Measuring Social’s Impact (at AAF-ND)

Earlier this week, I crossed both North Dakota and Minnesota off my “states to visit” list, thanks to some new friends in Fargo. I spent Tuesday’s lunch hour presenting to the AAF-ND group at their monthly meeting. We talked about how social media is a skill, not a job. I wanted to emphasize how to unleash Social Media within an organization and positioned to identify and solve business challenges, and complement existing efforts. When social media is not siloed, and able to impact many parts of a business, including allowing employees to act as brand advocates, good things can happen.

The slides are below for anyone who would like to take a second pass. Please take a look, and if you have any questions, tweet me!

I encouraged the 80-some attendees to use Twitter and the organizer’s branded hashtag #AAFND throughout my talk, which you can see here. Nearly 40 tweets used the hashtag that afternoon, generating over 16K potential impressions. Using Postano’s hashtag analytics tool, we’re able to see what keywords and phrases caught the ears of the attendees. Its always fascinating to see what other hashtags are used by those who participated online. Hopefully whoever used #slowclap meant it in a good way!

AAFND_Hashtag_Report_2AAFND_Hashtag_Report_3

Interested in having me speak to your group or organization on social media, measuring ROI or another topic? Drop me a note

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Getting Started, Socially

Spoke to a lunchtime crowd at the HFTP First Coast June meeting today. HFTP stands for Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals, or the people who oversee money & technology at private clubs & hospitality venues. Thankfully, a few marketing people were also in attendance, probably to play towards my comfort level since I was a filling in for a colleague.

My hospitality & club career ended when I was in college, but I have a few years of experience in the service industry and paid my fair share of bills in my early-20’s from tips earned as the beer cart girl. With that limited background to guide me, I pulled together enough of an overview and TIPS! to discuss at their lunchtime meeting.

Several in the audience today were CFOS, controllers, accountants and the like. These aren’t the people who will be posting status updates for their brand, so I spent more time on how to create the business case for engaging your current members/guests online. I wanted them to think about social media as a tool for online customer service and outreach. Responding & listening to your customers is much easier to make a case for, when your decision makers don’t view “social media” as essential.

Thanks to all who attended today. I’d be happy to hear your feedback and suggestions for future talks on this subject, and happy to answer any further questions you may have. (Like this one, that came up in the presentation…)

For the person who asked about Clubster vs. Ning…Clubster looks like a social network for members of professional clubs, who can link into their clubs’ community. Ning allows your club or group to set up a private social network powered by you and your community, that can live adjacent to your own website. I prefer to own my content, so I’d still lean to setting up a walled social network for my community through a service like Ning. Always do your due diligence to ensure you find what’s right for your company & members.

Hope to see some HFTP members at an upcoming Social Media Club JAX meeting. The next one is June 25th at Pablo Creek Library from 5:30-8pm (presentation starts at 6) and you can RSVP here.

RANT: Friend Privacy Spam on Facebook

Editors note: I develop these “Rant” style posts usually on the drive home from work, where I can’t ask Siri to write and post them for me. Consequently, my really good points don’t make it farther than the four doors of my trusty Camry. I’ll work on my blogging frequently and content quality if you, the reader, thinks it worthwhile for me to do so. 

I finally got sick of seeing the Facebook post that starts with “PRIVACY NOTICE: Warning…” and clicked more just to read what the latest friend-inflicted spam was making its rounds on the Internet. (Does this stuff still spread via email and get copied/pasted to Facebook?)

Latest user-spam on Facebook

<RANT>

First off, it’s user spam. Made prevalent by the same uninformed site users who previously brought us “New privacy settings will let your old childhood friend name your new puppy before its born” spam posts and “Quit Facebook Day” (all 33,000 of you, who most likely have rejoined since June 1, 2010).

The privacy notice is nice in theory, but since you’ve already granted the permissions you want to take back by accepting this website’s Terms of Use, how do you think you’ll get Facebook, Inc. to agree to your terms?  Taking back your “private information” that you’ve already made public (under the existing Facebook terms) can only be done by deleting all of your content from the website (that you self-published) and then deleting your personal account from the website.

No wonder posting some BS privacy notice on your personal (read: PUBLIC) profile is easier than giving up Facebook for most.

</RANT>

UPDATE: Immediately after publishing, a more sensible Facebook friend posted a link to this Snopes.com article, debunking the legitimacy of this Facebook Privacy notice.  #toldyouso

A Lifetime with Apple

I was born in 1984. So was Macintosh.

Nearly exactly one decade ago (October 23, 2001), iPod was born. (I bought my first in 2004)

and today (October 5, 2011), the world mourns the loss of a visionary.

October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs was man who dared to dream about changing the world, and then did. My entire lifetime, Steve Jobs has been innovating across technology, computing, motion pictures, music, mobile…seems like everything I touch or rely on for my job today was somehow influenced or shaped by Steve. When we wake up tomorrow, it becomes our duty to act on the inspiration and dedication he brought to the world.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it by living someone else’s life. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

— Steve Jobs, 2005

Rants on Twitter Publishing

Two social media publishing outlets I’m currently using to produce, publish and schedule Twitter posts through have taken this one-sided view to scheduling and publishing tweets to run later. (Yes, I do this. No, it’s not evil.)

My issue with keeping your scheduled posts in a different view than your home feed, is you start becoming disconnected with the Twitter conversation as a whole. Call me Ariel, because I wanna be where the people are.

It’s takes additional time if I have to schedule a RT that’s worthy of publishing, or a new piece of content, in one view, then click over to the “Pending” or “Scheduled” view and make sure it’s not overlapping with another scheduled piece of content. Whats so wrong with seeing everything in the same place…especially as a paying customer?

