How Are You Handling Customer Complaints?

December 20, 2011

I can’t believe that many marketers still ignore customers who are dissatisfied. Especially since most of the complaints make their way to social sites.

Ignoring them won’t make the problem go away, and if the non-responsiveness continues, you may get a tweet with #FAIL attached to it and you’ll be part of an elite group (where you don’t want to be in) who have failed their customers. This is more of a problem for B-to-C companies than B-to-B, but none the less, you still shouldn’t ignore people. Fear and lack of resources are cited as the two most  reasons why companies don’t respond. You probably should rethink your priorities.

According to a recent survey done by, only 34% used social media to respond.

Engagement in Social Media According to B2B Marketing Executives in North America, May 2011 (% of total)

Another study by Maritz and Evolve24 showed that only 29% of the tweet gripes were responded to. As Jay Baer says, these channels are the social telephone. You’re missing the boat  for several reasons. One is that 83% of those who complain online want to be answered there. Secondly, those who complain on Twitter are already disproportionately upset and ignoring them will only add gas to the fire.

People complain on Twitter because they have already went through traditional means with no resolution. I can attest to this as I’m still fighting with Travelers Insurance on a hail claim on my roof. After getting nowhere with the local adjusters, I was venting on Twitter about it and lo and behold, I got a Tweet back asking me to call an advocacy number. While it didn’t solve my problem (they sent my complaint back to the local adjuster and now I’m one of his favorite people), at least I thought they tried to defuse the situation.

Research has shown that social media users want to be responded to even if a company wants to take the conversation offline. At least they acknowledged you.

So what are you doing to handle complaints on social media?

How to Use Twitter to Find New Business

April 5, 2011

For those that follow me, you know I talk about how Twitter is one of my best lead generators. Most people are either afraid or intimidated and there really is no reason to be.

Understanding how your prospects are using Twitter and what personal data they are willing to share can boost its use for new business.

Sysomos is the leading provider of social media monitoring and analytics technology. They have analyzed more than a billion tweets generated by over 20 million Twitter users in 2010. This included bio, website address and location information (both textual and lat / long) disclosed in their profile pages to see how many details Twitter users were divulging.

Here’s some of the highlights of Twitter usage in 2010:

  • The number of Twitter users offering personal information within their bios has more than doubled to 63.3%, compared with 31% in 2009.
  • 82% of Twitter users now provide a name, compared with only 33% in 2009.
  • 73% provide location information compared with 44% in 2009.
  • 45% of users submit a website address versus 22% a year ago.
  • From January 2010 until mid-August 2010, new users accounted for nearly 44% of the total Twitter population.
  • Only 0.05% have more than 10,000 friends they follow, and only 2.05% have more than 1,000. The vast majority of users – 95.8% – have less than 500 people they follow.
  • Only 0.06% of Twitter users have more than 20,000 followers, and only 2.12% have more than 1,000 followers. Meanwhile, 95.9% have less than 500 followers.
  • More than three-quarters of Twitter users – 80.6% – have made fewer than 500 tweets, 2.7% have made more than 5,000 tweets.
  • A small hard-core group (2.2%) have accounted for 58.3% of all tweets, while 22.5% have accounted for about 90% of all activity.

Click on the following link to read Sysomos report: Twitter Statistics for 2010: An in-depth report at Twitter’s Growth 2010, compared with 2009

Some Twitter tools to help you measure and improve:

  • TweeterGrader: a free tool that allows you to check the power of your Twitter profile compared to millions of other users that have been graded.
  • Tweetstats: a free tool that will graph your Tweets and show how many retweets.
  • is a universal url shortener that not only provides a handy service in shortening urls but also allows you to access analytics to see how many people are clicking on your link.

5 Twitter Tools to Help Manufacturers Generate New Business

March 29, 2011

Twitter is an under-utilized tool that businesses should be using more.

There are well over a hundred different Twitter tools that have been developed. Recently Michael Gass, my social media mentor, came up with a helpful list. 

Below are his top 5 tools that he uses for new business that will help you create an online community of your best prospective clients. Each makes Twitter a more powerful marketing tool for your online new business efforts.


This tool is like Google Alerts for Twitter! Put in a keyword or website, and get emails when others tweet it! Keep track of conversations that mention you, your products, your company, anything! You can even keep track of who’s tweeting your website or blog.


You can search public messages and user profiles with results available via email, RSS, JSON, and Twhirl. You can even download your own personal Twitter archive!

TweetLater (now called SocialOomph)

Keep your Twitter stream ticking over with new tweets even when you’re not in front of your computer. Publish tweets when your international followers are online and you’re asleep. Send automated thank you notes to new followers, and automatically follow new followers, if you choose to do so.


