The Social Contact Centre

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

Posts Tagged ‘klout

Metrics for Social Commerce success

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Infographic courtesy Bazaarvoice

I really believe that at the end of every working day it is important to know whether you are winning or losing. It’s a viewpoint that ensures you stop doing pointless things and push harder on the things that work. When times are tough it puts it in perspective if you can look back at previous victories and can see that the current challenges are only on the journey to something good – showing the light at the end of the tunnel. Fundamental to this are very clear objectives and targets.

Social media is no different . We’re putting in the effort for a reason and it is important to understand, and more specifically for our bosses to understand, what the return looks like. I’ve blogged previously to indicate that the Social Media metric is Return on Influence. The emphasis on monetising social media is spawning the term social commerce.

In my mind the challenge is to think of social media as a channel. With my contact centre manager hat on I am used to understanding the return on investment of my activities. My clients understand their customers and they believe that the right balance of cost and service for their customers is to target me on answering 80% of their calls within 20 seconds for example. I know that to achieve this Erlang calculations tell me the number of people I need to have answering telephone calls at each part of the day. I can calculate my total costs by considering the amount of shrinkage I need to allow for holidays, sickness, lieu days, training, toilet breaks etc. Looking at it from the client’s side I can consider the value of each sale they make and the conversion rate against inbound calls. By factoring in the margin they make on each item I can work out a return on their investment in my contact centre. The important thing about inbound activities, whether they are telephone, white mail, web chat or email is that they are demand driven. In a purely inbound world the handle on the sausage machine turns and 1000 contacts produces x number of orders and so x number of products need to be manufactured to meet the demand. The emphasis in call centre operations these days is to minimise cost through first time resolution and to focus on customer satisfaction (which may require a few more touch points).

Social media turns the model on its head because, used well, it seeks out the conversation. I will discuss the merits of cars many times more than I will contact an automotive company’s help line. The challenge for automotive manufacturers is to build a relationship with me so that when the time comes to monetise my interest I understand the brand. It is much, much more complex though because I have a part to play in the influence of others too. Everyone likes to be seen as a clever consumer and so we tend to think that the car we drive/the holiday we chose/the clothes we wear were the best choices and we rate them accordingly. Bazaarvoice research as indicated by the infographic shows the difference between the Millennials (those born between 1981 and 2000 also known as Generation Y) and the Baby Boomers (1946-1964) in the importance of User Generated Content to their purchasing decisions. The bottom line is that the smart social commerce players want the potential purchasers of the car I drive to talk to me about my experiences, not send them a brochure.

So coming back to targets, the objective of the social commerce practitioner is to create and grow a carefully focussed community and to groom it with a light touch. Whereas my contact centre with its traditional channels is governed by demand, the perfect community would be the place where THE conversations happen. Only the Community Manager fully understands that the Community exists, its scale and its influence because it is built on layers of blogs, websites, Twitter feeds, Pinterest pages, and Facebook pages. Original content is created to feed the interest of participants but also the movers and shakers will participate. Taking the automotive example, it’s a big day when Jeremy Clarkson comments on your blogpost. And here is a further challenge; while it may be a great day if he likes what you have to say, woebetide it if he decides that today is the day to vent his spleen. Of course Mr Clarkson is subject to social pressure too – he wants to be seen building brand Clarkson by being Clarkson-esque but carrying some serious weight too. If your offer great cars and great service he is going to face a backlash if he decides to buck the trend.

I like to think of social media like water. It is a very precious resource that needs protecting and keeping pure but it is also an unpredictable natural resource – you will never master it. At best you can protect against the extreme damage and channel it to provide benefits in a wide range of ways but knowing that your best laid plans at some point have to change due to either drought or flood.

Initially your community of customers will be hugely grateful for the supply of fresh water you have provided for them to bathe, drink, create water features, enjoy as a natural spectacle, fish, swim, sail etc The moment you become complacent however they will start to scrutinise what you are doing more closely and challenge the price and service you provide!

