The Social Contact Centre

to a social networking way of working through the eyes of a Contact Centre manager

Flexing your social muscles

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So you’ve built up a healthy size of community through a concerted recruitment effort. You have a few hundred Twitter followers and a ton of friends on Facebook. You’ve got a blog going where a few people visit every day and check out your latest wisdom… So what?

The single greatest challenge in Social Media is the “so what?” question. Until you can answer it, the sceptics are dead right in their assertion that Social Media is merely a fad. How can you prove that all that effort is worthwhile. I discussed earlier the concept of Return on Influence rather than Return on Investment but, whatever you measure or call it, at some point you need action.

Klout and other similar measures are great but they are a leap of faith – they are a metaphor but nothing more. As an example, my personal Klout score (based predominantly on Twitter) has fallen from 43 in mid-May to 40 now in mid-June. During that time my followers have increased steadily. What has changed is the type and nature of my activity. In mid-May I was lobbying on a local activity which involved engagement with followers. Last week I was on holiday and didn’t tweet at all. Now I have returned I am back in a steady but balanced pattern of activity. You can’t be shouty and acquisitive all the time, and your community will not thank you for it if you are – you could easily lose friends and followers as a result. What you do need to know is that when you want to do something, people will hear. So what can you do?

1. Make a note of when things work well. I know clearly what was happening when my Klout score was at 43. I know the types of tweets that people liked and the way to drive up engagement when I want to. Remember the good times, not just the scores.

2. Take the opportunity to ask questions or run polls. You may think you know the answer but questions are a really easy way to test the water. Ask a question several times in different ways and different times – what works best for your community? When are they listening and when do they have the time to answer? If you ask the question in lots of ways and get nothing back the chances are you’ll get the same response when it really matters.

3. Take time to analyse your community using the free tools that are available. Out of the big number, how many are active – when did they last update their status? When was their last tweet? How close are they to you, your companies locations etc? How many are competitors, suppliers, spammers and volume acquirers rather than potential customers? Can you work out how many real ‘engageable’ members there are to your community?

4. Develop industry-related content and gauge the reaction to it. This takes away the brand-related element from the debate and checks whether it is “you or your brand”. For example, an independent retailer in the current climate could generate content based around original blogging, tweeting and retweeting discussing the current state of Britain’s high streets and the impact of the Portas review. The community may more readily engage with non-brand specific thoughts and ideas than they would with your own latest offers and promotions. This is an interesting way to approach the challenge. It sets a benchmark of what could be achieved and creates a vehicle for gently introducing your brand through sharing experiences and relevant material.

5. Consider crowdsourcing solutions. Use private messaging and DMs to ask individuals their opinions. Ask them what they thought of your tweets or status updates.

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Written by greencontact

June 11, 2012 at 10:14 am

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