My New Book – Face2Face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer Connections

My new book - Face2Face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer ConnectionsMy second book – Face2face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer Connections – is out! The official “just released” date is in September, but it’s showing up in Amazon already, so I’m sharing now.

Here’s a short blurb about Face2Face:

Consumer-centric organizations know that social media can be used to engage with customers, leading to increased satisfaction and the acquisition of new customers through the power of viral marketing—yet relatively few firms are doing it well. With Face2Face, David Lee King (Designing the Digital Experience) presents a practical guide for any organization that aspires to create deep, direct, and rewarding relationships with patrons and prospects.

Going far beyond Facebook and Twitter, King demonstrates how a range of Web 2.0 tools and techniques can be used to start and sustain conversations and humanize the organization in the eyes of those it seeks to serve. He suggests ways to connect with customers using photos and video, communities and networks, and specific tools such as blogs and location services. He uses real-world examples to illustrate the do’s and don’ts of responding to criticism, and explains why and how listening, tone, human-centered site design, and measuring results are all critical components of any customer engagement strategy. (from Information Today’s page about the book).

Why did I write Face2Face?

I’ve read a lot of books on social media and the emerging social web. For the most part, they tend to focus on large, multi-national corporations like Ford, or extremely innovative startups like Hulu. Great examples of companies doing it right … but how about the small mom-and-pop shop down the street from the library? There are a TON of organizations and small businesses that have a web presence and/or a social media account set up, but they don’t really know how to use those tools to connect with customers and potential customers.

My book provides practical next steps for these organizations to start connecting with their customers in online settings. Great for libraries, non-profit organizations, small businesses … and anyone wanting to improve their social web skills!

More info:

Enjoy!

Ask for Suggestions

Ask for SuggestionsI have been thinking about ways to improve our library’s main Facebook Page. We have come up with some great ideas, but one idea was to simply ask our Facebook-using customers what THEY wanted to see in Facebook.

Here’s what we asked (find the Facebook post here):

“Hey friends, we’re doing an informal poll. What sorts of Facebook updates would you like to see more of from us? We want to hear from you regarding what library stuff you want us to post.”

And here’s what our customers said:

  • kid activities. MY little sister and baby would love more of that.
  • new movies
  • Event updates
  • Kid events!
  • kid events!
  • new e-books
  • New movies and books
  • Kids’ events!!
  • Best seller lists
  • Maybe have a librarian recommendation day, like every Tuesday (or other day) have a book or movie recommended by staff? That way we can get to “know” the staff better and learn about books/movies that we may not of thought of otherwise.
  • I would like to know more about the e-books.
  • Winners of the reading program, it would be nice to actually see they get won, even if it isn’t by me 😉
  • More about the kids events, especially the teen events. Storytimes and Blockbusters get so much notice, but there are a ton of great programs slipping through the cracks!
  • Reminders. Like – don’t forget, sign up for tot time starts tomorrow!
  • Event reminders, and not just for kids events. I knew the rain barrel event was coming up, failed to put it in my planner, and missed it! I was bummed.
  • events for adults and kids
  • Upcoming events!
  • pictures or video shorts of people, exhibits, remodels/moves, staff, art. Something to post that makes the library come alive for us.
  • E- book info.
  • Events and the librarian recommendation is a terrific idea.
  • Love Tiffani’s idea of the recommendation day!

So – more event reminders, more mentions of new stuff, more recommendations from staff. More photos and videos.

Yes, we might have come to this same conclusion if we set up a committee to look into improving our Facebook Page, figured out when everyone could meet, and actually had a discussion on it. But it would have been our best guess. And it probably would have taken us 2-3 weeks – we’re a busy bunch, so meetings are a bit of a logistical challenge :-)

Instead, we gathered these comments, for the most part, in a 3-hour timeframe in one day. And it took us maybe a few minutes to write the Facebook post. And it was from customers.

