Between You and Me, There's PR

Exploring, learning and using social media, public relations and marketing.

Naughty or nice? December 6, 2011

I would say the following story classifies me as both nerdy and a little naughty, but hopefully Santa is not looking.

The story begins on my birthday. I was excited to spend my birthday weekend in Chicago and was taking the Mega Bus both ways. At a rest stop, a girl told the bus driver that the bus was leaking on her. He said there was nothing he could do and she switched seats.

At the time, I was annoyed because I remembered my brother’s first Mega Bus trip where the air conditioning went out during the summer and someone complained causing them to arrive three hours later than anticipated. I was not in the mood for that! So that was that. She got a little wet and we moved on.

After my weekend, I got on the bus headed back to St. Louis and somehow managed to get my own seat even though nearly every other seat was filled. I was excited! I plugged in my phone and programmed Daniel Tosh into Pandora and commenced chillaxin.

After our rest stop, the bus started moving again and I was minding my own business when the bus litterally POURED water out from the air conditioning! Stunned at first, I suddenly realized what was happening and quickly stood up to see water still pouring out from above me! I grabbed all of my belongings and asked to sit with the kid right behind me as it stopped raining.

The seat was wet, I was wet, my purse was wet, my phone was wet… get the idea?

Knowing the bus driver’s answer from the previous trip up, I did not say anything to the driver since there was nothing she would do. The next day, I was thinking about how social media has changed customer service and while seeing what other companies do to engage their consumers on Facebook I decided to test Mega Bus.

They failed.

I posted this on their Facebook Fan Page:

I didn’t want to sound completely obnoxious, but wanted to complain enough that it would solicit a response. I pressed enter and waited. They posted pictures right after I posted, but no response. They liked other people’s posts, but still no response to mine. They even did another full post today, but nothing in response to mine. I’m disappointed.

After dealing with this from a business stand point through my internship, I understand how annoying it is when people post silly complaints on your company’s page, but I also know how quickly and effectively we dealt with every issue. We had HootSuite and Buddy Media set up to monitor what people were posting and saying about us on Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, we checked it with our own eyeballs constantly!

That was my naughty deed, but my nerdiness is shown in how much I care. Social media is a great tool to better your customer service but if all you are doing is pushing your product and not actually listening, it is not effective.



Brands I can’t help but “like” August 27, 2011

In the world of Facebook, the “Like” button is one of the highest compliments you can give a business page. First you like the page, then you can like their content. A combination of “liking”, commenting and sharing the content means the world to companies. It means they are keeping you engaged and that their brand is important to you.

So how do they keep us engaged?

During my summer internship I was asked to research our competitors’ Facebook pages, as well as companies that just seemed to get it right. It was so interesting to see the variety of messages companies utilize to encourage posts.

My favorite company page is Barbie’s page. After she caught my attention with the Valentine’s publicity stunt, I still find her posts just a cute and fun as ever! Barbie offers fashion and life advice, in a Barbie tone voice. Everything is “Fab, dolls”. She doesn’t even have to ask people to answer a question or like her post, they just love what she says. She’s absolutely iconic.

Oreo is blowing my mind lately. I understand, they have 22 million fans, but even the most seemingly random post receives an overwhelming amount of attention! For instance, yesterday they posted “Oreos and milk,” and that was it. It received 31,110 likes and 2,648 comments. WHOA. That’s insane. Way to cleverly take advantage of our love for chocolate cookies, Oreo!

Yet according to this article on Mashable, Buddy Media suggests that to increase engagement, we should ASK people to like our post and have them TELL us what they think. The above examples are so iconic that we’ll love anything they say so who is trying this ask and tell strategy?

Hershey’s asks a LOT of questions on their page. They have fill-in-the-blanks, encourage “Likes” and ask questions. Do people respond? They have almost 2.5 million fans and their posts receive anywhere from 40 to 600 comments. The post that received the most was a fill-in-the-blank.

MLB is also engaging fans by asking them questions and to fill-in-the-blank. Their questions ask “What would you do?” and place fans in the position of their favorite players.

Build-A-Bear Workshop has utilized this ask theory in their posts lately and has seen a significant amount of response. Most recently, they asked fans to click “like” if they knew someone with a cub on the way and 776 people clicked like.

It seems that getting fans to stay engaged begins with having an excellent reputation. Why should they care? That’s the next part. Tell them why they should! Tell them what to do and tell them fun facts! Just keep it fresh and we’ll be yours forever.

TELL me what your favorite brand page is! (Have to practice what I preach!)


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