Bummer! This is just a preview. You need to be signed in with a Pro account to view the entire video.
Using Metrics to Build Social Media Engagement29:55 with Carrie Gouldin
Between Edgerank, noise, and upcoming networks, social metics are daunting. Carrie will show you what makes interesting content, how to track links, read metrics, and keep your followers hungry for more. By testing and trying new things, she's built up a 25-50% engagement rate for ThinkGeek's Facebook and you can too for your brand.
Hi, this is my friend, Timmy; I'm going to set him up here with Roger, 0:04 for some obvious reasons, one of them is that I have a really weird job. 0:08 This is our mascot, Timmy; he's a code monkey. 0:13 He goes with me pretty much wherever we go, 0:15 and I'll talk a little more about him later. 0:17 So, as Cyrus mentioned, I handle ThinkGeek's social media program, 0:19 and I'm a little unusual here today in that I'm a brand, 0:23 and I'm going to talk about what we do online, 0:26 and I hope it doesn't sound too much like a commercial, 0:28 but I do have data to share, which is nice. 0:30 So, before I get down deep into that, a little bit about ThinkGeek. 0:32 We are an online retailer, we're based out of Fairfax, Virginia, 0:35 and we have about 70 employees total. 0:38 Two of us work on social, and we spend a lot of time 0:40 on our social channels, so while we rank 180 on Internet Retailer 500, 0:43 we're number 22 on their social media list, 0:47 and that's based on percentage of revenue from social media. 0:50 So a little bit about our accounts, 0:53 we do have a Facebook page, 0:56 and we have over half a million fans right now 0:58 and a 25 to 50% "talking about this" rate on a weekly basis. 1:01 We also spend time on our Twitter account 1:06 where we have over 700,000 followers 1:09 and about 4300 retweets a week, more on better weeks. 1:11 And we're also active on Google+, great for SEO. 1:16 And there we have 75,000 circlers 1:19 and about 3000 plusses per post is where we top out 1:24 when things go really well. 1:26 We're also on Pinterest, as a lot of retailers are. 1:28 And there we have 25,000 pinners 1:32 and each of our pins gets about 55 repins on average. 1:34 So, as you can tell from some of these numbers, 1:37 what we're doing is working, and what is a little bit unusual 1:39 about ThinkGeek is that we focus on our social channels 1:43 a little bit like network television 1:45 where we slot in our content between really solid stuff 1:47 that isn't necessarily about us, kind of as commercials. 1:50 So, instead of sharing things about our products all the time, 1:53 we'll talk about the fandoms that our products come out of 1:57 that make our products possible and desirable in the first place. 1:59 And that is because we're tucking our stuff in around valuable content, 2:04 and that could mean anything for any company. 2:08 And I know that I'm going to go through these slides, 2:10 and you'll say, ThinkGeek's crazy, they can be funny and do that kind of stuff, 2:11 but I can't do that; we manufacture caskets. 2:14 You might get a pass on caskets, that's a little weird, 2:17 but at the same time, there's all kinds of valuable content 2:20 that you could use as a company to share with your fans. 2:22 And there's a few things to think about when you're talking about valuable content. 2:26 First is timeliness; you want it to be in the moment, 2:29 part of the conversation, useful in that time. 2:31 If it's a day late, you might not have needed to post it at all. 2:34 Informative, something that people get some information from, 2:38 something that they can use later. 2:42 Or just useful in the sense that it's good to share socially. 2:44 If we share something that's fun, they'll want to share it with their friends, 2:47 so it's useful in another sense other than just getting some information. 2:50 And you can also be entertaining, which is huge, 2:55 and luckily for us, I can get away with that a lot. 2:57 Not everyone can, but when you can use humor, it shows you have 2:59 a human presence behind a brand or behind a company. 3:02 I'll show you some examples of what I'm talking about here. 3:07 When the Iron Man movie came out this summer, 3:09 we released a new shirt called the LED Arc Reactor Iron Man shirt, 3:12 and the arc reactor lights up in the chest, 3:16 but instead of talking about that all the time, 3:18 we showed things the fans had made, like this arc reactor lamp, 3:20 which got 500 plusses on Google+. 3:23 And instead of talking about our Build-On Brick mug, 3:26 which is great because we love Lego, 3:28 we'll talk about Lego all the time instead. 3:30 And this is a Facebook post that has gotten the most reach to date 3:32 for us, and it is of a Lego spill in West Virginia on a highway. 