New Hootsuite feature could save social media marketing blushes

Sadly many of us involved in social media marketing have committed the social media management faux pas of posting messages to the wrong account from a social media tool like Hootsuite. While management tools help with managing multiple social media accounts, posting, scheduling, and analytics, the method of simply clicking on an icon to choose which account to post to has left many social media marketing experts rushing to hit the delete button to avoid looking like a fool.

When I cover Hootsuite, or any other management tools, in social media marketing training sessions for SocialB, I always stress how easy it is to post the wrong account by clicking the wrong icon. This was something that an Amercian Red Cross worker found out the hard way when he posted his joy at finding more beer to the charity’s corporate Twitter account rather than his personal account.

Thankfully rogue tweets such as the ‘Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch Beer‘ tweet by the American Red Cross, should now be a thing of the past, or at least that is the intention. Hootsuite has just revamped its interface which now makes posting content to the wrong account much more difficult. Users now have to click on a drop-down menu to choose the account they wish to post to, displaying both the account image and name.

Having used it for a few days I feel reassured. Despite the clunky nature of the drop-down menu, which at first seems like a drawn out and tedious way of doing things, I’m having to think about and select the appropriate account to post to. Hopefully this new Hootsuite feature will spare many social media manager’s blushes in the future.

Have you been using Hootsuite’s new dropdown feature as a tool to help your social media marketing? Let me know what you think about it.

[Original published on June 21, 2013]


3 Great Examples of using Twitter for Customer Service

I haven’t posted for a while due to training and other commitments but have been using a few examples in my sessions worth sharing.

Southern Electric @southernelec

Southern Electric's Twitter Account

One of the biggies for me with social media is that people are more likely to connect with people on social media, rather than faceless corporations and brands. This is particularly true in customer service.

The twitter team at Southern Electric uses the platform effectively for customer service, each day “opening for business” with a tweet and then tweeting replies to customer enquiries. Each team member signs their tweet with their first name and if the answer is complex or needs privacy, then the team answers via DM.

What I really rate about this account though is the simple but effective use of the twitter background. In this picture, team members are identified by photos, there are also details of how to further connect with Southern Electric and opening times for the twitter account.

Although Southern Electric’s follow numbers and tweets aren’t huge as the moment, I get the feeling they have the foundations of an effective twitter strategy for customer service.

Royal Mail @royalmail

Royal Mail on Twitter

I’ve been using Royal Mail’s twitter account as a good practice example in training since coming across it at a conference last autumn.

I’ve always felt that my postie represents the brand values and behaviours that the Royal Mail seeks to stands for. He is totally committed to the task of getting my mail to me, delivering in all weathers and is truly concerned that I get the packages he’s had to leave with neighbours when I’m out. The challenge for Royal Mail is how do you translate those brand values and behaviours to other parts of the business, including social media?

Rather than letting young interns, who allegedly know about social media, loose on the twitter account, the Royal Mail decided that the people who know customer service the best, are its customer service experts. Gaining customer service experience and knowing how to deal with people takes time, while learning twitter less so.

While the tweets aren’t attributed to people, the style is warm and friendly and consistent whoever is handling the enquiry. Like the Southern Electric account the “counter” opens and closes each day with a tweet.

Best Buy’s Twelpforce @ twelpforce

Twelpforce on twitter

So your technology store is busy some times, but there’s a lot of downtime for your sales staff. Why not turn them into customer service champions on twitter?

That’s exactly what Best Buy did and it still has to be one of the most effective and creative example of using twitter for customer service and enquiries. Over 3000 of its employees manage the account offering support and advice on tech and electric appliances.

Check out more on twelpforce here.

Have you seen any great examples of customer service on Twitter? Let me know either via comments on @simonbadman