By Nick Johnson - October 11th, 2011

Hi all, Hope you're well! Four posts and a request for help this week: Social media customer service is a failure And that's according to Frank Eliason, formerly @comcastcares and now SVP o...

Hi all,

Hope you're well!

Four posts and a request for help this week:

Social media customer service is a failure

And that's according to Frank Eliason, formerly @comcastcares and now SVP of social media at Citibank. Eliason was one of the architects of social media customer service, so it's a surprising headline to this post.

According to Eliason, too many companies are focusing on the wrong metrics and KPIs (likes, follows, etc), which "tell you nothing of substance". Companies are also all too quick to say they're great at listening, but don't actually do anything with the information they pick up from this listening.

When it comes to customer service, Eliason recounts being asked about the difference in cost between phone calls vs tweets - another example of a bad KPI. Too many companies focus on cutting down time on the phone, and shutting up customers - rather than actually talking to them. It has been this way for years, but frustratingly the new opportunities social offers are being infected by the same old thinking.

Eliason has a few ideas on how to do this stuff better, including empowering employees, stop being afraid of your customer and get more nimble.

You can read the whole (brilliant) post here, or you could see Frank Eliason in person discussing this very thing at our Social Media for Customer Service conference in New York at the end of the month.

What is social compliance? And how you can avoid being rendered immobile by it

A great piece by Kevin Magee explores the new problems around compliance and social media. As many social media practitioners (especially those working in regulated industries) will know, the first thing your colleagues and superiors will talk about when you suggest using social media is the risk attached. Often, this discussion ends with your social strategy being curtailed - or stopped completely.

Magee discusses how you can avoid this problem at your own company - essentially by using the same compliance tools you do with other forms of marketing. Avoid three mistakes and you should be good:

  1. Stop putting social media in a silo: The further away from core business it goes, the harder it is to monitor
  2. Stop hiring people because they have 'social' in their job title: hire internally from a pool that understands your corporate approach
  3. Start learning how social impacts your core business objectives: Start to realise how social will impact on every aspect of your business - and start working on it, rather than burying your head in the sand

Read the whole of Magee's piece here.

70% of large companies will gamify at least one business process

According to new research by Gartner, it seems gamification is far further down the road to corporate adoption than previously thought. Along with the stat in the title, M2 Research has said that revenue from gamification software, consulting and marketing will grow to $938m from $100m by 2014.

It's a big jump and the article goes into detail on how companies are adopting game dynamics in their business, and to what ends. Real results are being achieved. LiveOps - which runs virtual call centres - used gamification for their call centre agents. Since that happened, agents have reduced call times by 15%, and sales have increased by 8%-12%.

The full article, from the WSJ, is here.

An investigation into Facebook's 'People Talking About' metric

Facebook rolled out another new feature a few days ago, and you're going to want to take note of this one. The company are trying to move marketers away from judging the success of their Facebook marketing campaigns by 'likes' and 'fans'. The aim is to shunt people towards a more complex - and accurate - metric to measure success.

And that metric is 'People talking about' and it's designed to measure engagement. Rating success based on this new metric turns some received judgement about the best brands on social media on its head. Starbucks, who lead the way based on 'likes', drop to 58th on SimplyZesty's table of the most engaging brands. For the full list, and a little more info on the new metric, head to Fresh Network's blog here.

Help us to create the next 'State of Corporate Social Media' briefing

Every year we analyse corporate integration of social media into their business operations and put together a briefing discussing the results (last year's copy is here). This year, we want to hear what YOU want to know about. Please let us know the sort of questions you'd like us to ask in the form below BY FRIDAY. We'll send out the survey to our contacts then, and start spotting trends and analysing results!

Request a question right here

That's all this week folks,


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