Question – are you using your organization’s Facebook Page to find out what your Facebook-using customers want to do there? If so, what are you hearing from them?

photo by Sylvain Masson

All my Notes from BlogWorld Expo #bweny #BEA #beabloggercon

New York CityFor those interested, here’s a list of all my notes from Blogworld Expo, BookExpo America, and the BEA Bloggers conference in one handy place.

There’s some really good stuff here – but it’s a LOT to go through, too. I know I will be going through these, sharing some at work, and pondering others for my own blog. Enjoy!

Blogworld sessions:

BEA Sessions:

BEA Blogger’s Conference sessions:

Facebook Marketing #Blogworld

blogworldpresenter: Amy Porterfield – website and Facebook Page

OK – wow. She had a lot of stuff to say, and said it fast. I was typing fast and furious, and definitely missed stuff. Including the actual title of her presentation :-) Definitely focused on Facebook marketing though. If you want some tips, tricks, and next steps for your organization’s Facebook Page, read on!

Big picture outcome for Facebook: Why are you on Facebook? 

  • goal is to choose 2-3 core outcomes that are aligned with your overall business goals
  • key is to prioritize your outcomes – and don’t pile on too much at once
  • be realistic, yet aggressive
  • Your goal might be product promotion, relationship building, build authority, increase revenue, etc.
  • Great point – if you have a Facebook Page, and no one’s doing anything there … you are wasting your time. So figure out what you want people to do next, and start planning for that.

Seven Facebook Marketing tips for Facebook Pages

#1: Know your Platforms

  • profile vs Page.
  • You can have only one profile, and it must be in your name.
  • A Page is for your business to engage, promote and sell.

You need both!

  • when you have both, you get double the exposure
  • your profile will likely get more engagement
  • you can only have 5000 friends with a personal profile
  • You can’t target your Friends via Facebook Ads
  • You can’t create opt-in opportunities on your Profile

#2: Add a Subscribe Button

  • The subscribe button allows anyone on Facebook to view your public profile posts
  • if someone subscribes to your profile, your public posts will now go directly into their News feed
  • It lifts the 5000 Friends barrier

Why add the subscribe button?

  • if someone requests to become a friend, they are instantly subscribed to your public posts
  • people feel a stronger connection to you through your profile vs your page

#3: Impeccable Branding

  • Use the Timeline cover to draw attention to something in your custom apps
  • Point to stuff you want people to do
  • What’s the next step you want people to do – point to that

#4: Create a Timeline Photo Strategy

  • put up different photos
  • If you’re advertising something, put that up.

Restrictions for Timeline Cover Photos (Facebook apparently has some restrictions for Timeline photos!):

  • no price or purchase info
  • no contact info
  • no reference to Like or Share or any Facebook site features
  • no calls to action
  • no promotions, coupons or ads
  • no URL

Cover photo should not be primarily text-based

Timeline cover photo strategy

  • use text and images together
  • Mari Smith ads notes to her audience in her timeline cover image
  • change the image regularly – it makes it more interesting
  • People are there to look at images, watch videos, have a little fun – so make it fun

#5: Create a Custom App Strategy

  • Lujure.com – third party tool for creating a customer Facebook App
  • customfanpagedesigns.com – another customer Facebook app company
  • next step – what do you want your fans to do? Create opt-in opportunities behind the custom app.
  • add stuff to subscribe to, sign up for, etc
  • use action words for your apps – Sign up, watch, enroll now, etc
  • keep people inside Facebook, and that helps build people’s trust.

Custom App How-to:

  • showing how to swap positions, change names, etc. There’s an Edit Settings area. Use a Call to Action for the name of the app.
  • Make sure to use a thumbnail!

Side tip: Grow your fan base first, then start using Facebook Ads

#6: Take advantage of the new Engagement features:

pinning

  • this appears at the very top of your Facebook Page, and stays there for 7 days.
  • Include a picture or a video, and a call to action.

Highlighted Posts

  • it stretches across the whole timeline.
  • Do both on a weekly basis

scheduled posts

  • you can do this through Facebook now – you don’t have to use Hootsuite. Cool.

Promoted Posts

  • at any one time, only 16% of your fans see your posts. Promote it, and Friends of fans will see it too.
  • This costs money.
  •  You can only target with language and location.

