TWITTER FOR BUSINESS A Guide to Social Customer Care on Twitter

The twitter for business sproutrate at which people are adopting social media to ask for help, make buying decisions, lodge complaints and have an ongoing dialogue is remarkable. However, brands’ ability to keep up with the demand is declining under the pressure. In fact, social media response rates have dipped below 20% overall in the past year—meaning 4 out of 5 consumer inquires go unanswered.As these customer messages come in, your business has the opportunity to utilize Twitter to both proactively and reactively manage these service questions and provide critical levels of customer service. In this guide, we’ll overview ways to structure your business and your social media teams to handle Twitter traffic and reap the rewards of successful social customer care.
Explore These Themes:

  • Delighting FollowersTips for creating content that engages your customers.
  • Resolving IssuesHow to effectively create a strategy for managing, routing, and responding to incoming tweets.
  • Measuring SuccessHow to set goals and stay honest about your social efforts.

The Simple Economics of Decline Salvage


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Protect Your Rights, Revenue & Reputation

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Whether you are a small business or a large corporation, a damaged reputation can result in lost customers, costly litigation and reduced revenue. Maintaining a reputation is hard. Failure to do so can be catastrophic.

The advent of the Internet means that information travels faster than ever before. It also means that virtually anyone can report a bad customer service experience, make false allegations, or leak sensitive information through multiple public and shareable channels.

This whitepaper, “Protect Your Revenue, Rights and Reputation”, will show you how to quickly uncover and mitigate the issues that erode customer trust and put your corporate reputation at risk.


BrandSmart2014 Fireside Chat Recap

Session: Building Your Team for Brand Storytelling Success


“Once upon a time” — when I heard those words as a child, I knew I was going to hear a story that would capture my attention.  These stories painted vivid pictures of the situation or challenge, and provided an outcome that would do more than just entertain.

Employing storytelling in your marketing communications will draw your audience into the message and increase their understanding of the value of your product or service.

At the recent BrandSmart 2014 conference, Andy Crestodina, Co-Founder of Orbit Media, sat down with CMOs from several industries to discuss the challenges they face when attempting to acquire and tell stories about their brands.

Panelists included:

  • Dana Todd, CMO, Aftermath
  • Roberta MacDonald, SVP of Marketing, Cabot Creamery Cooperative
  • Steven Handmaker, CMO, Assurance
  • Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute 

Q: What are your challenges with adoption of story telling and content marketing?

Dana Todd, CMO, Aftermath

Before I came to Aftermath, the company was always reactionary in their content marketing because the founders didn’t necessarily understand the best way to tell their story.  Our communications were either inbound press inquiries when things went wrong, or they were very sales driven and did not really tell our story.  So, on my first day, I set out to reverse this. The challenge I had was getting our CEO to understand the importance of story telling in getting our message across.

Steven Handmaker, CMO, Assurance

Assurance is an insurance brokerage and in the past, the insurance brokerage industry did not really tell stories.  Insurance companies around us do a great job telling their story and running with content marketing.  But we had no identity, so we decided to go out and start telling our story which was about our internal culture.  It became an interesting angle and was responsible for part of our growth niche. 

Roberta MacDonald, SVP of Marketing, Cabot Creamery Cooperative 

Story telling is not new to us. We have been engaged in telling stories since 1989.  To tell stories, I feel you have to be real.  Get to the heart of what makes you better and different, and listen to what people say about you.  Then let others tell your stories.  On our website, you will see other people talking about us.  You will see farmers telling their story and ours.  Stories told that way have longevity and feel authentic.

Q: Many stories come out of a company’s internal culture. How do you give birth to or get at those stories that are locked inside a company?

Steven Handmaker, CMO, Assurance

Everyone in the organization has a story, and they don’t know it.  People in an organization can tell you what they do to help their clients. Our job is to get at those stories.  To do that, you really need to pull, query and question. Then, a light bulb goes off, and employees see they do more than what is in their job description.  They are now excited, and you now have access to their great stories. 

The goal is to get the company to the end game, to tell how and what they are doing to truly serve customers.  Also, don’t get trapped by the idea that everything needs to be perfect and polished before it goes out.  It is okay to grab a cell phone video to capture the story and share it.  Not everything has to be high gloss. 

Dana Todd, CMO, Aftermath

Storytelling was new for our company, so I needed to have our stories created.  I hired a writer to interview people in order to pull the stories.  And we hired a PR firm and explained to them how we wanted to tell our story in the market.  We also had to bring in ghost writers to listen to our scientific employees and write their stories in way that the readers would easily understand.

Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute

To begin content marketing inside your company, look internally to find stories that can be shared.  Look at job descriptions and go to people and ask how they impact the bottom line.  When you begin the content marketing process, know that it takes 18 months for the program to be successful and take hold.  I suggest you run a six-month pilot program and be clear about the objective and metrics that show that you’ve achieved success.  Once you have the raw content, have a managing editor to edit and adjust the stories.

