I’m a community manager – a brand new one in fact. In the past 6 months I’ve learned more about customer service than I have in any other job. Engaging and interacting with a myriad of people throughout the day is what keeps my job interesting, but it can also be stressful when the community starts to fall apart. Now that I’m on the other side of customer service, I’ve learned a few things about interacting with a brand’s community manager when I have an issue.
We walk among you.
Like I stated previously, I’m a community manager and when asked what I do for a living, I often leave it at that: I’m a community manager. I don’t like going into detail about the company I work for because it’s important to me that the brand stays a brand and I stay a community manager. I don’t want to be personally associated with the brand’s voice or online personality. I wear a mask and I’m okay with that because it’s not about getting credit for my work – it’s about giving the brand a consistent personality. In essence, you really don’t know the person behind the screen. It’s very easy to complain to a stranger online and even become aggressive but there’s still a person behind that brand. She may be goofy and balancing a pencil on her nose, but she’s the first line of defense between your anger and the full customer service team.
We’re not the end all.
Community managers often don’t have all of the answers. We can’t always tell you exactly when your order is ready, when a credit will show up on your bill, when your favorite product will be in your specific store or if that shirt comes in blue. Sometimes we have to go through legal, HR, shipping, PR… your issue can lead me down a path that may take a couple of days, so stay tuned and remember that a community manager wears many different hats but can’t always give you the answer right away.
Patience is a virtue.
I often wonder what’s happened in the past to some customers by the time they get to me. Facebook can be the last resort to many customers who have tried more direct channels to get service and feel out of control by the time they get to me. As a result, I get to sort through emotions, threats, and demands to get it done or lose a customer. Whether a customer erupts or is polite, I will take care of his or her issue. The difference? I’ll be more eager to help those that are calm and can provide me with the details. It requires less back and forth and more time to reach out to the proper department.
All in all, I love my job and being on this side of customer service has made it easier for me to interact with community managers when I’m upset with a brand. Stay calm, provide as much detail as possible, and your question will be answered sooner than you think!
The Weather Channel created some buzz this week with their Tornado Week interns. They recreated the feeling of extremely high winds in a small office of interns surrounded by random knick-knacks – streamers flapping in the breeze, indoor plants blowing about, a pinwheel spinning out of control and a package of Oreos seemingly unaffected by the wind. At least they provided the interns with nourishment…
The winds were powered by Tweets that mentioned #TornadoWeek. The more times it was mentioned, the higher the winds grew. And the Weather Channel claimed they’d recreate the feeling of an EF-5 Tornado if they reached 1,000,000 #TornadoWeek mentions (which unfortunately never came to fruition). The best part was that you could watch the live feed of the Weather Channel interns while the mentions rolled in!
If the Weather Channel truly wanted to reach 1MM mentions, they should have been promoting this through more channels than just Twitter. Taking into account just one other social media channel, the Weather Channel Facebook page wasn’t promoting the intern Twitter-powered wind tunnel. And Tornado Week should have had a Facebook page of its own, which should also have been promoting the event! They could have done “click-to-watch” mobile banner ads on the Weather Channel’s App, or just across mobile in general. Or how about display banners that drove users to the live feed? I’m not sure if they promoted the event on the Weather Channel on TV; I sure hope they did, because if they didn’t then I’m not sure what they were thinking – that’s OWNED media! FREE!
I can understand if the Weather Channel didn’t want to or didn’t have the ability to put a large amount of funding behind a huge digital or mobile media push, but then they should have at least used their own social channels to promote the event. And they should have set the bar lower: making the goal 1MM mentions just made the entire event look unimportant and appear as if it were a silly stunt that they never believed would succeed, since they didn’t end up anywhere near 1MM. They didn’t give consumers any reason to pay attention. Employing a more holistic approach to media (be it paid, social, earned or owned) always makes for a farther reach and impact. Who knows what kind of numbers they could have reached if they had just put a little more fuel (or wind…) behind promoting it.
Videos are quickly becoming the preferred way to view ads, and it’s no secret that’s where the industry is headed. Over the past few weeks I’ve been checking out a ton of video ads lately and I thought several of them where worthy of emailing to friends. However; after about 20 minutes, I realized that email would be massive. So, I figured why not put together a list here for everyone to see.