3:36 And instead of talking about our iPhone gadgets like the iCade, 3:42 we'll talk about timely and, in this case, very sad, news 3:45 but it is our most retweeted tweet to date, 3:48 and I managed to tweet this about 3 minutes after the news broke. 3:50 It's the kind of thing you wouldn't want to tweet the day after. 3:53 So timeliness is very important. 3:56 In between these kinds of posts, we'll post about our products, 4:00 things that harken back to the content we were sharing before 4:03 about the fandoms, and in this case, we launched some 4:06 Star Wars family car decals, much like the little 4:10 kids drawn on the back of a van, 4:12 these are Star Wars characters, and we posted on all our 4:14 social networks, but our Facebook posted the best. 4:17 And this particular post alone accounted for 36% of product views 4:21 and 41% of revenue of that product in the first 24 hours after launch. 4:25 And all of our social campaigns across all of our networks 4:28 accounted for 61% of product views and 48% of revenue. 4:31 You can also share small things like a quote. 4:36 We just launched this shirt with a Jane Austen quote, 4:39 which is a great quote, 4:41 people on Twitter love quotes, 4:43 shared as a quote with a link to the product, 4:44 and that one tweet accounted for 23% of product views 4:45 and 5% of revenue in the first 24 hours, which is a lot for Twitter. 4:51 We don't get as many conversions off Twitter as we do with Facebook. 4:54 Another Facebook post, this is a Grumpy Cat 4:58 Soft Kitty/Big Bang Theory mash-up shirt, 5:01 which got a lot of love on our Pinterest account, 5:04 so we shared it on Facebook. 5:06 That post alone accounted for 40% of product views 5:08 and 36% of revenue in the first 24 hours. 5:12 So, what we're doing seems to be working. 5:15 We're meeting our bottom-line goals. 5:17 Being a retailer, we need to sell things. 5:19 But we're also keeping engagement very high, 5:21 and we know that because we track a lot of metrics. 5:23 There's a couple of levels to metrics of course 5:26 and the first that people think about are follower counts, 5:29 which is pretty crappy and really doesn't give you the whole picture, 5:31 and it doesn't really matter if you have a trillion followers 5:34 on Facebook if nobody is actually looking at your content 5:36 and clicking on it and converting on your site. 5:39 But it is a good barometer to know if you're doing things 5:41 really wrong or really good week to week. 5:43 You can look at a follower count and see if you're growing your accounts 5:45 at a normal rate or if you've done something 5:48 really terribly wrong, so that's fine. 5:50 Where things get interesting is when you start talking about 5:53 engagement rates, and there's a couple of different levels to 5:55 engagement rates, but the first is the kind that shows 5:57 that people are paying attention at least, and those would be 5:59 mentions, comments, replies, clicks, and image views, 6:02 so they're there and they're engaging with your content, 6:05 they're paying attention, and they might be there again next week 6:07 when you need to share something that you'd rather 6:09 make some money from. 6:11 Then there's a second part of engagement, 6:14 and that's when you get into customer acquisition. 6:16 That's when they share your content with their friends. 6:18 That's much better than you sharing it with just your network obviously, 6:20 and those are retweets, favorites, likes, shares, plusses, and repins, 6:24 and this is where you want to focus your time. 6:27 You want to make sure that people are sharing your content 6:30 because then you get into conversion and revenue, 6:33 which, as a retailer, is very important to us, 6:36 and we do that by tracking code and domain tracking. 6:38 We shorten all of our links that we share on our social networks 6:40 and we use tracking codes at the end of each for each network, 6:44 so Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook 6:46 each have their own tracking code, 6:48 so we can see exactly where people are coming from. 6:50 You can also track by domain to get a broader picture. 6:52 Now I'm going to say that engagement rates are the most important 6:56 to follow because that brings you at least down the funnel 6:59 towards conversion and trust and all the other good branding stuff, 7:02 but of course conversion and revenue are important. 7:05 And there's also some other metrics that are a little softer 7:08 that I focus on as well because even if you aren't 7:12 getting a ton of money every day, 7:15 you can at least say you've got these softer social ROI points, 7:17 like branding. 7:20 Social is a great place to tell your company's story. 