Who Are the Kings of Social Customer Care in the UK?

Social Media has really turned customer care on its head. The way that we, as customers, now look for support from companies is changing, where, how and to whom we turn to get help. We used to believe that customer care issues could be handled in terms of weeks, days or hours but new social media has turned this into minutes - responses in real-time.

We should be aware that there are many challenges to developing an effective online social customer care strategy. Forbes magazine, in an article entitled Social Customer Care: Before Jumping In, Make Sure You Can Swim recognises that one of the biggest challenges is the need for real-time response.

Businesses are used to reviewing reports detailing issues from 30-60-90 days ago; a social complaint can compress that timeline to 30-60-90 seconds ago.

They go on to say that:

Some companies are using social channels to resolve customer concerns and questions publicly, while others prefer to take social feedback offline and route customer to phones or online chats. Some are investing in social-listening tools and vendors, while others are creating in-house social-care teams.

Well, in this age of rapid response, how are some of the companies in the UK faring? Guy Stephens is Managing Consultant, Social Customer Care at IBM and has created a pretty neat leaderboard of UK Twitter Social Customer Care Leaders. Number 1 in the charts is Tesco, closely followed by Sainsbury's. Are there here that surprise you.

UK Twitter Leaderboard Social Customer Care

Using Pinterest for Engagement (and fun!)

If you're looking at new ways to use Pinterest to engage your audience, read on. I was checking out the Moz Google Plus page today (Moz, accordining to CrunchBase provides analytics software to track all of a website’s inbound marketing efforts—search marketing, link building, social media, and brand mentions—on one platform) and a competition that they were holding on Pinterest caught my eye.

Moz Google Plus

In order to further engage customers and potential customers they were holding a Halloween costume competition. All you had to do was vote on your favourite costume by clicking the like button on Pinterest (or sharing it on other Social Media platforms).


In addition, they used both Facebook Moz Facebook

and Twitter

to signpost people to this Pinterest competition BUT neither their blog or LinkedIn updates had any mention of it (this is where business takes place!).

Instagram Rolls Out Web Profiles

Instagram, the photo sharing program, which was recently bought by Facebook for (allegedly) $1 billion has started to roll out Facebook-style web profiles. The new style features a top header, made up of a series of rotating images; your profile picture and a chronological isting of your images beneath. You can quite clearly see a similarity between these profile pages and those of Facebook's pages. Selected brands are starting to be rolled out this week with most of us seeing our profiles updated by the end of the week. Up until now Instagram has been largely a mobile-based app but this new roll out means that desktop and laptop users can now view people's profiles. According to the BBC this could cause some privacy issues. Sites like Webstagram have been aggregating Instagram images for a while but a clean, mobile and web-based 'channel' is certainly something that many have been clamouring for from Instagram.

Here are some examples of these new profiles:



Cucina Digitale

Using Blogs to Build Your Knowledge of Social Media and Digital Marketing

Many people tend to rely on Support guides, tutorials or articles from sites like Mashable and Search Engineland to inform them of new advances to platforms like AdWords, LinkedIn, Twitter and the like. However, a rich source of information can be found on the corporate blogs of companies like these. Product announcements, feature changes, tutorials, case studies and much more can be found on these sites. Updates and news from these sites can be gleaned by following them either though Wordpess subscription or following them on Twitter and Facebook. What you will find is that many of them are using Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to let others know about their blog articles. Here are a selection of those sites.

Here are some links to Digital and Social Media Marketing Blogs

Google AdWords Blog
Google Analytics Blog
Google Webmaster Tools Blog
YouTube Blog
Facebook Blog
Twitter Blog
Instagram Blog
LinkedIn Blog
Flipboard Blog
Pinterest Blog
Google Blog (including Google+)
WordPress Blog

New Twitter Headers – Have You Done Yours?

