The Bottomline on The ROI of Social Media

One of my favorite topics is talking about how social media is really changing business. Having looked at this topic for a number of years now I still surprised that more people aren’t familiar with building the business case for social media. Regardless of what role I have had, I continue to see the same patterns. Customers not happy with a company’s products and/or services are using social channels to broadcast their frustration, and often disdain, to millions. And there are still some companies that are unsure whether social media is really here to stay and even hesitating to really dig in deep to social media. That really blows my mind!

Many companies have done the basics… get a Twitter handle and tweet or have a Facebook page… But what really sets a company apart is the understanding that just doing the basics in social media is only the tip of the iceberg. Many of you who have seen me speak on this topic know my point of view on social media. It’s not just a channel or a technology. It’s probably one of the most important contributions to business since the assembly line.

The reason? It is literally transforming business. That may sound a bit dramatic, but my point of view on this comes from my days of listening to my dad speak about working in the auto industry. He would tell me stories about a man named Edward Deming. Deming’s moto was essentially to listen to your customers and your employees. Take that feedback and integrate it back into your company. If you were successful in doing that and really making the changes that needed to be made on an ongoing basis, you’d have a very successful company.

What I’ve found most striking about social media is that — if used as an enterprise feedback tool — it is the best source of data… from both customer’s and employee’s that a company could ever dream of obtaining. And what we are seeing is that companies that realize how to use social media – across all departments — PR, Marketing, Customer Service, Product Development, Sales, Manufacturing, etc… are the ones that are truly getting huge return’s on their investment.

I’ll be doing a series of posts on this topic and go into more detail on some of my philosophies on social media and how its transforming business. But for now, I’ll share with you some links to some of the content we’ve recently created. You may have seen Kathy Herrmann and I speak on the topic of social media ROI. To help people get a better handle on this topic, we put our thought leadership together, along with to produce a white paper and several videos.

Below are the links to the materials we’ve created. We hope that these help people:

  • Believe that the ROI of social media can be calculated
  • Gain a better understanding of how ROI can be calculated
  • Use this information to start to create their own business cases and
  • Stimulate a lot of discussion on the topic.

We believe that in the course of dialogue on topics like this, some of the myths will be shattered, people will begin to help each other to get a clearer understanding of the impact social media can have on their business and together we can transform not only business, but education, government and many many other things that are very important to us all! And this is ONLY the beginning!!!

I hope that these materials help you and look forward to talking with you more. We’ll be hosting several Twitter Chats on the topics in the next few weeks, so be on the look out for when and what time!

Cheers and many, many, many happy returns!

@drnatalie  Learn. Share. Grow!

Snackable Insights Into ROI of Social Media
Episode 1: How to Build a Business Case for Social Customer Service
Episode 2: Calculating ROI for Social Customer Service
Episode 3: How Social Customer Service Benefits the Entire Company
White Paper: ROI Guide

Info on: Social Customer Service


FREE Chapter 1 – I LOVE YOU MORE THAN MY DOG! by Jeanne Bliss

This is the third post about the book, I Love You More Than My Dog, as part of my favorite book posts.

Jeanne Bliss tweeted me to thank me for writing about her book. And as we got to talking, she provided me with a link to the first chapter of her book, just for you:

(may have to copy and paste the URL)

Chapter 1: Your Decisions Reveal:  Who You Are and What You Value!

It’s very generous of Jeanne to provide me a link. I hope that you take advantage of it!

The chapter starts with a quote from Walt Disney:“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”

Walt Disney

Walt Disney, The Master of the Customer Experience

Companies that are loved by their customers make decisions differently than other companies.

The common denominator, according to Jeanne, is that these companies bring consciousness and humanity to the decisions they make.  When you make decisions that respect and honor your customers, your customers will grow your business by word of mouth. They will tell their friends, who will they their friends, who will tell their friends…

Remember that Breck Shampoo commercial back in the ’60s that used this as their tagline?

The most important thing a company can do is to form an army of cheerleaders and publicists urging their friends, neighbors, colleagues and strangers to get behind your company.

Have we ever seen this in action? Sure we have… Land’s End for instance. That’s where Jeanne started her customer experience career. The founder of Land’s End, Gary Comer, described Jeanne’s job as:  nurturing the “conscience” of the company through the decisions they made as they grew. And they experienced 20-30% grow per year. Their stand? Long-term growth was dependent on retaining their strong emotional connection with customers.

At that time, the stories customers told about Land’s End, revealed their values. They drove not only customers to the company, but also an engaged and loyal employee base. Land’ End need over 200 employee volunteers to answer all the, “I love you, Land’s End!” mail they received each month.

And have we seen this lately? Yes, at When Tony and Alfred started they didn’t have money for large advertising or marketing programs. They made the conscious decision that the way they would build and grow their business was to provide such great service, interactions and experiences, that they tell their friends, who will they their friends, who will tell their friends…

And 2009, bought for over $922 Million.  That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it.

