Imagine | Create | Inspire
Don’t waste the opportunity to develop customer relationships with engaging users on social media.
Street Wise
           Let’s talk about missed opportunities, and in particular opportunities for businesses to create and develop customer relationships with those actively engaging with a company and its products. Firstly every business should thank the great minds who developed the concept of social media. It is a fantastic tool for users to post their thoughts and ideas on their daily activities. From a business and marketing perspective, it is a great way to see how consumers interact with their products and services. Not to mention it is free.

           I’m going to use a current example that lead me to further researching the impact social media can have on understanding the consumer market. I recently posted a tweet to Microsoft asking “@surface was wandering if the surface 3 keyboard would work on my surface pro 2.” I now know the answer of which many stores have told me otherwise (for those wandering, it does, I tested it). I was quite annoyed to the fact that I did not receive any response, whether it was the answer to my question, a link to where I would be able to get more info, nothing. Now that I come to think of it more, it was a wasted opportunity to potentially develop a new customer relationship.

           In such a competitive world it is more and more important for businesses to use all tools available to help communicate with its customers. Social media has provided a platform that allows organizations and businesses to do just that, with an added bonus of being in real time. Responding to queries such as mine can help support the customer, and more importantly provide the customer with a public positive experience. I mention public as many other people who might have also inquired the same thing have the opportunity to see this on the public forum.

           On the other hand, doing the opposite can also provide a public negative experience. Customer will also be able to see that your company is not supportive to its customers (as if customer support already isn’t a big enough issue) but they may also see the quite often negative outburst that generally follows. We’ll say this article is my negative outburst, I’m constructive in my feedback.

           Businesses need to further understand how social media marketing can help them collaborate with engaging customers. With this sense of engagement meaning customers become participants, those acting in an open, participative, social environment. These customers have taken a personal interest and their time to voice their opinion whether it be on their own personal social accounts, on blogs, forums and so forth. This engagement process is broken down into 4 different building blocks:

Consumption: the initial act of a person downloading, reading, watching, or listening to digital content. One must do this before they start commenting or liking something.

Curation: the act in which one sorts, filters, rates, reviews, comments on, tags and or otherwise describes content. These responses to content makes it more useful to others.

Creation: the next act by a user is generating and offering content that they have created themselves. The beauty of this is that customers do this freely and as social media has grown more and more often.

Collaboration: the final act in which encompasses consumption, curation, and creation and forming what we see as online communities. The previous acts can be seen as singular actions, where this final act is the idea of bringing this all together to create social media.

           The combinations of these acts can lead to two different avenues. By joining as part of the collaboration process you can provide your business with the upper hand as you communicate the likes and dislikes of your products and services with the customer. You may be able to support them by leading them to a solution, or take on their views and adjust accordingly. Secondly those collaborating with the product are then more like to engage on the next step which is trial, buy and advocate your products. For more information on business engagement with social media I encourage you to read “Social Media Marketing” by Dave Evans.

           With the unfortunate example that I had encountered with Microsoft, who may read this article and adjust accordingly, businesses and individuals alike should participate and engage with each other more. If you would like to consume or curate on any of the content I have created and collaborate you can find me on most sites under the username tmagilldotcom.

Take the high school approach to getting your emails in order
Street Wise
           So today I did a massive clean-up, a digital clean-up. If I knew how much time it was going to take I would have probably have cleaned the house, top to bottom. I was thinking if some of those files were a sandwich, maggots were the least of my worries.

           Firstly I started with the desktop. Who reading this has just thought, I will save this item on the desktop so I can access it quickly and then just left it there. Like an old bookshelf brushing the cobwebs off I started moving them back, I even had a folder on the desktop called “desktop cleanup“ from where I had last tried to clean it.

           Now, what was worst then that was my “downloads” folder. This is more like buried treasure, you can really go back through your (internet) history. Filled with photos, documents applications, you name it. If you’ve searched for it, it’s probably here.

           Finally it came down to my emails. I on average get roughly 1300-1500 emails a month. From every website that I’ve subscribed to, constant updates from social media, barrage of work and work applications and finally the miscellaneous, which as it sounds is anything and everything else.

           Here are some tips for your email so that you hopefully don’t have to go through the same pain. Don’t let me get you wrong, you may have to do some initial dumpster diving but if you do these little things, hopefully it won’t get too bad in the future.

Start Off Clean
           First things first, I’m the realest. And to truly make sure that you don’t end up in this situation is that you need to start off fresh. You can go with my approach and sift through years of build-up. Alternatively if you don’t really care what’s actually on your emails (and computer), you can burn it all. I mean delete it all.

Check Your Settings
           With your social media pages like Facebook and LinkedIn you should go through and check to see what you get email notifications on, and turn them off. If your phone has push notifications and you’re constantly checking these pages anyway, you don’t need a second or third reminder that some random has commented on a link that you were tagged on.