7:22 It's timely, it's in the moment, you can talk directly to your customer, 7:24 which can be very hard to do, you can be accessible, 7:28 you can share pictures from your company headquarters, 7:30 you can share events; it builds the picture of your company out. 7:33 And that's really important for customer loyalty. 7:36 When you need to give your customer a reason to shop on your site 7:39 when your shipping is a little more expensive, like ours, 7:42 than Amazon, you need to have a likeable presence 7:44 and a reason for people to come back. 7:47 And social can also give you that top-of-mind presence as well, 7:49 so that as you're shopping for something about Iron Man, 7:52 they'll know that ThinkGeek is out there. 7:54 Social can also influence customer evangelism and recruitment. 7:58 For us, we have such dedicated fans and such a core customer group, 8:01 that if something goes wrong on a blog 8:05 or someone has trouble with a product, 8:06 they'll often jump into our comments or into blog comments 8:08 on another site for us and help to resolve the issue, 8:11 either to say, "don't worry, ThinkGeek will take care of this, 8:13 they've done it for me before," or they'll even just let us know 8:15 that's something's going wrong, so we'll see tweets 8:18 or be emailed about things before we knew that they were happening. 8:20 And that way, you can have like a customer service Ninja army out there 8:24 that's taking care of things for you and letting you know, 8:27 and that's invaluable. 8:29 You can also use customer feedback from social, 8:32 which seems kind of normal, 8:34 but a lot of companies don't seem to pay attention 8:37 to what some of their fans are telling them, 8:38 and for us, if we see a lot of questions pop up on a certain product, 8:40 over and over again, we know that the product page, 8:43 for example, isn't doing its job in selling the product 8:45 and answering the questions they have 8:47 at the point where they want to make the purchase. 8:49 So, instead of answering all the questions on social, 8:51 we'll go and fix the product page. 8:53 And with great metrics comes great responsibility, 8:57 and that's testing. 9:00 You should always be testing and tweaking and trying new things 9:02 because social networks, much like Google or any kind of 9:04 search algorithm, is always changing, Facebook especially. 9:07 A few things you could test right away: 9:10 Frequency; we've tested frequency over the years and found that, 9:12 for us, we can usually tweet between 4 and 7 times a day, 9:16 and that's a good mix for us, but never more than once an hour. 9:20 Facebook and Google will tolerate us for 3 times a day, 9:22 morning, noon, and evening. 9:25 And Pinterest we can throw stuff at all day long. 9:27 They don't complain. So we keep doing that. 9:29 You can also talk about the best time of day 9:32 because social, when you tweet, that tweet might not last 9:34 but maybe for half an hour. 9:38 We see our clicks drop off almost immediately, 9:40 so those clicks on a link are peaking at 5 minutes 9:42 and they drop off steeply until the tweet's almost dead 9:46 half an hour or an hour later, unless it does amazingly well, 9:48 and then it could stick around for the whole day. 9:51 So for us, our inbound tweets peak 9:54 between 12 noon and 1 p.m. every day. 9:55 That's when our followers are around and using Twitter, 9:57 so we try to back up our posts or our tweets to be 10:00 the most important ones around noon. 10:02 Here's a graph of our twitter mentions by hour, 10:05 and the white dots are where we post right now, when we tweet. 10:07 So around 10:00, noon, 1:00 p.m., 3:00, and again in the evening. 10:11 So we're meeting those peaks when people are actually paying attention. 10:15 You should also tailor your content to the time of day. 10:19 You can think about the morning being a little bit rushed; 10:22 people might not want to spend a lot of time reading an article, 10:24 but something pithy and about the day's events 10:26 would be very useful at that time, and then maybe in the afternoon, 10:29 you can post a longer form article 10:32 when they have a little more time to read. 10:34 I should say this should all come with a grain of salt 10:37 because every network is different and every customer is different. 10:39 One study says that 5:00 p.m. Eastern is the best time for retweets, 10:42 but for us, it's between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. 10:45 And it's also very different depending on the network. 10:48 This is our Facebook post reach by hour, 10:51 and you can see that it's a little bit inverted from Twitter 10:53 where things really heat up in the evening. 