Easy management for multi Twitter accounts and brand monitor. Splitweet allows the Twitter users to compose a list of accounts and distribute their tweets, choosing their release in one or more of their accounts. You can also follow your contacts’ tweets from all of your managed accounts in Splitweet. And you can easily monitor your brand(s). 

Tweeter Karma

Basically, this is a Flash application that fetches your friends and followers from Twitter when you click the “Whack!” button, then displays them for you, letting you quickly paginate through them. By default, the list contains all your friends and followers and is sorted by last update, showing those who most recently updated first. You can sort the list alphabetically either ascending or descending by Twitter ID. You can filter the list in several ways: only friends or only followers, all friends or all followers, and mutual friends.

7 Tips to Use Twitter to Generate Traffic and Leads

September 16, 2010

Used in the right way, Twitter can be one of the best social media tools to be used to generate traffic and leads for your new business.

For the past 18 months, Twitter has been the leading traffic generator to my Tradesmen Insights blog. It definitely needs to be part of your overall social media marketing strategy.

For Twitter to be effective for new business, the following are seven of my personal tips:

  1. Don’t be afraid to use Twitter differently from the way it was originally intended to be used. Twitter is more of a broadcast tool that most would admit and current research validates. Treat it as a broadcast tool through reach and frequency of your content marketing efforts and generating the best return on your time investment by repurposing your content through tools such as Social Oomph.
  2. Build a targeted Twitter following. Research Twitter lists such as Mashable’s Twitter List Directory, third-party programs such as TweetAdder.
  3. In addition your own blog’s content, be sure to supplement your Twitter posts with resources from others that are of help to your target audience.
  4. Pay-it-forward. As others are so kind to publicize your content, also help to promote theirs.
  5. In addition to Twitter being a broadcasting tool, it must be utilized as a networking tool for you to have success. Content helps build awareness but it is up to you to turn awareness into relationships. The efficiency of these kinds of online networks should be all that is needed to motivate you to participate. People want to work with other people that they know, like and trust.
  6. Use third-party Twitter tools like CoTweet and HootSuite to minimize your time and maximize the effectiveness of your Twittering.
  7. What you learn to do for your agency can be used for your clients. There are a multiplicity of benefits from your involvement.

Use Twitter to Talk Up Your Brand to Tradesmen

July 14, 2010

If you don’t talk up your brand on Twitter and other social sites, you’re missing the boat.

This according to a recent  post on from ROI Research. A study in April of 2010 found that at least once a week, 33% of active Twitter users shared opinions about companies or products, while 32% make recommendations and 30% ask for them.

Behavior* of US Twitter Users Since Connecting with  Companies/Products on Twitter, October 2009 & April 2010 (% of  respondents)

According to Daina Middleton, CEO of Performics who commissioned the study “Social networking has greatly contributed to the shift from strict consumerism to more lively, two-way participation between Brands and everyday customers.”

If you like this, you should like:

How to Engage the Professional Tradesmen on Twitter

Awareness of Twitter has Exploded: Great Way to Reach the Professional Tradesmen

Want to Find out if Professional Tradesmen are Active on Twitter?

If you like these, please pass it on to a friend.


Social Media: How Can Manufacturers Get the Most Out of It?

July 8, 2010

In our day-to-day marketing for manufacturers, we focus on selling the products or services they offer. We talk about the features and benefits and how we can solve their problems. A good and sometimes a one-way conversation centered around us.

Then we jump into social media and expect the same tactics to apply. Unfortunately, they don’t. Social is about building relationships and thought leadership, not trying to sell the features and benefits of a certain product.

According to an article in, a recent study by LeadForce1 suggests that visitors to B-to-B websites directed from social media are generally uninterested in product or contact pages.

They go there to find out more about us, read our blogs (thought leadership) or check out our management team.

Visitors to B2B Sites from Facebook, by Site Pages of Interest*,  June 2010 (% of total)

Similar results are found when being referred by Twitter.

Visitors to B2B Sites from Twitter, by Site Pages of Interest*,  June 2010 (% of total)

The study suggests that social network users are willing to follow the company to check out content, but unlikely to make the jump to the product or sales side of the site.

What are your thoughts on this?

If you like this post, please pass it on to a friend.


How to Find Tradesmen on Twitter

July 7, 2010

Twitter is one of the most useful social media tools we use to drive traffic. For it to be effective, you first need to determine key words and phrases that fit into your space.

