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In a time of immediacy and the Internet, with the information flow as fast as it is, why is NBC still holding on to the “tape delay” aspect of the Olympics? Why can they not understand that people want to see events live and not have to tip toe around the internet during their day in order to not find out who won a specific event?

Now I understand the whole “commercial” part of the Olympics and that everyone wants to be in “Prime-Time, but it is not like some of the most popular events are not happening at night. Is NBC just living in the past? Are they afraid that they can not work in a “Live” workplace?  They could still stream the events live on their website and place banner ads where they please. I really think that they are missing out on a significant opportunity here.

I don’t know, maybe it is just me, but I really think that the format needs to be changed with having this coverage “Live” and as it happens. #fail IMO

I just learned this a few weeks ago, and am really loving the fact that you can track the number of click-thru’s from the links that you post on Tweetdeck via bit.ly. All you need to do is to create an account on bit.ly, attach your twitter account to your bit.ly account, grab your bit.ly api code, input it into tweetdeck (settings, services) and begin posting links. Even if you have numerous accounts on tweetdeck, you can still track the links.

For those of you that have not tried this, please make sure that this is leveraged for your accounts. It is a great and simple way to track your links.

Mike

Creating Brand loyalty and leveraging feedback.

If you are reading this blog post, you probably also read my first Domino’s Pizza blog post – “What do Physics and Social Media have in common?” that I made a month or so ago. This was really a great example of how a business can leverage Social Media and consumer feedback in order to create a better product.

Domino’s held focus groups in order to directly gather feedback around their product, which they distributed internally so that the entire company could better understand their customers. Based on the feedback, Domino’s and their chefs immediately decided to make changes to their product. That in itself is a great step for any business and shows the dedication that Domino’s has to offering a superior product and differentiating their product from their competitors.

That was not the last step that Domino’s took, though.

A couple of days ago, Domino’s updated their Social site www.pizzaturnaround.com,  with a new video – “At the Door of Our Harshest Critics.” This is where they took their initiative to the next level. They visited three or four of the individuals that had provided gave some very direct and honest feedback to see what they now had to say.

Domino’s positioning:
“Because of your comments, it helped us create a new pizza.”
“Because of what you said, it helped us get better.”

Direct Testimonials
“I am so impressed. I can’t believe that you guys listened. I can’t believe that a company would do that. I can’t believe that you guys took that seriously.”
“I didn’t know that you were listening.”
“I’m back, I’m in.”
“This is what I was talking about.”
“That is the way that a pizza should be.”

Now you can say that these people said that the pizza was good because the camera was on them. But then again, they had a camera on them when they first provided feedback to Domino’s. You can also say that the pizza is fresh because the head chef made it and that it will probably not taste like that in all the Domino’s franchises around the country. But is that really the point?

This video displays the fact that Domino’s cares about their product, they listen to what is being said, and they make decisions that will have a tremendous impact on brand loyalty, awareness, satisfaction, advocacy, conversion…..you add in your own “buzz-word”.

Are you ready to hear what you customers or employees have to say within the Social Media landscape? Will you be able to harness their feedback in order to make the necessary changes to improve who you are?

*cross-posted to www.ektron.com/mikepascucciblog

A quick note:

In the past, Social Media and Online Community initiatives have been pushed and pushed from week to week and have become an after thought, a necessary evil or even worse, a check box. When it comes to discussing Social media and online communities, it seems that most prioritize their time around it. Something always has seemed to take precedence. While it is a frustrating feeling to have to reschedule, I feel that the time has come where individuals are beginning to recognize that these conversations can not wait, and need to happen sooner rather than later. More and more people are being tasked with implementations and strategies that can not wait.

The time has come. Are you embracing the changes that are afoot and making the necessary changes?

 

Newton’s 3rd Law – To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction

Case in point: Domino’s

Action:

I am sure that most of you remember a few months ago when employees at a Domino’s Pizza in North Carolina posted a video on YouTubemessing” with the food they were preparing. This video took You Tube, Domino’s and the internet by storm, quickly being viewed by an audience of hundreds of thousands. The internet was not the only place where people heard about the incident, as millions of people were also informed via local and national TV coverage. As you can imagine, this put a serious dent into the trust that I (and millions of others) had in Domino’s, a provider of a product that I had purchased before.

Reaction:

A few days passed before Domino’s posted their reply via a YouTube video.  Domino’s addressed the measures that were being taken to ensure that this did not happen again and thanked the members of the YouTube community for reporting the original video that made Domino’s aware of the situation. This was very important as the situation was still fresh in everyone’s mind. I appreciated the video and liked the way that Domino’s handled the situation. Now while I am not too sure if I will give them the benefit of the doubt in the near future, I will take the video into account. 

