This week I had the pleasure of presenting at the 19th Annual Australian SOCAP Conference here in Sydney (see below Presentation) alongside Katie Harris from Zebra Bites to a receptive audience.
It’s always great to get a different perspective on how social media can be applied in today’s organisations.
Much was the debate afterwards was surrounding the legal implications holding back companies from engaging with Twitter and most interestingly what a complaint is defined as.The definition reads as "any communication a customer has with your company in which 'displeasure is expressed' .As much as it pains consumers to fill out forms does simply letting off steam on Twitter constitute a complaint? Apparently so and customer service departments are charged with the mean feat of logging all of these instances in some cases.
On the other hand maybe this is an opportunity and interesting way just to connect with consumers to find out what’s eating them. As one delegate from the conference explained, they make a point of arranging to meet those most vocal about their brand and afterwards the regularity of those tweets subsides. What is it about knowing a person that means we become less inclined to vocalise our thoughts?
Are we fulfilling an emotional desire to be heard amongst all the noise out there, or are we just wanting to have a connection with those brands that make up part of our daily lives with whom we are looking for a 'return on emotion' to justify the money we invest with them?
Perhaps spare a thought for the organisations that are monitoring the space and would like to offer extensions to their customer care programs by starting Twitter streams but have their hands tied because of what they can and can’t disclose online through rules of privacy. Cue lets take this conversation offline. Not every company is able to introduce a unique business models like Zappos into the market place so what are the lessons we can learn from this?
I would certainly be interested to hear from any body with information or strong views on the subject. Customer advocacy and the handling of customer complaints is an fascinating area and with the increasing use of social media there is still a way to go before legislation fully meets the needs of both the consumer and the organisations before we see more effective customer service programs that fully harness the power of the social web.
Hopefully the two can meet in the middle in the not too distant future But if the social web continues to transform at the current rate which it will according to Jeremiah Owyang more hurdles will need to be crossed along the way before this happen. Are organisations and the government ready for the changes?
This week I had the opportunity to present to the Billy Blue school of design here in Sydney on the theme of personal branding (see presentation below) and it was great to spend some time researching a subject dear to my heart and getting some feedback from a different audience for a pleasant change.
I have previously written about personal branding and failure but this subject introduced me to the idea of life stream which as been pioneered by a few commentators so I thought I take this opportunity to provide you with some information if your not already aware of the concept.
David Armano introduced me to the idea a while back but I didn’t take much notice to be honest but it was Steve Rubel more recently and a fantastic post by the New York Times about Obama being the new media president that really opened my eyes to the concept which left me in no uncertain doubt that when we think of our personal brands that we promote them through the many different streams of information that now percolate the web. It is not enough to simply have a website or a blog and that we have to engage with our audiences in the many different places they now can be found to achieve our goals.
For a definitive explanation of streams go to the excellent blog by John Borthwick
How we bring it all together is perhaps the most interesting question we face as the environment is constantly evolving into a more social context. All the more topical in the week that Facebook bought Friendfeed perhaps one of the best pieces of social technology that aggregates all of our streams of information.
As Mark Zuckerberg said some time ago now when discussing life streams
“Lifestreams are continuous stream of information that delivers a deeper understanding for everyone participating in them . As this happens, people will no longer come to Facebook to consume a particular piece or type of content, but to consume and participate in the stream itself.”