Unanswered Social Messages

Customers are turning to social media when they want to talk to brands, may it be for feedback, complaint, or an answer about their product. And waiting for a response, from a question you posted on a brand site a week ago, is one of the most frustrating things to do. This is a common thing nowadays and seems to be getting worse.

Based on the Sprout Social Index released by Sprout Social:

  • At an average, brands are publishing 4 times as many posts as they do reply.
  • Retail is one of the industries which is seeing a decrease in difference while real estate and media are the worst
  • When it comes to response times, education has the quickest while consumer goods and services are the slowest.
  • Despite the small numbers of messages being replied to, the response time is getting quicker which results to more being left unanswered.
  • Customers from Asia send three times as many messages to brands compared to Europe, Africa, and America.
  • The Middle East has the best response rate, but response time is getting longer.

The failure of many brands to establish a fully operational social communication strategy resulted to 5 out of six social messages unanswered. And these poor customer services in the US costs companies $41 billion each year. In addition to this, customers are sending twice more messages that needed a response. But what causes these things to happen?

Industries are not created equal in terms of audience engagement on social media. The largest amount of growth messages falls under the government, internet and technology, and professional services. And out of all the industries the best response rate is utilities and social media is ranked as the worst. While utilities and retail reply to about 1 in 5 messages that require a response, media/entertainment respond to only 1 in 12 of messages. Overall, the response time has increased up to 4% and response rate has dropped by 2.5%.it doesn’t mean that brands are not engaging, but rather they have chosen an imbalanced approach. The imbalanced approach industries are practicing affects not only them but also the consumers.

For better engagement start with 4 solutions:

  • Develop a holistic social customer care strategy
  • Equip yourself with the right tools to execute it
  • Actively listen and provide timely answers
  • Be authentic

Engage with your customers at each level and establish a deeper connection. Make use of the right customer service tools so tasks could be assigned accordingly and the right people can respond. Doing so could make your customers satisfied and will keep on coming back. Furthermore, it will make a greater impact and gain a competitive advantage.

Tweet Adder is Dead, Long Live Twitter

As a fervent user of tweet adder I was alarmed when a couple of weeks ago, one of my favorites social media software started to give me login errors like:


Or this one:


Like most users, the first thing I did in order to solve this problem was to see if I could resolve it myself.

A number of things can prevent the delivery of a site by a server straight into your browser.

For example:

  • A new update in my anti virus software (I use Kasperksky) might have added an extra layer of security which prevented Tweet Adder from reaching out into the open webor…
  • There was a problem with tweet adder setup that came up after a previous fix (a few weeks before)or…
  • Heaven forbids… I  forgot to send the good folks at tweet adder a check for the renewal of my license which was coming up in a month or so)

And when neither of the above could reasonably be suspected as the cause of these newly discovered problem,  I sent an email to the developers, anticipating that an immediate answer would be sitting in my inbox the next day or so, telling me that a fix was on its way… Like it usually is… or in this case was…

But I never received an answer, and no fix was ever forthcoming and thus, I suspected something more drastic was on the card…

And it was:


And thus is is… Tweet Adder is No MORE.

And it’s too bad.  I had been using this wonderful software for  years, both for my own business and that of my customers and it was a really fine piece of software…

Too fine it seems, because the very aspects of the software which made it such a wonderful tool for most of us became an evil attraction for the unscrupulous few who took advantage of its amazing features to spam the heck out of twitter and leave us all on the side road.

And this is what just happened… Because of a few, those of us who play by the book are now having to look elsewhere, and you want to know what the saddest part of this scenario is?

It’s only a question of time before the next best thing is hijacked by the same “nincompoops” (excuse my french) only for twitter to slam the breaks, yet again…

If you want to talk to me about your social marketing campaign and how I can help you, please send me an email.  Tweet Adder may be dead, but Twitter and the other social media giants are not, and there are still plenty of things we can do to help you thrive in the social media world.


Social Media Privacy! Is It Even Possible?

In a previous article, I talked about what Facebook sends to the Authorities when said authorities require information about a specific Facebook account holder. If you haven’t read this article on Online Privacy I recommend that you do as you might find the information revealing, if not shocking, which is what one our readers must have felt when she asked the following and very pertinent question:

How can we protect our Facebook account?

This is a question of such concern to so many different people that I thought I’d respond (or at least try) in a separate article.

First the bad news.  When it comes to Social Media Network Privacy, frankly, there isn’t any.  When we join Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Platforms, we inevitably end up trading our concerns for privacy protection with the realities that are part and parcel of joining such networks.

What does this mean?  When it comes to Online Privacy on Facebook, Google Plus and others, the hard truth is that there isn’t.

It is a fact that not everyone recognizes. Indeed many people remain blissfully unaware that what they write on their walls, the photos they upload, the comments they make in response to other posts, all these things become public property!  Again, have a look at the article I wrote about Facebook responses to an official subpoena and you will be amazed at the information Facebook gathers about everyone.

This should cause additional concern to any parent of kids with Facebook or other accounts.  I have had an ongoing battle with some of my kids friends about being more careful about what pictures of themselves they upload and I am still bemused that so many parents do not even know that once a picture is uploaded, it is still there for everyone to see, even for those who are not friends with the “uploader”.

