People use Facebook to share their latest thoughts and happenings, where they have been recently, what they have eaten recently and their thoughts on the recent news. Facebook is a place of sharing, with users sharing their opinions about anything with each other.
But when it comes to sharing, not all posts or comments will be positive. People will share their negative experiences they had with your products all over social media, and some of them can be really nasty experiences.
The above screenshot shows an angry customer venting about the service officer of an airline. When most businesses see such angry customer comments, their common reaction would be to delete the comment or not respond to it at all.
But when people complain on your social media presence, it is important to respond to them – immediately.
Every time there’s an angry customer, you’re not just dealing with him or her. You’re dealing with the thousands of other people connected to your social platform who are watching you on dealing with this angry customer.
But that’s not all – when dealing with negative comments, 42 percent of your consumers expect you to reply within 60 minutes, and more than two third of your consumers expect a reply on the same day.
Credit: Convince and Convert
In the world of Facebook, speed is crucial; even more in times of a social media disaster.
The truth is that you will always have people complaining about your products or services, no matter what kind of business you are in, and Facebook is just another channel for them to voice out their unhappiness.
And if you don’t respond to them, this is the cost of the social media disaster!
A lot of companies see Facebook as a double-edged sword. The advantage will be to connect and build relationships with your consumers, and the disadvantage will be handling the negative remarks or feedback.
However, that is not always the case. Negative feedback is not a bad thing, but actually a great opportunity to turn a complainer to a great advocate.
I have seen a lot of successful brands that are able to handle their Facebook disaster and turn the complainers into great advocates, and I have broken down the strategy to dealing with negative comments or handling Facebook disaster into three steps.
Firstly, you have to acknowledge the negative comment. By acknowledging, it can be just a simple, “I have received your feedback and understand your concern, we are looking into the matter right now.”
Never ever direct your complainers to a feedback form, as it is insincere. As the receiver, we should take down the complainer’s details and not have them working on anything except to wait for our investigation results.
Never ever drive your fans to other digital forms like what this brand has done.
By firstly acknowledging, we will be able to reply within 60 minutes, which is the expected time window. As social media evolves, the time window will only get shorter until the replies are instantaneous.
2. Apologize with sincerity
The second step is to apologize with sincerity. When something is truly wrong, the fastest way to be forgiven by anybody is to be truly sorry.
KFC Malaysia was once hit with a social media crisis when a video of their employee was seen playing and tampering with the food. Customer brought their unhappiness on KFC Malaysia’s social media outlets, such as Facebook and YouTube. Within 4 hours, the director of operations broadcasted a video to apologise to their customers, assure that they will set up CCTVs, announce that the staffs have been dealt with, and promised that such incidents will never happen again.
By taking effort to answer and fix the problems, customers will understand the mistake and forgive them, after feeling reassured with the swift and sincere actions.
3. Take it Offline
Lastly, it is to take the matter offline by providing a phone number for the complainer. I had a personal experience with Eurostar where there was a discrepancy between the tickets I booked and the tickets I received. I took to Eurostar’s Facebook page to sort the matter out.
From all that is discussed, you should know by now that social media is not a double edge sword; instead it provides double the benefit. Not only that you get to connect with your consumers, you are able to turn them into raving and convinced customers when there are negative comments.
As a business, increasing loyal brand supporters will definitely increase your profit. From an unlikely source of complainers, you can convert them to the valuable customers you love to have!
Marcus Ho is the co-founder behind the award-winning measurable social media agency, SocialMetric. If you’re interested in learning more measurable and advanced social media strategies to boost sales, consider signing up to the SocialMetric Newsletter.
Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Article courtesy of Inside Facebook
Kenshoo, a Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer, is expanding its operations across China, Japan and Southeast Asia by launching new language version of the platform, opening a new office and hiring a former Facebook Japan and Australia executive.
Liam Walsh will now lead social sales across Southeast Asia with a new Singapore as the hub and focus of Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand. The company currently has offices in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Sydney.
The company will also launch Chinese and Japanese versions of its platform, which will enable brands and agencies in those markets to use custom local search and social marketing tools through phased rollouts.
