Did you hear about the glazing company that generated £200,000 worth of sales through social media?
Or the glazing conference that attracted a massive audience thanks largely to personalised invitations through Twitter?
Very few businesses in the window, door, conservatory and glazing industry use social media and GET RESULTS.
And by results, we mean sales generated by social media, or enquiries that have been sparked by a conversation on social media, rather than a sales message.
Yes, we mean the £200,000 of sales that our client, Glazedale, generated through social media.
Building Business Relationships on Social Media
Director Darren Shelbourn built relationships with potential buyers on Twitter. They turned to him when they needed glazing:
“One Twitter follower, who used to be in the windows trade, realised how good we were from the photos I tweeted. He recommended us to his neighbour and has now ordered windows of his own.
“What’s also been great is that the sales generated through Twitter weren’t just one-offs. A customer generated through Twitter asked us to replace his windows and when he moved house he asked us again. Now his sister-in-law has asked us to replace her windows. Those contracts are worth £25,000 – all generated because of Twitter.”
How to Get GENUINE Results from Social Media:
1. Have a social media strategy. Work out what you actually want to achieve, find out how you can best achieve it through social media and do it PROPERLY. Don’t use social media because it’s there. Use it with PURPOSE.
2. Stop recording success based on the number of Facebook likes and Twitter followers. You wouldn’t be happy if you had hundreds of people in your showroom but none of them ever bought. So why be satisfied by fans and followers?
3. Use social media socially and not as a blunt sales tool. That means having conversations with potential customers. It means building relationships with influencers and turning your existing customers into advocates of your brand. THAT is when social media is done well.
4. Measure everything you do on social media. If you can’t see a return on your investment in time, staffing or agency fees, then spend your resources elsewhere. Or better yet, change things so you DO get results from social media.
The Potential for the Industry Is Enormous.
We’re not saying social media alone is key to success for a glazing company. It needs to fit alongside your other marketing and website.
But all need to generate results.
At Status Social, we’ve generated more than half a million pounds worth of sales for us and our clients through social media training and management.
We will be supporting Gate Marketing on Stand M3, right next to the entrance, at the 2017 FIT Show.Read More
Social media can be a fantastic tool for companies, but it can also present a risk.
The bad publicity associated with a post by an ill-informed or wayward employee can have a hugely negative impact on a company’s brand.
Samantha Cotter is a senior associate at Derby law firm Knights. In this post, she’ll explore the ways businesses can protect themselves against their employees’ inappropriate behaviour online.
In the last few days I saw a post pop up on my LinkedIn feed.
An employee of a very well-known train operator posted what you can only assume he thought was an entertaining story about an interaction with a member of the public:
Now being the daughter of a railway enthusiast I often get corrected when I say “train station” rather than “railway station”. However, the above post was widely considered to be inappropriate, rude, and not behaviour fit for someone who worked for one of the major rail operators.
At the last count there were 145 comments underneath this post, most of which were reacting negatively to the post. Some even copied in the managing director and HR Director of the rail operator.
The post has since been deleted. While it is entirely conjecture, it seems likely that the employee will be disciplined for the post. But is that a reasonable reaction? What can an employer do in this situation? And arguably more importantly, what can they do to prevent this from happening?
1) Have A Social Media Policy
Having a clear social media policy is a great starting point, but you also need to make sure that it has been communicated to staff.
The tribunal will take into account not only that you have a policy that covers the type of misconduct alleged, but also that the policy was drawn to the attention of staff. The most appropriate time to do this is at induction, or whenever the policy is amended.
Policies can prohibit posts that might embarrass the company, harm its reputation or undermine its culture. Such policies have helped employers successfully defend tribunal claims that staff were unfairly dismissed as a result of a post on social media.
2) Offer Social Media Training
Social media training can show your employees how to maximise the potential benefits of social media. But the training can also cover the company policy regarding what is appropriate content, and the possible repercussions in the event that the policy is breached.
While people are becoming more aware of how difficult it is to restrict who sees what you post on social media, it is still worth including a reminder in your training. A further consideration is brand protection. It is recommended that employees receive training and guidance on the construction and acceptable use of any social media sites they are using for business purposes.
3) Consider the Context
Was the post on a personal or business account? Is it obvious from their profile where they work?
