Social CRM in the News: Hurricane Isaac Tests Gulf Coast Emergency Communications
August 28, 2012
As the citizens on the Gulf coast of Louisiana braced for Hurricane Isaac to come ashore on August 28, the concerns about safety of citizens were numerous as were the opportunities for Social CRM to play a critical role. The devastation of Hurricane Katrina was still on the minds of the citizens of New Orleans, but the substantial increase in the penetration of social, mobile and digital media has dramatically changed the way the area prepares for the worst. Disasters – both in the preparation for the storm and during the clean-up – are tailor made for using Social CRM tactics.
The city of New Orleans set up a NOLA Ready website and @nolaready (Twitter account) to get information out as soon as it became available. In a story about social media and Hurricane Isaac, “PR Daily” noted, “Some of the direct responses to citizens have come from the mayor’s Twitter account, often with the intent of correcting misinformation. The NOLA Ready account has mostly been answering questions about closings and transit changes.” The twitter account and the city’s website was also used to keep citizens informed of dangerous situations, missing people and critical services after the storm had hit.
Being able to determine where citizens prefer to get their news about the storm – twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, mobile text messages or specially designated websites – is Social CRM 101. Just as emergency plans and rescue can be enhanced by these media, companies can also use Social CRM to inform customers on the location and availability of such items as emergency generators, bottled water and non-perishable foods. Emergency officials expect that Social CRM will help save property and most importantly lives before, during and after Hurricane Isaac.
Does anyone ever use the Facebook app from their iPhone or iPad? It’s slower, it doesn’t look the same; it almost seems archaic when compared to other mobile apps. Knowing that the future of Facebook depends on having a strong mobile presence, the social network dominators went to work and last Thursday released a new version of Facebook for iOS.
By looking at the cover of things, the average Facebook user won’t notice a difference, but when one takes a look inside one can see the pages have been completely rewritten. The change: Facebook for iOS is no longer wrapped in HTML mobile web view, it’s written in Objective C, the iOS’s native codebase.
So what the heck does all the mean? Basically it means the the Facebook mobile app now loads faster, is easier to navigate, doesn’t pause when trying to load more news items, news feeds and notifications can be viewed in real time, and the likes and comments appear more seamlessly. Oh, and for all you avid iPaders, the Facebook timeline is now working. So it will look and feel more normal.
I can see the future and I see that Facebook is definitely going to be a part of it. Grab your phone or tablet and check out the new version for yourself right here.
- Katie Cohen, Junior Copywriter
Social CRM in the News: Augusta National Invites its First Two Women Members
August 24, 2012
Quick. Look out the window. See any pigs flying by? Stranger things have just happened because the Augusta National Country Club, which has had an all-male membership since its opening in 1932, has decided to invite it first two women members – financier Darla Moore and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
This is good news for women who will someday be allowed to play on one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. They just need to be invited in a foursome that includes Moore and Rice! It’s also great news for the manufacturers of golf equipment and apparel, especially if these companies understand social CRM tactics.
So, what does social CRM have to do with Darla and Condi being invited to be members at Augusta? By inviting these two women, the sport will reap the benefits of the sweet spot in potential golfer – junior golfers who are young women. The most efficient way to communicate with these women is through smartphones and social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest using social CRM.
Well known golf industry consultant, Nancy Berkley, notes that “based on the most current information from the National Golf Foundation, the number of female golfers increased slightly in 2011 over 2010. Female golfers ages 6 and older represent about 22% of golfers in the U.S.” She also notes that the tween and teen girls who play golf offer the most potential for becoming long term players. These groups are excellent targets for social CRM programs.
Removing the antiqued barriers to women playing golf or driving race cars or even refereeing NFL football games is great for these sports because it shows that women are invited to the party. Smart sporting goods and apparel companies that use social CRM tools to track customer buying preferences and social media habits will have a distinct advantage with this huge group of young women golfers who want to follow in the footsteps of women such as Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore who love the sport.
- Art Young, Client Development
Photo credit: blogging2fun3200.blogspot.com via Dill on Pinterest
A long, long time ago when I was just a young schoolgirl, we searched for books using an archaic library system (The Dewey Decimal!) and used things called encyclopedias to do research reports and the word “application” meant a form you filled out to apply for something. In my later years (circa the 7th grade) the invention of cell phones took off and me and every other kid on the block had a sweet Nokia brick. These cellular devices were good for talking and texting (if you knew how) and that was about it. You couldn’t even access the internet from these things – Crazy I know. Nothing about cell phones fit into learning and were therefore usually banned from most classrooms. “I don’t want to hear or see it, and if I do, then it’s mine,” was the familiar speech given by all teachers.
Skip ahead a few years to the present where cell phones and other mobile devices are not only allowed in classrooms and lecture halls but are being praised by teachers and professors as invaluable learning tools. As we embark on another exciting school year, I would like to share with you my favorite apps for students of all ages.