So, at the end of today, how well are you managing the water? Market research is a key measure which indicates how well you are doing. You will never get the precision of knowing that a particular advertisement played well but the brand perception should move in accordance with your activities. There will be instances where the influence of social media can be captured precisely. Within the contact centre we regularly capture which specific advertising treatment triggered the purchase and the same crude mechanism could identify those customers who are following on Twitter for example. The customer database will grow with today’s name address, telephone number and email address being appended with Twitter name. Permission to contact by mail with carefully chosen offers could be altered to requesting permission to “friend” on Facebook.

Your customer satisfaction scores should also improve if you are proactively listening and engaging rather than relying on them getting in touch for help. Associated with this will be the day-to-day little wins – the new customer who takes the time to explain that the reason they are purchasing was a positive review they saw on Amazon or recommendations from Twitter followers.

The growth of PeerIndex, Klout and other social influence scores are becoming more and more relevant as they add social media platforms and work on the weightings and measures they use. I can see a day when Klout (or its future equivalent) is a reliable and meaningful metric that social commerce practitioners can treat in the same way a FTSE 100 board treat the share price. Accordingly I can see the time approaching where industry publications publish a regular index. In case you think it is a long way off, have a look at Dachis Group’s Social Business Index page http://www.socialbusinessindex.com/

 

Written by greencontact

October 22, 2012 at 3:21 pm

And the winner of #Euro2012 is… @AdidasUK

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Last Sunday, the Euro 2012 football tournament had a thrilling climax with a 4-0 win for Spain over Italy. The event was momentous because in doing so Spain broke a number of records -first team to defend the title, highest winning margin in a final, first team to win three major tournaments in a row… This was a big event with Twitter reporting that when the fourth Spanish goal went in there were more than 15,000 tweets per second beating the previous record for a sporting event of just over 12,000 for the last three minutes of February’s Superbowl. There were 16.5 million tweets worldwide during the Spain vs Italy match. What this means is that this is a hotspot for anyone looking to promote or gain followers. If you have anything to say about football or to the following demographic you need to be there.

After my earlier post about the Formula 1 social media activity I thought I would check on what the some of the Euro 2012 global sponsors did with the event.

Adidas

They made a magnificent effort. Their @adidasUK site was tweeting throughout the final. They linked their new #takethestage Olympic ad by trailing its launch after the final whistle. They also ran a promotion based on offering a discount on the online store according to the number of goals scored. Overall the site retweets relevant sporting comment and is highly interactive. They are a really good example of a joined up strategy.

Canon

Compare Adidas’s work with that of Canon. The @CanonUKandIE site hasn’t tweeted since March. @Canon – the official web communications site has NEVER tweeted. I couldn’t find a single tweet during the final. You would have thought they could have made excellent work of Instagram with some great live action shots – especially via their @Canon_Camera site. A real missed opportunity

Castrol

A similar story to Canon – The @CastrolUK site hasn’t tweeted since February. The US sites seem to be very integrated with motor racing enthusiasts but I couldn’t find a comment on Euro 2012. Interestingly there is a trace of previous specialist Castrol sites set up for previous tournaments

Coca Cola

The @Coca-ColaGB site is doing a very good and personal job tracking the Olympic torch relay – another of their sponsorships. The main @cocacola is a massive multilingual undertaking which congratulated Spain on Sunday but there was very little other comment

Continental

A mixed bag for @ContiUK. The team did a good job with regular tweeting about the event and competitions running alongside it – guessing the scores and spot the ball. Strangely silent on Sunday though which was a missed opportunity for them.

This isn’t all the global sponsors by any means – merely the first five alphabetically. You could also argue that of the ones listed Adidas is the most directly associated with the sport. However, my response would be that Social Media offers an excellent way for any brand to have their say – anyone can tweet during the final and use the hashtags.  The work of @AdidasUK is obvious from their Klout scores over the period. They raised their overall Klout score from 71.66 at the start of the tournament to 73.44 at the end. The main driver for this was their Klout True Reach – this measure takes out all the spam and bots and looks at the real people who act on AdidasUK content. This went up from 69,995 to an astonishing 93,239.  Another interesting characteristic is that there is a clear build up to England’s game with Italy on 24th June. All stats dropped off immediately after the game but the team at @AdidasUK did a really good job of building them back up again and they have a legacy from the event to work with.