Twitter has tools as well as third parties that can help. I recently read an article by Adam Holden-Bache in Social Media B2B where he outlines some tips on fine-tuning your audience searches. Here are some highlights:

  • Determine key words and phrases - Go to Google AdWords Keyword Tool and enter some key words. For example, air conditioning heating gets an average 550,000 monthly hits and 450,000 are local searches
  • Search Twitter by key words - Twitter Advance Search, take what you find on Google and plug into Twitter
  • Optimize tweets for inbound opportunities - Use Google Reader and select Twitter Search Feed. When you click on “show details,” it tells you when most activities are taking place so you know when to Tweet
  • Use to search Twitter Bios - Search key words that would describe the people that buy your products, such as remodeling contractors
  • Use to search business categories - This is a directory of Twitter accounts and you can search broad categories to identify people who are in the energy market, aerospace or green

These are some great tips. Do you have any to share?

If you like this article, you may like:

How to Engage the Professional Tradesmen on Twitter

Awareness of Twitter has Exploded: Great Way to Reach the Professional Tradesmen


50 Power Twitter Tips to Help B-to-B Marketers

July 1, 2010

Twitter is often one of the most misunderstood and underutilized social media tools. I use it all the time and it’s one of the best lead generators for my blog.

Chris Brogan, one of the industry’s gurus, has put together a list of tips that I thought would be useful, so here they are:

Intent (Human Artist)

  1. Don’t read EVERY tweet. It’s perfectly okay. You have permission.
  2. Follow anyone who follows you (and unfollow spammers/jerks).
  3. Promote other people 12x to every 1 self-promotional tweet.
  4. Build lists to watch people who matter to you more closely.
  5. Retweet the good stuff from others. Sharing is caring.
  6. A lot of @replies shows a lot of humanity/engagement.
  7. Robot tweets are less sexy than human tweets.
  8. Promote the new/less followed more than the “names.”
  9. Set an egg timer. Twitter is addictive.
  10. Everyone does it their own way. You’re doing it wrong, too – to someone.


  1. A non-standard background and face avatar means we believe you may be human.
  2. Leave 20 characters or more space in each tweet to improve retweeting.
  3. Use Seesmic or Tweetdeck or Hootsuite so you can see more.
  4. Linking one update to several communities is technically possible. It’s just not respectful of each community’s uniqueness.
  5. Tools like let you see stats. Use them.
  6. Make hashtags small and simple. We need room to tweet.
  7. If software allows you to “post updates to Twitter” as well as to the app, don’t do that. We rarely want to see them.
  8. If you develop software that pushes updates to Twitter, be VERY explicit how that works.
  9. Every time you use OAUTH to give apps permission to use your account, you open a potential security hole. Check your permissions monthly.
  10. The best mobile app is the one that you feel comfortable using. We don’t know better.


  1. Spamming us repeatedly is okay. We just unfollow you.
  2. Spend more time in search than in chatting us up about your stuff.
  3. Finding people who need what you’re selling trumps advertising to us.
  4. Retweeting someone’s nice words about you is lame and doesn’t buy you more attention. Let it stand.
  5. If your link is an affiliate link or a client, say so (in parentheses).
  6. Your customers might not be on Twitter. Use rapleaf to find them.
  7. Invite your customers to Twitter, then make it worth it for them.
  8. Use Twitter as a personalized communication tool, not another blast.
  9. Having different accounts for everything seems like the right move, until you realize it’s hard to grow multiple followings.
  10. Just make money and then the boss won’t ask about ROI any more.

Integrated Usage

  1. Twitter makes every event better. Post the hashtag everywhere. Make every speaker sign/label/name include a Twitter ID.
  2. Apps like make following event chats really easy. Put in a hashtag and go.
  3. Tweeting the content of events is nice, but so is occasionally making a real live connection with the speaker.
  4. It’s okay to tweet your blog posts, but try asking a question that leads readers into the post.
  5. Can you invite Twitter followers to your other social platforms, like LinkedIn or Facebook? Sure you can.
  6. I’m not into mixing my location apps with my tweets, but if you do, do it FROM the location app into Twitter, not the other way around.
  7. Getting others to tweet your posts or news or registrations is useful, but sometimes comes off as a barrage or spam. Be prepared for that perception.
  8. Tweets that point us to photos and/or video and/or music, etc., are always a great way to enhance the experience.
  9. Please remove Twitter from LinkedIn. Use the #in tag instead and be selective.
  10. Spammy or no, events that tweet their attendance registration seem to drive attendance.


