This edition of our ‘Engaging Reads’ feature brings you the most interesting insights we’ve gained from Twitter over the last few weeks including how social media is changing the face of customer service, why SEO experts are waking up to social traffic and why a culture of giving will pay off!

Will social media help kill bad customer service?

We came across this blog on LinkedIn by Ryan Holmes, CEO of social media management tool Hootsuite about the impact of social media on customer service. He uses the example of a disgruntled British Airways passenger who paid for a promoted tweet slating the company to ensure that the world could see his rant. Needless to say he got a quick response, a personal apology and his luggage was promptly returned to him! Ryan points to the urgent need for brands’ customer services departments to adapt to the social media revolution, saying: “Fading away are the days of waiting in long lineups or on clogged up customer support phone lines to get what we want from big companies who just don’t seem to care about the little guy. Thanks to social media and constantly evolving technologies, people are finding new ways to speak out.”

I experienced this earlier this year when I was at the Live at Leeds music festival. It’s held across numerous venues in the city which inevitably makes it difficult to get in to see the most popular bands even if you have paid for a wristband. After standing in a ridiculous queue outside one venue where females were having to wait to have their bags searched while males walked straight in past them (thus resulting in a boys only crowd inside), I tweeted the festival organisers and the venue and the rule was promptly changed meaning that my friends and I got in just in time to see our favourite band. Power to the people!

SEO experts forgetting Google’s games and turning to social media

We currently share an office with web and search engine optimisation (SEO) company Adigi Ltd who forwarded us a link to this Moz blog advising digital folk to forget Google’s games and make social their clients’ primary traffic source. This was of course very interesting for us because we’ve seen the trend of social media being used as a search engine (ie for research rather than just broadcasting) happening for a long time. Author of the blog Simon Penson says: “A seismic shift is occurring. According to research almost 50% of those in the 18 to 23 bracked used social media as their primary discovery engine in the last year.” We bet that this is a growing phenomenon amongst all age groups and urge clients to make sure that they are visible on these platforms with the right content and keywords – or risk being completely overlooked online!

To give is to be social

Social business blogger Adi Gaskell’s review of Adam Grant’s book Give & Take really struck a chord with us this week. He asks: “Do the nice guys that give unreservedly get ahead?  Do you need to take a tit for tat approach in order to succeed?  Or is it best to be a taker?” and concludes that giving always pays off in the long term. And this is really what social media is all about – long term relationships. There are no ‘quick wins’ but the long term gains of collaborating and sharing insights outweigh any short term outcomes. Whether you’re a consumer brand or a B2B professional services firm, you should be in it for the long haul with your customers and clients. In the social media age, the ‘takers’ are quickly unfollowed!