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Author: Tamara Littleton

Tamara Littleton

If you measure social success by 'likes', you’re going to get click farms

Let’s be honest. Click farms aren’t exactly a big secret. Buying ‘likes’ and Twitter followers is a well-known shady practice.

What the Channel 4 Dispatches investigation on #fakefans has shown us is the process behind the (fake) stats.

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How to deliver excellent social customer service

Customer service has evolved. Instead of returning to a store or calling a helpline, people are increasingly turning to social media to resolve their gripes.

So it’s perhaps no surprise, then, that 80% of companies plan to use social media for customer service.

And when you hit that sweet spot and create a well-oiled social customer service machine, the pay-off is huge: 71% of customers recommend a brand that gives them a ‘quick and effective’ response on social media. 

Here’s a list of important things to consider. 

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Social media and the financial sector: eight best practice tips

As of April 1, the Financial Services Authority has been replaced by two new bodies, the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA), which regulates the operations of financial organisations, and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which monitors how financial organisations treat consumers.

As far as the FCA is concerned, whether financial organisations choose to communicate over social media channels or in print, the rules remain the same.

The communication must be clear, fair and not misleading, regardless of which channel the message is broadcast over.

The FCA has already stated its intention to monitor what financial organisations are getting up to on social media, and it uses Twitter itself.

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Can brands perform random acts of kindness?

As Random Acts of Kindness week was earlier this month, it got me thinking: is this culture of kindness something that could cross over to how brands behave?

Are they already doing business by doing good? Social media makes it possible for brands to do ‘random’ nice things for customers (or fans or followers).

Is this self-serving? Or is it genuinely the start of something great?  

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How to manage and curate social media for live events

Today, live events and social media go hand in hand. Get your social media management right and you can enhance the live event experience not just for attendees, but for those watching via Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Social media can contribute to the success of an event, whether it’s a conference, a sports match, or live chat during a TV show.

But with people posting to different channels from all angles, it’s hard to know where to begin managing and curating all that content in order to improve the experience of attendees and viewers, and not swamp them.

Fret not: here’s how to run a tight ship.

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On trend: fashion brands and social media

Social fashion pioneers, such as ASOS and Topshop, understand that social media isn’t all about ‘Likes’ or follower stats.

There has to be a reason beyond ‘engagement’ for a fashion brand to use a social channel: it has to contribute to customer loyalty, customer service, or sales.

We’ve been looking at what some of the most social fashion brands are doing on social media, and whether they’re going beyond the number of ‘likes’ to creating engagement that has a real impact on business.

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Keeping children safe online: treading the line between safety and free expression

The investigation into Habbo Hotel has thrown up some difficult questions about how much online environments do and don’t do to keep children safe.

There’s a line that children’s brands tread between protecting their young users from harm and allowing them to express themselves in an environment that they enjoy.

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Keeping children safe online

Sometimes, those working in and around social media every day can forget just how much many, if not most, of the population may take the internet for granted.

Especially teens and tweens, who, posting from the safety and security of their own bedrooms, can feel free to say, do and broadcast what they like without worrying too much about the consequences.

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HSBC Facebook competition page

Can the financial sector really thrive on social media?

The strictly regulated financial services industry has, in the past, shied away from social media engagement.

Common objections, even a year ago, were: people don’t want to talk to their bank, it’s too risky, too expensive or not relevant. But despite a slow start, things are starting to change.

It turns out that people do want to talk to their banks - specifically younger customers.

Recent research by Sitel, reported on Econsultancy, shows that 15% of 16-24 year-olds choose to interact with customer service on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and forums.

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Closing comments: is it ever a good idea?

Is it ever OK to close comments on a blog, Facebook page or online news article?

It’s a question we often hear, particularly from companies who’ve found, for a variety of reasons, that their online communities have been flooded with posts that they simply weren’t prepared for.

2011 saw some high-profile examples of Facebook page owners taking the decision to block comments.

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How will the demise of the Facebook Discussion tab affect brands?

Changes to Facebook pages could be bad news for customer service.

It was interesting to see the new study by Martiz Research, which showed that 71% of customers who tweeted a gripe said they never heard back from the company, despite the fact that most of them would have liked to.

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Using social media at live events: best practice tips

Social media has become an important part of a conference or event. Streaming feeds from Twitter and Facebook or providing text-to-screen commentary lets audiences participate in events and allows brands to collect feedback.

However, the risks to a brand’s reputation are enhanced by the sheer number of people who might view inappropriate material.

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