Monthly Archives: May 2014

Old Navy and Customers

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This week I decided to take a look at how Old Navy was connecting with their customers. I look at both their Facebook and Twitter account to see how they responded to any and all customer interactions.

Facebook:

Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 11.17.40 AMLooking at their Facebook page and seeing all of the customer interactions that were answered and the ones that were ignored, it is interesting to see how they choose to portray their customer voice. I have seen that Old Navy does make an effort to post in an upbeat and friendly manner and that they offer help and assistance when they can and explain when it was a mistake on the customer end nicely. However, they don’t respond to every comment. There are a lot of comments that go unanswered. I am wondering if part of that is because they have multiple people answering comments on the same post. I think for their purposes, it would make more sense to assign a person to each post to ensure that every comment was answered. I am sure for the people who are commenting and seeing their questions or concerned ignored, it is very upsetting. I think that they are doing a great job of speaking in a consistent tone, but the majority of their posts are selling to customers. I think it would be great if they added more informational posts about outfits since those get a lot of comments and may end up selling pieces that people want without directly offering a sale or discount.

Twitter:

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When it comes to Twitter, I think Old Navy does a much better job of not only reaching out to people who are commenting on their posts, but also sharing posts that they are tagged in. This shows how they are interacting and connecting to people and making sure that they make their customers feel heard. I think it is very important to consistently make people feel as though they are being heard, and by Old Navy retweeting or making something a favorite, it is a simple way to accomplish that. I still think that they need to not consistently sell to the people connecting with them online. It is something that can be a huge turn off to people who are not huge fans of the company.

 

While this company has been able to consistently keep a warm and friendly voice when posting and when interacting with people, they have not hit the right amount of how often they should be selling a product and how often they should be posting other interesting tidbits. I think that if they were able to  branch out their posts they would be doing a lot better when it comes to connecting with customers and gaining new followers.

Social Media and Relationships

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When watching the KLM Airlines video it is apparent that the company is truly reaching out to their customers in a genuine way. It seems to make a huge difference, and I wish more companies would adopt this customer first attitude. I have reached out to many companies through Twitter and have been ignored time and again. I know that it is hard to respond to everything, but ignoring people is not the way to build a following or an audience.

I truly think that when it comes to building relationships, trust is important as well as consistency and engagement. Ensuring that you are connecting consistently with people so that they can rely on you is a key way to become an influencer. For me, personally, I have tried to post content, whether it is my own or not that I think is relevant or interesting in order to show how I am not constantly promoting myself, but social media in general. I also make an effort to respond to all posts or comments in a timely manner so that people know that I am listening to what they say, as well as favorite when I have been spoken about in a positive manner so that people know I am aware of what is going on.

I do constantly try to write in a conversational manner, in my blog posts and on my various social media platforms. Something else I have tried to do in the past is connect with people through various groups and join in on conversations to talk to people that way. Sometimes that has resulted in making a connection, and sometimes it doesn’t, however it always is nice to converse with people and learn more about what other people think about social media.

When it comes to customer service and how to deal with a customer, I have always been incredibly courteous, however, just like through text messages, sometimes it is hard to be read correctly. I think that when it comes to answering anything through social media, it is hard to establish a voice and people have to be extra courteous to ensure that their words are not misconstrued. I personally have had to re-read things at times to make sure that I am truly understanding what is being said, and the tone it is being said in since language written online can be confusing.

People I Trust..

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Two people that have gained my trust on Instagram are MShell and Erin Morgan. Both of these women have done different things that have earned my trust through their pages. First of all, I am interested in health and fitness and both of them are focused on that area as well.

MShell:

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I follow and trust this woman because she has proven time and again how honest she is. She is funny, honest and really shows people the struggles that she goes through physically, emotionally and mentally when working on her body and deciding if she was going to compete in a show or not. Does she gain anything from it? No, not unless I decide to become a client, which at some point I might do, or if I decide to purchase some of her clothing, something else I might do. However, she does not know what her followers will do and she gives them shout outs and reaches out to connect with them anyway. That is one of the reasons I really do trust her, since she gives her followers an honest portrayal of her life.

 

Erin Morgan:

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I trust Erin because she constantly shows what she does and gives hints and tips for people to follow. I think that she is always honest about her struggles and frustrations when it comes to being healthy and losing weight, and I value that. She does not gain anything from me unless I become a client of hers, which I don’t think I will, but she does provide her followers with motivation and tips whether or not they are her clients.