Michel Van Woudenberg, managing director, APJ, at Kenshoo, said in a press release:
We are seeing explosive growth in search and social advertising across Southeast Asia, China, and Japan and Kenshoo is now expanding its operations faster than expected to meet this demand. Local language platforms and deeper in-market presence will give brands and agencies in this region even more horsepower to drive digital marketing performance through Kenshoo. On top of these significant investments, we’re going even further to ensure client success by adding local resources in mainland China.
In addition, Kenshoo made further product enhancements to its ActiveCluster technology for Baidu, China’s largest search engine. Across its Asia Pacific Japan region, paid search spend rose 19 percent year-over-year during the first quarter of 2014, with client revenue increasing 34 percent.
Article courtesy of Inside Facebook
Over the past two years, Asia has emerged as the world’s top marketplace for apps–and it’s still growing. Revenue in Asia rose by a massive 162% in 2013, “annihilating” growth in all other continents, according to a new report by Distimo. Furthermore, that increase was fueled in large part by Google Play, where revenue from Asia more than quadrupled in 2013.
In comparison, the App Store’s growth in Asia was much slower: a 94% increase in revenue for iPhone apps and 64% for iPad apps. But that was still faster than the App Store’s total growth in Europe or North America, as seen in the chart below.
For its report, Distimo looked at daily App Store and Google Play downloads. Asia accounted for 41% of global app revenue in December 2013, compared to 31% from North America and 23% from Europe.
Overall app revenue in Asia is now split almost evenly between Google Play and Apple’s App Store. In comparison, the App Store still leads in North America, where it accounts for 75% of app revenue, with Google Play making up the remaining 25% (the divide is similar in Europe).
“Clearly, Asia is a different landscape than what’s seen in North America and Europe,” wrote Distimo analyst Anne Hezemans.
A lot of attention has been paid to China’s alternative Android app stores, thanks in part to the $1.9 billion acquisition of 91 Wireless by Internet giant Baidu. But Japan is still the most lucrative country for app developers in Asia, followed by South Korea and China. Though mobile penetration rates are rising rapidly throughout the continent, especially in Southeast Asia, there is still a wide disparity between app revenue in different regions.
“To put into perspective the enormous difference in revenue between the top Asian country Japan and Malaysia, Japan’s revenue is 77 times that of Malaysia’s,” wrote Hezemans. “The extremely disproportionate revenue share among Asian countries led us to believe that the market isn’t evenly divided.”
Even though Japan was last year’s leader in app revenue, South Korea enjoyed the highest growth. App revenue in the country shot up by 271%. Most revenue in South Korea came from Google Play, which is unsurprising because Apple holds just a 14% market share there, according to Flurry.
Freemium is still the leading business model in Asia. In China, apps generated 96% of revenue from in-app purchases, while Japan and South Korea had similar rates at 94% and 91%, respectively. In comparison, in-app purchases generates about 76% of revenue in the U.S.
Like their counterparts in the rest of the world, most mobile users spend their in-app time playing games. Rovio’s Angry Birds Go! was the most downloaded game in Asia in December, followed by a Chinese game called CarrotFantasy2: Polar Adventure.
For China, where only 3.5% of devices have Google Play installed, Distimo partnered with Wandoujia, one of the largest alternative Android app stores in the country, to get data from more than 300 million users.
According to Wandoujia, games by foreign developers “have a big opportunity to reach millions of gamers in China,” as evidenced by the popularity of titles like Temple Run 2, Subway Surfers, Angry Birds, and Fruit Ninja, all of which were among the top seven titles in the country last year.
But local developers still dominate non-game apps, just as local software dominated the PC Internet.
“China’s domestic market is so large that it can support an entirely independent ecosystem from the rest of the world,” said the report.
In fact, the 3.5% of Chinese users who do have Google Play on their phones are a relatively international demographic. Just 65% of the apps they purchased were made by local developers, compared to 87% for Wandoujia’s users.
Many Western game makers were initially skeptical about breaking into China’s app marketplace because of piracy and the difficulty of monetizing games. But Wandoujia’s data showed that mobile gamers are now more willing to spend money on in-app purchases. From April to November 2013, the average revenue per paying user for massively multi-player online games grew a massive 400%, beating growth in Japan (282% year-over-year) and Korea (342% year-over-year).
“Android users have a hungry appetite for in-game purchases, bucking the old myth that Chinese users won’t spend money for services,” wrote Hezemans.
For more data, see the full report.