My fear is that this practice of keeping the publishing away from the conversation will encourage the bad behavior of push-push-push messages into Twitter and Facebook and really take brands out of the conversations that make social media so valuable.

Agree? Disagree? Think I’m being cranky in my stubborn old ways? Tell me.

The one thing I dislike about being married

I married my favorite person in September. The wedding was everything we wanted and truly the best day of our lives. I’m surprised at how much different married life is — and how much I enjoy it. We’ve even become one of those couples I rolled my eyes at previously — wedding collages in our house and keeping a white dress in my Facebook picture ever since.

Everything is great about being married. Everything, except one thing.

THE NAME CHANGE!

This was a HUGE change in my personal life, between all the paperwork and legwork required to get documents from one agency to another, practicing a new signature and even referring to myself as Lauren Teague (I introduced myself wrong for weeks!).

I’ve gotten used to the new name, the new email signature and crossing a “T” where a “B” used to be in my john hancock. But I keep avoiding one thing…the issue that I’m still undecided about.

Giving up LTBEYER as my online identity.

Hear me out — I started using LTBEYER in 2005, when I started my Gmail account. It stuck with me as I started using Bebo, MySpace, Twitter, Flickr, WordPress, Brightkite, Foursquare, and almost every single other website I’ve created an identity on.

Email. Twitter. Blogs. Social Media. Etc.
Being an “early adopter” female seems to have kicked me in the ass.

To switch might not be a huge deal for some, but I’ve spent 5+ years developing my identity under a name I (legally) no longer use. In my career as a social media professional, my online identity is just as important as anything I do offline. If I give up “LTBEYER”, do I also give up all the SEO and my “Digital DNA” I’ve built up under that personal brand?

Or will establishing a new online identity be not as big of a deal as I fear? Can I gradually switch from LTBEYER to some variation of “Lauren Teague” on Twitter and let everything else follow suit? Will my Twitter friends still tweet me and recognize my avatar when adding contacts in a new network?

Once I’ve made the decision to switch to a new profile, the next question is: Who do I want to be? And probably more importantly: Who can I be, based on what usernames are available?

I’ve tried a handful of “LaurenTeague” like names on Twitter. A couple are open, but nothing I really want to hang my hat on and move across the web with. Want to stay away from modifiers like “Lauren_GOLF” or identifying myself with a brand (_pgatour). Since @LaurenTeague and @LTeague aren’t available, I feel stuck.

Even more frustrating — I started on Twitter in 2007 and most social networks before they became mainstream. The people who have the names I want to use are inactive Twitter users, have YouTube channels with no videos, haven’t blogged in ages — you get the idea. Frustrating for someone like me who is looking to build up another Digital DNA under my married name.

I know women everyday go through this decision in their personal vs. professional lives. Building our careers and changing names mid-way doesn’t always work for women, especially in the media and on the executive track. I’m actually surprised there aren’t more blog posts on this topic. Closest I could find in Google was a post on “How to change to your married name on Facebook.

This “do I or don’t I” decision continues to weigh on my mind — and it’s totally self-inflicted I should add. My husband doesn’t care one way or another if I keep LTBEYER online, as long as I’m a Teague on my driver’s license. Even my Tumblr profile states: In September 2010, I married @hooligantx…and became Mrs. Teague. Yet, I also get to keep @ltbeyer for as long as it makes sense.

Help me out, tweeps and friends. Am I making a big fuss over nothing? Can I keep my online identity for professional reasons? Will you remember me if I become a Teague online too? If I did seek out a new ID, what suggestions do you have for picking a new username?

Remember, I love being married. It’s this one detail in fabric that has me thrown for a loop…but if that’s the only thing, I think we’re doing something right.

Tweet Assist

Last night I spoke on a panel titled “Strictly Social” attended by PRSSA students at UNF and members of Social Media Club Jax. (I’ll post a recap of the panel soon.) One of the discussion topics was on how brands use social media for customer service. We highlighted the ones everyone knows — Comcast, Southwest, Zappos, Wells Fargo etc. I shared how I was able to change my American Express card to my married name via Twitter, which raised some eyebrows in the crowd.

I have a new customer service example after this morning My experience went something like this:

Email reminder to check in the way-too-early-why-did-I-book-that flight to Oregon arrives in my inbox.

Click to check in. Remember I booked this flight as Lauren Beyer, before changing SkyMiles account name to Lauren Teague (another married name change done via Twitter)

Try to check in. Get through entire process to find out I have an error with reservation (expected) and should wait until I get to the airport to speak to an agent. Try again anyways. Denied.

Wanting as much snooze time as possible before a 6:30AM flight, I turn to Twitter:
@Delta Can someone help? Booked a ticket under SkyMiles #, then changed to married name in SkyMiles acct. Now reservation not in “My Trips”

7 mins later, I get this response (and followed by): DeltaAssist: @ltbeyer I’d like to assist. Please follow @DeltaAssist and dm your Skymiles number and confirmation number?^TH

A couple DMs later, they’re working away on my name change on the ticket. Less than 40 minutes later I have an updated itinerary in my inbox and a DM: You’re all set. It’s been changed to Teague. You will, however, need to check in again. Glad you tweeted with us this am!^TH

Super easy. Great service. Saved me sleep & frustration early in the AM dealing with a gate agent and two IDs with two different names. The only thing they missed was adding a few hundred bonus miles to my account so I’ll be Gold status after this trip — but I’ll let that slide.

In less time than it would have taken me to do a Google Search for Delta’s customer service number for Skymiles, find 10 minutes at work to set aside to make the call, reach an agent and get my issue resolved — @DeltaAssist came to my rescue. Think I won’t be going to Twitter again next time I have a question or issue, with any brand?

What’s your favorite personal example of customer service through social media? Let’s see who really stands out.