And its not that these types of companies are perfect. It’s not that every single interaction is perfect. What is so is that they have a huge reserve of gratitude from their customers, that if and when a mistake is made, that customers are willing to be more forgiving. Especially when that tender, loving care is how they deal with the mistake or issue.

As Jeanne would say, “The decision is yours.”




Part 3: Comedian, Loni Love on What Companies Can Learn From Comedians, Fans and Customers

Click here to learn more on Loni Love’s wisdom about Twitter, on the importance of fans/customers and that there is nothing more special than showing you care.

This is wisdom that everyone can use!

Loni Love spoke at the 140tc conference, with me, about how marketing, PR, customer service  and comedy/ fans are very similar. Just likes companies need “fans” or customers, she depends on fans to come and see her perform at shows and on TV. Loni uses twitter as a way to reach out to her fans and build that relationship.

Loni Love Uses Twitter As A Megaphone To Show How Much She Appreciates Her Fans

Loni Love Uses Twitter As A Megaphone To Show How Much She Appreciates Her Fans

Loni typically starts the day in Twitter by providing her fans with inspirational quotes/jokes. She then sends out information on her schedule for the day, jokes, as well as links to funny stories. She says that many people find the content fun, uplifting and entertaining and they retweet it! Often fans are inspired by her tweets and they also send out jokes. She sometimes retweets those herself or comments on them.

When did this great comedian start using Twitter? In June of 2009. She currently has over 74,837 followers; at the time of the video in May 2009, she had 8,000 followers. Loving your fans means they grow over time.

TV's doctor, Dr. Drew showing Loni Love the "Luv" For What She Does

TV's doctor, Dr. Drew showing Loni Love the "Luv" For What She Does

How does this comedian’s actions on Twitter relate to Customer Service? Customers want to know they are valued. Loni sees Twitter as the opportunity to do that. Sure Loni is in the entertainment business and you might be in the business of customer service, but there is a common denominator here. And the commonality is this: acknowledging and appreciating fans or customers garners reciprocal appreciation, but in ten-fold. Often times entertainers, like companies, can seem like they are far removed from their fans of customers. Companies have often been categorized as giant, unfeeling monoliths. In part that is because their communication with customers and the public is very stayed, calculated and predicable. It is written, checked and rechecked to the point that it has lost the human touch.

What Loni has experienced by retweeting a fan’s tweet or commenting on a tweet, is that people feel that they have made a special connection with her. She says they are often surprised that she responds and interacts so much! They are delighted and feel cared about when she does something as simple as type something in less than 140 characters.

Loni’s whole purpose in being an entertainer and comedian is to make people laugh. Her goal is to help them forget about their problems for at least a few minutes. Loni loves using Twitter because it is a tool that helps her to spread her passion about helping people to remember to laugh and enjoy life a little more. You may have seen her spreading her humor and love on E! on the Chelsea Lately show.

Loni Love on the E! show, Chelsea Lately

Loni Love on the E! show, Chelsea Lately

Loni  suggests that when you think about the parallels to what she is doing and customer service, she suggests companies remember that customers are always the number one priority. You can reach out to them via Twitter and show your appreciation for them. Loyalty often comes from feeling “a part of something.” Paying attention to fans or customers helps them to feel vested in what you are doing and in what you stand for. And by showing your passion as a company, your employees will catch the appreciation bug also!

You can follow Loni on Twitter at

Loni’s website is:

And information about Chelsea and her show, Chelsea Lately is at:

Learn. Grow. Share.

Thanks for tuning in!  @DrNatalie


Steve Broback on Twitter, Analytics and Measuring What Matters to Business

Steve Broback shares his thoughts on unstructured and structured data in the cloud and turning chaos into order. I got the opportunity to interview him at the end of the 140tc conference.  Steve spoke to me about the need to analyze social data and understand how to react to it. In doing so, his company is helping companies bring stability and calmness around what’s being said about them in the cloud.

Steve talked about the launch of the Star Trek movie and the morning after there were over 10,000 tweets. They ran the tweets through their process and got very accurate data on positive, neutral and negative sentiment on the movie. The first structural element they used was determining whether the person had seen the movie. That isolated the comments from 10,000 to 6.000 who had seen it.

Steve Broback, Founder of Parnassus Group

Steve Broback, Founder of Parnassus Group

On the 6.000, they ran the sentiment analysis. They do similar analysis with the launch of consumer electronics. Often times with a launch there are a lot of neutrals. But because they were able to measure a large number of positives, they knew right away the movie was a hit. And this was reflected in the stock value the next day.

While some of the content is just your average everyday message about people’s life, because Twitter’s API provides a very robust capability for search, so you can easily garner data on just about any topic… Favorite TV shows, products, stores, airlines, etc… And Steve is no stranger to social media. He wrote the book, Publish and Prosper, Blogging For Business.

