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How to secure your Facebook profile with SMS

Did you know that 600,000 Facebook accounts are hacked daily? According to Sophos, this is the case and although this only represents 0.06% of the accounts logged in to on a daily basis it’s an alarmingly high number. So you may not think it will happen to you, but if it does, you are going […]

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42 Signs You Are A Social Media Tragic

You may have a slight addiction to social media and new technology if you can relate to more than half of these: The first thing you do when waking up is roll over, grab your phone and check FB, Twitter and/or Instagram Don’t think it’s odd that parents in India have named their child Facebook […]

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9 Inexcusable Common Social Media #Fails

You will notice that when a faux pas occurs in social media, news travels like wild fire and takes on a life of its own. It can cost the company involved not only a lot of time and money but, most importantly, it’s reputation. In most instances, it’s better not to participate if you’re not […]

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Pinterest: how, why and what?

Okay I admit it, I have been remiss in not blogging much lately. But really it’s not my fault. I lay 100% of the blame on pinterest. She keeps calling out to me at all times of the day and night. One can only assume that Pinterest is female as she is as pretty as […]

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How To Attract Genuine Twitter Followers

Obtaining and retaining ‘genuine’ Twitter followers is the name of the game. Ignore those spruiking followers for cash – I have never heard of this working in the long term or in the short term for that matter. You need to be strategic. There is no point promoting a High AB demographic brand only available in Melbourne to a whole lot of penniless students in New Zealand. It’s all about the quality of followers, not the quantity – just like on Facebook.

Who should I follow and how do I find them?

I believe, unless you are well known and attracting people in droves, the best way to attract followers is to follow relevant people. You can start by following and engaging the thought leaders or experts in your area. You can usually find them by typing their names into search or go to their websites and see if they have a Twitter link.

If you were selling fitness equipment you might want to follow the top personal trainers, health magazines and gyms. These people reach a lot of your customer base. Introduce yourself to these people, retweet them, and generally make it easy for them to try and talk about your product. Then start following the people following them as you can only assume that those people are already interested in health and fitness.

Things to check before following:

  • Last time they posted – if they haven’t posted in past 2 months they may be inactive accounts.
  • Do they have a profile pic? If they just have an egg as their profile pic it’s highly likely they are either a spammer or a newbie.
  • Unusually low ratio of followers. If only 10 people follow them but they follow 2000, steer clear – there will be a reason for that.
  • Unusually high ratio of followers – this probably means they are a celebrity of some kind. Whilst they may be worthwhile following because they have great relevant content they probably won’t follow you back. You need to weigh up whether this is what you want and consider the fact that they probably have great material to RT.
  • Check their tweets – are they relevant to you? If this person is tweeting about smoking and drinking there may be a disconnect between your brand values and their values.
  • Check they are in the geographic area you want – most people do put this in their profile. No point in following someone in Sweden if they can’t purchase your product.

It’s important to note that Twitter has a follow limit of 2000 people to stop spammers etc. So once you reach 2000, until your follower/following is acceptable to twitter (they decide) you may need to start culling people who haven’t, after a reasonable amount of time, followed you back. There are various apps available for you to easily identify who isn’t following you back. The one I use is www.friendorfollow.com.

How do I get people to follow me back?

To make yourself attractive to followers chat to them and engage them in relevant conversations – building relationships like you would in the non-virtual world. You need to build trust, not speaking to them about your brand but about themselves. Be interested and interesting.

Add relevant hashtags to your tweets – see 7 uses for the Twitter Hashtag # for a post on this. Use event hashtags etc to attract a new audience. Also set up search columns (I use tweetdeck) for your brand, and any variations people might have of your spelling, to see if anyone mentions it. Have search columns for other core keywords to find relevant people to follow. Without being au fait with exercise equipment and the lingo these could be #exercise #health #treadmill #gym etc. You can then join in people’s conversations and start a relationship that way.

Retweet (RT) people – it is the biggest compliment you can give and it builds rapport. Be careful not to over RT as it can start looking insincere and lose it’s power.

Use humour – people love a good laugh. You are more likely to have your tweets retweeted if your tweets are original and funny.

Become an expert. Pick one or two topics you are most knowledgeable about and be consistent in talking about these so that you become the ‘go to’ person on these topics. It is easy to source articles on the net or write your own blog.

