Social Customer Experience: Engage and Retain Customers through Social Media
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More About This Title Social Customer Experience: Engage and Retain Customers through Social Media


Social Customer Experience: Engage and Retain Customers through Social Media builds on the prior works of author Dave Evans. As an update to Evans’s earlier book Social Media Marketing, the new Social Customer Experience connects the early cases presented in 2010 with significant, contemporary examples, key concepts, and best practices associated with the adoption of social technology by global brands. This latest edition offers a blueprint for transforming your organization’s disparate social initiatives into a unified social experience strategy. Most people know that social technologies are transforming business, but few understand how those changes are happening across the organization. Whether in marketing, communications, customer care, digital media or product development these changes shape the way in which business manage the experience their customers have with the brand. Filled with practical examples of what to do, and illustrated with cases taken from real companies, Social Customer Experience fills in the gaps for companies who want to do more with social than just listen and experiment.

Part I lays the groundwork by explaining the three waves of change that combine to form social customer experience: social technologies and their impact on Web 1.0 digital infrastructures; social customers and their impact on marketing and support operations; and the new discipline of customer experience management that is reframing the old sales-and-service-centric ways of thinking about how companies relate to customers. Part I concludes by defining the social customer experience ecosystem, both on and off your own web domain.

Part II, “Your Social Presence,” puts you on the ground, with tactics and examples for how to apply social technologies and achieve your business objectives, how to measure and analyze social data and show business value, and how to implement a best-practice approach to avoid common traps and pursue proven opportunities.

Part III digs deeper into the five building blocks of social customer experience: organization, platform, content, people and tools.  What’s a social experience organization look like? What systems need to be in place? How do you get the most out of the social “objects” – content and other assets – that are the byproduct of great social customer experiences? How do connections between customers – the social graph – come into play?  And what applications will you use – literally, what will you empower your customers to do? Part III answers these questions in the practical, method-driven style of authors Dave Evans and Joe Cothrel. 

Social Customer Experience features detailed exercises that show you how to translate learning into action, hands-on tutorials using today’s social media tools and platforms, and compelling, modern case studies from organizations of all sizes—from the Fortune 500 to nonprofits and mom-n-pop main-street shops. As a bonus, the book also features resources and references to connect readers with the current thought leaders and sources of timely information.

If you’re interested in business, and how business is being reshaped by social technology, Social Customer Experience will show you a path to a new relationship with your customers, customers not only buy your products and services but get more out of them and go on to become partners in your business–selling, supporting, and innovating on your behalf.


Dave Evans is VP, Social Strategy at Lithium and author of the bestseller Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day. Evans has served on the advisory board for ad:tech, and the measurement and metrics council for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. Joe Cothrel is Lithium’s Chief Community Officer and has worked with more than 300 companies using online communities to create productive relationships with customers, partners, and employees.