Let’s start off at the beginning with preschool to elementary school students. During these early years, children are developing vital learning skills like reading and writing and it is so vital to their future education that they master these skills at this young age. To help the little pupils excel, the appstore offers great apps like Read Comprehension, which helps build your child’s reading comprehension skills with a variety of topics to read about, from the Solar System to Sportmanship, they’ve got it all. The app also provides follow-up questions to challenge your child’s comprehension skills. Another great app, Super Why, allows kiddos to dive into interactive literacy games feet first. With characters like Alpha Pig, Princess Presto and Wonder Red, learning will be a ball. Super Why covers all your literary bases, with the alphabet, rhyming, spelling, writing, and reading. I also suggest nurturing your child’s creativity with apps that let their imagination soar like Princess Fairy Tale Maker and Monster Physics.
Jumping ahead to the teenage years, here are a few apps that will make high school a breeze. Is your child a bit stressed about taking one of the most important tests of their lives: the SAT? Fear not, check out the SAT Vocab – Mind Snacks app and put that SAT in check. And to help your high schooler steer through those tougher courses, download apps like iMathematics, Vernier Video Physics; and Shakespeare – which comes equipped with everything from Hamlet to A Midsummer’s Night Dream, and 39 other plays, 154 sonnets and six poems. Some apps can even save you money, like the PocketCas Lite app which turns your phone into a serious graphing calculator for FREE (a $139 value).
Moving onto the college years, where kids are trying to juggle a full load of demanding classes, internships, part-time jobs and a social life in their free time. The biggest issue for these young adults is just trying to keep up with it all. With apps like gFlash and Evernote, students will be able to keep up with their intense and busy study schedules. gFlash allows users to create and edit their own set of flashcards. With no limits on the number of cards they can create and features like reverse Q&A and support for multiple choice questions, this app is sure to put the flashcard business to shame. And with college come research projects, lots of research projects, that’s where the app Evernote steps in. This amazing app allows students to take notes, record audio, and even stores documents. Did I mention it also syncs between all capable devices? With these simple to use apps, your students will be on top of their college game.
And I even have something for you adults who love to continue learning, and discovering new things every day. To enrich your lives with new knowledge that will set you apart from the rest, check out my two favorite learning apps: TED and Stitcher Radio. The TED app is compiled of the well-known TED talks which present seminars from the most fascinating people from all aspects of the professional world. And Stitcher Radio is a streaming app that features podcasts from NPR and WSJ.
So sorry Pink Floyd, we DO need an education and from early childhood to mature adulthood, these innovative apps are a great resources for getting one. Learn on my friends, learn on.
Yesterday I read on Mashable that Facebook has now “trumped” Yahoo as the Internet’s second most popular video site (with Google owned YouTube coming in first, of course). My first thought was, “People still use Yahoo?”
But the stats don’t lie. As comScore tells it, Yahoo got 49 million video visitors last month while Facebook saw 52 million users watching video content. Google/YouTube played 157 million unique videos. So while Facebook still has quite a way to go to be the top video watching site, all this business with Yahoo got me thinking.
Even though Facebook had more unique visitors last month, more videos were watched on Yahoo at a not-too-shabby 625 million. Obviously somewhere out there, a lot of people are using Yahoo. Although these stats flabbergasted me, they gave me reason to pause and reflect on my thoughts about who does what and what’s “in.” My thoughts about Yahoo’s lack of usership were based solely on assumptions based on my own behavior and that of my peer group. This is a great case study for working with brands because so many times we make the assumption that a target market thinks and behaves like we think and behave. While Yahoo may not be may favorite site for news, videos, or anything really, people out there are using it. The next time I think I know how a group of people acts or the tools they use, I’ll be more diligent about doing my research to make sure the basis for my argument is not based solely on an opinion.
- Sarah Toler, Creative Director
Design Series: Retro Lunch Time
August 19, 2012
School is back in session, so I thought this week we’d throw out a nod to retro lunchboxes. I love the simplicity of these classic styles. We need to get a collection going here in the Pocketstop office. Anyone have something they want to throw in?
Feeling like something is missing now that the Olympics games are over in London? Well, cheer up mate – Shark Week is here. Yes, just the perfect dose of high jumping, jaw biting action to cure your post-Olympic blues. Not only is it another epic week of catching out-of-this-world footage and hearing amazing survivor stories, but it is also the 25th Anniversary of the Discovery Channel phenomenon. And to celebrate Shark Week has gone digital, from totally sweet 3-D apps to interactive social convos – you’ll be in a media feeding frenzy for the next week.
With shows like Sharkzilla and Air Jaws: Apocolypse Reloaded, you don’t want to miss any of the action. To help you stay afloat, The Discovery Channel has put together the Shark Week Plus app. This live feed will take you behind the scenes and comes packed with incredible shark facts, quizzes, polls, and photos. From tooth to fin, the Shark Week Plus app has you covered. So sink your teeth into 24/7 Shark Week indulgence by going to discovery.com right now and download the app.