We have the 2012 Olympics coming and Twitter are expecting many records to be broken during them (social media as well as athletic). Coca Cola are already on the ball with this but how are Acer, ATOS, GE, Visa and P&G coping?

 

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.

Written by greencontact

June 11, 2012 at 10:14 am

SM Influence – myth or reality?


So the focus of social networking for business is influence: to move The Pile. Defining influence, if it even exists, is harder. Celebrities clearly have influence. In early 2011, 50 Cent allegedly made $10m when he suggested followers should buy into a stock that he had a holding in. Even outside the social world an endorsement from celebrities can drive up sales of products -whether its Delia Smith using a kitchen device or books featured on daytime TV. All well and good but these are individuals wielding their power, not companies. Some celebrities’ presence on social media is now being controlled by management companies purely for this reason.

Lets assume we don’t have a celebrity on hand – what does influence look like from a business perspective? There are tools available which attempt to measure social influence – PeerIndex and Klout are the two main ones currently. They analyse the social footprint (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, LastFM, Foursquare etc) and attempt to give a weighted scorecard and a profile to users. In Klout’s case it equates influence with the reaction of your audience – how many of your tweets are retweeted but also attempts to gauge the reaction of the most influential people by the same terms. Realistically, this isn’t a meaningful measure – it begs the question “influentual in what?”. My personal Klout score is 42 and Klout believes I’m influential, believe it or not, about Jewellery, BP and sausage. I pray that no-one associated with any of those is reliant on me to spread the word.

The connection between social media content and influence is tenuous and research results vary. Knowledge Networks The Faces Of Social Media found that social media users are 15% more likely to purchase from companies that advertise on social media. The research also showed a wide variance of impact across different categories. Other research suggests that the response rate to direct advertising is less effective than traditional direct marketing methods.

Influence is controllable by us – we can control who we follow and therefore who is likely to follow us back. We can create a target list of who we would like to be our friends and followers and create content which is likely to interest them. Influencers of us are likely to be potentially the influencers of our target audiences – journalists, local information providers, industry bodies, competitors, suppliers etc. One thing which is easy to lose track of in the virtual world is geography – in the search for numbers you end up with an audience across the world and realistically, no matter how “on topic” some of these are – they are not going to be able to help you in your objectives (they may be a gateway to others who are however). The unique nature of social media is that once the relationships are established you have a vehicle for communication several times every day. You can’t do anything until you have a network and understand it well.

How you establish relationships is a whole different subject and requires openness, creativity and eloquence.

Written by greencontact

April 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Posted in Opinion

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Social Media Customer Service – Acme widget problems

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Your community is active – you have tons of followers, friends and contacts and all is going swimmingly. Then from left field comes a complaint…what do you do? The social world is savvy and realises that Social is a pretty good way to complain in the same way that standing by the counter in a shop asking for the manager tends to have an effect. On that beautiful sunny spring day this suddenly appears on Twitter

@AcmeCustServ My widget has been broken for 5 days now. Its disgusting!

Here’s a quick checklist:

1. Do nothing in haste. Remember this is a public forum and you need to get it right. Someone else may step in and resolve the issue for you without you needing to do anything!

2. Identify the customer and treat them well. This is no different than any other customer service issue – you need to know who they are, that they are a legitimate customer and what product they own. That comparison with any other customer service issue is important. It is very easy to be too clever – the KISS principle applies here too. Treat it as a complaint – apologise and ask for a bit more information. Taking ownership of the situation in the customer’s eyes is invaluable. Social Media can be a great way to demonstrate the quality of your customer service in an open forum. You can also share resolutions which will save you some customer service cost for other customers with the same issue.

Lets assume this isn’t a quick fix. The customer will either come back to a fair question with the information you need (by private means email or DM if needed) or potentially just become belligerent. If the customer is happy to talk, the right answer is to resolve their concern in public (obviously not discussing any compensation or liability) or in private if it gets complicated and needs more time and space. In either case, once resolved the objective is to get an advocate willing to attest to how they have been treated in the public social forum. But what about the belligerent customer?