Foreword xvii

Introduction xix

Part I Social Customer Experience Fundamentals 1

Chapter 1 Social Media and Customer Engagement 3

The Social Feedback Cycle 4

Open Access to Information 6

Social Customer Experience: The Logical Extension 7

Social Customer Experience Is Holistic 10

The Connected Customer 11

The Social Web and Engagement 12

The Rules of Engagement 13

Assessing Engagement 15

The Engagement Process 17

The Engagement Process and Social Customer Experience 22

The Operations and Marketing Connection 24

Connect Your Team 25

Your Customers Want to Help 27

Review and Hands-On 28

Review of the Main Points 28

Hands-On: Review These Resources 29

Hands-On: Apply What You’ve Learned 29

Chapter 2 The Social Customer 31

Who Is the Social Customer? 32

The Motives for Social Interaction 33

A Means to Connect: Friending and Following 35

An Environment for Connection: Moderation 36

A Motive for Connection: Reputation 38

The Customer Experience and Social CRM 40

The Role of Influence 41

The Social Graph 44

Engaging the Social Customer: Two Cases 46

Outreach and Influencer Relations 48

Influencer Relations 49

Influencer Relations: A Representative Case 50

Review and Hands-On 52

Review of the Main Points 52

Hands-On: Review These Resources 53

Hands-On: Apply What You’ve Learned 53

Chapter 3 Social Customer Experience Management 55

Understanding Customer Experience 56

Are You Ready for SCEM? 57

Social Businesses Are Participative 57

Common Misconceptions 58

Build around Customer Participation 59

Participation Is Driven by Passion 60

In Search of a Higher Calling 61

$pend Your Way to a Social Presence 64

Build Your Social Presence 66

Your Business as a Social Trigger 68

Brand Outposts 69

SCEM and Measurement 71

Conversion 71

Participation 72

Business Value 74

Other Measures 75

The Essential Role of the Employee 75

Empower an Organization 76

Employees in Customer Communities 79

Review and Hands-On 81

Review of the Main Points 81

Hands-On: Review These Resources 82

Hands-On: Apply What You’ve Learned 82

Chapter 4 The Social Customer Experience Ecosystem 83

Social Identities and Profiles 84

The Profile as a Social Connector 86

The Profile and the Social Graph 88

Social Applications 89

Discussions 89

Articles 90

Assets 90

Metadata 91

Activity Streams 91

Social Channels 92

Off-Domain Channels 93

On-Domain Channels 94

Manage On- and Off-Domain Activity 96

Build a Vibrant Presence 97

Content Sharing 101

Purpose-Built Social Add-Ons 102

Use Brand Outposts and Communities 103

Coca-Cola: Facebook 105

The Social Ecosystem 106

Review and Hands-On 108

Review of the Main Points 109

Hands-On: Review These Resources 109

Hands-On: Apply What You’ve Learned 110

Part II Your Social Presence 111

Chapter 5 Social Technology and Business Decisions 113

Three Reasons for Social Customer Experience 114

Selling with Social Channels 114

Save with Social 116

Learn with Social 118

Prioritization: Getting to the Conversations That Matter 121

Members 121

Makers 123

Social Technology and Decision Support 133

The Customer Point of View 134

Map the Social Graph 136

Integration of the Customer Experience 138

Customer Support and SCEM 141

Activate Your Customers: Control vs Leadership 142

Review and Hands-On 143

Review of the Main Points 143

Hands-On: Review These Resources 144

Hands-On: Apply What You’ve Learned 144

Chapter 6 Social Analytics, Metrics, and Measurement 147

Why We Measure 148

Measure to Inform: Numbers and Stories 148

Performance, Return, and Insight 149

Sources of Data 150

Social Analytics 151

Quantitative Social Analytics 151

Qualitative Social Analytics 154

Know Your Influencers 159

From Journalists to Enthusiasts 159

Identify Your Influencers 161

The Role of Trust 162

Apply Your New Influencer Knowledge 163

Web Analytics 164

Website Performance 164

Beyond the Basics 165

Don’t Overcomplicate 166

Connect the Dots 167

Business Analytics 169

It’s All about Results 169

Offline and Non-business Processes 170

Sources of Business Analytics 170

Applied Business Analytics 171

Review and Hands-On 176

Review of the Main Points 176

Hands-On: Review These Resources 177

Hands-On: Apply What You’ve Learned 177

Chapter 7 Five Key Trends 179

Real-Time Engagement 180

Create a Baseline 180

The New Role for Marketing 183

Mobile Computing 184

Real Time, Meet Real Space 185

Co-creation 187

Encourage Collaboration Everywhere 188

Crowdsourcing 195

Crowdspring: Crowdsourcing 195

Threadlesscom: Crowd-Sourced Design 196

HARO: Knowledge Exchange 197

Gamification 199

Social Technologies and Gaming 199

Elements of Gamification 200

Loyalty, Location, and Mobile 202

Foursquare: Mobile Game-Based Sharing 203

Review and Hands-On 205

Review of the Main Points 205

Hands-On: Review These Resources 206

Hands-On: Apply What You’ve Learned 206

Part III Social Customer Experience Building Blocks 209

Chapter 8 Customer Engagement 211

Hierarchy of Types 212

Level 1: Support 214

Peer Support 214

Agent Support 219

Level 2: Sales 220

Level 3: Innovation 221

Hierarchy of Value 222

Creating Customer Advocates 225

What Drives Advocacy? 225

Create Advocates through Engagement 227

Create Experiences That Drive Advocacy 229

Review and Hands-On 231

Review of the Main Points 231

Hands-On: Social Business Fundamentals 232

Hands-On: Apply What You’ve Learned 232

Chapter 9 Social CRM and Social Customer Experience 233

CRM, Social CRM, and SCE 234

The Evolution of CRM 235

The Evolution of Social CRM 237

The Case for Integration 238

Website 238

Web Registration 239

Website Search 240

Support Infrastructure 240

Enterprise Dashboards and Analytics 241

Email and Marketing Automation 241

Integrating On and Off-domain Social Systems 241

Where This Is All Going 242

SCE: Engagement Drives Innovation 243

Hope Is Not a Strategy 245

Your Social Customer Experience Plan 246

Review and Hands-On 249

Review of the Main Points 249

Hands-On: Review These Resources 249

Hands-On: Apply What You’ve Learned 250

Chapter 10 Social Objects 251

What Is a Social Object? 252

Why Social Objects Matter 257

Social Objects: Types and Uses 258

Using Social Objects 258

The Future of Social Objects 274

Trusted Content 274

SEO: Get Found 275

Review and Hands-On 277

Review of the Main Points 277

Hands-On: Review These Resources 278

Hands-On: Apply What You’ve Learned 278

Chapter 11 The Social Graph 279

What Is a Social Graph? 280

Characteristics of Social Graphs 284

Types of Social Networks 284

Influencers and the Social Graph 288

Social Graphs Spread Information 291

The Tools That Power a Social Graph 292

Spread Content Further 294

Measure Content Spread 295

The Social Graph and Social Customer Experience 296

Make Sure People Connect 296

Make Sure Activity Is Visible 297

On-Domain: Community and the Social Graph 301

Connected Communities 302

Review and Hands-On 303

Review of the Main Points 303

Hands-On: Review These Resources 304

Hands-On: Apply What You’ve Learned 304

Chapter 12 Social Applications 305

What Is a Social Application? 306

Social Applications Drive Engagement 308

Social Applications Connect People 311

Social Network Extensions 312

Content Publishing and Sharing 315

Curation and Reputation Management 318

Crowdsourcing 320

Ideation 321

Support Communities 323

Plan Your Social Customer Experience Platform 324

The Planning Process 324

Initiate Your Plan 328

Review and Hands-On 329

Review of the Main Points 329

Hands-On: Review These Resources 330

Hands-On: Apply What You’ve Learned 330

Part IV Appendixes 331

Appendix A Terms and Definitions 333

Appendix B Thought Leaders 337

Appendix C Hands-On Exercises 345

Index 355