Monthly Archives: June 2013

All people do is complain

Now that brands are fully integrated into social media, customers have an easier way of communicating with companies. In the past to voice your opinion, you would have to either call the company or try and find an email address for them on their website. While both of those options are still available, it is much easier to find a company through social media and voice your complaint that way. Don’t get me wrong, people can share their positive experiences as well, but most people only share negative feelings.

I’m all too familiar with this. For years at the LPGA, I’ve been the one to receive our fan feedback that comes in through email. I would guess that 98% of the email I received was negative complaints. All that negativity could really get me down sometimes. While I enjoyed changing people’s opinion with a friendly response, it was hard to constantly have that negativity flooding my inbox. I have now passed that task on to someone else.

Our reading on social faux pas further reinforced the idea about sharing negative complaints. The surprising statistic in that reading was that only 50% of companies use social media to track and respond to customer feedback. This is now the place where a company is going to receive the most interaction with customers and half don’t even use it as a form of customer service.

Now with social media it is so much easier to let your voice be heard and companies have to monitor that conversation. Not only do they need to read it, but they need to respond as well.  Not that I share my negative experiences that often on social media, but when I do I feel like the company deserves it. They should know about the bad experience and it feels good to know that other potential consumers of will see it as well.

When was the last time you shared a negative experience about a company online?

Our reading on trust and reputation management was an interesting one. While some of it was hard to grasp, it was interesting to read about how rankings on certain websites are formulated. This area is very important to sites like Amazon and EBay. I don’t know that they would be as successful as they are without those ranking systems. It’s a tad scary to think that people are working on ways to tie in all the different communities that are online to contribute to a reputation ranking.

Our last reading on tracking your social echo gives me a bit of anxiety. While I understand the importance of it, that task seems so daunting. If a company is going to track this, they should probably have a team of people in place with this being their sole job. Tracking all the conversations happening around a brand, especially a large one would take a lot of time. Then once it is tracked it has to be analyzed. I really hope they come out with more tools to assist with this process, as I don’t see anyone being successful at it if they had to track it all manually.

To track the LPGA’s social echo, we’d have to look at national and local media outlets, hundreds of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, message boards etc. I think the interesting thing we’d get out of it is sentiment, as I think it fluctuates between negative and positive reactions based on what players are doing well.

Are you as overwhelmed as I am when thinking about tracking social echo?

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How big is an exabyte?

For years I had a blackberry issued to me from my employer. That thing was useless at browsing the internet. The only use it served was checking email. The year that the LPGA launched its iPhone App is the year I was given an iPhone. How was I supposed to manage an app if I couldn’t access it? Even though this was years ago, I still remember the day I got it and how excited I was. I consulted all my friends for app recommendations and I went to work on filling my phone with all sorts of mobile goodness.

I don’t really know how I functioned without an iPhone for so many years. It seems like the options are endless for what it can do. I can talk on it, play games, search the internet, interact on social media and find my way around Sea World. I know that last one is a bit random, but today that’s what I did. I used Sea World’s app to get me around their amusement park. My favorite feature was the photo area where you could put fun frames on the pictures you were taking in the park.

What are your favorite apps? Not necessarily the ones you use the most but the ones you enjoy the most.

Our reading this week from Cisco rattled off some crazy statistics. None of them are too surprising. I think I did a double take when I read the word exabyte. I’ve never heard of that measurement, must be because it is so large. I’m interested in the mobile video traffic the most. In 2012, video was 51% of mobile traffic. I don’t watch that much video on my mobile phone but can understand that statistic with the popularity of YouTube and Netflix.

Do you watch a lot of video from your mobile device?

Another reason I’m interested in mobile video traffic is because this year when we relaunched all of the LPGA mobile platforms and a new feature was video content. I’m interested to see our fans’ reactions and the amount of engagement we get with videos on mobile.

I enjoyed reading about QR codes this week. While I understand how quick and easy they are to use, I just don’t feel they are that popular. I wish they were. I wish more people would catch on and utilize them. The article referred to a QR code as an offline hyperlink. That made total sense. Why wouldn’t you place them all over your marketing materials for an easy way to drive traffic back to your content?

What is everyone’s opinion on QR codes?

My virtual adventure

I’m not very familiar with virtual worlds, so our readings were very enlightening. The first reading titled Coming of Age in Second Life was a bit hard for me to follow. I felt the descriptive language he used and constant sourcing made it hard for me to read and comprehend at times. The part I enjoyed most was the excerpt where Tom Boellstorff talks about a typical day in Second Life. That portion helped me understand what someone could do in the program. While some parts were confusing, it was really interesting to hear how Boellstorff used Second Life for digital ethnography research.

I especially took note of the part where Boellstorff attended the wedding of two people in Second Life that had never shared any information with each other about their lives in the real world. I can see how bonds and relationships can form in virtual worlds, but to have a virtual husband or wife is a bit off putting especially when they are a real person on the other end.  I’m sure some of these people have real husbands and wives but are forming online bonds and relationships that their real world partners don’t know anything about. I haven’t quite figured out why it bothers me so much. For now I’ll just leave it at to each his own. Did anyone else question this section when they read it?

There are many tools that contribute to digital ethnography and I see them all as being very useful to a researcher. Online questionnaires and email interviews are convenient, save money and will allow a researcher to reach a broader range of people geographically. Social media is a great way to sit back and observe communication and interaction. It is also a way you can create communities to give out useful information.

It was interesting to read about integrating continuing medical education into a world like Second Life. While the set up and training was time intensive, it seemed the payoff was large for the attendees. One of the main things I like about a virtual world is the anonymity. It seems the doctors involved in the case study liked that aspect as well. People may have more confidence in a virtual world and talk about things they might not when engaged face to face. Are you more likely to interact in a different way when online than you would face to face?

