don't have the option of not focusing on the task or activity at hand - whether that's writing a blog, spending time with my family or spending time relaxing.

I'm stealing this one from Lara, because I have similar challenges. As new and amazing opportunities come my way, I am often tempted to jump right in without first asking myself whether I'm being realistic about time constraints or if the opportunity is helpful to my long-term goals. I recently made the decision not to pursue a potentially lucrative opportunity because I knew I couldn't devote the time and effort to it that was required. Additionally, it was pretty far off the path I'm on and I wasn't willing to compromise on that. I feel absolutely no regret about this decision.

2012 may not shape up quite the way I thought it would, but that doesn't mean I can't continue to move in the direction I want to go. There are so many things I can work on this year that may help me six months, a year from now or whenever I'm able to focus more concentrated time on the long-term plan. Being proactive with laying that foundation should make the progress faster when I finally start to move forward.

I can't help but feel excitement about 2012. Something about this new year has me feeling optimistic and motivated more so than in previous years. Part of the excitement is around seeing what's going to happen in social media. I'm looking forward to discussing the state of social media in July when we do our second annual Social Capital Conference in Ottawa. In the meantime, I hope I'll continue to provide opportunities for great discussion here at The Media Mesh.

There are dozens of post ideas floating around in my brain and in Evernote, but I'm going to ask all of you out there to tell me what you're interested in learning about social media. Is there a particular tool you want to know more about? Do you have questions about best practices? Tell me what you want to know - anything at all - and I'll try to cover it to the best of my ability. This blog is only useful if the content is useful to the readers, so I welcome your input.

To all of you who have been with me for the last four months, I thank you and hope you stick around for a long time to come!

Happy New Year!

Guest Post: How To Attract Customers with a Mobile Phone

I recently met Nathan Richer, owner of Virtual Alchemy, at the Orleans Chamber of Commerce Business Showcase and was thrilled when he agreed to write a guest post for the blog.  Nathan specializes in Internet Marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and is a wealth of great information.

Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt was quoted saying “Mobile is pretty much the answer on everything”. In fact, the search engine giants are considering “mobile first” for all future endeavours. This makes sense since there are about 5.3 billion mobile users compared to a paltry 1.7 billion Internet users.

Google is preparing for the Mobile future….are you?

There are several ways you can attract and retain customers/clients through the use of mobile marketing but today I wanted to focus on Text Message Marketing.

What is Text Message Marketing?

Text message marketing is similar to e-mail marketing but using mobile phone numbers instead of e-mails. You build a database of mobile numbers which provides you with the ability to send out text messages to your faithful followers.

I want to be clear that I am not talking about spamming people with useless advertisements. Instead, text message marketing can be a great tool for offering value to your customers and building long lasting relationships along the way.

Who Can Use Text Message Marketing?

Any business that is looking to communicate and build relationships with their customers or clients. It is an excellent opportunity to add value to your customers overall experience.

Some of the ideal businesses that use text message marketing include:

  • Restaurants

  • Retail Stores

  • Event Organizers

  • Real Estate Agents

  • Night Clubs

  • Schools

  • Churches

  • Fitness Studios

  • Medical Professionals

The list goes on and on…

How Does Text Message Marketing Work?

A business will need to purchase a mobile marketing platform to set up campaigns, store mobile phone numbers, send messages and even set up appointments. There are some pretty good and inexpensive mobile platforms out there so be sure to shop around. Be prepared for a monthly fee as most platforms charge based on the number of text messages delivered.

Once you sign up for your mobile platform you will be given a short code, which is just a number (usually 5 digits) that people will text your “Keyword” to. Next you will have to create a “Keyword” that represents your business or promotion. Often this keyword will be your business name or something related to your services or products.

The mobile platforms are generally user friendly and shouldn’t take long to set up. Once it is up and running you will need to start building your mobile database by promoting this service.

How to Promote Your Mobile Marketing Campaign

Here are a few examples how you can build a mobile database.

Restaurant Owner
Set up a tent card on your tables that says “Text Restaurant to 54321 for Exclusive Coupons”. Next time your restaurant is experiencing a slow day, just send out a text message that reads “Show this text to your server before 10 pm and receive 10% off your meal”.

Since text messages have a 97% open rate, your restaurant will be busy in no time.

Real Estate Agent
Put a message on your lawn sign that says “Text House to 98764” and have your mobile platform send an automated response with the details of that house. Not only are you providing details of your listing but you are also building a list of potential buyers that you now have access to.

Professionals are able to use Mobile Marketing to record mobile numbers and set-up appointments. This will allow you to automatically send a text message to your client reminding them of their upcoming appointment.

These are just a few examples how you can use text message marketing to increase your revenue while providing value to your customers or clients.

The mobile industry is going to continue growing so now is the time to consider adding text message marketing into your overall marketing plan.

Thanks for the great post Nathan!  I would adore it if my doctor or dentist texted me to remind me of appointments!  Go visit Nathan at Virtual Alchemy to learn more about SEO and Internet marketing - he’s got a great promotion on a web evaluation going on right now!

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