Advertising on Twitter

I came across an interesting post on TechCrunch that mentions how Twitter has begun to advertise applications (most of which are all Twitter-related) earlier this month. Some of the links being provided in small boxes on the profile pages are Tweetie, Twittervision, and ExecTweets. Even though developers are not yet paying anything to get featured on the site, it will be interesting to see how Twitter will respond to paid advertising on their site.

Animal shelter promotes better customer service

In Billings, Montana, the animal shelter is looking to create better service that will both help its customers and the pets they take care of. The city of Billings handed over the animal shelter to a private organization which will focus on customer service in order to save lives of animals. They’ll be open longer hours and more days in order to allow more people to come in to adopt the pets. They’ll also focus on recruiting volunteers and promoting foster programs with animal rescue groups. This case of customer service not only helps out the animal shelter’s customers, but also serves in providing the pets with a better life.

Source: Billings Gazette

Speaker Profile: Kaliya Hamlin

With the Community 2.0 event coming up in May, we’re going to introduce you to another keynote speakers for this year’s event. Community 2.0 is May 11-13 in San Fransisco, California at The Palace Hotel. This week, we’re featuring keynote speaker Kaliya Hamlin, a leader in the user-centric community.

Hamlin was recognized as one of the Most Influential Women in Web 2.0 by Fast Company in 2008.

At IT Conversations, she participated in this conversation called Do You Know Where Your Identity Is?

Listen to Kaliya on this podcast with ReadWriteTalk.

Read Kaliya’s blog:

Kaliya’s OpenID website

Join us in San Fransisco on Wednesday, May13th for Kaliya’s keynote speech, Identity Across Communities – Tools for Making it Real.

Your view on market segementation

At Ad Age, they ask a very interesting question? Is market segmentation discrimination in disguise? What do you think as a market researcher? If your product will appeal to only one market, why advertise to many others? But, on the other side of things, what if one or two people in another market would like to know about what your advertising? What are your thoughts?

Balancing Customer Service and Satisfaction

Harvard Business Publishing recently ran a post on customer service and the balancing act that corporations must do to earn both customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. According to the post, managers often view service efficiency and customer satisfaction as incompatible goals. But they don’t have to be. By maintaining customer service during a slowdown, companies with a strong core of loyal customers position themselves for growth and gain a competitive edge. What do you think is the key to balancing these two customer service goals?

Be sure to check out the rest of the post here.

Examples of online communities in the financial services industry

For this week’s instalment in our series of online community examples we turn to the financial services industry.

Online communities in the financial services industry

There’s no escaping the fact that the financial services industry has been hit hard by the current economic climate. But like any industry at the moment, now is a great time to innovate in the way financial services companies communicate with and engage their customers. There are some really informed examples of social media by financial services brands and below are three great case studies of online communities in the industry from around the world.

Royal Bank of Canada Next Great Innovator

Since 2007, the Royal Bank of Canada has been running the Next Great Innovator Challenge, an online competition for university and college students across Canada to suggest an innovation for the financial services industry. The competition runs on an online community site that invites those taking part to submit their ideas, and to comment on and vote for those that others have submitted. This turns the competition into an example of real consumer co-creation. Allowing consumers to work together with each other to suggest and refine ideas that will change the financial services industry in Canada. The online community also performs a number of other functions. It is a way for the Royal Bank of Canada to share its ideas and information about innovation, business change and the financial services industry. They are using the challenge as a way to reach those often turned-off by discussions about financial services (university and college students) and then engages them through the online community. This site is a great way of getting new ideas into the business, engaging an often difficult-to-inspire audience and also to build relationships with people who will potentially be valuable customers to the bank in the future.

HSBC Business Network

The HSBC Business Network is an online community for both customers and non-customers, allowing businesses and entrepreneurs to share information with and gain information from their peers. It is a good example of brands using online communities to provide a service that compliments and enhances their existing product portfolio. Here they are providing business advice and networking opportunities, not something that HSBC has previously offered on this scale, but something that it is very possible for them to do using online communities. The site has gathered over 1,000 members since the start of 2008, and like any peer-to-peer advice and support community it’s value will really depend on the growth of its member base and then on these members being active in the community itself. The forum areas are currently popular and active and reflect both ongoing business and entrepreneurial concerns (such as how to manage staff) and topical talking points (cash collection in the credit crunch). It would be great to see these grow with time and also to see how HSBC use the resource they have created. Online communities in the financial services industry offer a great opportunity for peer advice and support to be combined with expert commentary from the organisation itself. Leveraging this expertise and mixing it with user discussions and comments can be a great way for the organisation to grow and build the size and value of the community, position itself as an expert in the area, and to learn from (and with) its consumers)


Wesabe is a money-management site and online community for people who want to share advice about personal finance decisions. It combines the kind of money-management tools you get in Quicken or Microsoft Money but adds a social layer on top of this. Users can add tags to their frequent purchases and become a ‘fan’, ‘user’ or ‘captive’ of the service or product. They can find other users in a similar situation and share advice and information with them to help them improve their financial decision-making. The social media element of the site also allows peer-to-peer financial advice, tips and information. And this is shown as relevant based on each users own situation and information they have entered into their profile. Wesabe is a great site and a great example of adding a social layer to an existing service. Money management tools are useful from an organisational perspective. By adding the social layer and letting people in similar circumstances find, interact and share advice with each other the site becomes a lot more useful. It stops being just an organisational tool and starts being a real service that they are gaining from. As with the HSBC example, this online community shows how using peer advice and support can be successful for organisations in the financial services industry. Online communities offer a way for people in similar situations to find each other and to support each other. Whilst you might not know somebody personally in the same situation as you, an online community can help you to find them and then for you t o help and support each other.From the FreshNetworks Blog See all our Online Community Examples Subscribe to updates from the FreshNetworks Blog

Win your customer loyalty the old fashioned way

Over at Customer Think, Kevin Stirtz recently looked at two simple ways you can continue to keep your customers loyal to you: know what they want, and know what you are best at. It’s vital that you keep communication roads open, and that it is easy for both your customers and employees to give you feedback. If you make a goal to listen to their feedback and begin to use it to improve their expreience, customers will keep coming back to you.

What do you do to encourage feedback from both your employees and customers?

TMRE Poll Results: February

In the February edition of The Market Research Event LinkedIn Roundup’s poll questions are new closed, and we’d like to share the results with you:

Has your company downsized because of the economy?
58% Yes
41% No

Has the research sector of your company downsized in the current recession?
83% Yes
16% No

Do you believe your market research budget will be cut further?
58% Yes
41% No

Do any of these results surprise you?

New research into loyalty marketing

At this month’s CPGmatters, they look at the new trends in loyalty marketing. Top Shopper Dialog (TSD) found a new approach to tell the “why” in consumer shopping. Consumers volunteer to participate in phone interviews as well as have a loyalty card for tracking their purchases. Read the full story here.