Dana Todd, CMO, Aftermath

You need to show me proof that your content marketing is working. Metrics are important. This is where many of the digital agencies fall short, as they don’t really understand the importance of metrics.  What we expect from an agency is solid messages, creative tactics and metrics.

Q. How do you pick a good content marketing agency?

Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute

Look to see if they do content marketing for themselves and assess how well they do it.

Q: What challenges have you faced in the world of branded content and storytelling, and how did you overcome those challenges? 

Steven Handmaker, CMO, Assurance

Our challenge has been that we are talking to an audience that is not used to hearing a story about a broker.  They are used to buying insurance in a specific way.  We are asking them to consider new criteria when purchasing insurance.  This is a major behavior change in the buying process.

Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute

The challenge is that to tell stories that are new and different from everyone else’s in your industry.  It is also a challenge to be more focused with your channels in order to gain better impact.  Not everyone needs a Facebook page.  First, focus on the story, and then select a few channels to deliver that story.

Dana Todd, CMO, Aftermath

We initially used a lot of different channels to tell our story, and we were everywhere.  Then we took a step back and decided to use with fewer channels but go in deeper with our content.  Through community awareness programs, we found people to be our best channel.  We empowered them to be storytellers.  It is important to focus, be more methodical, and then reiterate your stories through those channels.

Blog post written by: Pamela Wedgeworth President and Sr. Creative Director at Wedgeworth Business Communications, WBC.  WBC is a creative services agency, that helps organizations create communications that influence’s employees thinking and behavior to help companies achieve key business outcomes. Headquartered in the Chicago area, WBC works with clients all over the US and Europe.



BrandSmart Case Study Recap: Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, United Airlines & All Terrain

Session: Fasten Your Seat Belts: Designing a Unique Brand Experience that Engages Consumers at 30,000 Feet


How can you make a luxury brand hotel in Las Vegas stand out in a sea of luxury hotels to capture the attention of consumers and drive hotel business?

At the recent Brand Smart conference, Angela Wise, VP of Marketing & Advertising for the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, was joined by Brook Jay, CMO/Co-Founder of All Terrain and Sean Burke, United Airlines Sr. Manager of Media and Business Development, to discuss the highly successful brand-building and launch strategies developed by All Terrain for the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

We wanted to capture [the consumers] before they land; that was our challenge to All Terrain,” says Angela.

According to Angela, many Vegas travelers decide where to stay once they arrive in Vegas. If the Cosmopolitan waits until consumers arrive in Vegas, it becomes difficult to engage them because there are numerous brands competing to connect with consumers.

Our solution was to connect with consumers on an airplane.” says Brook.

All Terrain suggested that Cosmopolitan provide travelers on Vegas-bound flights a Cosmopolitan branded gift box of cards to interact with while they were on the plane.  The cards provided discount packages to restaurants and activities at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

According to Brook, today marks the rise of the experiential consumer.  Consumers want to experience a brand and then tell the brand story in their own way.

She says today’s marketers should make consumers the center of the strategy, not the brand.  Brook suggests that marketer’s look to create a unique experience that captures attention and has consumers share the experience with each other.

The gift boxes we created give the passengers something that would not only be fun to open and explore, but also ignite conversation among those on board.” states Brook.

Key Takeaways for Marketers

According to Brook, the following were key principles leading to the success of the Cosmopolitan Hotel brand-building engagement program:

Psychographics. Psychographics led to the decisions on what was the right experience to engage consumers.  All Terrain observed the targeted consumers to gain a deep understanding of who they are and what motivates them.

Identifying and communicating to key resources. Cosmopolitan provided communications about the program along with gift boxes to United Airlines Vegas-bound flight attendants in advance of the official launch.  The goal was to ensure flight attendants could heighten the consumer experience.

Tracking gift boxes. Tracking inventory and strong communications between all parties confirmed that the gifts were available.

Aligning gift content with desired consumer experience. The gift box content guided the experience Cosmopolitan wanted consumers to have, and it aligned with the story they wanted consumers to experience and share.

Conducting a pilot program or trial period. Testing the offering and delivery of the gift boxes allowed All Terrain to confirm the consumer experience, work out any issues with boxes reaching the airplanes and finalize the gift box content.

Varying the offer in gift boxes. Varying the offers over time provided fresh marketing to engage repeat consumers.

Blog post written by: Pamela Wedgeworth President and Sr. Creative Director at Wedgeworth Business Communications, WBC. WBC is a creative services agency, that helps organizations create communications that influence’s employees thinking and behavior to help companies achieve key business outcomes. Headquartered in the Chicago area, WBC works with clients all over the US and Europe.