Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Social Media Customer Service Blunders

Well, once again I am confounded by the lack of customer service we get from the almighty Facebook site.

Once upon a time I was enthralled with social media as a great way to have two-way communication with my customers and my clients' customers. Now I am thoroughly disgusted with some social sites, simply because they seem not to care about the customers (YES, CUSTOMERS) who use them.

There is no way to contact Facebook, other than through the site's help section, which doesn't seem to help with most of the problems we experience when trying to post or advertise for our clients. The latest problem has to do with a promotion that Facebook set up for small businesses called "Small Business Boost." We were emailed that one of our client pages had qualified for $50 in free advertising. When we tried to take advantage of the offer, we had problems registering the client page. There was nothing on the help pages that helped, and when we said that the stuff didn't help, there was no way to tell them why it hadn't helped... just "OK. We're sorry."

We finally moved through the problems and posted an ad for our client today, but there was no place to log that the advertising was to take advantage of the free offer for "Small Business Boost", just an email telling us that our credit card would be charged for the advertising. Here's the notification we got from Facebook:

Hi Patricia Y. Hartman,

Thanks for creating a Facebook Ad or Sponsored Story! Your confirmation is below. Please note that you will only be charged for the impressions or clicks your ad receives. The total charge will not exceed the daily campaign budget you have set. Remember to create multiple versions of your Facebook Ads. Successful advertisers recommend starting off with 5 to 10 versions of your ads to test which combinations of images and text are most effective. If you have any questions about your Facebook Ads or Sponsored Stories, please visit our Help Center.

You will be sent an email receipt for any charges from Facebook, and the information about the charge is also available in the billing tab of your Ads Manager.

The Facebook Ads Team

Notice there is no mention of the "free" advertising promotion. Also notice that there is no way to get hold of these people via email or phone to complain! And there is also no way to cancel the advertising. At least when we deal with the traditional media, we can pick up the phone and talk to our account executive. Not so with social media.

I've read rants on Facebook about the new "timeline" format. Have the techies at the social site listened to the rants from their users? Obviously not. We're getting it whether we want it or not.

Mark Zuckerberg and his minions need to go back to school to learn a few lessons in customer service. After all, the users of Facebook and advertisers on are Facebook's customers.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Business and Social Media

While everyone is getting on the bandwagon with social media for their company, there are things your company should consider. What Bill in accounting thinks is an innocent tweet could be a PR disaster for Frank, the CEO. Follow these simple rules for establishing a social media policy for your company to eliminate the chances of problems:

1. What goals are you trying to reach by using social media?
2. What specific audience are you trying to reach?
3. Make sure you hold to what your company believes and what the values are.
4. Who is the spokesperson for your company and what role do the other employees play in your social media experience? Who is going to monitor and maintain your sites?
5. Make sure there are specific guidelines for each social networking site, as each are different.
6. Separate personal from business, you don’t want your personal insights to be misconstrued as a representation of your company.

Make sure you put a working policy in place today for your company’s protection. If you haven’t started using social media as a way to market and promote your business, you should! Contact me for all your social marketing needs.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Is Your Facebook Account Protected?

As a business owner, you may have noticed the new social media trend: online communities that allow individuals and businesses to connect – any time, any place. Smart phone and iPads have instantly open a world of knowledge, resources (and distractions) to users. These users are also consumers and you should be marketing to this captive audience. Your competitors are.

Facebook, the largest and fastest growing social media site, has over 600 million users. User protection is high on its list. If you have a Facebook business account, how do you protect it?

When using Facebook, here are few safeguards I recommend to protect your business account:
1. Check your privacy settings
Who are you allowing to “like” your page?
Are you allowing anyone to post on your page?
Have you customized your profile settings?
Who can post comments, pictures or videos to your page?
What is your profanity setting?

2. Is your browser secure?
Hackers and predators can steal information about your clients and followers
Wi-Fi – public hotspots are convenient, but ripe for data snatching

3. Sign-up for Facebook notifications
Track new friend requests and “likes”
See log-in sources - home, office, business or friend's computers, smart phone or other digital communication devices

4. Control Facebook apps
When you agree to an app, you are also allowing the app to access all of your business and/or personal Facebook information

Assuring new clients that there are ways to protect their business and their Facebook friends is the first step I take as a social media marketer. You, too, can eliminate any possibility of making a mistake as your launch your business into the world of social media.

Whether it's regular updates, monitoring, monthly page traffic reports, linking and syncing your other social sites, I'll use my knowledge and expertise to help you and your business implement safeguards to connect to the consumers you want to reach in cyberspace.

Hit me up on Facebook!

Sarah aka Queen B. of Social Media

Monday, March 7, 2011

Social Media: The Next Wave of Marketing

Does you have a website, a Facebook page or MySpace presence for your business? If so, who updates the information and how often? If the answers are "Me" and "When I can get to it", we need to get together. I can help you to fully understand your marketing and business objectives before launching off into this apparently vast space.

Sarah Greer here, the new Social Media Queen Bee of Imagery Marketing. Social media first showed up on my computer screen MySpace hit the scene. While in college, Facebook became my connection with other classmates. With the invention of smart phones, social media usage has become even more popular and necessary. Never did I imagine that social media would have evolved as much as it has. Connecting with friends in Europe? No problem! No long distance calls and no high fees, thanks to those "electronic leashes". Everything that can be done with a desktop or laptop computer, I can accomplish the same (and more with the "apps") with my phone.

With the instant ability to deliver information using social networking sites like Facebook (400 million +), Twitter (95 million) and LinkedIn (50 million members worldwide), your business must consider social media in your marketing mix.