Both will be important factors when deciding on what action to take if an employee is in breach of a social media policy. A tribunal in an unfair dismissal case will look at whether there is likely to be a detrimental impact on the company.
In the above example it was a post on LinkedIn, a business site, where the employer was specifically named. It is clear that the negative reaction to the post will have been associated with the employer.
4) Consider What Has Been Posted
Is it a post in their name? Have they commented on another post, or have they liked something inappropriate?
All are important factors. In one case, an employee who liked a post about his manager being hit with a chair was dismissed, but that was going a step too far according to a tribunal who decided that the dismissal was unfair. They also took into account the fact he had used a personal account and had an exemplary disciplinary record up to that point.
Again, looking at the above example, the post directly relates to a potential customer of the company. The reaction of the member of staff is certainly not what a reasonable employer would have expected from a member of staff in this situation. You can only hope that he was not wearing anything that identified him as working for the operator at the time of the incident.
So, is it Serious Enough to Warrant a Dismissal?
Cases where the tribunal have decided that a dismissal due to something posted in social media was fair include:
– Comments including ‘I hate my work’, ‘it’s not the work, it’s the people who ruin it, horrible nasty human beings’ and ‘Why are the gaffers such ******, is there some kind of book teaching them to be ********’. In addition, comments which suggested the employee was under the influence of alcohol while on standby. The company’s social media policy, combined with the seriousness of the comments, and the fact a fair process was followed, resulted in a decision that the dismissal was fair.
– Comments made by the employee about their employer and the company products that were less than complimentary resulted in their dismissal. The tribunal decided that the dismissal was fair on the basis that the comments had harmed the company’s reputation. They also took into account the fact that the employee had received training on what was appropriate use of social media.
– Posting comments which were critical of the employer was found to be a fair dismissal, even though the employer was not named. The comments had damaged the relationship between the employee and employer, had damaged the employer’s interests and had the potential to damage the employer’s relationship with other employees.
– An employee who did not name her employer on her profile was still found to warrant dismissal as anyone who knew her would know where she worked. Therefore the comments still had the potential to harm the employer’s interests.
What Will Employment Tribunals Consider?
An employment tribunal when called upon to determine whether a dismissal related to a post on social media is fair will consider:
– the nature of the comments made;
– how quickly after the post the employer acted and reasons for any delay;
– whether there is a social media policy in place;
– what training was provided to the employees regarding the policy;
– whether the comments were made within working hours;
– the subject matter of the post or comment;
– the extent of the damage caused to the employer’s reputation;
– whether there has been any breach of confidentiality;
– any mitigating factors that may exist, such as a history of good behaviour or a mental health condition that may have affected their ability to gauge what was appropriate.
In a case where there is a clear link to the type of work the employee (or company) does, that there is an obvious identification of their place of work, and where the post is likely to have caused reputational damage to the employer, it seems likely that making the decision to dismiss, should that be the outcome, would potentially be a fair one.
Of course it is important to consider whether there is a social media policy in place, whether the member of staff has received training, and of course whether a fair process was followed when reaching the decision to dismiss.
And For Employees?
Think before you post the next thing that comes into your head. Stop and think what the outside world may think. As funny as you may consider the comment to be, consider the potential impact.
If it is truly harmless, entertaining, or even likely to be beneficial to your work, then go for it. If it is in bad taste, mocks others, or might undermine your employer’s brand, think twice before hitting post.
If you would like to discuss any aspects raised in this article, please contact Samantha Cotter, a Senior Associate in the Knights Employment Team based in Derby on email@example.com; or any member of Knights’ Employment Team firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need help educating your staff on good social media use, get in touch with Status Social for a free consultation.
Samantha Cotter Asoc CIPD
Samantha joined Knights Professional Services Limited in January 2016 as an Associate in the Employment team, and became a Senior Associate in October 2016.
Her work includes drafting employment contracts, putting in place and advising on policies and procedures, advising on Settlement Agreements, HR advice, dispute resolution and representation at Employment Tribunals. she also has experience in dealing with employment related litigation matters in the County and High Courts.Read More
Like all social media channels, Facebook changes all the time.
This week we noticed an update to Facebook’s page manager panel.
What’s the Facebook page manager panel?