  1. Are your tweets really what you want to show in your sidebar? Doesn’t that direct people away from your site?
  2. Think of Twitter as a guidance system to what you think is interesting. A lot of that is likely off-Twitter.
  3. Apps like are neat, but can be very distracting at events.
  4. If you use tweets on a screen at an event, be warned if you moderate. Angry crowds can happen.
  5. Don’t forget to invite people from off-Twitter to follow you on Twitter. Include your actual Twitter ID (I see lots of “follow me on Twitter” with no details).
  6. Asking questions on Twitter makes for very interesting commentary and opinions for blog posts.
  7. Tweetups are awesome, especially if you make them about more than just drinking and saying hi. (Though, hey, drinks can be nice.)
  8. Outside of the Twitter app, keep “Tw” names to a minimum. We’re not your “tweeps.”
  9. If your only marketing efforts are on Twitter, start building an email marketing list. Never put your eggs in one basket.
  10. Start thinking in 120 characters (remember? save 20). Every bit of this advice is tweetable.

Your mileage may vary. Some of these might be really helpful and others might not be that useful at all, given your own situations. In fact, feel free to make your own version, add and subtract at will, and comment on where you disagree or agree. It’s all up for discussion. Besides, you’re doing it wrong.

If you like this article, you might enjoy:

How to Engage the Professional Tradesmen on Twitter

Awareness of Twitter has Exploded: Great Way to Reach the Professional Tradesmen

B-to-B Marketers: Tips on How to Optimize Twitter


How to Engage the Professional Tradesmen on Twitter

June 10, 2010

I don’t know why people are afraid of Twitter. Most of the world suffers from ADD anyway and wants something short and to the point. Politicians use the 10 second sound bit all the time to grab our attention. Do you know why? Because it works! 10 seconds isn’t a lot of time, so they give us one idea to think about.

Twitter is the ideal platform to state your case and engage your reader. I recently read a post by Cindy King on Social Media Examiner, 12 Tips to Engage People on Twitter, and wanted to share her thoughts. Here are 6 of my favorites:

  1. Publish Something Useful - Sounds trite but true. Give a fresh perspective to the conversation and see what happens.
  2. Retweet to Acknowledge Others - This gives them reach and starts the viral effect we all want.
  3. Answer Other People’s Tweets - You can’t get engaged until someone starts a conversation.
  4. Ask for Help - Tell people what you’re looking for and you might be surprised as to what comes back.
  5. Introduce Yourself to New Followers - Make it personal, after all, that’s what social is all about.
  6. Say Thank You - If someone acknowledges you or retweets your message, say thanks. Beyond being a common courtesy, it starts to build a relationship.

Those are some of the ways I try to engage my followers.

What are some of the ways you use Twitter?


Awareness of Twitter Has Exploded: Great Way to Reach the Professional Tradesmen

June 8, 2010

Contractors are busy people, and the 140-character message is just enough to peak their curiosity and have them click through to your message.

Twitter is one of the social media tools that can be used as a tool for your company’s social media marketing strategy to generate online traffic and a pipeline for new business leads. Over the past year, the leading traffic generator to my blog has been Twitter.

Twitter Usage In America: 2010 is a new report derived from the Edison Research/Arbitron Internet and Multimedia Series. This report is derived from three years of tracking data on Twitter usage in the United States. It is filled with rich information that can help guide the use of Twitter for your agency and its clients.

Twitter is more of a broadcast channel than many realize. The majority of users never post anything…but they are definitely reading and clicking.

Here are some highlights from this comprehensive study and its untapped potential for marketing, advertising and your agency’s new business:

  • Awareness of Twitter has exploded over the past twelve months. The percentage of Americans who are familiar with Twitter has surged from 5% in 2008 to 87% in 2010. Twitter is a natural “companion medium” to other media channels – in particular, as an accompaniment to live TV.
  • Despite equal awareness, Twitter trails Facebook significantly in usage: 7% of Americans (17 million persons) actively use Twitter, while 41% maintain a profile page on Facebook.
  • Nearly two-thirds of active Twitter users access social networking sites using a mobile phone.
  • Twitter users split between habitual “Tweeters” and those who access occasionally. The majority of Twitter users are “lurkers,” passively following and reading the updates of others without contributing updates of their own but they are listening, reading and clicking.
  • Twitter users are far more likely to follow Brands/Companies than social networkers in general. Twitter users frequently exchange information about products and services.
  • 51% of active Twitter users follow companies, brands or products on social networks.
  • Most (70%) regular Twitter users do post status updates to some social networking service (likely Facebook). Twitter appears to be functioning as more of a broadcast medium compared to Facebook and many other social networking sites and services.
  • Marketing and business use cases for Twitter far exceed similar usage for social networking websites in general.

The full 49-page study, full of interesting graphs and data, is available for download: Twitter Usage in America: 2010 – Complete Report

If you like this post, you might find these interesting:

B-to-B Marketers: Tips on How to Optimize Twitter

What Kind of Twitterer Are You?

Twitter: How Useful is This Tool for B-to-B Marketers?

If you like this post, please pass it on.



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