Domino’s could have stopped there, but rather they took this one step further, which was entirely necessary (IMO) to gain their customer trust back.

More recently, Domino’s has posted a new video (on their new site – Pizza Turnaround – basically a website/blog) thanking people for their feedback online throughout many different Social Media channels. Patrick Doyle and other “real” employees speak from their corporate headquarters in Michigan about their “passion around the pizza.” They are also highlighting how they are listening to negative feedback on the and turning it into a positive for the brand and their product.

Talk about turning a negative situation into a positive! Now it is unfortunate that it took the video from employees “doing what they did” to turn Domino’s around, but as they say, it is better late than never. Now the question is, are you going to wait until this type of situation hits you and your business, or are you going to start to listen now?

*crossposted on http://www.ektron.com/mikepascucciblog

As some of you may know, I started at Ektron just over a month ago as their Social Media Strategist. One of the tasks that was bestowed upon me was to get the Ektron Twitter account. There were many other things that took precedence over securing this account, like creating documentation, building case studies, learning the platform, and all the other standard “starting a new job” things. Which leads me to December 11th.

I submitted a request via the Twitter Support area and asked if there was anything that I could do to secure the Ektron Twitter account.

I outlined to Twitter that the account:
1. Had protected their tweets
2. Had no friends
3. Has no followers
4. Had no Tweets

I also mentioned that I had thought that someone was squatting on the account to either force us to create a new account or to block us from leveraging it to communicate. I received an immediate email informing me that their Support team was processing the request and to allow for several days to review the case and to receive a follow-up.

I then went to twitter Twitter and asked if anyone had dealt with this in the past, as I was sure that I was not the only one. My friend jimstorer RT’d (re-tweeted for those of you that are not on Ttwitter – posted it again) my question. He was then contacted by another individual, nickhuhn who in-turn contacted me and let me know that I was following the right process, and that in his experience, it took about a month. You really can’t beat the power of Social Media and Networking, validating the process.

After 5 five days I received a communication from Twitter with a step by step process as to how I could go about securing up the account, including the specific information that was needed (Patent # specifically). I submitted the information via their online support channel and 2 two days later I received word from Twitter that the account was now Ektron’s.

The entire process was extremely painless. Twitter was transparent with me during the entire process, setting expectations and communicating with me during the entire time. I was able to leverage a “2nd degree friend” in order to validate the process, and within just over a week’s time, I had the account secured. Thank you to Twitter and thank you for the avenue to both submit my request and locate others that have gone through the same process.

* cross-posted at http://www.ektron.com/mikepascucciblog

Where is the separation?

The other day I was asked to begin blogging for another website, eBizq. They focus on professionals, vendors and industry analysts exchanging information on enterprise technologies, problems and solutions. During the meeting with the Managing Editor, I referenced my personal blog and my work blog as a reference guide to my style and the topics that I write. While I was describing the differences between the blogs, I got to thinking, they are fairly the same blog. Granted the tone and style may be slightly different, but in general, they are the same blog. I have also cross-posted a few posts between the 2 already.

After I thought about it a little more, can I write for 2 or 3 blogs, focused around the same topic? Can I/Should I try to consolidate the blogs somehow? I do not want to “lose” the current readership (no matter how small that it is) on my personal blog. People have obviously subscribed to it for some reason, and if I change the topic or content on the blog now, then I will lose them. I would not mind forwarding those individuals over to my work blog, but then again, people do not want to read what a “company” is saying, they would rather read an opinion from an independent source, that has no bias or agenda – which I can totally understand.

I guess that my question is, Can a line be drawn? Once you choose a path, is there a way that you can change direction? While I do not mind writing on 3 different blogs, I do not want to duplicate the content and readership, or spread it too thin. Has anyone had this issue and the past and what decisions did you make that seemed the most appropriate? Personal Branding vs. Professional Career vs. Industry thought leadership?

I am sure that you all remember the good old cartoon from Bugs Bunny, the Tortoise vs. the Hare:

 

During the entire race, Bugs Bunny is trying to cheat, cut corners and sabotage the Tortoise in order to win the race. The Tortoise on the other hand just runs the race and stays the course. When all is said and done, the Tortoise wins and proves the point, Slow and Steady wins the race.

Social Media implementations are very similar in this approach, or at least successful ones are.

In the more recent past, companies were getting involved in Social Media and launching online communities because their competition was, or because it was the ‘Thing to do, and they followed the concept of “if-you-build-it-they-will-come”. While that approach may have worked in the past, it most certainly does not work now.

People have so many place that they can go to converse and interact with others, that they have their pick-of-the-litter when it comes to Social Media. Have you done your research ahead of time, or have you rushed into the space, hoping that by cutting corners you will beat your competition?