 

Both of these women are people that I would like to emulate, which is one of the reasons I trust them and believe in what they do. If I wasn’t interested in what they were posting about, or if I thought they were being fake or dishonest, I would stop following them immediately. I would also stop following them if I felt that they were only self promoting. However, that is not the case. A benefit they do get from me, without even knowing it, is that when people ask me who I follow for health tips, I automatically recommend them. Word of mouth is still an important tool and it can help increase followers on a regular basis. It is important to remember that human face to face interaction can translate into a gain on social media at any time.

Building Trust

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When it comes to trusttrust and social media, there are a lot of different factors to look at. For instance, when it comes to connecting with people and building their trust I try to always make sure that I retweet , share and acknowledge any articles or blogs that I mention in my work. This has been very successful for me as well as tagging people who I am talking about and referencing. This has allowed people that I have mentioned to find the post through a Google alert they have created for themselves and meant that they have shared my work to their community. I think that is a great way to build trust, since it means that other people are doing the work for you!

Here is a look at the formula being discussed in this weeks lecture:

Screen Shot 2014-05-24 at 10.05.04 PMI don’t believe that there does need to be a formula when it comes to building trust since it seems that there is a code that can be cracked when it comes to trust and I don’t think that there is one.  However, I do agree that all of these key points make a difference when it comes to building trust in a community. I would also add E for engagement, since I believe not just posting but actively reaching out in various community forums would be helpful. I have found that when I reach out and connect with people on their posts it has helped me get engagement on my own posts since people are more likely to connect with someone they have a genuine connection with.

I think that it makes a difference when thinking about trust how people are engaged with and if they are sold to. I personally don’t like to “sell” to people since I do not enjoy trying to promote myself and I have not yet figured out a way to do it that isn’t awkward. Sometimes I feel that it works, and other times I have no idea and realize that I get no engagement, so in my opinion it doesn’t work.

When it came to the example of Northern Rail, I thought what they did was great. They got engagement and made conversation while making their customers happier, win-win situation! At the end of the day, no company or person is perfect and we will all mistakes, but by being able to admit that and take charge of the problem head on, I think that customers can respect the company or person and it is a great way to build trust!

Taking a Look at Pinterest

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Pinterest1This week I was asked to take a closer look at a social media platform and the “Terms and Conditions” and I chose Pinterest. I chose Pinterest mainly because I think it is a growing platform and one that I truly enjoy using. When I started to research the Terms of Service, I found out that in 2012 Pinterest had changed their Terms due to major backlash after people realized what they had agreed to.

A particularly good post about what was wrong with the site was one written by the Shrimp Salad Circus. She described why she had deleted all of her pins after carefully curating content. As it turns out, Pinterest had decided to not allow people to use Pinterest for self promotion, but expected people to own the content that they were posting. I was very confused by this and had to read the legal jargon a few times before I actually began to understand why this was such a conundrum. The fact is, most people use this site to create boards of wonderful things that they want to look at and keep for use at a later date. However, 99% of the time, they do not own that content. Which means that people should not be pinning anything except for the 1% that they own. What?

So many people were upset, that Pinterest did something great. They listened to their audience and changed their Terms. I found an article by the Huffington Post about the changes. It talks about how people were upset and how they changed the Terms to make them more palatable for people.

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Above is a screen shot of the current Terms of Service when it comes to “Your Content”. The terms have changed to accommodate the requests by users, which I think shows how they were willing to deal with the ethical problems that their original Terms contained. Another point of ethics that I think Pinterest shows is how they have the “More simply put” boxes next to every paragraph explaining what it means for the user in simple terms. It shows how they are trying to make their terms simpler so that people actually know what they are getting into when they sign up. I think this is a great way to make sure that ethically they are making users happy as well as avoiding all unethical implications by confusing their users.

However, when it comes to the Copyright policy, I noticed that they didn’t put their “More simply put” boxes to make things less complex. On that page they used a lot of jargon and I think there was a reason for that. Since the copyright laws are what caused the problem for them the first time around, it is intentionally confusing for users to understand. At this time there is not a problem, but there is a potential problem if lawsuits end up happening and the original pinner and any other secondary pinner becomes held liable.

Let’s Take a Close Look..

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Terms and ConditionsI have to be honest, I never read the “Terms and Conditions”. I get a sinking feeling every time I sign something electronically since I know I am held to what I signed. The only two times I have read the conditions of anything fully is when I signed the contract to my new job and when I took out a loan for grad school. I know that if people read the fine print more often, they would be less shocked when the terms and conditions came to light.

