Dave Masterson's thoughts on technology happenings, personal experiences, travels, work, fun, etc.

Entries in Twitter (6)


The Vocabulary Wheel? 

I loved this! For anyone that writes articles or makes frequent posts to social media - this will help. How many times can you portray a similar feeling with different words? For just such instances, we have the vocabulary wheel...




Header and background graphics for Twitter

Twitter has added a new feature which "brightens up" the appearance of your Twitter profile. It is a large graphic that you can upload similar to Facebook's Cover Page. This graphic is large in size, 1252 pixels wide by 626 pixels tall with a max filesize of 5Mb. Twitter's new layout puts your existing Profile Photo smack in the middle of the new Header Image. See this example of mine...


You do not have to use a photo of yourself, some choose to use a company symbol or logo as their Profile picture. This new feature makes a Twitter business page more professional and attractive to potential followers. You can embed a phone number, website or blog or any other info you'd like in your Header Image graphic. Also popular and still available for your customization is the Background image. This is a smaller file, 800Kb that can be used behind your Twitter feed. Some choose to tile the image, or you have the option of leaving it as a single image and LEFT, RIGHT or CENTER justifying it. A teeny bit of creativity allows you to get a nice complimentary message across to viewers of your Twitter Profile through the use of the Background Image graphic. See this example from cNet below...   

Some niceties from the team at Twitter... wouldn't you agree?


CES Day One.

It's on! After last night's keynote speech with Steve Ballmer, CES 2012 opens later this morning in Las Vegas. I'm tweeting and retweeting goodies the next few days @DaveAtUFG. Follow along, it's going to be good!



I've been a Hootsuite user for 3 years, this application is a "control center" for your social media sites. It's a web based app, so it works on a PC, a Mac, and there are Android and iPhone apps available for use on your phones. It is a free system that works well for one user to manage their social sites. They also have a for-pay version that allows multiple people from our office to control our various Twitter and Facebook accounts. If you have Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin accounts, you can post messages and updates to either or all of these sites through one place - Hootsuite. Each of your social sites is represented as a tab across the top of the screen. When you click on a tab, you get to select which components (called feeds) of that social media site you see. For example, Twitter users can choose to see the Home feed, a list of all incoming tweets from your followers, the tweets you have sent, your Direct Mails (DM) incoming and outgoing, and a list of any tweets in which your Twitter handle has been mentioned. It's neatly organized all on one page, a page you can rearrange or customize anytime you'd like! See below...


If you have information you'd like to share on your Linkedin, Facebook or Twitter sites simultaneously, that's easily done with Hootsuite. Post a message, links to other sites, photos or video and then decide which of your social sites will get it. Type message once and launch to all with one click of the SEND NOW button. A big convenience for those with multiple accounts.

Hootsuite also allows for scheduling of your messages. Let's assume you wanted to send a message tomorrow afternoon through Facebook or Twitter to coincide with an event. This message could be a reminder to others as to what they should prepare or bring to the event. You can schedule a message to be sent on a certain date at a particular time without you having to launch it right then - Hootsuite will do it for you! 

I recommend this app for franchisees and anyone trying to keep their social presence current. It is not recommended that you post every bit of info to all of your social sites. For example, hashtags are best on Twitter, longer messages are best on Facebook, etc. What a time saver Hootsuite can be, especially when you use the service on your mobile devices along with a desktop PC or Mac. Here's the website, download the free version and start organizing your social media efforts.

Hootsuite website


Too Legit?

Your reputation is always visible.We are in a new age of customer service.  Things are changing.  I may not go so far as to say we're at a "zero tolerance" level, but businesses now have to live to a higher standard.

The online standard.

Yelp is a smartphone app/website review tool for restaurants. Edmunds.com? Same thing for cars. Rottentomatoes.com is this for movies. Consumers are armed with a wide array of options with which they can review, complement or bash your business.  Just about everyone has a Facebook account, many have LinkedIn and a growing number use Twitter.  Some have set up partnering between the three social tools so one posted message goes to multiple social media sites. And once they do any of the above, it sticks, it gains traction and it gets noticed. It becomes searchable on that system and also on the web with Google, Bing and Yahoo. Gone are the days of a person leaving disappointed and silent about a poor experience. People can access their apps and the web via smartphones to issue a product or service review instantly! Uh oh...

