Social CRM Rocks

Chris Brogan Social CRM RockstarYou have to admit that we social media types really like to rock out. At the recent Rockstars of Social CRM event hosted by Chris Brogan and produced by Radian6, some of the “rockstars” of CRM were definitely in the house including Frank Eliason of @ComcastCares. What we learned, or I should say, what we were reminded of, is that customer service comes down to basics – connecting with your customers.

But now it’s called “Social CRM” which was defined by the Rock Star Panelists as a return to basics. The philosophy is good relationships = good sales.

This is not a new concept. Back in the days before Sprawlmarts, we had what some lovingly referred to as “The Mom and Pop shops” where the owner actually knew his customers and interacted with them personally. This resulted in customer loyalty and repeat business. My family has owned and operated its own party & novelty store, Ballard’s, for the past 30 years. My father still greets his customers and helps each and every one of them personally – you can’t get that at a big box store anymore.

While we are getting down to basics, the tools in which we use to do so are very different. Rather than that face-to-face interaction you might have received at a Mom and Pop shop, businesses are engaging in the same type of interaction, but using social media tools like Twitter and Facebook to make those connections – no matter where their customers are. It has revolutionized the way in which companies do customer service, and if done right, is extremely powerful. Look at Zappos. They refer to themselves as a customer service company that sells footwear and clothing. Zappos is doing customer service right and leveraging online tools to do so. Any business, large or small can do the same.

What companies do you engage with whom you feel are doing it right? And, more importantly, what is your favorite Rock Band song to rock out to?

Cross-posted from http://www.christine-major.com

New Hampshire Social Media Breakfast Recap

During the latest New Hampshire Social Media Breakfast held at Rick’s Pond View and sponsored by CustomScoop, the topic of the morning was focused on Government 2.0 – how utilities and municipalities are using social media to communicate and connect with customers and the public. Some of the speakers of the day included Martin Murray from Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) and John Daly of The Boston Police Department who both spoke and shared how their organizations are adopting social media technologies.

I was especially interested in the presentation by Martin Murray who handles media relations for PSNH – better known as @PSNH on Twitter.

With the ice storm that hit on December 11, 2008, the word quickly got out that @PSNH was on Twitter and followers increased by 1,700% as customers were seeking answers and comfort in knowing that others were dealing with similar situations and that @PSNH was listening and responding.

As a customer of PSNH, I was very impressed with the organization’s use of Twitter to communicate with its customers during one of the biggest ice storms in the company’s history. The treacherous storm knocked out power to more than 320,000 residents across the state – including mine – for six very long days.

I also found it interesting that, along with Twitter, PSNH has also adopted other social media tools to engage with and communicate with customers – using Flickr and YouTube to share pictures and videos, as well as setting up a Facebook fan page.

In the video clip below, Martin sums up how the customer experience has changed significantly with PSNH’s adoption of Twitter. Instead of private one-to-one phone conversations with a customer, PSNH is now able to share and include others in those discussions publicly – getting more information out to more people.

PSNH video:

John Daly and The Boston Police Department (BPD), known as @Boston_Police on Twitter, are also not strangers to social media. They were the first city police department to have a blog and with their Text a Tip program, people can text their anonymous tips. It wasn’t until recently that John decided to get the BPD onto Twitter to use it as a public information tool.

Check out the video below where John talks about how they are utilizing Twitter, as well as their plans for integrating it into their 911 Center to use as an early warning detection system – cool stuff!

BPD video:

Both The Boston Police Department and PSNH saw an opportunity to improve communications with the adoption of social media technologies. The results have proved that it is indeed a smart move – doing so has helped both entities to connect with the public and their customers on a more personal level. They can now include customers in the discussions at hand – no other communications method can offer the same results.

P.S. – The next New Hampshire Social Media Breakfast is scheduled for April 17th at 8am.

