Social Media Spotlight: Explorica
For this week’s Social Media Spotlight, we are pleased to introduce an innovative company in the educational travel industry. Founded in 2000,Explorica helps teachers create educational tours full of authentic, interactive learning experiences. They specialize in connecting teachers and students to new cultures, languages and people on educational tours across the globe. According to their website, the company’s vision is to “create a better world by enriching every student with a cultural experience through educational travel.” Their company values include a passion for travel, innovation, integrity, reliability and quality. We were able to speak with the Explorica social media team, and this is what they had to say about their social strategies:
Customer Service: Make a Video
Since the dawn of time, customer service has always needed improvement. If you’re not on hold, you’re busy being transferred from person to person or listening to automated recordings. When the age of the Internet came about, you were probably staring at a Frequently Asked Questions page. When the FAQ was no help, you had to resort to email, phone or a manual search for someone with a similar issue. The problem is, no matter which way you choose to seek help, you are either stuck listening to someone try to explain a solution or get drowsy reading an article about troubleshooting. In either case, there is an easy solution for both the company and the customer: video content.
There is always going to be a common problem with every product. Sometimes the problem extends to the instruction manual not being comprehensive enough, causing a large percentage of customers to have trouble getting the product to function initially. Sometimes it may be a simple jam or a hidden switch not in the “on” position. Whatever the case may be, videos can offer not only great help, but they can alleviate a company from receiving an overwhelming amount of customer inquiries.
The first step in deciding which FAQs to use is to compile a list of the most commonly asked questions or issues. Then begin creating content with answers or solutions to these inquiries by incorporating the product into the video. Instead of explaining how to fix something, show them. A person will feel much more confident in completing a task themselves if they can visually see how to assemble or fix the product. As a company, it’s almost certain that you have the product on hand to use in a how-to video.
The cost of such a method can be minimal compared to alternative methods. YouTube is free, most computers are equipped with a webcam, and finding an employee with extensive knowledge of your product should not be an issue. All that is left is to have this employee spend a few hours recording video content fixing or explain common complaints. The video can be edited, and text can be inserted into the video for possible explanation of words, directions, etc.
The video below is a great example of how the company Douglas Vacuum uses videos for customer service issues. It was created in response to recognizing that the phrase “vacuum won’t start” was being searched in YouTube.
This is a perfect example of a common complaint being solved using video. Doug did a great job of first troubleshooting commonly overlooked issues with the vacuum, and then pointed out a switch many of you may not be aware of. It turns out that the problem most customers were having was due to a switch that is hard to see and reach. However, some people may have had a clogged pipe. In any event, Doug walked us through all the possible causes of the vacuum not starting.
If you have ever been stuck doing your own garden work like mowing the lawn, you know how frustrating it can be when your mower doesn’t work properly. Troubleshooting can be tiresome, and having a technical support representative try to explain possible causes and solutions can get confusing. Instead of deeming the lawn mower broken, a helpful video may just do the trick. This video was done by eSparesVideo. It was the first video to be listed when typing “lawnmower won’t start” in YouTube.
These videos were not created by the actual manufacturers of the products, as the Kirby vacuum is a product sold at the Douglas Vacuum retail stores, and eSpares repairs lawnmowers but does not sell them. Nevertheless, they offer great insight into how to troubleshoot a product or fix an issue yourself. These are examples of how a company or product manufacturer can utilize video to provide help and customer support to those who need it without tying up phone lines.
This method of customer service is two-fold. First, your customers will have easy access to solutions for common issues with your product, which then can be shared easily across their personal networks. Second, your SEO will increase because video is the preferred type of content to be posted by search engines.
Something to consider when creating your videos: Make sure your videos will not cause the customer to void any product warranty. Videos should attempt to troubleshoot or fix common issues, while avoiding having to return the product for replacement or repair. Advise your customers that if the product issue remains after using the suggested troubleshooting advice in the video, a repair or replacement may be needed.
How to Manage Your Social Media Comments
If your social media strategy is anything like ours, then your brand is probably on numerous social media sites. That means you have a bunch of fans visiting and interacting with each post that you publish. There is a certain response etiquette that is important to follow when answering your fans. Let’s take a look at each social platform and see how to enhance our response strategy.
The Profile of the Social Consumer and How to Interact With Them
Let’s face it; social media has changed the way businesses have to interact with their customers. What used to be a one-way, company-centric selling process has become a customer-driven procedure. Social media has revolutionized the way consumers go about buying their products and services. If your business doesn’t understand the new-age purchasing behavior of your consumers, you are sure to be left in the dust.
How to Calculate the ROI of Social Media Marketing Campaigns
Being able to calculate the ROI of a company’s social media initiatives has been a big debate within the industry. What is social media ROI? How do you know if your sales are stemming from sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or your blogs? These are questions that keep many businesses on the fence of starting to use social media for marketing practices. Of course, there are returns that are not necessarily financial, but let’s face it; all Chief Marketing Officers need to see what will happen to their bottom-line figures. Today, we will take a more in depth look at how marketing executives should be measuring their ROI.
The first step in the ROI measurement process is to form a social media marketing plan that directly correlates to all corporate and branding strategies, without only focusing on the ROI. This means, figure out what your strategic priorities are. Do you want your social media marketing to increase traffic to your sites, improve brand awareness, or improve your search rankings? Do you want to see lead generations or are you planning on using social media as another form of customer service? There are different ways to measure the ROI depending on the strategies you choose. For example, using social media for customer service reduces costs associated with that department, which in turn increases the financial value of your strategy. Refer back to last Monday’s article to see how that is done correctly.
How To Use Social Media Marketing to Join the Conversation on Your Brand
Many businesses of all sizes are still reluctant to jump on the social media bandwagon. Executives may be scared that by creating social media sites, new avenues are built for negative comments and bad reviews about their brand. Unfortunately, this type of mindset is ignorant – people are talking about your brand online regardless if you have a Facebook or not, and not only in a negative way! There are hundreds of review sites, open forums, discussion boards, and personal opinions being shared over the Internet every second. Both positive and negative feedback is being dispersed all over the web, which can have both advantages and disadvantages if not handled properly.
Consumers trust other consumers’ thoughts and opinions more than they trust the company itself. Why wouldn’t you want to join in on what they’re saying? Creating social media accounts for your company gives your customers a space to come and discuss your brand. Having a Facebook or Twitter page lets fans interact with you AND their peers on a daily basis. Through social media sites, you have the ability to create a community around your brand and take lead of the conversation.