[[Image by Newport Geographic]]
Article courtesy of TechCrunch
Kickstarter is undoubtedly the top crowdfunding site in the world, with over $480 million pledged in 2013. For projects outside of the five countries (the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) the platform is available in, however, launching a campaign is very difficult. That’s where Melbourne-based Pozible comes in. The site recently launched in Singapore and Malaysia, the first step in its Asia-focused international expansion strategy. Over the last three years, more than 5,000 projects have raised a total of $16 million AUD (about $14.3 million USD) on Pozible, which also offers a low-cost e-commerce platform.
Pozible still faces competition from Kickstarter (if an international team has a member with residency in one of the five countries it is officially available in, it can still submit a campaign), as well as other crowdfunding sites such as Indiegogo, which allows projects from around the world.
But Pozible wants to differentiate with its ‘grassroots engagement’ strategy, as well as being the first global platform to focus on Southeast Asia, co-founder and director Rick Chen told me in an email.
Pozible’s wide-range of funding option, including Bitcoin, is meant to make international contributions easier. It accepts more than 25 currencies.
Chen told me in an email that Pozible, which is open to creators in every country, is “a ‘wide open’ platform, in the sense that as long as the project has a clearly defined creative outcome, we are very happy to accept them.”
The site does have a review process, but it is a quick one, and Chen says the platform is especially popular for film, music and art projects. Pozible takes a 5% cut of the total amount pledged for successful campaigns. It also allows creators to continue using their campaign pages to sell products and takes 5% off a product’s selling price, but does not charge monthly or transactional fees.
The startup is tracking support for projects in more than 105 countries and has “big plans for international growth.”
“As we’ve only opened up access to non-Australian markets recently, our user base is still heavily Australian (more than >60% of traffic), followed closely by U.S., Europe and Asia traffic,” Chen tells me. “We’re working to build up our user base in Asia, and these efforts are already starting to show developments, with an increase in Asian projects and Asian web traffic.”
Pozible offers several funding models, including private crowdfunding, subscription crowdfunding, and self-hosted crowdfunding, which launched earlier this week. Private crowdfunding works is similar to CrowdTilt and is meant for small businesses or groups of friends who don’t want to make their project public. Subscription-based crowdfunding allows people to open monthly subscriptions to their supporters. Pozible’s self-hosted crowdfunding allows project creators who already have large following on their sites to launch their own crowdfunding service.
The platform puts extra effort into building community engagement by holding workshops and programs throughout Australia to familarize people with Pozible. Chen says they plan to duplicate those events in various Asian cities.
Though the site is especially popular among artists and musicians, it has hosted a wide variety of projects ranging from academic research to “Patient 0,” a ‘real-life’ zombie role-player game, which raised $243,480 AUD (about $217,000 USD), the highest amount by a Pozible campaign so far.
“Pozible works very closely with our projects, which is why we have a far higher success rate (56% vs Kickstarter’s 43%),” says Chen. “We constantly host Pozible workshos in the cities we work in; at these workshops, we reach out to specific communities and interest groups and we tailor our approach to make sure they get the education they need in order to optimize their chances of crowdfunding success.”
Article courtesy of TechCrunch
MTN Group and Rocket Internet announced that they have formed a new joint venture to invest in startups in the Middle East, with a focus on e-commerce. The two companies will each hold a 50% stake in Middle East Internet Holding (MEIH). The announcement follows another partnership, concluded earlier this week, between MTN, Rocket Internet and Millicom International Cellular, to develop startups in Africa through Africa Internet Holding (AIH). MTN expects to pour $300 million euros (about USD $400 million) into AIH and MEIH, subject to regulatory approval, by the first and second quarter of 2014, respectively.
Based in Johannesburg, MTN is one of Africa’s largest telecom operators. Rocket Internet can potentially leverage MTN’s footprint as it seeks to tap into the continent’s fastest growing Internet markets, including Kenya and Nigeria.
Its agreements with MTN follows several other key partnerships cemented by Rocket Internet. For example, earlier this month Rocket Internet and U.K. retail giant Tesco, the world’s second-largest retailer by revenues after Wal-mart, announced a strategic investment partnership that began with a $250 million lead investment in Lazada. The online marketplace, which Rocket Internet has invested $486 million in so far, operates in Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
Back in July, Rocket Internet also said that it had raised an additional $500 million from two regular investors, Kinnevik and Access, to fund new and existing ventures with a focus on Latin America and Asia.