3. Look at influence. How many friends have they got and how likely is it that they are paying attention. If it’s a real celebrity you may need to be pragmatic and act quickly to rectify the situation; if its anyone else you need to go back to basics. The customer service principle means you treat each case on its merits and no matter how the customer behaves, if they have a point do the right thing. If they don’t have a point the crowd will work with you – they will see the unreasonable or unfair and back you up on it. The important thing is to take the conversation private if you can (ask for an email perhaps) and maintain a professional representation of your brand. Remember, there is no point in trying to suppress the situation because at least the customer is in open field, with you having an opportunity to reply, while they are talking to you. If you try and be too clever they will just pop up with their points on a blog somewhere or referring to you in hashtags.

Things are a little different if the complaint is about you but not addressed to you:

My #Acme widget has been broken for 5 days now. Its disgusting!

This is more interesting and challenging – to intervene or not to intervene? This kind of comment happens every day and its good to look at it through the customer’s eyes. If I was that exasperated I would contact the customer service team first – there’s a chance there is a case already underway. A quick check of the customer’s tweets may give some context to the problem. Of course the widget may be six years old and there is nothing you should or could do about the situation. In this instance it may be better to monitor the situation and see what happens next. The first tweet could be the last tweet on the subject (remember you’ve already checked the timeline for previous occasions). Alternatively it could be followed up by:

So’s mine. I’m now on my third #Acme widget…they are so unreliable.

In my opinion this is a sign to intervene. The tweets could actually be revealing some product issues but also could draw in a whole negative line of communication. Initially you should contact the first customer and offer to help them – make a customer service case out of it and treat it like the first case above. In these circumstances this is where you have a chance to shine. By getting in touch you are demonstrating that you are listening and wanting to help. Some of the best examples of social customer service come from prompt proactive intervention. You really have a chance to delight a customer, build your company’s service reputation and instill real loyalty. You should also look at influence. How many people are seeing this negative conversation and therefore how many more are likely to join in. How many followers/friends do these two have? Check their PeerIndex or Klout scores. You may consider putting a holding message out proactively such as:

We’re disappointed to hear we’ve got a couple of widget problems. Time for #Acme service to take control. If you have a problem call 0800 1231234 to talk to one of our engineers.

Just as important is the way you respond afterwards to any situation. Remember to feed back the outcome to the community to avoid future problems and to reinforce the brand!

We hear some people’s widgets are jamming in the current weather we are having. Remember to treat your widget with #Acmegard before the rain comes because this isn’t covered by warranty

Written by greencontact

March 13, 2012 at 9:24 am

A benevolent crowd

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Social Networking is driven by the fundamental benevolence in the participants and this can be immensely powerful. The desire for people to help each other encourages people to do a day’s work and then spend further hours helping out complete strangers. Consider this: The DIYDoctor.org.uk website offers advice for DIYers having problems with any project. Member plumbbob has helped out with advice over 1600 times and Sparx 2100 times. The IT community are used to sharing knowledge. When was the last time you actually called Microsoft or Apple with a problem rather than Google it or look through forums. Stackoverflow.com is ranked as the 64th most visited website in the UK (according to Alexa.com) and has a community of developers helping each other and gaining reputation points from their peers. Not far behind is TripAdvisor in 71st, a site that hosts 45m reviews of hotels, resorts, attractions and restaurants by benevolent travellers.

From a cult which began as forums the desire to share has now spawned sites dedicated to answering your questions regardless of topic: Yahoo Answers, Answers.Com, Quora.