Steve Broback's book on Taking Blogging Seriously For Businesses

Steve Broback's book on Taking Blogging Seriously For Businesses

Steve says that while the data is pretty easy to extract, the key is know what to do with the data.

For companies that are concerned about what is being said about them in various social media channels, this is an important video to watch.

You can follow Steve on twitter at

You can learn more about the 140tc Conference at

Thanks for tuning in!
Learn. Share. Grow.

Dr. Natalie


“I Love You More Than My Dog”

Could it be that easy? Love I mean? The kind of love that you earn when you have nurtured the consciousness and congruence of the heart. Where intention and motivation match. Where you have decided to “be there.” Where you have clarity of purpose. Where you can be real.

You might think I am talking about a romantic relationship. I am. But not the kind that you might think. It’s a kind of love that is rare. That is cherished.

There is an energy that comes from being believed, from being trusted; its like coming home. We all crave it. We all desire it. We want to emulate it. When our intelligence, our creativity, our emotions and humor blend, and is acknowledged by another, we realize our full potential.

Amazing Authors: These are the words of an amazing author, Jeanne Bliss. And the title of this post is the title of her newest book. When I met Jeanne, at the Earth Cafe on Melrose, I met someone who created an indelible mark of kindness and passion that makes people want to be with her. She emulates what she writes about. She is someone you love more than your dog. (Or in my case, my cats!)

What is Jeanne’s book about? She writes about the kind of corporate America we all dream of. Of a place that we ourselves can believe in. Of a place we are seen, heard and respected. Of a place where customers are seen, heard and respected.

Book Reviews: One of the things I wanted to do in this blog is to share the amazing insights from the various authors of books that are creating the shift. So this is one of the first of many posts about amazing authors, their amazing stories and their ability to take words and fashion a story that moves from where we were to where we dream is possible.


Author Jeanne Bliss and her dogs!!

If you haven’t picked up a copy, you need to. And when you read it, don’t just read it, absorb it. Use it as a way of evaluating how you and your company does business. Ask yourself, “Do my customer’s love us more than they love their pets?” And if not, why?

Follow Jeanne on Twitter:

Happy New YEAR! 2010! Dr. Natalie (follow me on

Learn. Share. Grow.



Partial List of Companies In Jeanne’s Book:

1. Rackspace

Container Store in Pasadena, California

Image via Wikipedia

2. Griffin Hospital

3. The Container Store

4. W. L. Gore

5. Zane’s Cycles

6.Trader Joe’s


Image via Wikipedia

7. Customer Ink

8. Wegman’s Food Markets

9. Chik-fil-A

10. Harley-Davidson



Is your company on this list? Or mentioned in Jeanne’s book? If not, why not? And what can you do to begin the shift towards being beloved?

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Five Decisions That Will Change Your Company’s Customer Experience

This is the second post about Jeanne Bliss’s book, “I Love You More Than My Dog.” As I read it over the holidays, I became intrigued with the idea that its in the decisions that companies make that determine what their customer’s experiences will be. As Jeanne puts it, ” Your company’s key decisions expose their true purpose, who you are and what you value.”

What’s important about that? Well customers today want to feel that you care about them. That you value their participation in your business. Customer’s evaluate whether you “care” about them from each and every action and interaction they have with you. They evaluate your company based on the interactions with customer service agents, with your website, with the IVR, with your email responses. They evaluate your company based on the experiences they have with those touchpoints.

And unfortunately most companies, when they deployed these technologies their values were focused on the company’s efficiencies. They were not thinking or even in most cases, considering how the technology deployment would affect their customer’s experiences. To them, that either wasn’t part of the decision process or it sounded too much like “motherhood and touchy-feely stuff” to even consider.

What’s happened is that those decisions, 20 years ago, to deploy technology to make the company more efficient has created a backlash from customers. After 20 years of very poor customer experiences, customer are mad as hell, and they are not going to take it anymore. What we see today is a reaction to the decisions made years ago.

Flash forward and what do we see? The backlash comes at a time when the evolution of the Internet is in its second phase, Web 2.0. Where customers don’t just tell 10 or 20 people when they are upset, they tell millions via a giant megaphone called social media.

customers are mad and they are vocal

Customers are mad and they are vocal!!!

Examples? Dell Hell, United Broke My Guitar and Comcast’s Sleeping Technician videos on

If you haven’t seen the videos, here’s some links:

United Breaks Guitars:

Comcast’s Sleeping Technician:

So what does this mean to you and your company?

Here’s the five decisions in: I Love You More Than My Dog:

1. Decide to believe

2. Decide with clarity of purpose

3. Decide to be real

4. Decide to be there

5. Decide to say sorry.

The decision is yours.