As a B2B marketer, how do you move beyond just providing support, so you can truly focus on creating great customer experiences at every touchpoint? One of the most successful ways is through your community. As you know, B2B customers are independent; they want to be able to find the solutions they need without calling a customer care support line. Your community is the place where they can self-serve on training, education, troubleshooting, or crowdsourcing and you can interact with them to keep your relationship alive during the service period.
We found some outstanding B2B communities that are using innovative methods to drive this kind of engagement in their community.
Read B2B Communities: 7 Best Practices that Boost Engagement for the Ultimate Customer Experience to learn how B2B communities are getting creative in driving engagement and focusing on retaining customers through great customer experiences.
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Community is by far one of the best ways to engage with customers, drive peer-to-peer support and increase customer loyalty and retention for consumer brands. What you may not realize is that they are just as powerful for B2B companies. We’ve found that many B2B companies are getting very creative in using community to drive a variety of business goals and results. If you’re looking for ways to leverage community and inspire your boss about community’s potential, here are five B2B brands using Lithium-powered communities that are thinking outside the box and experiencing amazing results.
Read Five B2B Game-Changing Brand Communities that Will Inspire Your Boss and learn how Advent, Autodesk, Cisco, MYOB and SuccessFactors are leveraging the power of community to:
Promote collaboration and best practices within a competitive industry
Scale peer-to-peer support
Drive organizational knowledge and enhancing expertise
Shift from traditional customer support to social customer service
Creatively expand the available market
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This year, Microsoft lands the #1 position, bumping Amazon to #2. This is a huge surprise to some, considering Amazon has double the social media followers that Microsoft does (Microsoft has a combined Twitter and Facebook following of +14 million; where Amazon has +28 million combined followers).
Microsoft takes the crown because they are the most active and produce the most engaging content. They have a smaller social audience than other brands, but what sets them apart is that they engage. Their engagement with followers on social is critical (and some may say the only thing that matters) to their very high Klout Score of 98.90.
Microsoft also stands out in social, because they constantly share compelling stories (i.e. authentic customer stories), leverage other corporate accounts (such as @windows, @nokia, @outlook) to cross promote and are very active with customer care issues. They don’t shy away from responding quickly to customers (even with the good, bad and ugly commentary).
Not only are Microsoft’s revenues up, but they have also had recent successful product launches (i.e. Surface, Windows 10). All this, has helped their social ranking for 2015.
The Top 5 Brands
The top 5 brands in the Social Power Ranking—Microsoft, Amazon, MTV, Facebook and Google- have a few things in common that all brands should know to master their social skills.
Here are 5 things all brands can do to improve their Klout Scores:
1. Personalized posting schedules: Our top 5 brands are all global so HQ time zones don’t really matter (and they shouldn’t) when engaging with social audiences. They post during the times of maximum engagement. For example, @Google (#5) posts at all hours and when it makes sense for their target audience. A recent tweet regarding German artists was posted at 4:00 a.m. PT (1:00 p.m. GMT).
Klout recently found that by posting personalized schedules brands can see an increase in reactions of 17% on Facebook and 4% on Twitter. For information on the best time to schedule your social posts, check out: When’s the best time to post on social?
2. Compelling content: It’s no secret, content is still king especially when it comes to social media. The top 5 brands excelled at posting relevant, authentic content. They make it so easy for followers to want to “favorite” or “like” for maximum engagement. It’s all about provoking a conversation with consumers and @MTV (#3) is the poster child for posting compelling content. They frequently post (on Twitter +16 tweets a day) on the topics that matter most to their audience – everything from fashion, celeb news, music – obviously, food and all things pop culture. Another thing that sets @MTV apart is that almost all their posts have a visual asset – an emoji, photo, meme or a video. It’s all very compelling!
3. Engage, Engage and Engage: Twitter recently reported that there has been a 250 percent surge in tweets to B2C brands and their customer service usernames in the last two years. It’s no surprise, more customers opt to go to social media to interact with a brand and the brand must deliver. Engaging with your audience with compelling content is pretty table stakes at this point, but the top 5 brands took engagement to the next level by providing social customer care. Microsoft (#1) is a great example of this – they integrate with other corporate handles and are quick to respond to customer care issues.
4. Be real (and in real-time): Social media is all about real-time content. Be ready to post about things that are currently happening to stay relevant and authentic. @Facebook (#4) is a good example because they retweet and post about live events. Most recently, their social team was all over Mark Zuckerberg’s town hall and helped their +179 million Twitter and Facebook followers feel a part of the live experience.