This week I ventured into Second Life to give this virtual world a try. My first time was a bit awkward. I had a hard time navigating and figuring out where I should go and what I should do. The first place I wound up everyone was naked and they kept asking everyone to take off their clothes. I then sat down at some point and learned that if you teleport to another location in a sitting position, you are then stuck in a sitting position. I couldn’t get myself to stand up, so I walked around in a sitting position for a very long time. I wound up in a newbie area and found a very friendly man who tried to help me learn some things. I ended up logging off to correct the sitting position situation.

My second venture into Second Life was much smoother. I found it easier to get around. I still didn’t know what I should explore. I somehow wound up in a training area and was able to learn some new things about Second Life. As I wandered around I just didn’t see the appeal that Second Life has to some. I don’t strike up conversations with strangers in public, so I wasn’t all that inspired to chat with others in Second Life either. I can see how this kind of life can be addicting for those who join it. As you create friendships, there would be a pull to want to log on more often to engage with those friends. I’m glad I didn’t enjoy my virtual experience, because I don’t need anything else to take up my online time.

In Second Life what did your avatar look like and did you go for one that resembled you or was the opposite of you?

How many LIKES equal success?

The Marketing Blue Print video was 20 minutes of nonstop information. That guy was excited. I felt I couldn’t keep up, so I took notes to review later. While I understood a lot of what he was saying, I’m left scratching my head a bit. It might take me awhile to grasp all that he presented. My key takeaways were that everything in business needs to be measured. He broke down how traffic, source, and content leads to conversions. I need to sit down and look at Google analytics with the notes from his video to fully understand how I can apply this.

I liked the HootSuite site the most, until I saw all those great tools are a part of a monthly subscription. They seem like a one stop shop for analyzing all areas of social media traffic.  My view of HootSuite prior to this was that you could schedule tweets and posts. I didn’t know that analytics reporting was offered.

I’m not very familiar with the analytics that Facebook provides, so I thought I’d go take a look at the LPGA’s fan page. We have more than 60,000 fans, but it seems most posts are only seen by 10,000 or less. For the longest time I never saw anything in my news feed from the LPGA and I’m an administrator on the page. There was some hidden setting that was keeping the posts from showing up for me. I think Facebook has something in place to keep fan pages from appearing in our news feeds as much. Does anyone have any insight on this?

Facebook does provide a lot of detail to fan page administrators. It breaks down each post made and reports reach, number of engaged users, number of people talking about the post and its virality. This area allows you to sort data in many different ways, to see what posts were the most popular. Facebook will also breakdown the demographics of those who have liked the page. It goes even further to show you the demos of the people interacting with posts.

I wish Twitter would provide a similar analytics tool. It seems like I have to look to other companies to see what the analytics are for a Twitter account. For those classmates who track Twitter accounts, what analytics tools do you use?

The Mashable article on Digital Selves was spot on. Companies have to look at their audience through all areas of social media to get the full picture of one’s digital self. That can even include things like an Amazon wish list. The companies I interact with on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and search are all pieces that make up my digital puzzle. To fully understand me, a company needs to look at the puzzle as a whole. What social channels make of your digital self?

Adobe and Google are making great strides to help people understand analytics. It does go way beyond likes and followers at this point. What’s the importance of a like on Facebook if no one is engaging with your content? Social media analytics help you tailor your content just like website analytics does. I like that Google is providing a free service for social engagement but it seems Adobe’s product might offer more with their hefty price tag.

I really like reading examples about how others have used social media. Our readings on the public mood in the UK and social CRM were two great reads. I feel like I can learn a lot from the UK Twitter example. The way they set up their article is how I should mirror my research proposal that is due towards the end of this semester. The article on social CRM and how banks are using social media was also good insight. It shows how all industries are affected by the influx in popularity of social media. Not even banks can ignore this. They too need to monitor social media postings and find ways to utilize this media to reach their customers and make conversions.

Can I ask you a question?

I’ve put together a few online surveys. We used an online tool called Zoomerang. Turns out Zoomerang is now Survey Monkey, so I have a little bit of past experience using this tool.

Survey Monkey’s website is pretty easy to use, even for those who haven’t created an online survey before. The feature I like the most is the reuse an existing survey option. Each year on lpga.com, we survey our fans. The main point of the survey is to collect demographic information. Our second objective is to learn about features of the site they like or find out what we could add to make the site better. Since we do the survey once a year, it’s easy to go in and replicate the previous year’s survey and make any changes we’d like to make for the current year.  Have you ever taken a survey on a website you frequent?

While looking through other Survey Monkey options I found that you can use an expert survey template. This would come in really handy for someone who is new at making surveys. While someone might not be able to use it word for word, it certainly would be a great starting point.

In watching the Survey Monkey how to video, I learned they have a question database with more than 2000 popular questions you could ask. I think the hardest part about making a survey is phrasing the questions. That database makes for a great reference against what you’ve written out as your questions.

We have plenty of fans on lpga.com take our survey. The last one we conducted had 923 respondents. For a company that might not be able to gather the amount of responses they need, Survey Monkey lets you purchase target audiences. As long as you have the money to spend, you can seek out who you want to take your survey and Survey Monkey will assist the collection.

Survey Monkey has found a unique way to get people to take surveys. If you sign up on their website to take surveys, they will donate $0.50 to a charity of your choice and enter you into a $100 sweepstakes.  I really liked this idea and am tempted to sign up to take some surveys so charities can benefit from my participation.

One gray area I’d like to uncover this week while we talk about surveys is survey length. Is there an industry standard? Has research been done on what length is most successful? At the LPGA, we stick to 20 questions or less. I’d like to know your opinion. What is an ideal survey length is to you?