25 SXSW Attendees Explain Why You Should Attend Next Year…Oh and they did it in two words…

Inspired by Steve Garfield’s video montage “27 People, One Question” I thought it would be fun to do something similar during my trip to SXSW Interactive. Throughout my time there, I had some lighthearted fun with attendees and asked 25 people to give me two words that describe their experience at the event. Some of the responses, both serious and entertaining, came from folks like Jeff Pulver, Chris Brogan, Justin Levy, Jeremiah Owyang, Robert Scoble, Jason Falls, Aaron Strout, and many others. Using my handy Kodak Zi6 HD camera I captured some great footage that hopefully encapsulates what SXSW Interactive is all about and in some cases, just made me go “huh?”

So without further ado, for your viewing pleasure check out what some of this year’s SXSW Interactive attendees had to say for themselves. I am sure you will recognize a few of your friends and hopefully have a few laughs along the way.

A special thanks to everyone who participated and shared their two (and sometimes more) words and thanks for all the memories. See y’all next year – SXSWi 2010!

Disclaimer: The video quality and lighting varies slightly due to the ‘extreme’ shooting conditions of SXSW. :)

Translation: This was my first attempt and I didn’t lug around all the lighting and sound equipment with me for these impromptu shots, so some responses were a little more difficult to see/hear, but you get the point.

Music: Dan Tharp, Guitar Suite I – Movement I and II
Camera: Kodak Zi6 HD

Social Media Jungle: Boston – Session Videos

Jeff Pulver’s Social Media Jungle: Boston event on March 10th brought together a diverse group of professionals to engage in a day of “Powerpoint Free” sessions given by some of Boston’s well known entrepreneurs, marketers, technologists and social media evangelists. Each “blog post” style presentation kept the attendees engaged, and there was plenty of conversations sparked by the wide variety of topics such as “The human side of social media” with C.C Chapman, “New media tools you can use to tell your story RIGHT NOW!” with Steve Garfield, “How small business can use inbound marketing/social media to help increase their business” with Justin Levy and “Thinking about what numbers actually matter” with Christopher S. Penn.

Please note that each session clocked in between 20 and 30 minutes each, so be sure to make some popcorn before you hit play! I’ll be publishing all the videos over the course of the next week, and each new post will automatically appear in the video widget below. Alternatively, you can find them via the “SMJBOS09″ tag on Viddler.

I’ll also tweet on the PerkettPR Twitter stream to share each video as they are published. Let’s start with Jeff Pulver’s Session. Enjoy!

South by Southwest or Bust!

SXSW 2009PerkettPR is heading to Austin, Texas this week to attend one of the most anticipated events of the year – SXSW 2009 Interactive! Heather Mosley (@mosleyppr) and I both served as panel liaisons for this year’s festival and we are looking forward to meeting with all the social media movers and shakers at the event.

Along with attending the many sessions the conference has to offer, we will be conducting several informal video interviews from the event to share on this blog. We have already confirmed some great interviews with David Meerman Scott, Chris Brogan, Justin Levy, Peter Kim, Steve Garfield, Michael Langford, Mike Lewis and others, and we are looking for more! If you are a tech blogger/reporter, entrepreneur, social media enthusiast or just a big thinker who would like to speak with us at the show and tell us about your innovative spirit, please let us know – we’d love to connect in Austin to learn and share more.

If you are not attending but would like us to try and catch someone specific for an interview, please send us a note or post some suggestions here – we’ll do our best to catch those folks on video. Also, send us your suggestions on the “must see” events, parties, and activities we should plan on attending. We don’t want to miss anything!

Here’s what we’re looking forward to:

  • The Accelerator, in which about two dozen startups will demo their services or products before a panel of judges; venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki and tech journalist Brad King will emcee the event
  • Core Conversation: Why Gen Y Won’t Friend Your Brand
  • Guy Kawasaki’s Keynote Interview with “The Long Tail” writer Chris Anderson
  • Core Conversation: How to Create a Great Company Culture
  • Opening Remarks by Tony Hsieh of Zappos
  • Core Conversation: Advertising is Entertaining – Who’s Selling Out?

And so much more! We look forward to seeing you at SXSWi!

Contact/follow us at:
Christine Major – cmajor [at] perkettpr [dot] com or DM at @cmajor
Heather Mosley – hmosley [at] perketpr [dot] com or DM at @mosleyppr