How Are You Handling Customer Complaints?

I can’t believe that many marketers still ignore customers who are dissatisfied. Especially since most of the complaints make their way to social sites.

Ignoring them won’t make the problem go away, and if the non-responsiveness continues, you may get a tweet with #FAIL attached to it and you’ll be part of an elite group (where you don’t want to be in) who have failed their customers. This is more of a problem for B-to-C companies than B-to-B, but none the less, you still shouldn’t ignore people. Fear and lack of resources are cited as the two most  reasons why companies don’t respond. You probably should rethink your priorities.

According to a recent survey done by, only 34% used social media to respond.

Engagement in Social Media According to B2B Marketing Executives in North America, May 2011 (% of total)

Another study by Maritz and Evolve24 showed that only 29% of the tweet gripes were responded to. As Jay Baer says, these channels are the social telephone. You’re missing the boat  for several reasons. One is that 83% of those who complain online want to be answered there. Secondly, those who complain on Twitter are already disproportionately upset and ignoring them will only add gas to the fire.

People complain on Twitter because they have already went through traditional means with no resolution. I can attest to this as I’m still fighting with Travelers Insurance on a hail claim on my roof. After getting nowhere with the local adjusters, I was venting on Twitter about it and lo and behold, I got a Tweet back asking me to call an advocacy number. While it didn’t solve my problem (they sent my complaint back to the local adjuster and now I’m one of his favorite people), at least I thought they tried to defuse the situation.

Research has shown that social media users want to be responded to even if a company wants to take the conversation offline. At least they acknowledged you.

So what are you doing to handle complaints on social media?

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How to Use Twitter to Find New Business

For those that follow me, you know I talk about how Twitter is one of my best lead generators. Most people are either afraid or intimidated and there really is no reason to be.

Understanding how your prospects are using Twitter and what personal data they are willing to share can boost its use for new business.

Sysomos is the leading provider of social media monitoring and analytics technology. They have analyzed more than a billion tweets generated by over 20 million Twitter users in 2010. This included bio, website address and location information (both textual and lat / long) disclosed in their profile pages to see how many details Twitter users were divulging.

Here’s some of the highlights of Twitter usage in 2010:

  • The number of Twitter users offering personal information within their bios has more than doubled to 63.3%, compared with 31% in 2009.
  • 82% of Twitter users now provide a name, compared with only 33% in 2009.
  • 73% provide location information compared with 44% in 2009.
  • 45% of users submit a website address versus 22% a year ago.
  • From January 2010 until mid-August 2010, new users accounted for nearly 44% of the total Twitter population.
  • Only 0.05% have more than 10,000 friends they follow, and only 2.05% have more than 1,000. The vast majority of users – 95.8% – have less than 500 people they follow.
  • Only 0.06% of Twitter users have more than 20,000 followers, and only 2.12% have more than 1,000 followers. Meanwhile, 95.9% have less than 500 followers.
  • More than three-quarters of Twitter users – 80.6% – have made fewer than 500 tweets, 2.7% have made more than 5,000 tweets.
  • A small hard-core group (2.2%) have accounted for 58.3% of all tweets, while 22.5% have accounted for about 90% of all activity.

Click on the following link to read Sysomos report: Twitter Statistics for 2010: An in-depth report at Twitter’s Growth 2010, compared with 2009

Some Twitter tools to help you measure and improve:

  • TweeterGrader: a free tool that allows you to check the power of your Twitter profile compared to millions of other users that have been graded.
  • Tweetstats: a free tool that will graph your Tweets and show how many retweets.
  • is a universal url shortener that not only provides a handy service in shortening urls but also allows you to access analytics to see how many people are clicking on your link.
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5 Twitter Tools to Help Manufacturers Generate New Business

Twitter is an under-utilized tool that businesses should be using more.

There are well over a hundred different Twitter tools that have been developed. Recently Michael Gass, my social media mentor, came up with a helpful list. 

Below are his top 5 tools that he uses for new business that will help you create an online community of your best prospective clients. Each makes Twitter a more powerful marketing tool for your online new business efforts.


This tool is like Google Alerts for Twitter! Put in a keyword or website, and get emails when others tweet it! Keep track of conversations that mention you, your products, your company, anything! You can even keep track of who’s tweeting your website or blog.


You can search public messages and user profiles with results available via email, RSS, JSON, and Twhirl. You can even download your own personal Twitter archive!