10:55 We still post at 10:00 and noon in the day 10:57 because we see those get pretty good traction, 11:01 but that evening post is the really important one. 11:03 You can see there's a peak at 4:00 p.m. as well, 11:05 when we're not posting right now, 11:07 but it's something we should be considering. 11:09 It's a little bit of outlier data because we don't usually post at that time. 11:11 But it is something we should be looking into. 11:14 You can also think about the best day of the week, 11:18 which brings up the question, should I be posting on the weekend? 11:20 Great question, and it really depends on what your goals are. 11:23 For us, on Twitter, Saturday and Sunday have a steep drop off 11:26 in activity on our accounts, so posting on a weekend 11:29 might not be necessary, unless it's of course 11:32 Game of Thrones, season premiere, yes, of course 11:36 we will tweet that on a Sunday. 11:38 Facebook, on the other hand, Saturday and Sunday are a bit stronger, 11:40 so we could post on Saturday and Sunday. 11:43 You could even queue up posts to post in advance, 11:46 but there's risk in that. 11:49 With any queued up post that you might have, 11:52 the day's events might change the tone 11:54 or the way a post would be received, 11:56 and there's plenty of examples of mistakes being made there. 11:58 If you Google "social media fails," there's plenty, 12:01 so I would say be careful with that. 12:04 And the way that we approach social at ThinkGeek 12:07 is very customer oriented, so when we post something on Facebook 12:09 or Twitter, we're watching immediately to make sure 12:12 that there's no mistakes in what we posted, 12:14 or people aren't trying to kill each other in Facebook comments, 12:16 so we'll take care of those things immediately, and if we auto-posted 12:19 it on Saturday or Sunday, we would not have that kind of control. 12:22 So, it depends on what your goals are. 12:25 The reason I bring up Facebook so much, especially with engagement, 12:29 is because, unlike Twitter and Google+ and Pinterest, 12:31 which are pretty egalitarian and will show your content 12:34 to just about everybody all the time, Facebook, much like Google, 12:36 is trying to decide what they think your followers want to see, 12:39 which is to say, a lot of your followers probably aren't seeing 12:42 what you're posting on Facebook. 12:45 And that has to do with Facebook's edge rank. 12:48 It's an algorithm that determines what people see, 12:50 and there's a few different parts. 12:52 The first is affinity; that's Facebook trying to decide 12:54 if a Facebook post—or Facebook user—prefers a text only post 12:56 versus image or video or link. 13:00 So if your customer has clicked on a text only post in the past, 13:03 they might be less likely to see an image only post 13:08 that you post in the future. 13:10 So mixing things up is good, so that you can get to everybody, 13:12 but also be aware that people are being segregated by Facebook. 13:14 Edge rank also takes weight into account, and that's what 13:20 the value they're assigning to comments and types of posts, 13:23 so comments have a different value than likes. 13:26 I've seen posts that have a lot of comments get more reach 13:29 than a post that has more likes, and that's all depending 13:31 on how Facebook is deciding how to weigh those, 13:34 and that could always change as well. 13:36 There's also time decay or velocity. 13:38 This is how fast it's accruing those likes and the comments 13:41 and the engagement, and the faster a post is getting that kind of data, 13:43 the more likely Facebook is to share it out with your other followers. 13:46 So if you see a post die out in the first half hour, 13:50 it's probably because it wasn't getting enough traction right away, 13:53 which is another reason to really think about what time of day 13:55 you're posting so you're not doing—you're not posting 13:57 when no one's there. 13:59 There's also of course a bit of black magic involved in this, 14:00 which is to say we don't know when it's going to change, 14:03 how it's going to change, or what might happen with it in the future. 14:05 There was a great example of this last year, in February 2012. 14:09 They stated publicly that only 16% of a page's fans see their posts, 14:13 which is pretty scary; that's a lot of content that's not getting any views. 14:16 Then in September 2012, they began under-reporting reach 14:20 with a new bug, so you didn't even know that your reach 14:23 was being hit by this, and they didn't tell us until February 2013, 14:26 this year, that it was even happening. 14:30 And that's when they announced the bug fix, 14:32 and reported reach shot up about 31% per fan on average, 14:34 while ours tripled. 14:37 And I'll show you our reach before and after, so that first white dot 14:40 is when it started and then the second is when it got fixed. 