If your service isn't A+, be prepared to hear it. If your products aren't high quality, fasten your seatbelts.  The costs to your business in "acquiring"a dissapointed customer just went up. You know the truth, so many people do their homework with the Internet before making a purchase. Imagine someone finds your business online due to your shiny and polished website, your SEO efforts and your pay-per-click expenditures. Then they see a Better Business Bureau posting with a customer complaint or rant. How likely is it that they'll use your business with that information staring them in the face? Studies used to claim that one bad customer would tell 11 or so other people about your businesses' ineptitude.  That's changed. Today, many more than just a dozen word of mouthers will discover an online complaint about your service.  And think of this - because its online, the issue in question will remain long after the bad taste leaves the customer's tongue. Almost like it happened yesterday, everyday, for years to come.  Franchisees need to realize this and go double-scoop on all customer service issues effective immediately. When we deal with customer complaints here at our office on behalf of hundreds of franchisees wearing our brand names, we see both sides. The franchisee has a business to run and need to be profitable.  The customer expects service, quality and a fair price. Thankfully we don't get too many that aren't handled at the store/franchisee level. Those that do make it to our office are usually disagreements where both parties have already taken a shot at a resolution and they look for us to be the deciding voice. Conflicts are best handled where they started however, between the two parties directly involved, each with a stake in the outcome. 

If you can't avoid a service-related disagreement, then what? Before we look at the options and the possible outcomes, some questions to ponder. How much do you pay to get a customer, to begin a business relationship? How much do you pay to get just a sales lead? What does your advertising and marketing cost? Knowing these answers and considering them prior to resolving issues is important. Here's why.  If you pay $50, $75, $100 to get a customer, do you choose to argue about a job that's value is $35?  It sounds crazy, but I've seen people do this! They can justify bickering with a customer over a logo charge, which was $35 (and cost the store $15-20!).  The customer, after this experience, is not only less likely to come back, he or she is very likely to spread the word about their dealings to others. And trust me, their assessment of the incident will be 101% one-sided. How do you stand to fare in this situation? Having paid more to earn the customer than the issue at hand is worth, it is CLEARLY beneficial to please the customer, bow on the charges you'll incur, and most importantly, keep and satisfy the customer.  You have options. You can do nothing and allow the customer to rail on your business online. You can compromise and come to an "in the middle" solution.  This may work. There is some risk that charging the customer more money for the resolution could prompt he or she to post negative comments anyway, soured on his or her experience.  In general, customers will wait longer for a suitable remedy and pay you with their time, but they are less likely to pay you more money for a perceived "mistake."  Here's where excellent customer service practices should surface.  Number one is being accountable and owning the issue. You may not (in your mind) be wrong, but swallowing hard and making things right is imperative.  Recommit to a new deadline. Offer delivery, a discount on the next purchase, or something free that will sweeten the customer's experience as you mend a torn relationship.  Raised voices and bravado will not help, nor will washing your hands of the issue and sending the customer out among the masses dissatisfied.  You exist because customers choose to give you their choice, their loyalty and their money.  Don't let this "business basic" elude your consciousness!

Not everything on the Internet is true.  Another "Uh-oh" moment.  What if you're wrongly represented online as being unfair, uncaring and poor in service standards? If every consumer has a button that can launch an online barrage at your business post-sale, what to do?  Prepare beforehand for this possibility by bolstering your online presence with positive, satisfied customer reviews. Your best clients keep coming back for a reason - do you know the reason? Let them review and represent how you've helped them on your Facebook business site, post as many testimonials on your websiteas you can, link to their online assets that may positively mention your contributon to their success. Have customers give you LinkedIn recommendations, the new digital "thank you" card.  In doing this, you're preloading the online scene with good, sincere and truthful information that speaks well of your efforts.  If a maligned review appears, it will now reside among many good experiences shared by your advocates. No company has 100% satisfaction across the board, as a result it is not uncommon to read of instances where a customer would not be contented. Look to keep this to a minimum, especially online.  Do not be tempted to arguing online and offering rebuttle after rebuttle for the world to see.  These discussions are best held in person and offline.  Remember that it's easier for someone to be courageous in their attitude and demands online, a bit tougher on the phone (where a voice gives clues as to intents) and still more difficult in person, body language being what it is. Look to always employ the method that can best solve the problem. 

The online spectrum allows for so many new ways for a business to promote its high points. Customer reviews are a big part of succeeding now that everyone's voice can be heard.  Do your very best to build a culture in your business that is customer service centric and online aware. Everyone knows of amazing stories of how businesses redouble their efforts to keep and enamour their clients. You have to adopt that mentality towards the customers in your business. Your team has to become better than just "good" at surpassing customer expectations through their attitudes and their deeds. The "great" make it to the top of the list when it comes to online reputation management. To be great, you have to be uncommonly prepared to give when you may not feel like it, sometimes admit fault when you're not wrong, and send your customers away with an experience so dazzling they'll stop and tell others about you.  Years ago it would be enough just to be good at this.  It was sufficient to be simply legitimate. Now the game has changed. It's time to be "too legit" in your customer service efforts. Get started.