TweetLater (now called SocialOomph)

Keep your Twitter stream ticking over with new tweets even when you’re not in front of your computer. Publish tweets when your international followers are online and you’re asleep. Send automated thank you notes to new followers, and automatically follow new followers, if you choose to do so.


Easy management for multi Twitter accounts and brand monitor. Splitweet allows the Twitter users to compose a list of accounts and distribute their tweets, choosing their release in one or more of their accounts. You can also follow your contacts’ tweets from all of your managed accounts in Splitweet. And you can easily monitor your brand(s). 

Tweeter Karma

Basically, this is a Flash application that fetches your friends and followers from Twitter when you click the “Whack!” button, then displays them for you, letting you quickly paginate through them. By default, the list contains all your friends and followers and is sorted by last update, showing those who most recently updated first. You can sort the list alphabetically either ascending or descending by Twitter ID. You can filter the list in several ways: only friends or only followers, all friends or all followers, and mutual friends.

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7 Tips to Use Twitter to Generate Traffic and Leads

Used in the right way, Twitter can be one of the best social media tools to be used to generate traffic and leads for your new business.

For the past 18 months, Twitter has been the leading traffic generator to my Tradesmen Insights blog. It definitely needs to be part of your overall social media marketing strategy.

For Twitter to be effective for new business, the following are seven of my personal tips:

  1. Don’t be afraid to use Twitter differently from the way it was originally intended to be used. Twitter is more of a broadcast tool that most would admit and current research validates. Treat it as a broadcast tool through reach and frequency of your content marketing efforts and generating the best return on your time investment by repurposing your content through tools such as Social Oomph.
  2. Build a targeted Twitter following. Research Twitter lists such as Mashable’s Twitter List Directory, third-party programs such as TweetAdder.
  3. In addition your own blog’s content, be sure to supplement your Twitter posts with resources from others that are of help to your target audience.
  4. Pay-it-forward. As others are so kind to publicize your content, also help to promote theirs.
  5. In addition to Twitter being a broadcasting tool, it must be utilized as a networking tool for you to have success. Content helps build awareness but it is up to you to turn awareness into relationships. The efficiency of these kinds of online networks should be all that is needed to motivate you to participate. People want to work with other people that they know, like and trust.
  6. Use third-party Twitter tools like CoTweet and HootSuite to minimize your time and maximize the effectiveness of your Twittering.
  7. What you learn to do for your agency can be used for your clients. There are a multiplicity of benefits from your involvement.
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Use Twitter to Talk Up Your Brand to Tradesmen

If you don’t talk up your brand on Twitter and other social sites, you’re missing the boat.

This according to a recent  post on from ROI Research. A study in April of 2010 found that at least once a week, 33% of active Twitter users shared opinions about companies or products, while 32% make recommendations and 30% ask for them.

Behavior* of US Twitter Users Since Connecting with  Companies/Products on Twitter, October 2009 & April 2010 (% of  respondents)

According to Daina Middleton, CEO of Performics who commissioned the study “Social networking has greatly contributed to the shift from strict consumerism to more lively, two-way participation between Brands and everyday customers.”

If you like this, you should like:

How to Engage the Professional Tradesmen on Twitter

Awareness of Twitter has Exploded: Great Way to Reach the Professional Tradesmen

Want to Find out if Professional Tradesmen are Active on Twitter?

If you like these, please pass it on to a friend.


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Social Media: How Can Manufacturers Get the Most Out of It?

In our day-to-day marketing for manufacturers, we focus on selling the products or services they offer. We talk about the features and benefits and how we can solve their problems. A good and sometimes a one-way conversation centered around us.

Then we jump into social media and expect the same tactics to apply. Unfortunately, they don’t. Social is about building relationships and thought leadership, not trying to sell the features and benefits of a certain product.

According to an article in, a recent study by LeadForce1 suggests that visitors to B-to-B websites directed from social media are generally uninterested in product or contact pages.

They go there to find out more about us, read our blogs (thought leadership) or check out our management team.

Visitors to B2B Sites from Facebook, by Site Pages of Interest*,  June 2010 (% of total)

Similar results are found when being referred by Twitter.

Visitors to B2B Sites from Twitter, by Site Pages of Interest*,  June 2010 (% of total)

The study suggests that social network users are willing to follow the company to check out content, but unlikely to make the jump to the product or sales side of the site.

What are your thoughts on this?

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