To further bait you in, The Discovery Channel is also offering the Ultimate Sharks app. This outrageous app gives the viewer insights into the science of shark behavior. From 3-D interactive sharks that you can control with your fingertips – make them swim, hunt, and attack prey to tales of real life encounters in Attack Stories.
And for you serious Shark Week enthusiasts, you can take a bite out of the conversation with Facebook and Twitter. With over 11 million Facebook friends and the already viral #sharkweek hashtag, you can guarantee some juicy discussions. Some of my personal favorite tweets so far are: “ #sharkweek drinking game,” and, “they should have a reality show called #sharkweek meets The Jersey Shore.” Also, while on Facebook you can play along with Shark Week Bingo live as you watch the interactive episodes.
So I think it’s safe to say that The Discovery Channel won’t be jumping the shark anytime soon with the way they made this Shark Week bigger and better and more exciting than ever before. Happy shark watching to all.
If you think she sounds like a pretty popular woman, you’re right. She’s so popular that she’s just been given her own show on FOX, The Mindy Project. So where did the bright minds at FOX come up with the idea to give Mindy her own show? Rumor has it that it was the power of Twitter that started it all. She has triple the followers of her The Office costar Steve Carell with a whopping 1.8 million followers, plus, she’s super engaged on the platform: 76% of her tweets include an @mention to another Twitter user.
So what does all of that have to do with her landing her own show? Joe Earley, the head of marketing and communications at FOX knows a star when he sees one tweet. In a recent article about Mindy, Fast Company said that Joe “knows the power of social media and how it can help a show.”
So for a pretty kick a$$ case study in how to do Twitter and do it right, follow @MindyKaling. Don’t worry, even though you’ll be laughing, it’s still considered “research.”
The other day I was on the phone with my mom and she was going on and on about the problems she is having with her new mattress. She told me how she and my dad had picked out a great mattress from one of those home shopping channels, we’ll call it CVQ for now, but when it was delivered she noticed the mattress had two defective box springs. Right away, my mother picked up the phone and called CVQ to talk to customer service, but they told her she would have to call the mattress company, then the mattress company told her she would have to call the delivery company. Long story short, my mom was given the ol’ run around and nothing was getting accomplished. After telling me all this, I recommended that she post her complaint on CVQ’s Facebook wall. I explained that posting something for their 1 million fans to see might help you get the kind of customer service that they pride themselves on. We, as consumers want our needs (and complaints) heard and social media acts as our megaphone. No more having to call and wait on the phone, or take the time to write a complaint letter. Things have changed. The ball is in the consumer’s court.
I guess the most expected question to this new form of complaining would be, does it work? Does it create change? Does reading your post compel the brand to follow up and do whatever it takes to turn you into a happy, loyal customer? Well in my parent’s case, yes CVQ delivered her new mattress within the week – hassle free. And as a manager of social communities I have experienced this new voice-of-the-consumer revolution first hand and I would say yes, using social media as a vehicle for the consumer to get the attention of the brand does work. When a complaint or unsatisfactory review is posted on one of my brand’s pages, I take action, immediately. I call the brand and let them know what was said and they tell me how to address it, which is usually by first, giving our most sincere apologies and then offering them some sort of deal or offer to bring them back to the brand.
Back in April of this year, a survey was done where 2,000 UK resident were polled about their use of social media. The results showed that 65 percent of these people believed social media was a better way to communicate with companies. In other words, social media has finally allowed for 2-way communication between consumer and brand or company. I myself experienced this sense of empowerment just the other day. I had unsuccessfully tried to return a pair of shoes that did not fit and after feeling unsatisfied that I would have to keep a pair of shoes that I would never wear and couldn’t do anything about it, I turned to social media. I went on to this shoe brand’s page and posted my issue. Within the hour I had been contacted with an address of where to send the shoes and the receipt and a promise that the money spent on the shoes would be back in my bank account within three days. Mission accomplished: shoes returned, money back and smile on my face. Thanks Facebook.
A fellow consumer, Peter Davis agrees that Twitter and Facebook are a great tool for means of venting our issues with brands and services. Mr. Davis complained on Twitter after he bought a computer online only for a microwave to be delivered to his Brighton home.
“This was preferable to calling their customer services line and being put on hold for inordinate length of time listening to pulsating dance music,” he says.
As you can see this idea of VIP treatment is spreading and I can’t speak for all brands, but for myself, my parents, Mr. Davis, and all the brands I represent, social media can bring a brand and it’s consumer much closer.
- Katie Cohen, Junior Copywriter
Design Series: Street Art, Literally
August 2, 2012
These unique pieces are great examples of how art is just as much about creativity as it is talent. Can’t you imagine some great ways to integrate this type of art into experiential campaigns?