Last week saw Social Media Week arrive in London, bringing with it a fantastic timetable of insightful talks and presentations centred around the ever-changing world of social media.
A few members from our talented social media team swapped the dreary skies of Leeds for the bright lights of London last week to attend a few of the talks, here’s their summaries of the ones which stood out for them.
Truth. And Trust. Why What You Do Matters in Social Media
Our first session was hosted by Like Minds and was a panel set up including:
- David Cushman, MD, 90:10 Group
- Benjamin Ellis, Director at Socialoptic, Director and Principal at Redcatco
- Euan Semple, Leading Consultant on Social Business, Euansemple.Com
- Guy Stephens, Social Media/Esn Consultant, Capgemini
- Jenny Afia, Schillings
This session explored the concept of truth and trust, and how companies need to be truthful in order to be trusted.
One of the panellists made the interesting point that brands don’t necessarily need to be wholly truthful about every little thing, and that they merely need to be consistent in the messages they’re communicating in order to give the impression of truth, stability and coherence, which will ultimately instil trust.
The concept of privacy was also discussed, along with how social media increasingly invades people’s privacy. Photos and videos are shared freely and widely across social media platforms without the consent of those featured in them. So this brings us back to the point that “what you do matters in social media”
This carefully worded presentation title was constructed to highlight the message that the world is no longer private, so what you do in it, either as an individual or a brand, could potentially get shared globally in an instant.
So – if brands want to survive in the real world, let alone on social media, they must start acting in a way that exactly matches what they want their public image to be.
Heroes of Social Innovation
This panel was comprised of some pretty inspirational people representing some pretty inspirational organisations:
An incredibly successful campaign that has made dramatic progress towards raising awareness for International Peace Day, and still continues to do so.
A scheme set up to tackle social isolation in London whereby members incorporate a morning jog to an elderly person’s home for a visit as part of their weekly exercise routine.
An organisation that helps to improve local public services using design, technology and change.
Both help remote communities: the former using rudimentary technology to promote self-sufficiency, the latter by building and distributing free and open-source software.
Each panel member told us about what they did and what impact it had on the people and causes they were set up to help, which was very interesting indeed.
However, in terms of being relevant to us hungry social-mediaites, it wasn’t at all, really – simply because not enough detail was entered into about the utilisation of social media platforms, or how social media campaigns were executed on them.
In spite of that, however, it was great to learn about the wonderful things that these organisations were doing, and we would definitely urge you to check each of them out!
The Rise of Social Customer Service
This was a fantastic event – we were really happy we went to this one.
- Luke Brynley-Jones, founder of Our Social Times
- Simon Preece, Social Media Manager at Sainsburys
- Nico Henderijckx, European Forum & Communities Manager at Sony Customer Marketing Europe
- Martin Hill-Wilson, founder of customer service consultancy firm, Brainfood Extra
As he himself pointed out before beginning, there wasn’t anything groundbreaking in Simon Preece’s presentation, in which he simply covered what Sainsburys did to improve communication with its customers via social media.
Nico discussed Sony’s idea of building a forum and let it run autonomously, without moderation, which they started out with a few years ago.
This experiment actually worked well, because tech-dedicated users were actually answering users’ questions on behalf of Sony, just because they loved tech and being involved in such a community. Nico described how 69% of questions received replies, and 38% got solved, with the average answer time being just one day. This was a result – and now, Nico says, this percentage resolve rate is up to somewhere near the 70s. So – they set about getting in touch with their super-users and harnessing their help.
So, forum owners (and those interested in building a forum) – Nico’s key takeaways were:
- Remember, we’re working with humans here
- Explain to them clearly your goals
- Put your top-level management in front of them
Our favourite speaker of the event and of the day, Martin talked very passionately about the real value of social media as a customer service platform: 65% think social media is better than call centres, and 36% of Brits have already interacted with companies – a figure that had doubled (from 19%) in the last eight months alone.
Even as the UK’s most influential person in the UK call centre industry, Martin is clearly a strong and very convincing supporter of using social media channels as a means of offering good service to customers. He is fully on board with the advancement and utilisation of new Internet technologies.