So what is this benevolence based on? Clearly there is the fundamental desire to help. It is human nature to be charitable; to help someone in need. But much of this activity is on a low degree of urgency and displays a degree of self-interest too. Some other factors which appear prevalent are:

1. Gaming and competition. There are specialist providers who offer to “gamify” websites to drive up engagement. Web 2.0 is all about participation and engaging with the community. Think  about the number of engagements which are rewarded with badges or are stimulated by targets. WordPress itself reminds you of the next goal in terms of numbers of posts. TripAdvisor has badges for contributors set at a fairly low threshold. This is not really about rewarding loyalty but about stimulating usage. For many the objective of Twitter is to maximise followers. Across a range of Social Media platforms tools such as Klout and Peer Index attempt to rank and profile engagement.

2. Boasting. Particularly for the more technical skills there appears to be an element of wanting to be “seen” as a guru or expert in your field. In some of the forums there appears to be a little jousting between technical rivals even. The Stackoverflow website nakedly scores contributors with a reputation score based on volume and likes.

3. Companionship. For some the social media world has undoubtedly given them a voice which they would be shy to use as frequently or at the same volume in the “real” world. Engagement is not always about answering the question or solving the problem – there is a high level of empathy demonstrated.

4. Cost and time saving. Possibly the most important factor of all is the desire to reduce our costs and save time. Web 2.0 is a 24×7 world with vastly more expertise available than any one call centre. People understand that the contributions they are making are an investment for when they need help themselves. There are still huge numbers of “lurkers” who take without giving or are waiting for the problem to come along that they themselves can answer.

There is an undercurrent of manipulation emerging which sceptics have latched on to. TripAdvisor, in particular, has attracted negative publicity over “false reviews” which are either placed by owners or proprietors to boost rankings or by malevolent individuals looking to extort from them. Forums are regularly monitored or moderated by undercover suppliers. This is undoubtedly a threat to benevolence but Web 2.0 users are very savvy and can read between the lines more than ever before.

The true sign that benevolence is alive and well comes in the form of  Crowdfunding. Charity has long been successful asking for donations with no payback in support of worthwhile projects. Crowdfunding allows people to connect with projects and to contribute money to them in return for recognition or token gifts. Examples at the moment on http://www.crowdfunding.co.uk are unsigned artists looking for funding for their first album, charity projects, and political parties looking for funds for TV adverts. Similar platforms exist for businesses looking for equity. The difference is that inherent in the investment is a close relationship between funder and recipient from the start. The funder is providing the money directly to the individuals for a very specific project which they have an interest in – more Dragon’s Den than traditional sources of capital.

Photo: bridalwave.tv

Written by greencontact

February 6, 2012 at 10:46 am

Real Twitter reach and influence

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Most social media comment is abstract and this is the weakness in the argument so far. For the sceptics, an argument based purely on numbers of users doesn’t wash because the newspapers are full of negative comment. It can all be too easily dismissed as a fad. A very small number of articles attempt to get into the numbers and playing Devil’s Advocate is never a bad thing. Here’s my analysis of my own Twitter account @greencontact.

I have 564 followers for @greencontact and I follow about 1100 other accounts. Its objective is to gather contact centre and social media followers so that I can learn, share and influence on a personal level. My ideal goal would be thousands of followers including authors, journalists, suppliers and bloggers. On Klout my score is currently only 13 against an average for Klout of 20, and a score for my personal Twitter account of 38. My @greencontact account score is on a real recent slide from around 19. I do think it is harder to get leverage with a business account with a tight focus than it is for a personal usage where you have more “freedom to roam”. Klout thinks I am “influential” on Social Media and Business which is encouraging because on my personal account it thinks I am influential on Sausages and Jewellery (really). I am classified as an Observer – “You don’t share very much, but you follow the social web more than you let on. You may just enjoy observing more than sharing or you’re checking this stuff out before jumping in full-force”. I feel a bit aggrieved about this bit if I’m honest – like most business users it is hard to find the time to up the activity levels and it is harder to find something to say.

Over the last 90 days I have sent 79 messages, had 16 mentions, been sent 21 messages (almost all “thanks for following”), and had 18 retweets.