A recent Small Business Trends article shared some pretty surprising statistics about how small business owners view social media. In the article, it cited a report that said 47% of small business owners don’t think their customers use social media and 24% didn’t think their customers research online before finding them.

Based on these numbers, it’s pretty clear that many small businesses are in denial about the power of social media and mobile marketing, despite how mainstream it has become. And, even if small business owners are willing to admit that social media is a viable marketing channel, they are still reluctant to dive in.

Here are 10 compelling reasons for you to use social media to help grow your business:
1. Own your brand’s social presence
2. You look like you “get it”
3. Brand recognition
4. Take your message directly to consumers
5. Brand monitoring
6. Generate site traffic
7. Find new customers through your friends.
8. Find new customers through your company profile
9. Niche marketing
10. Sarah Greer, Social Media Queen Bee

Using social media to its maximum advantage, you can market your products or build your brand. As a business owner, if you have not jumped on the social media wave, you are missing out on so many opportunities. So what are you waiting for? Contact me.

Friday, July 23, 2010

When Small Doesn't Mean Small

I just finished reading a recap about the Ad Age Small Agency Conference held in New Orleans recently. One of the discussions that permeated the conference was “how to replace the term small.” Everyone seemed in agreement that the word small gave the connotation that the agency did not have the ability to provide the client with all the services needed to do a first class job of communication. In some cases this might be true, but in many cases, the “small” agency is faster, more creative, more affordable, and just as darn good as the mega-agencies at providing services for clients.

Imagery is small. We are also what we term “virtual.” We don’t have fancy offices that increase our overhead. We can provide all the marketing services needed by clients – research, strategic planning, all the advertising and public relations services including creative and media, web and social media services, and a few other things that our larger competitors don’t touch, like custom training programs, meeting facilitation and custom secret shopper programs. The client has access to what she or he needs, when she or he needs it, without having to pay for the overhead of "all those people under the same roof."

How can we do it? We have a network of exceptional professionals that we bring in when the client needs the services.

Are we free? No. Are we cheap? No. We’re cost effective. Let’s face it, folks, no one gives her time and talent away. Do we get results? Yes. And we have clients that will tell you that.

Our clients are small to medium sized businesses and non-profits. The small business and non-profit clients used to think they couldn't afford an agency. We convinced them that they could and been partners in their growth.

We might be small in numbers "under the same roof," but we’re mighty in creativity, experience, skills, and abilities, and we know how to get the job done excellently. Small can be a good thing, even in the agency business.

Monday, May 3, 2010

How about a little e-mail courtesy...PLEASE?

Face it...e-mail is a way of life, whether it's personal or business. When you think about it, a necessity really. How did you feel when your ISP was down and you couldn't get into your Inbox. Arrrgh! "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"

Which leads me to ranting about my new pet peeve - some people just don't understand e-mail etiquette. Some things that get me all "het up":

1. Forwarding received e-mail 150,000 times
OK, that's an exaggerated number, but you know what I mean. What makes you think I have the time to scroll down through all the forwards to get to the cheesy message you sent me, believing it's the first time I've ever read it?
Reality check #1: I read this back in 2004, thank you very much. Use a mail stripper progam. Many free downloads on the web, some are easy to use.
2. Not using Bcc: function
Yo dawg, no way am I interested in your e-mail address list. Bcc: means "blind carbon copy" and incoming mail appears to be sent to only one person from sender.
3. Spell check
No, not spell checker (it is not your friend). Did you hear about Mr. Webster's tome, the dictionary?
4. Something seems to good to be true, but you forward it anyway
Reality check #2: AOL, Amazon, Coca-Cola and Pepsi are not going to send you a gazillion dollars for forwarding to everyone in your address book. Before you forward that preposterous, unbelieveable claim, check it out on Snopes or some other fact/fiction URL.
5. PowerPoint e-mails with the worst music in the world
Sorry, Charlie, but even if the pictures are beautiful, if the music is smarmy, I'm outta there! 'Nuff said.
"What did I do to p*ss you off this time, baby?" ~Lyle Lovett, Here I Am

Sure you have you own pet peeves, sent them to me to share here.

Meanwhile, check out 101 E-mail Etiquette Tips ( for suggestions to up your courtey quotient.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

There is Hope for Customer Service


Today I got a response to my letter to the president of JC Penney.

A very nice person called to assure me that JC Penney took customer service seriously and that my glasses would not only be replaced, but my warranty on the lenses would be good for a year after I get the replacements and they were also sending me a gift card. She also assured me that she would follow up and give me a call when the glasses were ready for me to pick up.

Frankly, I don't need any gift cards, although I won't turn it down. I am, however, very happy to see that the company responds to complaints and wants to keep customers satisfied. The sad part of all this is that it took a letter to the president of the company to get action, which means that they need to do some employee training!

I know the economy isn't good, and usually training is one of the things that companies scratch from the budget under such circumstances, but management should think twice about NOT training employees in customer service skills. The lady who contacted me on behalf of JC Penney said that one call to a regional manager from the local employees could have solved the problem quickly. I'm sure the local employees would have been happy to get me off their backs with a phone call, but it didn't happen.

Marketers... make sure your company is doing its best in customer service and protect your "customer lifetime value!" All the advertising dollars in the world can't un-do the damage that results from bad customer service. And be happy if customers complain. You'll have the chance to fix the problem. If they just walk off and don't complain, you don't have a clue that there is a problem.

I'm waiting for JC Penney to follow through.