August 2015. Digital Marketing, Social Media, Web Design & Development, Computer Applications/Database & Analysis Tools

Troy Janisch, Social Media Monitoring Director at US Bank, answers common questions about social media monitoring. Troy, who teaches Foundations for Effective Digital Marketing at the UWM School of Continuing Education, has more than two decades of digital marketing experience.
What are some of the barriers to a real-time response plan?
Timing and staffing... our current response time for social media escalations is two business hours, which works well during the week but our social media ambassadors do not work late at night or weekends. We are working toward staffing for 24-hours, 7-days-a-week accessibility. There are also many, many places where feedback can turn up online. We see a "hierarchy of influence" - social media sites like Facebook and Twitter generate a high volume of conversation, and posts are likely to be about immediate problems that we can (and should) help address quickly, so those are at the top of the hierarchy. Review sites like Yelp are in the middle tier; we'll see disgruntled customers, but they're not usually writing with the expectation of a response. It's OK if it takes us a little longer to reply there, and we generally only respond to reviews where it feels like our help is warranted. Complaints boards are at the bottom of the hierarchy; they attract feedback, but they're generally anonymous and one-sided and it's not a place to engage in conversation.
How do you proactively use online testimonials, both positive and negative?
We publish a detailed social media scorecard every month, and one of the things we include are verbatim comments that illuminate important data points or trends in our monitoring. We don't formally publish positive testimonials, but we will warmly reply to a tweet that compliments us or draw some attention to a positive post on our Facebook page. Recently we had a lot of positive buzz around a post where a customer profusely thanked one of our bankers for going out of her way to help her when she was traveling with a baby in the Las Vegas airport (where we have a branch). We posted the story on our intranet and several of our employees went out and liked the post, giving it further visibility.
What collection of team members and departments should be part of a real-time response team?
We have over a dozen scenarios mapped out and, depending on the situation, we might work with Corporate Security, Human Resources, Public Relations, and 24-H\hour Banking (which is what we call our customer service team). We try to leverage our existing channels as much as possible. A security threat that comes through social media is handled the same way as a security threat that comes through a call center or branch interaction. We have a point of contact in HR who consults with us on employee-related issues, and after a quick triage of the issue she generally passes it on to the HR generalist who supports that employee's group. For customer service issues, which are by far our most common social media "emergencies," we have a team of social media ambassadors who are members of the 24-hour Banking support team, which is the same group that handles customer escalations through our call center and online chat. When we reply to a negative review on Yelp, we direct the reviewer to call our 1-800 number to reach the call center.
When do you delete a user comment or brand post?
We delete posts that overshare confidential information... card numbers, SSNs, bank account numbers or PINs. If a card number is compromised, we cancel the card immediately and issue a new one. We also delete posts that call out one of our employees by name, unless they are complimentary of course. In one example, a person posted on our wall about a bank employee who was allegedly having an affair with her husband... that was deleted immediately. We'll remove posts with obscene language or content, spam posts, or posts that are copied and pasted multiple times (we'll leave one up so they feel heard). We don't delete negative comments that come from a sincere place of frustration, even if we don't like what they have to say about us.
What are some tips for crafting a response to an upset user?
Recognize the difference between a vent and a rant that expects a response. Many people go to social media to vent and don't expect or even necessarily want us to reply. If you do decide to reply, start by inviting conversation. Offer to help, and find out what happened, but take the conversation to a different channel (phone or email) as quickly as possible. Don't make promises you can't keep, like saying that you'll reverse a fee or expedite a stalled process.
How much time should it take to respond to a user post?
Our guidelines are two business hours for social media and one to two days for review sites. Obviously, severity dictates response time. We have a few scenarios in which our Command Center is authorized to wake people at 3am, such as major system outages, security threats, and disasters.
How do you develop community management guidelines?
We've benchmarked against other organizations through and other communities.
How does community feedback drive content development?
Part of our monthly social media scorecard includes an analysis of our content. Which posts had the highest engagement and which had the lowest? By looking at this over time, we've seen patterns about the types of posts and topics that our followers find interesting. We've used this feedback to design our content calendars, and we pass it along to our partners who provide us with stories. We recently published a "How not to be boring" document that we've shared with some of our internal partners. Using data to back up our recommendations helps us avoid the awkward "ugly baby" conversation in which we have to tell someone that their content isn't as interesting as they think it is.

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