I had NO IDEA that I was not supposed to not have more than one personal Facebook account. In fact I had 3 at one point for different reasons. As a side note, if I start refriending people on Facebook under a different name, it is because I have decided to adhere to the rules and just use one account instead of 3. Whoops!

I am very active on Instagram, and when the articles came out and let everyone know that their pictures were able to be sold. People spoke out and let them know that they had no desire to allow their photos being sold, and I agree! I follow a lot of healthy people on Instagram, and a lot of their photos end up being taken and used as before and after photos for various products. This is one of the many reasons people were upset, since photos are already being taken and used against the original persons will. While they take the time to report the person, it takes a long time for the photos to be taken down and someone’s reputation can be damaged.

terms-and-conditionsThe question posed this week, was asking how would I make Term’s and Conditions for Facebook.

My initial reaction would be to make the conditions a lot simpler. I mean, I don’t know about you, but since I never read the conditions I know that it is partially because the jargon is so dense and confusing!

Even when I read the terms, and try to understand, I still have no idea. My first step would be to make the conditions easier to understand. I am sure that there is a lot of information that needs to be there, because of different reasons and wanting to cover their own back when it comes to being sued, however I do think that it is tedious and a little verbose.

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For instance, I find it a little weird that the definitions are Article 18 of the Terms and Conditions. If this was really created for ease of understanding, I think that it would be posted as the first Article so that people can understand what is going on and can understand what they are signing up for. Another change I would make is to keep everything in one place. The fact that when going through the Terms and Conditions you constantly have to click out for clarification makes me a little leery. It seems as though Facebook is trying to make it more complicated so that people don’t take the time to actually read all of the Terms and Conditions.

Ethically I think that there are some aspects to Terms and Conditions that have made me rethink skipping over and I hope that will make anyone reading this think again about skipping over them as well. It does seem to me that Facebook is looking to make people confused by not having everything in one place, which makes me trust their intentions less when it comes to what they want to do with my information.

Ethics and Understanding

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EthicsThis week we started with learning about Ethics, and what it means. A great point that is made, is how there are definitely shades of grey when it comes to Ethics. While it may seem as though there is a right way and a wrong way to do things, there are also many levels of things that seem right, but in actuality aren’t.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself, I studied Broadcast Journalism as an undergrad student and learned that when it comes to ethical problems there are a lot of different ways to be unethical when it comes to getting information from people through an online platform.

When I was studying journalism and learning that there are so many ways to be unethical when it comes to getting information from people, is when I first began to wonder if I was going to be joining this profession. While many people uphold themselves to the highest levels of integrity when working, there are also many people who are willing to be more cut throat and take the risk of doing unethical things while having the idea that they won’t get caught.

When I was looking for information about ethics and thinking about what I choose to do in my life, I came across this image, and I found that it really did show how I choose to live my life.

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I have always chosen to be an advocate for what is right and what is fair, but all of that is subjective. Is there a standard that we should all live by? Does having the ability to connect online change the rules? I personally think that while there is a code that people should live by, there are a lot of times and a lot of reasons people can get it wrong. I think motivation is the biggest reason that people think they may be doing something properly, but in the end are doing it for selfish reasons.

For instance, September 11th is a day for Americans to remember how the country is not infallible, and horrible things can occur at any time. For many people in the Northeast, they lost family members or friends or can remember looking out and seeing the destruction. This past September 11th, AT&T Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 12.56.42 PMtweeted the picture to the right, and it was met with a serious backlash. While they claim that their motivation was to “Remember and memorialize September 11th” it comes across as a ploy to sell phones, and that is something that was deemed by the public highly immoral and unethical. This demonstrates to me that even though they may have had good intentions and the right motivation, perception is another factor when it comes to ethics.

The public makes their own judgements and assumptions of what motivation is, so if an action falls into a shade of grey, and not just right or wrong people can quickly jump to conclusions and it will change the way they are seen. It is another reason that motives and ethics are tied together.

Can a journalist connect with someone online without mentioning that they are a journalist or why they are being contacted? Ethically, I don’t think that they should be able to not identify themselves, however in a world of social media you never know who is on the other end. While I would hate for someone to contact me with ulterior motives, it is up to me who I accept online and why I choose to accept them. My motivations need to be to keep myself and my identity safe, otherwise, with social media there is a chance for people to take advantage and act in an unethical way.