Which do you think that you are at the moment? Have you built your application or Strategy? Are you reviewing other applications (Twitter, Facebook) and doing your research up front before you jump into the game, analyzing your audience ahead of time? Are you setting yourself up for failure before you even begin?

Has Social Media spoiled us? It is a corporations responsibility to reply to every mention on Twitter or every video complaint on You Tube? I am torn with these questions and am curious how others feel.

I understand that corporations should be interacting in some way/shape/form online. Some are building their own communities and others are creating a strategy so diverse that they are on Twitter, Facebook, You Tube and other Social sites in order to reach their audiences. Some are also conducting focus groups and including their feedback within internal processes. I say good for them. Great for them! They may have the manpower and bandwidth in order to execute such a robust strategy. But what about those that do not? Are we to discredit a company because they do not reply to us on Twitter? What if I post a question on Twitter (my choice) rather than go through their support forms? Maybe I am doing it on purpose because I know that I will get an answer quicker. Is that fair to the other members with questions in the Support queue, since they will have to wait longer while the company re-assigns resources? What if they do not have a Twitter process, am I to assume that they do not care?

Don’t get me wrong, I am a Social Media guy through and through, but I do not expect corporations to bend over to my individual needs, based on my choices. If a company has a webform, then I would expect that they have a process in place to reply and track the form with their support tools. They track the issues and make any necessary changes based upon sheer numbers. If I circumvent the system, how can they track my issue and make any necessary changes to their processes to resolve the situation? We work through processes on a daily basis, some work and some do not. For the ones that work, why should they change for ME (I may be the only one that thinks they need changing)? Should I assume that they do not care because they are not on Twitter?

Don’t forget about what they say about the word A-S-S-U-M-E.

I realize that there are situations where Twitter can be the first line of defense for a company, and there are benefits of participation and interaction. But we should not condemn those that are not, or expect those to interact because that is where “I” am.

The truth of the matter is that we should work directly with those companies to help them understand their deficiency. Write to them, let them know what they are missing, rather than condemn them initially saying that they do not care (and tweeting that to your 1,000 friends). By condemning, you are in fact prolonging their acceptance of Twitter as a communication channel and are scaring them away. Not what you were trying to do is it?

Think before you Tweet 😉

Thoughts?

Mike

I have posted many updates on twitter over the last year or so (over 1,000). Some updates include my travels, some updates include different places that I go to eat, while others are focused around Social Media questions – all of the posts have a different focus and require a different interaction from others. I had heard businesses wonder about Twitter, and what effect it may have on them, and while some “get it”, others can not make the connection. I wanted to highlight 2 different ways that Twitter’s platform can have a positive effect on your brand.

Brand Awareness
The other day, I posted that I was going to the Boston Celtics basketball game. Within 10 minutes or so, I was followed by The Bulfinch Hotel

.

Now I did not post that I needed a place to stay in the city, or that I was looking of a restaurant to eat at, I just posted the Boston Celtics, and the hotel decided to follow me. Now my curiosity got to me, so I looked at their profile and went to their website. I learned a lot about where the hotel is and what their costs are. In the future, when I go into the city and need a place to stay, I will probably give them the benefit of the doubt and stay with them based on their eagerness and aggressiveness of following me on Twitter. By setting up a simple search on Twitter for “Boston” The Bulfinch Hotel is able to see everyone that posts that within their tweet. They can then take the initiative to follow those people if they feel the need, and their scalable, cost-effective Social media campaign is launched.

Customer Support
Last year New England had a “wicked” ice storm that paralyzed the area for many days, and weeks in some cases. We initially lost power on a Thursday afternoon as I remember. During the first couple of days, I did not call our electric company PSNH

too much (after the initial report), as I was sure that they were on it, and that they would restore power as soon as they could. When I got to work on Monday, I began reading about the storm through local websites and news outlets. Within the articles that I read, the electric company promoted the fact that PSNH was on Twitter and if you wanted to report outages, or stay up-to-date with updates concerning when power was going to be restored to your area, to follow them. I followed them immediately and again reported the outage in my area. I was then contacted by a representative of the company on twitter letting me know that they were aware of the outage and that it would still be a couple of days for them to resolve my specific situation. I was in contact with their twitter account over the 7 days that the power was out for. Because of this, I did not call their support lines, or have to listen to dreaded on hold music while waiting for a support person to not tell me anything that I did not already know.

Now I do not have a huge reach within the “blog-space” and do not have thousands and thousands of readers. I may not be able to have any effect on their bottom line, but these 2 companies understand the importance of communicating with their audience 1 person at a time, which, when it comes down to it, is just what it takes to make a difference.

Employment

I am currently employed at Bose as the Digital Platform Manager, leveraging Ratings & Reviews and Community content to increase customer acquisition and retention

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