Martin points out that service follows sales, and that in order to actually be there for your customers, brands now must be available on social media – and be there to engage in a timely manner with their customers.
12 out of 20 top Facebook pages of UK retailers are actively selling to followers form the site, either directly or by pushing them back to product pages on websites.
Basically, Martin’s point with this was that by offering excellent customer service via your social media channels, you will turn customers into willing brand advocates – and those brand advocates, even if they aren’t yet customers, have the potential to become customers. This presentation actually links nicely back to the concept of truth and trustworthiness as outlined in the morning’s event – get your customers to trust you (by providing good, reliable customer service), and you will nurture them into becoming paying customers.
And, similarly, if you deal with a customer complaint on social media very proficiently, then the customer you’ve helped will openly and very publicly praise you for your help, and their endorsement will become even stronger than if they were to have not had to complain at all.
What we took away from Martin’s teachings is that emphasising the importance and value of providing customer service through social channels is exactly how we can convince brands that there definitely is a tangible ROI for social media beyond mere audience acquisition.
The Social Journey – Turning Fans into Customers – Comufy
Presented by London-based social media specialists Comufy, the preferred Facebook Marketing Developer for both pages and apps.
This event offered some really interesting and useful insights into the use of Facebook, with Comufy Social Media Management System (SMMS) and Comufy Notify tools being the two tools that immediately caught our attention.
The former is a social media management tool that enables organisations to securely publish to multiple social networks, manage all customer engagement, and analyse social media impact and conversions – and therefore ROI. The latter, on the other hand, is an app that allows brand app developers to send personalised notifications to users of new content, offers, and other apps – therefore helping them to better reach out to and stay in touch with their audience.
Focusing mainly on the use of Facebook apps and their relevance to CRM on the platform, Comufy offered insights into how to keep fans engaged long after the novelty of a new campaign has worn off.
Phil Mohr, Comufy’s CEO, also touched on customer/social fan profiling in his presentation, as well as how brands are able to utilise and eventually monetise the data that can be gathered through the use of social media.
There’s lots still to be learned about the ever-changing Facebook API, and there are brands out there who are really taking advantage of the opportunity to be as creative as possible with their campaigns.
Nosh: The Social Business of Food
This session explored the use of social media.
First up was Great British Chefs CEO, Ollie Lloyd, who reviewed the three golden rules that they had come up with last year. He also explained how these rules had changed and grown together with their knowledge of social media, and that they had now become:
- Make it look good – Create it with love
- Make worthy of sharing – Keep it interesting and mix it up
- Open up conversation – Listen to your community and follow them
He then explained how they had grown their Facebook Fans from 100 to 86k over the last year, and now have a more engaged audience on Facebook than major players like Jamie Oliver and BBC Good Food.
Next up was Kath Ludlow from Bright Stuff Communications, who talked about one of their clients, Moolis (who also provided a delicious lunch afterwards!). One of the points that resonated with us the most from this presentation was that they had taken social listening so seriously that this listening had actually influenced the company’s branding.
Finally, we heard from Nick Holzherr, Co-Founder of Whisk – and Apprentice contestant. His end point caused quite a bit of controversy in the room as he spoke about the need to demonstrate clear ROI on social media, with members of the audience countering that it simply wasn’t possible to properly measure ROI of social media across multi-channel campaigns.
However with a quick show of hands, Nick was vindicated, with the majority of the audience raising a hand to show their agreement with his point that it was possible to demonstrate ROI in even just a small way – and that we should continue to try and measure it.
ACCELerate™ Your Social Media
Social media expert John Coupland gave a concise step by step guide to the use of Twitter and LinkedIn for small business, expressing the importance of creating a personal network on and offline.
John also gave instruction on some of the more potent tools he had come across while carving a niche for himself in the social sphere. His five crucial ACCELerators™ give small business owners and entrepreneurs alike the implements they need to maximise their social penetration and capitalise on the networks built through social media.