5. Have fun! Your posts should not all be corporate focused, but should be about having a pulse on the latest trends. There’s so much going on every day and whether you’re a B2C or B2B brand, why not jump on the trends? All of the top 5 have fun with their daily posts. Almost all brands posted about #NationalDessertDay, holidays, fun facts, promotions and sweepstakes. For example, @Amazon (#2) posted a “Too Much Monday, Not Enough Coffee” tweet, which received over 200 retweets and Favorites. Be sure to give your social audiences the daily content they want to help increase your Klout Score.
For more information, visit Klout.com
Originally posted in Social Media Today
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Twitter has been in the news a lot lately. They’ve finalized their CEO decision. They’ve launched the ‘Moments’ tab, putting a spotlight on live events in real-time. There’s even been a good amount of chatter about the platform’s infamous 140-character limit potentially going by the wayside. So, it’s safe to say that there’s a lot of change happening at Twitter at the moment. But is that a good thing?
As I started to dig into the debate around Twitter being prepared to say sayonara to its 140-character limit – essentially, what many have hailed as the tried-and-true, iconic cornerstone of the social platform’s user experience – I found myself having a hard time deciding which side I would champion. As much as many of us find 140 characters to be limiting, there’s a beauty in its simplicity, partly owing to the fact that creating eye-catching tweets takes a fair amount of copywriting genius. On the other hand, there’s a level of excitement associated with imagining what evolving Twitter’s user experience means for consumers, brands, and the entire social ecosystem.
Ultimately, this is a question of form over function – and function typically trumps form in my book. Which is why I really can’t place myself at either end of the debate. For me, the issue at hand isn’t about 140 characters at all, even though that’s what has inspired all of this kerfuffle. Rather, what this debate should be about is actually twofold: 1) what does Twitter do best and 2) what is the ideal user experience to enable Twitter to do what it does best?
As you can see, answering those two questions has nothing to do with the actual composition of a tweet. I feel like that’s just a distraction from the bigger conversation at hand. It’s important to remember that Twitter’s value to the social ecosystem is its timeliness. I like to think of it as a real-time broadcast channel for news, events, promotions, and more – both with local and global relevance – executed via rapid-fire, easily consumable content snacks. This isn’t your typical “lean in” content. It’s all about quick consumption around trending topics, events, and other news spikes that you (and the world) care about most, at a specific moment in time.
So my point of view on this entire debate is actually quite simple: it doesn’t matter how many characters we use to create a tweet as long as Twitter continues to create an experience for its users that allow them to leverage and benefit from what the social platform uniquely offers. By no means am I saying either “let’s do away with 140-characters” or “resist the urge to challenge the time-honored status quo.” Quite the contrary, I’d like to be the champion for total experience. We live in an era when customers demand more and more from us, as brands and service providers, each day. That’s why we must always stay laser-focused on both identifying the unique value we bring to our customers and delivering an experience that truly brings our brand’s differentiated value proposition to life – both online and offline.
Twitter will do what it deems best for its users. Our challenge (or opportunity), therefore, is to harness those changes in a way that allows our brands to extract the most value from that platform and engage with our customers in a timely, relevant, and meaningful way. I am excited to see what new things Twitter has in store for us all – because it will keep us on our toes and ultimately make us better, savvier marketers.
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Did you know that how customers relate to your brand is fast becoming more of a competitive differentiator than your product and service offerings? Customer experience is the new playing field, regardless of your industry.
Customers not only expect the best price, value, availability, rewards, delivery time, etc.…, they expect you to meet them where they are at all times, and do so in a human, approachable manner. They expect a seamless omni-channel experience with you that makes them feel personally valued. And they, not you, are in charge.
So, how can you scale to meet their expectations?
How can you keep one step ahead of what your customers want so that you are there, waiting, when they realize what they want? Innovation is partly the answer. But what most brands need is a shift in mindset.
That shift is toward what we call Total Community.
It’s a ground-breaking new mindset toward how brands create the ultimate digital customer experience.
In a Total Community mindset, your audience is every single person who touches or interacts with your brand. Customers. Employees. Vendors. Affiliates. It leaves no one out. Now consider the customer journey. For too long, brands have been segmenting ownership of the customer experience. But think of all the people with knowledge of and experience with your products and services that this leaves out. And all the various platforms they are on: branded communities, review sites, social networks, third-party websites, etc.
That’s the vision of a Total Community approach to the customer experience. To identify and enlist the help of anyone who has the expertise to shape the customer experience and in turn, provide the responsiveness that customers expect.
How can you benefit from a Total Community approach?
Click here to download a free white paper that will get you started.
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