One of the things I do is to assign followers to lists so that I can understand geographically and by subject matter what my real audience is so that I can tailor my tweets and be more targeted. I only follow people that I would like to follow me back – no celebrities, sports stars etc – all on topic. Of my followers I know that 144 are in the UK which is not as high as I would like it to be. This is one of the challenges of Twitter profiles – I am looking for people who tweet on contact centres or social media enough to declare it as their interest in their Twitter profile AND state they are in the UK. Sometimes you have to dig through the tweets to understand what their background is. There are also 31 journalists or authors from around the world which is good – these are the pros I want to learn from. As you may expect there are around 110 suppliers or competitors (I work for an outsourcer) also. Some of these are included in the UK total figures. Overall then I am looking to grow the number of UK-based commenters on contact centres or social media who are not competitors or purely suppliers as well as journalists and authors from anywhere. I don’t want to discourage other followers but I think it is important to have a direction and measures for what you are doing in any sphere of life.

One thing is obvious – the more you put into Social Media the more you get back – I don’t tweet often enough to attract the followers and get noticed. Assuming other people use Twitter like I do i.e. they dip in and out, then typically they view maybe 200 Tweets at a time depending on the level of activity. This is one full load and maybe two or three “mores” going backwards in time on either the PC application or the iPhone app. This may be roughly an hour’s worth of tweets. Just checking the stats at the moment (8.30am in the morning), my follows have tweeted approximately 150 times in the last hour. Now bear in mind this automatically may mean I never see tweets from some parts of the world or only see North American tweets in the afternoon or if I browse the North America list – lists can really help out with this. OK, so 150 tweets in the last hour may equate to 1500 over the full day from people I follow. I am tweeting just over once every business day and so the odds are that other Twitterers like me may only actually see 10% of all tweets through their viewing habits and my tweet may not actually be in their viewing window. The chances are that only one in 7 of my tweets in the UK gets noticed by each of my followers. Of course, the most influential Twitterers may have thousands more follows and so a much smaller proportion have a chance of “connecting” with the target audience. Its worth bearing these raw stats in mind when creating posts in a business environment – they have to be effective almost like direct mail. One good point about this is that these are actually pretty good statistics – the reach of social media amongst social media users is very cost-effective. Looking on the positive side I am having something I have written read by my target audience possibly once a fortnight. This kind of analysis is vital I think. The vast numbers of social media reach come down to actually quite small figures when we begin to look at influence. One final point is that the chances of success can be improved by publishing tweets in other places. I post my tweets through my LinkedIn account and my blog.

So the next question is influence. We have already whittled down large numbers to quite small ones and this then puts the figures for retweets and mentions in the spotlight. Depending on the nature of these tweets they are the nearest approximation to influence you can get. Of course a mention may just be a “thanks for the #ff” which is courtesy rather than influence. For me retweets are the real benchmark and indicate that you are “moving the pile”. To get retweeted you must publish tweets which make sense, have immediate impact (use those characters wisely), and you need to be one of:

  • Topical – ideally news
  • Funny – again originality is key
  • A gatherer – if you find good stuff and share it you may be retweeted as the middle man
  • Hit a personal button for one Twitterer. This can be enormously effective but sometimes you write a tweet and can almost predict who will latch on to it. This comes down to knowing your audience – again the lists become increasingly important as the scale of your Twitter presence grows.

So you need to be a journalist, comedian, librarian or really skilled on a one-to-one basis. What you can’t be is bland. This is one of the criticisms from the sceptics; the “what I had for breakfast” brigade. The point is that if you tweet on that basis you may have a few conversations in your personal account but it won’t cut it in business social media.

And what if you are successful in getting retweets? What’s the prize? Its unlikely you’re going to sell anything as a result but you will attract more followers and speak to more people. Imagine you attended a trade show or conference. You will get a lot from the presentations and demonstrations but you also benefit from networking. Networks mean that you can always find something out when you need to – I discovered an excellent collaborative innovation tool through conversations on Twitter, you build your brand which in turn increases the chances of your brand being front of mind when tenders come around, you also will be in a position to hear about new opportunities sooner and get a feel for future threats or problems sooner. The big benefits are below the line, maybe not as sexy as direct marketing but full of long term benefit.

Written by greencontact

January 24, 2012 at 9:25 am