If you manage pages on Facebook, it’s the column that appears to the right of your homepage. It gives you a quick overview of how your pages have performed over the past week.
Here’s what it used to look like:
And here’s the updated version:
1. The panel has grown. It now shows a lot more information, and it’s a lot more interactive. But doesn’t it look less cluttered?
2. It lets you know if you’ve any new notifications or messages.
3. There’s a means of updating the page directly from your homepage. You can publish a post, upload a photo, create an event, or start a promotion.
4. The panel used to display your page’s reach (the number of people who saw your content in the past week). Instead, you can now choose to view your likes, your views, and some essential information about how many comments and shares your posts received.
5. The “sell more Eventbrite tickets” bit looks like a “tip”, the sort you see on Facebook Event pages. This may vary from day to day.
6. You can scroll through your five most recent posts. It tells you how many likes each received, but again, no reach. You have the option to boost each one, so this update is possibly designed to encourage people to spend money promoting posts.
What does this mean?
All of us at Status Social manage Facebook pages for our clients. But not all of us saw this update!
Sometimes Facebook tests certain features with certain users. New features are only rolled out to all users if they perform well enough.
So this might be an experiment on Facebook’s part. Or it might be a sneak preview of how your Facebook homepage will evolve in the very near future.
And it’s a good evolution – this new page manager panel is a lot easier to use than the old one. You can perform a lot of basic functions directly from your homepage.
This strikes me as the sort of thing that I’ll soon take for granted. I may start wondering how I ever got by without this function.
But what are the implications of this update?
First, as Facebook Pages are primarily used by businesses, we can view this as a move to make the whole platform more accessible for businesses.
The numerous prompts to boost posts and to promote the page confirms Facebook’s motivation for making their platform more business-friendly: They want to make money through promotions!
But more importantly, this new page manager panel does not show you your page’s reach. You can still view your page’s reach on the page itself, and by accessing Insights. But maybe that’ll change soon, too.
Instead of reach, you’re shown the number of likes your page has. You’re also shown how many likes each of your five most recent posts received.
This suggests that Facebook may not care about reach as much as you. They’re all about the engagement!
Elliot Davies is a social media manager at Status Social. He looks after numerous accounts for our clients, generating leads and increasing brand awareness. Find out more about his results on our case studies page.Read More
This week we told our staff not to come to work…
…but to go to the gym instead!
We’ve put a new policy in place – you can start work an hour later than usual IF you spend the time exercising instead.
Why did we introduce this scheme? Simple! We want our team to get fit, which will help them be more effective at work.
Most of our staff spend their days creating social media updates on a computer. As a result, they spend their working days sat down.
But research has shown that exercising before work has a positive effect on employee mood, productivity, and even absentee rates.
You’ll always perform better if you have an active start to the day.
And you shouldn’t have to work later to make up for your exercising time!
Our New Work Out Scheme Is Already Working Out!
The new policy has been an instant hit.
Social media manager Grace Golden took this picture in her gym at 7:33 am!
“There are no more excuses not to do exercise,” she said. “To be given the time to be more active is fantastic. It will really set me up for the day.”
And perhaps even more remarkable? This offer convinced our other social media manager, Elliot Davies, to join a gym for the first time in his life!
A Creative Approach to Team Management.
At the moment the team’s free to take up the exercise offer a maximum of twice a week, but we might extend this to more days if it proves to be a success.
We’ve already been featured in the Derby Telegraph:
Team Status enjoys a number of unusual perks. For instance, work for us and you’ll never have to work on your birthday.
This scheme’s so good for morale that it was recently adopted by one of our clients, East Midlands’ accountants HSKS Greenhalgh.
This demonstrates why we were named Derby Telegraph Creative Business of the Year.
We don’t just excel at making money for our clients on social media. We also excel at making our team feel welcomed, valued, and appreciated.
Which in turn makes them better at their jobs!Read More
Customer service on social media.
Get it right and your customers will love you.
Get it wrong and you’ll be forever used as an example of how not to conduct yourself online.
Here’s how to get it right.
We’ve all been there.
A negative review. An unhappy customer. A strongly worded letter.
Don’t take it personally and don’t panic.
Research finds that an estimated 67% of consumers use Twitter or Facebook for customer service enquiries. In this blog, we’ll explore five things to keep in mind when it comes to customer service on social media.