Here are a few great video ads. Which one is your favorite?
1. Carlsberg Puts Friends to the Test
2. Budweiser: The Buddy Cup
3. Code School
4.Oreo Separator Machine #1 – Creator: Physicist David Neevel
National Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day is approaching on April 25. I don’t have children to bring with me to work yet, although my fur child, Jack, accompanies me to the office every now and then. But as I reflect on this “holiday,” I look back on the times spent at work with my father and realize that my dad wasn’t just taking his daughter to work. He was preparing her to be a confident and successful female.
I don’t think my father ever knew there was a national holiday for taking your children to work. He just knew he had a responsibility to teach me at a young age what it took him years of experience to learn. My dad started his career as a young boy working in his father’s print shop in NYC. He went on to study at The Rochester Institute of Technology and continued his career in printing and packaging for the next 30 plus years. Because of his love for the industry, I probably looked at an empty cereal box much differently than most children. No paper carton crossed my path without being broken down and inspected for print quality, color accuracy and glue application.
My earliest memory of going to work with my dad brings me back to the age of five. He didn’t just doll me up and bring me into the office to show his precious daughter off to his coworkers. He brought me in to learn. I’d find myself doing anything from organizing files, to inspecting cartons coming off the press. During one of my first trips to his office, I remember telling him that I thought the office could use some higher quality toilet paper in their employee restrooms (I was a picky child). Before I knew it, he had me writing a letter to the janitor about my concerns, with a call to action to replace the standard rolls with plush Charmin paper products. That was my first lesson in persuasive business writing.
From designing and creating my own box carton for a geometry project in high school, to attending dinner meetings with clients, my father went above and beyond to teach me the principles of business. My parents would host annual company holiday parties at our home, where he’d place me at the front door to shake the hands of the C-level hot shots, greeting them without hesitation and offering to take their coats. He would invite me to come along to dinner interviews at the nicest steakhouses in town to scope out prospective salesmen. He would even bring me along to client lunch meetings where he would hash out customer complaints and provide solutions that insured business for the future. Now that’s customer service training at its finest!
In my lifetime, women in business have drastically changed. I believe my dad could see that the male dominated business landscape was under construction and wanted me to be a part of its renovation. In just the last twelve years, women-owned businesses have increased by 59%. And thanks to parents like mine, that number will continue to grow.
Because of my father, I studied Business Administration with a focus in Marketing at the College of Charleston. Because of my father, interviews don’t intimidate me. Because of my father, I don’t believe in glass ceilings. I’m now finding my way as a young 20-something businesswoman in the world of advertising. And I owe my dad a big thanks for teaching me the true Principles of Business not even the finest college professors could have taught me.
How do you raise over 2 million dollars within 11 hours? First you need to have a pretty great cause. Second, you need a lot of supporters. And third, you probably need an innovative fundraising tool, such as www.kickstarter.com.
Since the third and final season of Veronica Mars ended in 2007, fans have been rallying for creator, Rob Thomas, to make a movie. The suspenseful, yet witty teenage sitcom captivated teens everywhere and I must admit, I finally got sucked in my sophomore year of college watching re-runs. When I saw on Facebook that there was a huge push for a movie, I almost cried. Just kidding…but seriously.
When I visited The Veronica Mars Movie Project Kickstarter Campaign page the morning it launched, I was shocked to see funds increasing by the second as they reached the first million dollars before lunch. Originally their goal was to reach $2 million in thirty days. But since the campaign launched, supporters have donated over $4.3 million in less than three weeks.
Although the show has some pretty legit fans, fans with deep pockets to say the least, I think the success of this campaign can really be attributed to the viral explosion on Facebook and Twitter in combination with an effective way to get the audience involved through Kickstarter.
Since the site’s launch in 2009, more than 3.7 million people have pledged over $548 million, funding more than 38,000 creative projects. Thousands of creative projects are raising funds on Kickstarter right now. Together, with social media, this was a home run. By bringing fans in to fund the project, there is a sense of ownership and accountability. People are more inclined to donate their hard earned money when they feel like it is going to a place it belongs. Now, Rob Thomas has to produce something valuable and worthy of their support. Or else he has $4 million dollars worth of disappointed fans.
What do you think of Kickstarter? Would you donate your own money to make your favorite TV show into a movie?