14:43 So you can see, there's a very deep trough there, 14:46 and while we knew it was going on, it's still unclear to us 14:48 if it was actually reaching that many people in that time or not, 14:51 but it is worth noting that Facebook was really pushing 14:54 the boost post option really strongly during this period. 14:56 Was it a bug? I don't know. [laughs] 15:00 You should also think about the best kind of content obviously, 15:03 the things that you're actually posting, as well. 15:06 There's a lot of things you can do to test here and try different things, 15:09 and always keep pushing with your audience. 15:12 The first is to think about the actual kind of content you're posting 15:17 and on what network. 15:19 Facebook, for a while, did not seem to prefer text-only posts, 15:21 but now they are enjoying a resurgence for us, 15:24 so if we have a funny thing to say that's text only, 15:27 we'll go ahead and post it. 15:30 A lot of the time, or most of the time, we'll post images. 15:31 Those do extremely well for us. 15:33 Link posts, where you just put a link in and it sticks in that little box, 15:35 does terrible for us, and Facebook is not handling video as well 15:39 as Google+ does now, so if we're sharing video, 15:43 it's usually on Google+ and not Facebook. 15:45 You should also think about the kind of services you're using, 15:49 so here we're using TwitPic on our Twitter account, 15:52 and it's the kind of picture service that pops right into the Twitter feed, 15:55 so people don't have to click in necessarily to see the content. 15:59 This does very well for us on retweets; they don't have to click in, 16:02 they see it already, they like it, and they share it. 16:05 It does much better than linking to like a blog post, 16:08 where they'd have to click to find the image, maybe even scroll down, 16:11 and then share it. 16:13 You can also tailor content to your social network 16:17 that is special just for you. 16:20 We do a thing called Today in Geek History every morning 16:21 on all of our networks. 16:23 We do it in the morning because it's new and has fresh content 16:25 they might not have heard already, 16:27 and we focus on some historic facts that are real, 16:29 like man walking on the moon, 16:33 and then also some fictional items, like Voldemort. 16:35 These do very well for us, and they account for 30% of our 16:37 top 100 retweeted tweets this year. 16:40 So we'll continue doing this. 16:42 Facebook is kind of a special place where they're changing things a lot, 16:45 but earlier this year, the only way to get your entire image shown 16:48 in a person's stream was to crop it as a square. 16:51 As a square, it was shown at full width and therefore 16:55 full height, because it's the same. 16:57 So, on our annoyed kitty shirt, there's this extra white space. 16:59 If you actually pulled the image down and looked at it, 17:03 it's like, why is there extra white space? 17:05 That's because it posted like this so you could see the whole thing, 17:07 and then you get the grumpy kitty punch line at the end of the shirt, 17:10 whereas, if you had done it normal, sleeve to sleeve, 17:12 the punch line is gone. 17:15 So just think about how people are actually seeing your stuff. 17:17 If you're working in a tool that silos you away from the actual stream 17:19 and how people actually use social media, 17:23 log into your accounts and actually use the tool 17:26 maybe in a native environment and see how things are looking for you. 17:29 Contests are lots of fun, and retailers know that people love free things, 17:33 [laughs] so there's lots of contests on social media by retailers, 17:37 and we do a fair amount, too; we do a contest usually once a week, 17:40 but we have found that the weirder the contest, the better it does, 17:43 in terms of entries and excitement and retweets and shares 17:45 and all that good stuff. 17:48 So this particular contest was: 17:49 "how many T-shirts can you fit on an intern before 17:50 you can't get any more T-shirts on the intern?" [laughter] 17:52 The answer is 15; that's when it gets really uncomfortable 17:54 [laughs] and she can't raise her arms above her head any more 17:58 to get more shirts on. 18:00 This contest did very well despite the fact 18:01 that the prize was just the T-shirts 18:04 and a gift certificate of a smallish amount. 18:05 Which just goes to show, don't agonize over the kind of prizes 18:08 that you're sharing; make sure it's on brand and entertaining 18:11 or informative, but don't rely on iPads to give away. 18:14 Pinterest is our secret weapon in terms of content. 18:21 Because I said earlier we can post all the time, we really do, 18:25 and that includes products that we have on our web site 18:29 as well as things that we find all around the Internet. 