Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Social Media Puzzle: Piece #3 Can you apply the Socratic method to social media?

The goal of this blog is to stimulate thinking about social media. I believe the Socratic method is an interesting tool for communication. It must therefore have applications in social media.

Here's my thoughts about using the Socratic method in social media:

1. Take a stance of skeptical ignorance. Enquire about others views on a subject.

2. Be conversational, but keep probing assumptions. 

3. Require definition of terms. This is where conversations often go wrong. Ask what people mean by X.

4. Use experience. Refer to your own experiences.

5. Draw implications & consequences. Talk about what will happen if X occurs.

Socrates was a classical Greek philosopher who proposed asking questions to test people's assumptions as a way to debate the truth of an assumption and to stimulate thought. 

Getting someone to see the problems with their assumptions was one of it's goals. It is one of the methods used in education to get engagement from reluctant learners and to test critical thinking skills.


For detailed info on Socratic method, as used in education and philosophy see here.

To support this site - over 60 free posts so far on social media for you to explore - please buy one of my novels, The Istanbul Puzzle or The Jerusalem Puzzle or my guide to social media. And enjoy!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Social Media Puzzle: Piece #2 How can you use social media to build customer loyalty?


 Here are five ways you can use social media to build customer loyalty:

  1. Improve your product or service by listening to negative sentiment or suggestions posted on all relevant social media channels. People who say negative things or post about you will mostly have something valid to say. Why not listen to them, examine their issue, and fix them as soon as possible? A responsive firm fixes things. Most customers are aware that some things take time to fix too. As long as they know something is genuinely being done many people will accept the situation until then.
  2. Ask people to recommend or retweet or re post something from you. People talk about "net promoter scores" as a key metric for understanding customer loyalty, but the percentage who are willing to take action to recommend or retweet should be a more reliable figure, as it’s not about stating your intentions, it’s about actions. You may say you will promote a service, but not actually do it. I suggest actions speak louder than words.
  3. Offer updates & special offers to people who sign up to receive posts or Tweets. By making people feel part of a community in some way you will increase engagement and loyalty. Highly engaged customers become advocates too. A high percentage of them will recommend you to others. Your Facebook page can provide special offers and your Twitter & Pinterest feed can too. You can also make these offers and updates local by getting each of your branches or divisions to take part in this campaign, so that customers are building relationships with the nearest branch.
  4. You can track if customers achieve their objectives using your product or service using social media. You can do this buy asking them direct questions, via surveys, and by monitoring any posts they create on the subject. This is being proactively interested in how your customers get on with your service. You may only be able to do this with a select group of customers, but the lessons learned should be applicable to all similar customers. Achieving objectives is a critical issue to remaining loyal and placing the maximum amount of business with you. If you are afraid to ask hard questions then your business will eventually have big problems.
  5. Communicate the benefits of your product or service, not the technical features. This is an old adage salespeople use. Sell the sizzle not the stake. It’s true for social media too. Don’t focus on how to get button A to perform service B. Tell people how service B will benefit them. Then tell them how to get it to work.
To support this site - over 60 free posts so far on social media for you to explore - please buy one of my novels, The Istanbul Puzzle or The Jerusalem Puzzle or my guide to social media. And enjoy!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Socmephobia - The Fear of Social Media

Socmephobia! What's that?

It's social media phobia. Socmephobes are people who don't want anything to do with social media, Twitter, Facebook or all the other blogs and picture sites and online networks that hundreds of millions of us are now using, and which are likely to become the driving force in the cultural and corporate spheres in the coming decades.

You can identify socmephobes by their instant dismissal of all things social media. They will deride blogs, dismiss Twitter and deny that Facebook has any relevance. Canute-like they sit by the shore and order the oncoming waves of social media back. Then, when their screens fall dark, they will deny the sea of social media has any importance at all, because they can't see it.

Kiing Canute
The history of this cultural/psychological disorder can be traced back to when the inventors of the wheel were laughed at, the inventors of the spinning loom were attacked, and the wearers of mini skirts dismissed as agents of the devil.

If you identify a socmephobe in your office or home there are a number of treatments you can use to help those afflicted:

1. You can create a Facebook page for them and connect them to members of their extended family so that  they can see pictures of family events and read news from family and friends.

2. You can ask them about their interests, and let them see people in those areas' Twitter feeds, blogs or YouTube Channels.

3. You can get them to talk about their fear, and take notes, for if you find out anything that will make you want to run, you may need evidence for any subsequent investigation.

In the event that you are confronted by a group of socmephobes I advise checking where the nearest exit is first, then using the opportunity to observe a cultural phenomena as if you were an anthropologist studying a dying tribe on a remote island.

The self reinforcing rituals of the group should be documented and recorded and, of course, posted on your blog/Facebook page, with a link on Twitter, so we can all enjoy your observations.  

This post has been submitted as a public service announcement.

To support this site - over 60 free posts so far on social media for you to explore - please buy one of my novels, The Istanbul Puzzle or The Jerusalem Puzzle or my guide to social media. And enjoy!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

On images taking over the interweb


Images work!
  • On Facebook, videos are shared twelve times more than text posts and links combined
  • Photos are Liked twice as much as text only updates
  • 42% of all Tumblr posts are pictures
  • Pinterest, the photo-driven social media phenomenon, is now referring more traffic than Twitter, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn and Google Plus
We may see a visual split soon, where ebook readers allow easy reading of text and many other sites go mostly visual. Is your site visual or are you ignoring the elephant in the room?

To support this site - over 60 free posts so far on social media for you to explore - please buy one of my novels, The Istanbul Puzzle or The Jerusalem Puzzle or my guide to social media. And enjoy!