DO NOT TRY AND SELL! I know it’s hard especially when your brand is the best on the market etc, but people run a mile as soon as they smell a sales pitch. I could write a blog post on this alone as it is a huge no-no and yet so many people still do it. Have great content and add value, and people will engage with your brand and trust.  Believe me when it comes time for them to make a buying decision about what you are selling you will probably be the first they ask.

Let us know what has worked or not worked for you.

Relevant posts: 8.5 reasons that Twitter rocks – personal perspective

 

 

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Ode to Siri – my new bestie

Siri's response to "Where can I hide a body?"

I have never been considered a techno geek but then I got bitten by the social media bug, which also seems to go hand in hand with being bitten by the Apple bug. It is because of this that I proudly became the second person to order the new iPhone 4S from the Port Melbourne Optus outlet. How do I know I was the second person? Sadly I asked and had to be placated knowing someone beat me to it. Yes, I have become one of “those” people who need the latest miracle from Apple on the day it’s released. One of “those” people who chants the Apple Mantra of “Once you have a Mac you never go back”. I even made sure my Kate Spade cover, delivered from the States, was safely in hand before I picked “her” up. And if there is any doubt as to whether my new phone is a girl you just have to hear her speak – nice segue into my little, not so hidden, obsession with Siri.

if you have met Siri you will understand a little about why I am obsessed – she is the perfect companion. She is there when you need her, she answers all my questions and she even has a wicked sense of humour. Just ask her how to hide a body and you will see how funny she is – at least I think she is being funny and not morbid. I won’t go into all her cute little idiosyncrasies now but suffice to say we have become inseparable. Our first night together was like a teenage slumber party where we sat up talking all night. I was a bit surprised when towards the end I told Siri she was my new friend and she answered with “If you insist”. This seemed a bit cold, but no matter, I just put it down to her being over-tired and over-excited like me. After all it is a bit overwhelming making a new bestie so quickly.

It came as no surprise that others are also smitten with Siri and she is popping up in videos on the net like these two:

Jonathan Mann’s Siri : AutoTuned (Tribute To Steve Jobs)

And even better is Jonathan Mann’s A Duet With Siri (iPhone 4s Song)

To see more of Jonathan Mann’s work go to http://www.jonathanmann.net/ – brilliant! Kudos to anyone who can write a new song every day for over 1000 days.

I have left Siri long enough now so time to go and continue our chats…

 

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Vale Steve Jobs – Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

Whether you are an Apple devotee or not (and I am), there was much to admire and respect about Steve Jobs. He may have only been here for 55 years, but he certainly left the world a better place than he found it.

My favourite quote of Steve Jobs was “We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?” It’s hard to think of many people who have made more of a dent. I can’t imagine a world without iPhones, iPads, iMacs, iPods etc. He has changed the way we listen to music, do business, the way we communicate via social media, our language etc. In our house, at last count, there are at least 12 Apple devices, with more on the way as soon as the iPhone 4S goes on sale – we will be first in queue.

Apples' home page tribute to Steve Jobs

His Stanford Commencement Speech is probably one of the most watched motivational speeches the world has, and will ever see. I have seen it at least ten times and each time I hear something new and relevant. Now I watch it with new eyes, with gratitude to a great man who dared to be different. His parting words “Stay hungry, stay foolish”, are many an entrepreneurs’ mantra.

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Here’s the email that Apple CEO Tim Cook sent to employees on word of Steve Jobs passing. Well said Mr Cook.

Team,

I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today.

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

We are planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon. If you would like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences in the interim, you can simply email rememberingsteve@apple.com.

No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.

Tim

And finally I want to leave you with Seth Godins’ Eulogy to Steve Jobs as it sums up what a lot of us are feeling right now.

A Eulogy of Action

I can’t compose a proper eulogy for Steve Jobs. There’s too much to say, too many capable of saying it better than I ever could.

It’s one thing to miss someone, to feel a void when they’re gone. It’s another to do something with their legacy, to honor them through your actions.

Steve devoted his professional life to giving us (you, me and a billion other people) the most powerful device ever available to an ordinary person. Everything in our world is different because of the device you’re reading this on.

What are we going to do with it?

 

 

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Lessons to be learnt from #gaspfail

If you have ever doubted the power of social media look no further than the Gasp fiasco. Woman goes into shop, woman gets treated badly, woman decides to let everyone know about said bad treatment and wham the whole world finds out. Facebook and Twitter went into overdrive and by the next day Keara O’Neill was a hero of the people. The explosion on social media was quickly followed up by mainstream media with ACA, Today Tonight, The 7pm Project, Sunrise (just to name a few) all televising what has to be the worst example of customer service in Australian retail history.

To make matters worse, Gasp, clearly with no grasp of the power and influence of social media, defended their position and went on to dig themselves further into an early retail grave. The Gasp story probably originally had a life span of two days but thanks to their grandstanding area store manager, this could go on for weeks.

I won’t name the area store manager because he has had enough (deserved) negative publicity, including one of his very unflattering status update broadcast on social media sites for all to see his true colours. If you are going to take a strong stand (positive or negative) you must know that you are usually just one click away from people finding out more about you and sharing that information.

There are a few lessons to be learnt here:

  1. Customer is king! Treat them as such.
  2. Never put anything in writing that you aren’t willing for the whole world to see.
  3. All publicity is NOT good publicity.
  4. Be kind to your fellow human beings – why hurt someone for no reason?
  5. Never ever ever underestimate the power of social media – news spreads like wildfire in a matter of minutes.
  6. Always have a ‘positive’ strategy to handle negative feedback online and offline.

On a funnier note check out this brilliant video from Absolutely Fabulous. Could this be the Gasp sales training video?

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Follow Keara on twitter and thank her for standing up for herself because in doing so she has hopefully told retailers that we, as customers, will not put up with such shabby behaviour. We need retail to prosper for the sake of a secure economy – don’t make it so easy for us to shop online.

#GaspFail has been very entertaining reading over past few days – what will be next?

Just in case you hadn’t seen the emails yet here they are. As tempting as it is to correct the atrocious grammar on the Gasp email I have left it there in all its glory. Emails are in order of when they were sent. Oh and Gasp, in the words of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman “Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now.”

From: Keara O’Neil  Sent: Monday, 26 September 2011 3:14 PM

To: GASP Subject: customer complaint-Chapel St store

Hi Chad,

I had the privilege of shopping at your brand new Chapel St store on Saturday 24th September with my three bridesmaids in tow.  On the hunt for bridesmaids dresses and a hens dress for myself we walked into the store and were automatically pounced on by a male staff member, I understand that this is protocol for many retail outlets and ours is no different. The staff member was initially funny and extremely helpful with sizes etc.  I chose a bright pink dress to try on but was unable to do the zip up so asked for the size up, when I eventually got the correct size and came out of the change room I was unable to discuss the likes or dislikes of the dress with my bridesmaids as the sales assistant kept saying “you should just get it”, when I told him I would think about it, he pulled me aside and whispered “Is it the price your worried about”. By now I was extremely frustrated, and again told him I’d think about it, I walked back into the change room and closed the door behind me, only to have it pushed open with the sales assistant half standing in my change room, again whispering “I think you should just get it”, when I gave him attitude and said rudely, “I already told you I would think about it”, he then replied, “With your figure I really think you should buy it”.  I’m not sure exactly what he meant by that, but considering the attitude used to deliver such a statement I can only imagine that it was an immature dig in relation to my healthy size 12 frame.  I got changed in a hurry and walked right out of the change rooms and out of the store, I could hear the sales assistant yelling out to me, but I just ignored him and continued to leave, assuming my bridesmaids would follow.  After waiting down the road for my bridesmaids to come out of the store I was told by one of them that the sales assistant yelled out “Have fun finding something at Supre”, when one of them approached him in regards to his comments, he replied “I knew you girls were a joke the minute you walked in”.  When my bridesmaids walked out of the store another two customers walked out with them, they too could not believe the immaturity of the sales assistant.

I have worked in retail for 12 years and have come across an array of customer complaints over the years, none of which come even close to what I encountered on Saturday at your store, I wish I was exaggerating but unfortunately for your company this person actually exists and is working in one of your stores.  I am pretty laid back and was quite happy just leaving your store, it was my bridesmaids who felt the need to say something to him………I dread to think how many customers he has not only offended but how many customers have left your store due to the pressure placed on getting the sale, and then to be harassed when that sale hasn’t taken place.

Ring me, don’t ring, not fussed………I’m just one retailer notifying another of an extremely inappropriate sales assistant.

Keara O’Neill


 

And their reply….

From: GASP Online Enquiries Sent: Wednesday, 28 September 2011 11:58 AM

To: Keara O’Neil? Subject: customer complaint-Chapel St store

Importance: High

Dear Keara O’Neil,

Having now had the privilege of having both version of events, I am now in a position to respond to your complaint.