18:31 So this is a blown out view of our Pinterest page. 18:33 I'll mark off the ones that are our products. 18:38 So everything that is not grayed out now, is stuff that isn't ThinkGeek's. 18:41 This is just stuff that we found around the Internet that we liked. 18:43 And when we're going through our day's posts and trying to figure out 18:46 what we're going to say for the day or in the next hour, 18:48 we'll take a look at our Pinterest board and see what's floated to the top, 18:51 what's gotten the most likes, what's doing really well? 18:53 And then we'll share that content out with our other networks 18:55 where frequency is more of an issue and 18:58 you really want to pick the best stuff. 19:00 There's also some things you can do that show a little bit of humanity, 19:04 that there's someone behind the count that's paying attention 19:07 and is aware of what's going on, just a few little things. 19:10 First is, you can link to the best part of a video clip 19:12 with URL pattern at the end. 19:15 This is super important; if the cat is going to fall off the couch, 19:17 you want to see the cat fall off the couch right away, 19:20 you don't want to wait 40 seconds for the cat to fall off the couch, 19:22 so just skip right to it. 19:24 You can do the same thing with content in a page. 19:26 People still use div ID's in their markup on web pages, 19:29 and you can link right to the best kind of content 19:34 with the anchor links that they provided for you. 19:36 And this can skip past stuff in the header; 19:39 ads and that kind of thing will get in the way normally. 19:41 Don't overdo hashtags. 19:45 Twitter's text is also triple; 19:47 you don't necessarily have to hashtag everything all the time. 19:49 It's just one of those things that some companies seem to do 19:52 that's not necessary. 19:54 You can also dress up your icons for special occasions. 19:56 [laughs] This is super cute because we have a monkey for a mascot. 19:58 So I have a set of icons that we've built for him over the years 20:03 that correspond to different holidays or events, 20:06 so on Halloween, we'll change up his icon every hour or so 20:09 on our networks and people get really excited to see 20:11 what Timmy is coming out next. 20:13 It's just a little investment that shows that you're paying attention. 20:15 You can also set up offline events and share online. 20:21 This can be a little difficult depending on how much time you have, 20:23 but we've made an effort to host events in our local 20:25 Fairfax, Virginia, area and also when we go to Cons. 20:28 and to share photos and video and news from those events 20:31 with all of our social networks so people can see us in the flesh, 20:34 that we're actually people and that we like interacting with our customers 20:37 and we have a lot of fun when we do. 20:40 That's when we take Timmy to Cons. 20:43 Timmy has a set of about 200 costumes that are made by fans. 20:45 Not by me, that would be crazy, but they're made by fans, 20:49 and they're excellent, so at Cons, we'll go and meet with Timmy fans 20:51 who are often wearing the same costumes. 20:56 These are two little links here at PAX East earlier this year. 20:58 We host a geek trivia night in town 21:02 about every other month right now. 21:04 We'll do pie eating contests, bacon eating contests, 21:06 and then geek trivia. 21:09 Great photographs, it's a lot of fun, it's just 100 people in the room, 21:11 but we share it with our fans so they can see what we're up to. 21:14 This was from Comic-Con last year. 21:16 These were our stalkers that met us every day, 21:19 and I expect to see them next week, 21:21 and I'll have another Timmy for them. 21:23 You can also go to newsworthy events. 21:26 For us, ThinkGeek is very geeky obviously, 21:28 so NASA and space are very big to us. 21:31 And Udvar-Hazy, the Air and Space Museum, 21:33 is right down the road from us and Discovery— 21:35 the shuttle Discovery—and Enterprise were in town 21:37 to meet for the first and last time 21:40 before Discovery was housed permanently at Udvar-Hazy, 21:42 and we were able to get this great photo because we were there. 21:45 It was an awesome experience. 21:47 And that's where we met Ama, who, embarrassingly, 21:50 was wearing the exact same thing as Timmy that day 21:52 because they both want to go to space. 21:54 You can also love your community meaningfully online, 21:58 not just in person. 22:01 This is a lot of fun; I love this story. 22:02 We interviewed for social media interns last fall, 22:05 and the first half of the interview was very straightforward, 22:09 you know, on the table, we were talking, 22:12 and then the second half was giving them a laptop, 22:15 a new ThinkGeek account we called ThinkGeek nOOb, 22:17 and then having our social media people 22:20 hammer them with questions. 