These five rules will help you minimise damage to your brand and turn lemons into lemonade.
Get an understanding of what’s happened.
You might be tempted to disagree with the complaint or defend the situation. Instead, politely acknowledge the comment. If necessary, ask for further information. If you’d rather take it offline, you can request a direct message (DM).
It might sound like social suicide to continue the disagreement in public. But if it can be resolved quickly, other customers visiting your page will appreciate seeing a timely resolution.
So you’ve got the customer’s perspective of what’s happened. It could be a catastrophe or it could be an admin error. In any case, your reply should be human and genuine.
Let the customer know what the next step is and when they should expect an update. If you’ve told the customer you’ll get back to them within a certain time period but haven’t had an update, don’t just leave them in the dark. Be honest and open.
Many keyboard warriors can be defeated with one quick and easy step:
Use your name!
It’s much harder for someone to be very angry or disappointed when they know they’re complaining to an individual rather than a computer.
A name, an honest response, and a request for their side of the story will reassure the customer that they’re being taken seriously, and that their problem will be resolved.
You’ll find customer service on social media a lot easier if you have a thorough understanding of:
1. The process for customer complaints
2. Who you need to contact
3. The product or service that you’re working with
4. Your brand
5. Your tone of voice
When a third party handle your customer service on social media, it’s essential to have a clear line of communication and a guide for handling complaints.
This is why we help our clients produce FAQs so we can respond to customers quickly and effectively.
Research shows that 72% of customers expect a response within an hour on Twitter. 38% will talk negatively about your service if you don’t respond and 60% of those will then go on to other networks to complain about you.
Think about how long it takes to type 140 characters, especially if you’re fuelled with rage. Things can escalate quickly.
If someone influential is complaining about your company, this could have a ripple effect with a wider audience. You may lose control of the situation.
In these circumstances, don’t tackle it on your own. Get a second opinion. Gather evidence to support what’s happened. And if things are getting really serious, think about a company statement that will help diffuse the complaint.
Then, get back to regularly sharing excellent content, the sort your loyal audience will value and engage with. This will encourage positive interactions on the page.
Context is Everything
Of course the customer’s always right. But context is everything. Does the customer just want a gesture because they’re disgruntled, or are they genuinely upset about their experience?
Don’t let things spiral out of control. You can keep on top of your complaints by regularly checking your social media accounts throughout the day. This can be time consuming so dedicate a certain amount of time for each check.
If you’ve left it too long, prioritise the notifications that need immediate action. You can handle any positive or neutral comments once you’ve a bit more time on your hands. If you think a complaint doesn’t need a response, it’s still worth asking someone else for a second opinion.
Top tip: When you’re handling responses make sure you’re sociable and you actually care about resolving the problem.
How Good Is Your Customer Service on Social Media?
Have you ever had a social media crisis on your hands?
We’re here to help.
We know the hospitality industry is a hot spot for social media feedback, so we wrote this blog on how to manage your online reputation.Read More
What’s white, shiny, and seen 153,442 times?
It’s the Derby Christmas Ice Rink of course!
Our task was to reignite the Derby Christmas Ice Rink Facebook and Twitter profiles following nine months of inactivity.
We beat the key performance indicators set by the client, Showplace, by 103% on Facebook and 29% on Twitter.
Reviving Inactive Social Media Accounts – How Did We Do It?
Using Twitter, we found influential people and businesses in the Derby area and tweeted them about the arrival of the Christmas ice rink. We used emotive language and an enthusiastic tone of voice. This encouraged the recipients of the tweets to share them with their followers and click through to the ice rink website.
On Facebook we used the audience we built up during a previous campaign. We posted content we knew they would engage with and share with their friends. In this way, the audience effectively sold the ice rink for us on Facebook.
We created an immediate impact by tailoring the content for the most engaged audience: women aged 18 to 44. So within two months, 101,542 people saw our activity on Facebook. That’s an average of 887 people per post.
The Twitter target was for our tweets to be seen 40,000 times throughout the campaign. They were viewed 51,900 times in just over seven weeks.
Across both platforms, we saw 211 website clicks and 767 post engagements.
Plus, it gave me the chance to find entertaining ice skating videos for content!
To talk to one of our expert social media consultants, call 01332 776910 or email email@example.com.Read More