Ranked in the Top 100 Social Media Influencers for Houston

A few weeks old but wanted to share and say thanks so much! I’ve made it on the list at spot #75! I’m honored to be among so many great names!

Top 100 Social Media Power Influencers in Houston 2013

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AllFacebook.com Article: Customer Service Via Facebook, Twitter Becoming More Mainstream

Today I came across this great article on AllFacebook.com on how social media is becoming more and more entwined with guest relations and customer service.

Customer Service Via Facebook, Twitter Becoming More Mainstream by David Cohen

I see this on a daily basis with the brands I manage. One quote stood out to me because I have actually said the same thing when I give presentations on social media:

“Your brand is no longer controlled by you: it’s controlled by the conversations your customers are having around you.”

The reason for this is because people just want to be heard and before, they had to write a letter or talk privately to the manager or call the company. Then came email but that was still private. Not satisfied partly due to probable lack of response to their complaint, customers are now taking their complaints public to Twitter and Facebook and lo and behold, we are listening. Or at least we should be as B2B and B2C brands. Is your company listening?

More importantly, are you responding? Various recent studies show that companies are NOT responding at rates of 90% or higher to Facebook posts customers are leaving on brand pages. How many of these are complaints that are being ignored?

I will write a longer post on  how social media and customer service go hand in hand in the near future. In the meantime, I will leave you with this thought: the response can be more important than the actual issue so seize the opportunity!

Restaurant Business Article: Winning Strategies

Last month I was interviewed by MonkeyDish for an upcoming issue of Restaurant Business that focused on how restaurants use social media. The issue came out today and I am proud to say that two of my tips made it to their list of “Winning  Strategies” for social media. I have copied the text below from the article written by Amanda C. Kooser and Amanda M. Westbrooks:

20. Allow negativity
While social media is a great venue for fans to express their love for a brand, it can also be a venue for frustrated customers to speak out in a very public way. The temptation might be to delete the feedback or respond in kind, but Elaine Mesker-Garcia, social media manager with Luby’s Fuddruckers Restaurants, cautions against that sort of reaction. “Don’t take things personally. Allow some negativity. You need to respond as kindly as possible to everyone,” she says, “Let them voice their opinion and respond to them. We’ve done a lot of service recovery that way. If they have a reasonable complaint, I want to show people we’re taking care of it.”

42. Get visual
Visual social media sites Pinterest and Instagram are full of buzz, but many restaurants have yet to explore their potential. Fuddruckers, however, has jumped right in with both services. “I always like to be an early adopter,” says social media manager Mesker-Garcia. “The Fuddruckers brand is very visual. Our fans love to post pictures of our burgers and themselves eating. I thought it would be a great way to engage with them.” Fuddruckers’ biggest Pinterest board is full of fan photos culled from pictures posted on Twitter and Instagram. Mesker-Garcia is aiming to post more of Fuddruckers’ own photos to Pinterest. Her top tip is to make sure your restaurant’s photos have your logo or some other branding. That way, when photos are repinned around Pinterest, the origin is still obvious. Over on Instagram, Mesker-Garcia likes to bring a personal touch to the service. “I search for the Fuddruckers hashtag on Instagram and I ‘like’ their pictures and leave them a comment and engage them that way,” she says.

I recommend reading the article in its entirety. There are some very good strategy tips listed, even if your business is not a restaurant!

AllFacebook Interview

Last summer I had the privilege of speaking on a panel at the AllFacebook Marketing Conference in San Francisco in regards to using Facebook to promote local businesses. In conjunction with that I did an interview for AllFacebook.com on the topic of how franchised companies use Facebook. Here is a link to the article:

Managing Franchise And Corporate Facebook Pages

Here is a link to a summary of the main points we discussed on the panel discussion as well.

“Facebook Places: Deals and Store-Level Marketing” Panel Discussion Notes

This will be a recurring theme here on this blog but I think the following statement summarizes it very nicely: “Photos and personal engagement with fans usually leads to success.”