You want proof?  Click on this link:  http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/174893_408250066356_872784538_n.jpg and what do you see?  A picture of Bill O’Reilly.  Now we know that Mr. O’Reilly is a public figure and has pictures of himself all over the internet, but the point I am making is that his picture is stored on a server which you can access easily without the need to enter a password if you know the address of the image, which is pretty easy to discover.

Want another proof?  Try this link:  https://scontent-lga1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10505564_882080798525892_64648810094469174_n.png?oh=ca7cd9008acffa23ddb9f641beccdb52&oe=5625EB67 which is the image url of our own facebook fanpage cover image!

This one below!SOS-Stevie


It is frankly incredible that this is even allowed when you think about the children’s online protection act which supposedly was setup to protect our kids.

The other issue with social media network is that recently, spammers have been able to hack into members private wall and there are plenty of reports out there of inappropriate material posted on people’s walls without their knowledge.  If a picture appears on your wall, which you did not upload, it automatically becomes visible to your friends and theirs….

Another issue which opens users up to ‘data manipulation’ are those apps that request permission to access your account, etc….  If you have received an invitation to be reminded of your friends next birthday, then you’ll know what I mean.  My advice to you is you accept them is to do so for yourself only.

Facebook does have privacy settings that you can work on when managing your page and I would advise you to get going with these settings asap. As long as you realize that privacy and social media network do not usually go hand in hand.

If you found this article useful, please be kind and click on the like button below!

What Happens When The Police Subpoena Facebook For Information?

We have all heard about how social media networks are crossing a red line in terms of keeping the privacy of their members… well private.

The common accepted wisdom seems to be that if we are going to go online, use facebook, twitter, google plus, then it follows that we should accept to reveal more about ourselves then we had originally bargained.  There are those that say this is a fair trade as they really don’t have anything to hide, whilst others, who don’t have anything to hide either are not so sure.

But it’s one thing to hand over your cell phone information, private address, names of spouse, children etc.. and quite another when it impacts your friends.

We have all seen posts of people we had never heard of before appear on our facebook wall.  This is one of the network more “endearing” qualities as it puts people in the same room, even those we would never otherwise knowingly associate with.

How this is relevant to you I hear you ask?  Well imagine that the Police sends a request to facebook for information on a particular account.

Do you know what is in this request, and what facebook sends the cops in response to a subpeona?

Here it is, a 71 page documents that show the actual subpoena (8 pages) and the remaining 62 pages being the response from Facebook.

Have a look.  I might surprise you!

Above document embeded from a feature titled “Hunting the Craiglist Killer” from The Boston Phoenix


Move Away Google, There is A New Kid In Town: Social Media Search Engine

Just when we thought we had it all covered, comes the unexpected which of course proves one thing above everything else:

In the Internet World, always expect…

… the unexpected.


A New Search Engine has been created to serve results from searches based on social media content!

Indeed, an Israeli-American company, JULPAN, recently acquired by twitter, the social networking giant is reportedly able to sort information available on social networks and transform it into useful and relevant information to users.

The goal of Julpan is to access the thousands of social activities across tweets, facebook likes and RSS feeds, sort them in order to provide relevant content.  And all this gathering of information is done live, so that what you say on twitter, whom you like on facebook and what your RSS feed includes will be immediately compiled to join others in your social network neighborhood (and theirs) to formulate search results that will reflect your own opinion and actions.

Pretty cool no?

Says Ori Allon, the founder of this project:

“By looking at what links you share, what people you communicate with publicly, and what topics you often talk about, our engine is able to tell whether you’re a foodie that loves pasta, a soccer fan that loves FC Barcelona, or a passionate musician that loves The Beatles.”

Allon is not a new comer to internet search though.  After completing a PhD, he developed a search algorithm called Orion, which Google duly purchased.

“The algorithm tried to track the most relevant pages for the search term, not by popular measures like the number of links a page has, but by its content,” Allon told Israeli websire Calcalist. “For example, by searching ’4th of July’ you get results about fireworks and concerts –  things that people say and mean in the context of the American independence day.”

After leaving the Search Engine giant, Allon founded Julpan, and his project is due to be launched in the new few months.

“Nowadays, people share so much information on social networks,” says Allon. “We do something similar to what Google has done in the search field, but in social media. For example, you can search Julpan for a restaurant, event or anything that happens today and get amazing results. The source is other users’ content, so the information available can’t be found anywhere else.”

Rather than a search engine, Allon views his product as a discovery engine.  Indeed the search may not necessarily be in the traditional form of a search string (one or more words) but can be a current location, what you did minutes ago, which program you were watching on TV, a chat with friends….

“Based on the information available on [Twitter] we can know where you are and what you and your friends wrote in the last hour,” says Allon. “The beauty of this technology is that it is based on context of your location and activities. The most important thing for us is to understand the relationship between the user activity and bringing him information that is relevant for him at that moment.”

Here is an example of what the social media search engine can do:

“A few weeks ago, Katy Perry signed albums a few blocks from our office. We knew that because many people that normally don’t mention her started mentioning her, her locations and what she’s doing now. That immediate information cannot be retrieved by any other service. It’s a great way for tourists and locals to find out about interesting things that happen right know in their area.”

According to the developer, no one has yet developed a similar product because “The information is out there but no one yet took it and tried to make it useful. Facebook and Twitter have the information but not the means. Google has the analytics abilities but not the information…”

And talking about Google, according to Allon: “if Google had Facebook’s information we would have seen amazing things. That’s the main reason they launched Google+.”

Are you frightened yet?