Africa and the Middle East are two key emerging markets in Berlin-based Rocket Internets’ global expansion strategy, which is especially important for Rocket Internet because Europe’s e-commerce market is already saturated.
In a statement, MTN Group president and CTO Sifiso Dabengway said “The agreement with Rocket marks yet another important milestone in our journey of pursuing digital business adjacencies as one of our key strategic priorities, to drive growth and value for our customers.”
Rocket Internet co-founder Oliver Samwer added “I am very confident that the strategic partnership between MTN and Rocket Internet is going to accelerate the online shift in the Middle East. With joint forces, Middle East Internet Holding will develop its already existing ventures even better and will launch new companies even faster and more successfully.”
Article courtesy of TechCrunch
If you thought that the days of Samwer brothers e-commerce investments with the eBays and Groupons of the world were over, think again. Today, their Berlin-based incubator Rocket Internet announced a new and strategic investment partner, the UK physical and online retail giant Tesco. Tesco, which is the world’s second-largest retailer by revenues (after Walmart) will now work in “close cooperation” with the brothers’ incubator. That will begin by leading a $250 million round in Lazada, an Amazon-like online marketplace with operations across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Other Rocket regulars Access Industries, Kinnevik and Verlinvest also participated.
Other aspects of the deal, Rocket says, will include “customer analytics, private label development and supply chain management.” And as another part of the news, it has also expanded operations in the region with Lamido in Indonesia and Vietnam — a social commerce effort “to tap into the large informal e-commerce market of C2C transactions which includes thousands of shops on social networks such as Facebook.”
It comes on the heels of a $100 million round in Lazada only six months ago and brings the total invested into Lazada to $486 million.
Rocket Internet — which is known mainly for incubating e-commerce startups — notes that this is the first time that Tesco has invested in a pure-play e-commerce operation. Up to now, Tesco has built an empire on Walmart-style supermarkets, primarily in the UK, using that to expand as a strong and early player in e-commerce in grocery and home goods delivery and later digital goods to complement the sale of electronics.
But the investment news comes at a tricky time for Tesco: the company has long been seen as an aggressive and successful retailer, but its strategy has stumbled in the past two years. In the last quarter sales were down 1.5% in its main UK stores, and sales in other markets in Europe were down 4%, and in Asia 5.1%. In September, it put its U.S. Fresh & Easy stores into bankruptcy (so, maybe not so Easy to crack the U.S., after all).
In that context, a focus on new, emerging markets that ride on operations that have already been seeded is a sign to investors that Tesco is now betting big on new opportunities. Emerging markets like Southeast Asia are a key target because they are large, and fast-growing. Southeast Asia as a region has some 600 million consumers who are only now really getting turned on to smartphones and shopping online.
Indeed, this seems to be the rationale for Tesco’s investment. “This investment in Southeast Asia’s largest e-commerce retailer continues our strategy of developing leading multichannel businesses in core growth markets,” said Robin Terrell, group multichannel director of Tesco, in a statement. “Lazada is an exciting, pioneering business which has developed a market-leading offer in each of its five markets in just 18 months.”
Notably, Rocket Internet has established e-commerce businesses spanning home goods, fashion, financial services and much more across every continent. It has put a particularly strong focus on operations in emerging markets in recent years because they are growing faster and are less crowded with competition, Oliver Samwer told me earlier this year in an interview. It has raised hundreds of millions of dollars from investors to build out these operations, often from repeat investors — something that could either point to sustained success if you are a Samwer believer or ponzi-like tendencies focused around clones, if you are one of their detractors.
The real truth is that it’s hard to tell, because as is usual with Rocket Internet, it is not revealing the revenues, net income/loos or any other financial metrics of its operations. However, Tesco is a publicly-traded company, and that will likely lead to demands for greater transparency in the future. (For now Rocket tells us that the operation has some 1,500 employees across five Southeast Asian countries and that Lazada is the “leading online general merchandiser across the region.”
Although Access Industries, controlled by Russian-born (now U.S. citizen) tycoon Len Blavatnik, is a regular Rocket Internet investor, this will be Access’ first investment in Lazada. “We are delighted to welcome Tesco and Access to join our investor group through this funding round,” said Maximilian Bittner, CEO of Lazada Group, in a statement.
Article courtesy of TechCrunch