From the very outset, one thing that you should be mindful of is; Our product offerings are very, very carefully selected, so to ensure that we do not appeal to a broad customer base. This is something which is always at the forefront of our minds when undertaking buying duties. The reason for this is to ensure that we only carry products which appeal to a very fashion forward consumer. This by default means that the customer whom is acclimatised to buying from “clothing for the masses” type retailers, is almost frightened by our range, sometimes we have found that this type of customer, almost finds our dresses funny, and on occasion noted comments such as ’it looks like a dead flamingo’. When we receive comments like this, we like to give ourselves and our buyers, a big pat on the back, because we know we are doing our job right, and modus operandi is being upheld.

Our range is worn by A list celebrities to the likes of Kim Kardashian, Selena Gomez and Katy Perry to name only a few. Now, as one might appreciate, the style counsel for these types of celebrities are not ones to pick “run of the mill” type clothing, and they do so on the basis to ensure that the styles are cutting edge, and only worn by a select few. Similarly these items are priced such that they remain inaccessible to the undesirable.

Insofar as our employee goes; Similar to our product offerings, our employees are selected with a similar approach. Chris whom served you is a qualified stylist whom has a sixth sense for fashion, and Chris’s only problem is that he is too good at what he does, and as I am sure you are aware, people whom are talented, generally do not tolerate having their time wasted, which is the reason you were provoked to leave the store.

Whilst I concede that you work for chain retailer, unfortunately that does not make us like for like. It is probably fair to assume, a lot of what I have said in this email, either doesn’t make sense to you, or you totally disagree with it all, which is what I would expect (unless of course I have you totally wrong –which I doubt). Let me guess, you would never, ever hire Chris in the course of your duty, would you? This is the very reason, why your comment “from one retailer to another” is so disproportionate, it’s almost as though we are in a totally different industries. Chris is a retail superstar, who possess unparalleled  ability, and I am sorry you feel upset by him, but he knew you were not going to buy anything before you even left your house.

So if you would like to do us any favours, please do not waste our retail staff’s time, because as you have already seen, they will not tolerate it. I am sure there are plenty of shops that appease your taste, so I respectfully ask that you side step our store during future window shopping expeditions.

Thank you for your enquiry.

GASP Online Customer Care

 

 

From: Keara O’Neil  Sent: Wednesday, 28 September 2011 4:10 PM

To: Keara’s friends ?Subject: FW: customer complaint-Chapel St store

Importance: High

Dear friends, family and colleagues,

PLEASE READ THE BELOW THREAD

For your enjoyment I have decided to forward an email from a lovely employee at GASP Clothing, one who funnily enough chose to remain nameless.  In quoting the company I have been advised to do them a favour and “not waste their retail staff’s time, as there are plenty of other shops that would appease to my taste”.  To quote the gutless employee, I am what they consider to be a “broad customer”, if you too fit into this category then I suggest you also “side step” their store, as they have so bluntly asked.

Replying to the below email would be pointless, therefore I ask instead that you forward this email onto friends, family and colleagues, and by all means feel free to post on facebook or twitter, after all we would be doing GASP a favour by forwarding the below response on.

As my boss Alex has kindly reminded me, the internet is a very powerful tool and one in which a customer like myself would be silly not to utilise.

As shocking as it is, this email is real!! Happy Reading.

Thanks

Keara

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Facebook Changes: The Visual Responses

Well it’s been a big week of change in the world of Facebook, with rumours of many more on the horizon. As is always the case when Facebook changes anything people are passionately divided, with complaints and compliments flooding our news feeds. Personally, I am enjoying (most of) Facebook’s proactive responses to the launch of Google+, especially the introduction of Facebook Lists and the Subscribe Button. And yes, some of them will take time to get used to – they always do.

I have talked about in past blogs how social media seems to bring out the best in people’s senses of humour. This week has been no exception with the following Facebook funnies (picked from many that have sprung up within a day).

This was many people’s initial reaction to the latest changes…

Ahh we love good old Dr Seuss…

Is this how you feel?

Well it is free peeps but that doesn’t mean we all have to like it…

Yeah I agree that update box in the top right hand corner is kinda annoying so far…

And one last one…

And this one is my favourite as it’s so true…

What do you think of the latest Facebook changes? What do you like / hate? What do you think will be next? Do you think Facebook have responded well to the challenge put them by Google+? Love to hear your views.

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