22:22 So our fans ask them questions as part of the interview, 22:23 and we got to watch them respond, 22:25 the questions they chose to answer, 22:27 how they handled things, 22:29 were they fast, was their grammar good, 22:31 how was their spelling—it was all so hilarious. 22:33 And our customers got a big kick out of this 22:35 because obviously they were talking to the person 22:37 that they were going to talk to online, 22:39 so they were really part of the interview process, 22:41 and they asked some really funny questions as well. 22:43 And that intern by the way was hired. 22:45 Her name is Lilly; she's working right now while I'm up here. 22:47 So if you want to say hi to her, that would be awesome; she likes that. 22:50 One last thing: Knows the news before you post. 22:54 This is kind of huge, but not everybody who mans a 22:56 social media account actually pays attention to the day's news. 23:00 As I mentioned before, there's been some social media fails 23:02 out there, and I won't go into detail unless you would like 23:05 to ask some questions later, but there's plenty of those instances 23:07 where people have queued up a post that made sense 23:09 the day before, and then in light of the new day's events, 23:12 it seems a little callous or ill-advised. 23:15 So know the news before you open your mouth, and be aware, 23:19 if you have posts in queue that you might need to change them later. 23:21 One final point is to ask how you're doing. 23:26 This is so small but so important to customers, 23:29 and we did this recently, 23:31 and the overwhelming response was, 23:33 "You're doing it right because you're asking if you're doing it right," 23:34 one, and we got some other really savvy comments. 23:37 Here, we made Christian smile a lot, which is great. 23:42 This is the response we got a lot. 23:44 We get to use humor, so that's good, and I appreciate 23:45 that we're doing our entertainment job well. 23:49 We're also useful in the sense that we provide some of the 23:52 best things that Jeff has forwarded. 23:54 And people love seeing our products, which is good 24:00 because we're retailers, so that's exactly why we're here, 24:02 but we're not doing it too much; we don't only share our products. 24:05 So we share links in the spirit of our products. 24:09 This is a kind of savvy comment—they know what we're doing. 24:12 My favorite comment of all is that we're a "Real, cohesive, active entity 24:16 who engages with your audience like a buddy, not a company," 24:20 which is huge, that's enormous. 24:22 This whole quote is great if you can read the entire post. 24:24 But the second part is, "A geeky cool person we can totally relate to 24:26 who happens to have super cool stuff to sell." 24:30 That's perfect! That's the exact thing I want to hear. 24:32 They know what we're doing, and they don't mind! [laughs] 24:35 That's amazing! 24:38 So, as long as we can continue to provide that kind of service 24:39 to our customers and drive those engagement rates with 24:41 the kind of content we're sharing, 24:44 ThinkGeek social will continue to grow. 24:46 As you can see, we've grown pretty rapidly over the years 24:49 for a smallish company. 24:51 And, no, I'm not an SEO, and I don't know too much 24:53 about a lot of what's been said this week. [laughs] 24:56 I've really enjoyed hearing about the changes 24:59 that are happening in this world right now, 25:01 and even though Google is taking away a lot of the transparency 25:04 and some of the short term strategies that you could use 25:06 with "not provided," it seems that the long term goal is good content, 25:09 so that you have something to share, 25:13 and people want to find your stuff, 25:15 and Google will help them find it. Thank you. [applause] 25:17 [male interview] You may not be an SEO, but that was awesome. 25:26 [she] Thank you. 25:29 [male interviewer] Tons of weird questions in my head, 25:30 but one thing I want to ask you, you start off with these slides 25:32 showing the revenue and page views generated from these 25:34 tweets and shares, but it seems like the majority of what you do 25:38 is not that—it's just adding value to the community. 25:43 How—we all face this conflict—how do you balance those two? 25:45 [she] I think a lot of it comes from management agreeing 25:49 to let this experiment happen, 25:56 because it really is an experiment to start. 25:57 Even if you are—you have a solid plan, you don't really know 25:59 what's going to happen when you start doing this, 26:03 and if you don't have a lot of followers, it's hard to say, 26:04 "Look! We got two orders last week from Twitter." [laughs] 26:06 But it builds over time and as that brand equity grows as well, 26:11 you have a little more to talk about there. 