Thursday, April 07, 2011
During the IT Services & Support Community
meeting at CompTIA’s Annual Member Meeting
this morning, Matthew Poyiadgi
, senior vice president, global sales, CompTIA, showcased a host of ideas to help IT service providers jumpstart their social media efforts.
“Social media invites customers to have a say,” said Poyiadgi. “Stop thinking ‘campaigns to our customers’ and start thinking ‘conversations with our customers’.”
Matthew Poyiadgi of CompTIA
In showing examples from good social media practices from other industries, Poyiadgi told how H&H Imports enlisted the rapper 50 Cent to do just one tweet on the company. The share price of H&H Imports jumped $50 million in one day after that tweet.
@DellCares is a Twitter account to respond to customer issues for Dell. They have 1.5 million followers for the US outlet alone. Not only are they helping their customers and getting them to be Dell fans for life, but they’re also using that Twitter feed to sell hardware.
MediaSnackers, a small social media training company in the U.K., gets 30 percent of its business via Twitter.
On the hiring side of the business, Gen Y is vital for our success to replace the aging Baby Boomer IT workforce. Those youngsters breathe technology and social media. Accenture has planned 50,000 hires over the next four years, and they plan to find 40 percent of them from social media.
Poyiadgi also warned that IT service providers need to pick the right time to engage in conversation. For instance, Poyiadgi found out that the head of personnel at McDonalds in the U.K. lived near him, but he could never get a meeting with her. He wanted to engage McDonalds in training and certifying their IT staff. Poyiadgi found her Twitter account and followed her for three months, tracking what type of conversations she was interested in. He did not try to reach her directly via Twitter right away. Then when she posted something that was related to IT, Poyiadgi responded, she responded back immediately, now the conversation is flying between the two of them, and CompTIA is moving closer to getting McDonalds UK involved in CompTIA certification for their IT staff.
Poyiadgi offers attendees a list of five things they could start today in regards to social media.
- Join the conversation. Keep an eye on what’s been said about the business. Set up RSS feeds and #hashtags to stay involved. Add comments to other blogs and forums.
- Learn from the best. Copy, but not from your industry but from other industries, who are amazing at what they do in their sector.
- Share your customer stories. Share customer testimonials.
- Promote it. Use every customer touch point – website, email signatures, leaflets, invoices, ticketing system, etc. – to promote your social networks.
- Use the ideas in your company. Youngsters live online. They don’t reflect on technology; it is their oxygen.
Poyiadgi also encouraged attendees to think about quality as well. In Twitter it used to be the rule to get 1,000+ followers, but now it’s more important to get 50 high-quality followers that can do something for your business.
Another critical misstep companies also make is to engage online but without calling followers to action. All promotions must feed into a call for action to lead followers to get more engaged.
One attendee asked how to get started when you have a very small shop and thus have few staffers. Poyiadgi said the first step is finding someone who’s passionate about social media in your company. Pick the top 3 staffers and give them a set of objectives. Use ping.fm or hootsuite.com to update several social networks at once to lessen the workload. Start by engaging in other groups online to see what they’re saying about your business. Then start your own social network pages and feeds.