           It was amazing the amount of websites that I had signed up to, it was a reflection of all the hobbies and fazes that I had ever gotten into. Find that unsubscribe button and click away. I noted that I get about 1300-1500 emails now, however before this step, I would be tripling this number.

Folder Up
           Now this is the clincher that will get everything back to normal. It’s the equivalent of buying new books and containers and the appropriately named folders at the beginning of each school year. Now just like each subject of class here are some folder names that you may include:
  • Accounts - This is for all the initial emails for when you sign up for a website, also include password resets and anything that may have a member number attached.
  • Appointments - This is for all your appointments and request for meetings. Think of this as your in-email calendar, especially if you’re also struggling to keep your calendar together.
  • Finances - This is for any purchases, statements, payslips, or love letters from your bank. Though the next two may also be considered financial as it involves your money, it helps when searching for specifics later.
  • Purchases - Now this is optional, if you’re a serial online shopper like me this is a good place to store any online receipts, shipping information and confirmations.
  • Tickets - Again optional, if you find that you are attending lots of events, then you should create an additional folder. It is also great if there was any other additional emails in regards to you having to get those tickets.
  • Trash - If you are a hoarder like me and can’t see anything let go, think of this as your online recycling bin. You’ve thrown it away, but it’s there just in case.
  • Work/Personal - If you’re using a personal email, label it work, if it is a work email, label it personal. Though you should try not to cross these emails together, there is always a few that slip through. This way you can keep these two worlds separate.
           So if you are sick of seeing the pages and pages of emails in your inbox, or ever had trouble trying to find that event ticket, or that overdue notice, fear no more. Take the high school approach to getting your emails in order.
Lesson learnt about determination from a Taxi Driver facing competition from the UberX Wave
Street Wise
           Over the weekend I was in Sydney, and after the usual preparations (pre-drinking) of the night was concluded and time to go to the next location I got onto the phone and rang a taxi, shouted out to see whether we should get a maxi taxi or a couple of regulars ones. My question was responded with “don’t worry about it, we’ll just get Ubers. ” Now from where I am from, Newcastle, Ubers are not as common, however in Sydney nowadays it seems a social norm. Not in the sense that Uber has taken over but working in unison alongside taxi services.

           I still do prefer the taxis and as always ordered my taxi and off I was. Now generally this trip is a good half an hour or so and there’s nothing worst then the feeling of that awkward silence for so long. So as a natural default and as you would normally you ask them how their night has been.

           A topic I always like bringing up nowadays is what their view is on the development of Uber. I have had a mix response with some people saying that they themselves are also Uber drivers, that there is so many people requiring transport solutions so that they aren’t affected, some truly hating the fact that they are taking away possible business and some posing some other various concerns.

           This taxi driver went through a concern that a lot of them have had and that is, anybody can be an Uber driver and that there is no regulation as to the legitimacy of their ability. Which is not exactly true, it’s just that nobody cares about the legitimacy of this 40 billion dollar company backed by the conglomerates of Google and Goldman Sachs if it provides a cheaper and more convenient service. It can be quite shocking to see how much this company is thriving even though the service is actually banned in most states across Australia including N.S.W and Q.L.D. (Lewis, 2015)

           Even though it is illegal the major concern that I have come across is that it’s an introduction of competition. Something that will always cause an issues, of course the taxi services would be annoyed having to compete not only between each other but also now with another uprising competitor. Now a lot of taxi drivers have highlighted the issue but coming from this taxi driver in particular this point seemed more disconcerting.

           After talking to and learning more I asked this man about his background and soon found that he had his doctorate and worked for a pharmacist. Not just dispensing but developing, he was a bio chemical engineer, I couldn’t believe it. It was shocking and upsetting for me to see that this man had worked for so long and then had moved over to Australia and now working as a Taxi driver.

           I kept talking to him and I started to not feel as bad, he explained quite eloquently that this is simply how it is. He understood competition on a whole other level. Competition for him meant over 12 years of study and 10+ years of work experience and still grinding. Moving over to a land for him that still had more opportunity and being transitioned into a different job due to its competitiveness.

           Back to the Uber situation, competition from them was not an issue for this taxi driver, but an inevitable challenge. One that he considered not a setback but simply a way of life. Even though he had been moved to a completely new industry, competition is always going to be an issue and it was seeing the determination to continue to strive through that makes me appreciate the efforts of hard work.

Lewis, D. (2015, January 15). Illegal ride-sharing service UberX outsmarts transport inspectors, disrupting undercover stings. Retrieved from ABC NEWS: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-14/uberx-outsmarts-taxi-inspectors-by-blocking-mobile-phones/6016940