26:14 But for us, our customer is so important to us, 26:17 and if customer is not central to your mission, 26:19 then it's a little harder sell, it is. 26:23 [male interviewer] Yeah, it seems like when you do it right, though, 26:26 you don't need Google any more. 26:27 [she] Right. Right. You just provide what they want. 26:29 [male interviewer] Yes. 26:32 [male questioner] Is each post that you make on the platforms 26:33 unique, I mean, can you post it on Twitter and then do the 26:38 same exact post on Facebook? 26:42 [she] Pretty close; we do do some overlap there, 26:45 so some things will change like the way that the image is cropped, 26:48 we can do some funkier stuff with Google+ because it 26:53 respects image size a little better than Facebook might, 26:55 and you might format things to be a little shorter for Twitter, 26:58 obviously because it's Twitter, 27:00 but if we're sharing the same kind of content on all of 27:02 our networks, we try to stagger it, so we'll do one Twitter 27:04 in the morning, one on Facebook in the afternoon, 27:06 and one on Google+ in the evening. 27:08 So assuming if somebody follows us everywhere, 27:09 they at least don't see it all at the same time. 27:12 [male questioner] Okay, real quick, software? 27:14 Do you use any particular software? 27:15 [she] I use the Internet. [laughter] What do you use? [laughs] 27:17 Tools are great, tools can be important, but what we do here— 27:22 the ROI is really high, too, I should mention because 27:26 there's two of us doing this and 27:29 we don't spend a ton of money on tools. 27:30 I mean, what you see is really what you get there, 27:31 and it's not about the tools, it's about the content. 27:34 [male questioner] By software, I meant, like Internet, like... 27:36 [she] Chrome. [laughter] 27:38 [male questioner] I mean, you just go directly to the sites 27:41 and not some sort of platform online? 27:43 [she] Right. Yeah. No, we do it the old-fashioned way. The cheap way. 27:45 [male questioner] Hey, I love ThinkGeek. I have a question about mascots. 27:48 So, I am, I guess jealous, of companies that have mascots, 27:54 I think, Roger works great for Moz because 27:59 tone of voice and all that kind of stuff. 28:03 We don't currently have a mascot at Distilled, 28:05 so I guess I have kind of a two-part question: 28:07 What would you do if you didn't have a mascot, how would you do 28:10 that tone of voice, do you just do it with the brand, 28:14 or do you make it a person? How do you go about that? 28:17 Or, would you just say, you need a mascot? 28:19 [Carrie] Oh, that's tough; if it's a person, you would build up 28:23 that person's equity, and if they left the company, that's tough. 28:28 Even if it's a founder, if it's somebody, I mean, 20 years from now, you don't know. 28:31 For us, Timmy's easy; he's a code monkey, right? 28:35 He's a code monkey, so it's central to our voice, and our mission, 28:39 and our customer, so that makes it simple. 28:42 I wouldn't say you always need a mascot, 28:44 but it really helps to have that smiling face there 28:46 when someone has a customer service issue, 28:49 that smiling monkey face coming back and saying, 28:51 "I can help you," is really important in a way that— 28:53 that's just psychology, right? 28:56 So, I would say mascots are great, do it, 28:58 but don't stress over it too much. 29:02 [male questioner] Yeah. It just feels like, we keep talking about it. 29:04 We keep coming back to it, and it just feels like we'd be 29:07 forcing it somehow, so if anybody has any great ideas 29:09 of what Distilled's mascot should be, let me know. 29:11 [male interviewer] We'll have to cut the questions off there, 29:14 but I want to go—you have some special news 29:16 going on in your life—today. 29:19 [Carrie] Yeah! I'm moving to Seattle today—wooo! [applause] 29:23 And the weather's beautiful for the next month. 29:28 My husband got a job at Google, 29:31 and I'm going to tell him to get right on that "not provided" thing. 29:33 [laughter] So we're moving to Freemont. 29:36 So if anybody has any ideas on what I should be doing in Seattle 29:38 and where the best tacos are, let me know. 29:41 [male interviewer] And are you staying with ThinkGeek? 29:44 [Carrie] I'm not, no. Yeah. 29:45 [male interviewer] So you're actually looking for the next opportunity in your life right now. 29:47 [Carrie] That's right. 29:50 [male interviewer] As of today. 29:51 [Carrie] I need a new mascot. 29:51 [male interviewer] Yeah. Carrie Gouldin, everbody, thank you![applause] 29:52
You need to sign up for Treehouse in order to download course files.Sign up