Engagement is still the key to marketing smart on Facebook

  • example – one guy does something, say creates something. Then tells people, and asks them to say yes (in a comment) and click Like if they want it. Comments count more than likes – so his engagement goes up.
  • Don’t post unless you have a call to action. Ask people to do stuff! Ask for likes, comments, etc.

Facebook Insights:

  • Look at the current posts view weekly, and find the stuff that’s working well – then do more of that.
  • Her most popular posts were because she ran Page Post ads – it helped her get more engagement. They are simply ads that let you click Like or leave a comment.

#7: Create an Image Campaign

  • Images on Facebook are popular – most popular stuff on Facebook
  • build a campaign around the images
  • think about your content, and get that content in an image.
  • gave an example of this – she created an image with a quote, and added the photo of the person who said the quote (i.e.., Seth Godin). People loved these!
  • posted them one a day before a launch for a campaign

Create a lead generating visual campaign

  • text based image…
  • add the link to the thing in the status update
  • Use an image as a call to action – click Like if you agree.

Q & A: Facebook Groups. She uses them for niche or stuff with a narrower focus.

Q & A: Scheduling posts? You have to figure out the best time for your fans. So experiment to find the best time to post.

Q & A: Engagement ads – click Like if … type of an ad. When they click Like, they become a Fan of your Facebook Page.

Q & A: why send people to a custom app instead of your website? Current behavior – people want to stay inside Facebook. Build a strategy around the behavior people are already doing.

Q & A: how do you get likes? Add a like box on your website. They become an instant fan. Get active outside of Facebook.

Our Communicating Customers

Big ad on our website for the new library catalogMy library’s in the process of switching ILS systems – we just moved from SirsiDynix Horizon to a Polaris system (to all you non library types out there, I’m talking about our Library Catalog).

We just went live with the new system on May 23, and as you can imagine, it’s taking a couple of days to bring everything up, and get all the parts and pieces working like they should. It’s a huge, complex software/hardware switch, and it’s been a very smooth move, all things considered (mainly because we have awesome, great staff – they rock!).

We have two primary ways that customers can talk to us about the new catalog (well, discounting actually visiting the library and talking to us, and using the phone): an email form and through social media.

We set up an email feedback form that you can see in the catalog, and our customers are using it. So far, we’ve had maybe 20 or so customers communicate their love of the new catalog, their dislike of the “new thing,” or a specific problem with their account. Useful stuff.

Social media has been quite interesting!

First, I wrote a blog post about the catalog, complete with a short video. This post has received about 35 comments so far. Customers asking questions, and me responding to them.

Via Twitter, we have received some nice praise and good comments, including:

  • “Awesome! I’ve been hoping for this a very long time!”
  • “Can’t wait!”
  • “Good luck with the migration1 Bet the new catalog will be awesome!”
  • “We’re excited about the new catalogue! Not surprised that there are some hiccups.”

Facebook has been interesting, because some conversations were started by our customers.

This morning, one of our customers posted this: “Has anyone gotten into the new catalog?” And two people had a conversation about the catalog, about some of the third party things connected to the catalog (like our DVD Dispenser), and what was working/not working.

Since I’m one of the admins of our Facebook Page, I saw those conversations, and was able to answer their questions.

We also instigated some conversations. Yesterday, we posted this: “Today’s upgrade day & most upgrades to the catalog have been made. A few kinks are still being worked out, but you can now explore catalog.tscpl.org – and tell a friend! (Same goes for Facebook. We know you can use your influence to get us a few “likes,” right?;)”

… and that got us 25 Likes :-). And a couple more questions, too – which I answered via Facebook.

Why mention this? I find it fascinating to see conversations about library catalogs taking place via social media. 10-12 years ago – last time I helped with an ILS switch – I don’t remember seeing much customer feedback (though I’m sure someone got an earful). We didn’t se up email feedback forms, and social media pretty much didn’t exist yet. This time around, customers are helping each other, asking questions and tagging us … and I’m able to see them. And help. And hear.

Amazing.