A couple of weeks' ago Twitter introduced its new Twitter profiles. At the moment they are optional and allow you to place a header at the top of your tweets which gives visitors the ability to view your bio, check out your links and see your profile picture. They're quit neat in that the profile you upload appears across all platforms: iPhone, iPad and Android devices. The background image that graces many Twitter accounts remains unchanged.

These profiles seem to mirror what Facebook introduced in March with its Facebook Covers, though organisations seem to be a little slower introducing them than they did on Facebook.

Here are some diverse examples I found across the web:

Harvard University


General Electric



How Do You Go About Changing Them?

1. Click on gears in the top left and select "Settings"

2.Click on the "Design" link

3. Click on "Change Header"

4. Save

Related Articles
Because you have more to show
(Twitter blog)
Up Close With Twitter’s New Header Photos For Profiles (Marketing Land)
Twitter Announces New Look for Profile Pages, Updated Mobile Apps (Mashable)

New Twitter Activity Stream Unveiled

This week has seen the launch of a new element on the Twitter dashboard - activity. Activity lets you see who your friends have started following, what they have favourited, what lists they have created or added to and what they have retweeted (if there's more please let me know). Much of the press for this has been negative but I quite like the idea of being able to see what has happened to accounts of those people I follow. Can I learn anything from the people they follow or from things they favourite or list? Possibly. Does it intrude on the way I use Twitter and its functionality? No. And none of this is information that i couldn't find by doing a little digging anyway.

What are your thoughts on it?

Twitter Activity

Brand New Twitter Workshop Announced

Marketing Tom is pleased to announce that it will be running its first Twitter Workshop in the Autumn. We have been toying with the idea for quite some time and it really came about from the Twitter sessions we have been running on the Social Media courses. It seemed that people wanted a more in-depth course purely focusing on this app

Like the Google AdWords Masterclass, the course will be run by two tutors. The workshop is a mix of practical advice and hands-on activity. It is aimed at beginner to intermediate users of Twitter (most people) and will cover:

  • setting up an account correctly
  • the art of tweeting
  • how to use mentions effectively
  • learning to use Twitter to listen
  • how to build a following
  • leveraging the power of 3rd party apps
  • monitoring Twitter

The cost of the course is £249 +VAT. Our first course will run on 5th October from Cardiff and from London two weeks' later. For more information, visit our Twitter Workshop page.

TweetStats – View Your Tweets In A Whole New Light

Here's a nice tool to view your Twitter profile: Tweetstats. It shows how frequently you tweet over a given period:

It can show when you are most likely to tweet on any given day:

By drilling into a particular month you can take a look at the total tweets, replies and retweets for your Twitter profile.

And this graph show the 'top' people you replied to and retweeted.

And this graph shows the interfaces you used to update your Twitter profile.

All in all, these stats are simple but still pretty neat. And don''t forget you can use this app to look at your competitors', friends or colleagues Twitter profiles.

How Social Media Adds Value To News Articles

Like me, I'm sure you have seen many examples of where newspapers, news sites and news magazines have used social media to add an extra dimension to their news reporting. Quite often social media is used to offer an audio or video element that text can't; other times yo may find tweets appearing to give another viewpoint and quite often we find blog or tweet widgets appearing in the sidebars of sites to report news from related social media sites. I've got to say that, as long as it is relevant, I think these can be a welcome addition to news articles and help broaden, even reinforce, some of the points that a writer is trying to get across.

Here are some examples that I have picked up today. Please let me know what you think of this use of social media.

Tweets appearing in news article. This article from the BBC about the scramble to get season tickets for Swansea City.

Embedded audio files used in articles. I like this use of AudioBoo by the Guardian (link to AudioBoo recording) to discuss Ratko Mladic's first appearance at the Hague war rimes tribunal.

Use of YouTube videos. Papers like the Daily Mail quite frequently add YouTube clips to articles - especially if those people tend to be celebrities.

Widgets. Papers like the Guardian embed blog or Twitter widegets,  from either jouranlists or 'trusted'sources in the righ-hand side of their web pages. Here is a Guardian blog widget:

And a Twitter widget from the same paper: