SNL Lindsay Lohan Appearance Goes Viral [VIDEOS]

Lindsay Lohan’s return to Saturday Night Live last night has turned viral, with many fans and detractors taking to social media sites to discuss the highs and lows of the pop starlet’s performance.

On Sunday afternoon, “SNL Lindsay Lohan” was the second most-searched term on Google and the sketch “The Real Housewives of Disney” was trending nationwide on Twitter.

Lohan’s poke-fun-at-herself monologue, which featured various SNL cast members questioning whether or not the star would be able to handle hosting duties in light of her recently-troubled past, was among the most discussed topics of the night. Cast members Kenan Thompson pretended to check her eyes for clarity and Kristen Wiig patted her down.

The other sketch — a parody of Bravo’s wildly-popular The Real Housewives series that featured Disney princesses such as Snow White, Cinderella and Rapunzel acting catty toward one another at a dinner party — was also shared around the Internet on Sunday.

She also gave a shout-out to the site where so many people were discussing her performance in real time. During a jail scene sketch, while describing what her law-enforcement capabilities include, she replied: “I’m big on Twitter.”

But her overall performance was met with mixed reviews.

Many Twitter users, including @drunkenough, tweeted about Lohan’s attempt to read cue cards. Meanwhile, others praised her comeback, noting that she looked healthier and happier than she has in recent years.

What did you think of her performance? Are you surprised it went viral? Let us know in the comments.

Selling Social Media to Company Executives

I had a query from a potential customer recently about selling Social Media to Company Executives.

They wanted to know how to persuade their bosses about the value of Social Media to their online website promotion, especially in comparison to using standard methods like Google Adwords.

It didn’t help that one of the lynchpins was brandishing an article from an accountancy magazine about how the effects of Social Media were totally over-rated when it came to professional firms. However, this chap was looking at the subject at its most superficial level.

As was mentioned in the article, the cornerstone of any business is to do a great job for the client so that they go on to recommend you to other people and Social Media – particularly Linked In – is a great way of posting recommendations that might actually be seen by the people who matter. However, as the writer says, the problem is that you have no way of knowing how much of this is ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ and, since it is very difficult to actually research people’s credentials or get a feel for their personality online, it’s not totally reliable.

My own experience of Twitter has been that it is just a bunch of people thrusting ‘content’ at me with shortlinks but not much real engagement or interaction going on – despite my attempts to foster such relationships. These people collect followers like kids often hoard trading cards. They don’t value them personally, they just want a big wad in a collection.

The problem is that all these networks can get taken over by people who know how to work the system – either they or their paid helpers set about ‘grooming’ potential clients by giving value and building trust. And you need to work out whether you’re actually talking to the organ grinder or just his monkey.

This means that to make social media work for business, you have to expend some time and effort on it – things don’t just happen overnight. It’s all about growing relationships and networking – just like in the old days. Only now it can be done from the comfort of your study/lounge rather than having to hang around cocktail receptions quaffing lukewarm wine and picking through non-descript canapes.

Originally posted 2011-04-16 11:13:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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How to Maintain Traditional Customer Service in the Social Media Age

Duke Chung co-founded Parature in 2000, with a vision to provide superior customer support software accessible via the Internet. Today, Parature’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product suite supports millions of end users worldwide.

You’ve been monitoring your Facebook wall and Twitter pages, responding to customer inquiries. But what are the next steps you should take to stay abreast of the latest trends in social service?

The emergence of social media communities requires you to track a new set of customer service metrics. Fortunately, you’ll have a better understanding of who your customers are and their service expectations. In some cases, it might even mean the end of traditional service level agreements (SLAs).


Service Level Agreements — How Will They Change?


SLAs are becoming more complex to manage because of the public, viral nature of social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. Some consumers decide to “cut the line,” gravitating to these channels because they think they will get the fastest response.

So, are SLAs still relevant? Is it acceptable to let customers “cut the line?” Should you always prioritize Twitter service requests over requests placed through traditional service channels? What should be the response time on each channel — be it web, email, phone or social media?

The fact is that SLAs still have a purpose, but because of the very public nature of social media channels, companies need to know where their customers are and understand expected response time on each of those channels. It’s a delicate balance: Companies must understand that some channels require faster more personal responses, but traditional service channels still demand attention.

We have a few recommendations on how to handle impact of social channels on service requests and traditional SLAs.

  • Know inside and out who your customers are, what channels they gravitate to when it comes to customer service, and the expectation for response time on those channels. For example, if the majority of your customers frequent Facebook and Twitter for customer support, invest more in personal, timely responses from both your customer service and marketing teams. When a consumer asks a question on Facebook, he does not want to receive an automated response, fast as it may be. Consumers expect both personal and fast replies on Facebook. If you find that many of your customers seek help on your social media channels, host knowledge bases on those networks. It is a good way for consumers to find answers to commonly asked questions, and it frees up the time your customer service team would otherwise spend personally answering the same questions over and over again.
  • Evaluate how urgent the inquiry really is, and see if you’re able to answer quickly and personally with some initial suggestions to solve his or her problem. If the answer requires further involvement, that’s ok. Tell the consumer his inquiry has been received and that it is being further evaluated by the customer service team. This will not only show that you’re responsive, but it will also give you more time to escalate the issue and route it to the correct representative in a more reasonable timeframe. Customers will understand that every service question cannot be answered instantly.
  • Social media service instantly reflects on your brand and directly impacts your company’s marketing efforts. If you are slow to provide an initial response, or you don’t provide any response at all, it can cast your brand in a poor light. Your social media responses are public and will be read and shared with other consumers. The fact is that social media has really blurred the lines between marketing and customer service. Just make sure the two teams work together to tackle social service.
  • Don’t ignore traditional channels because you’ve become focused on social media. Remember that social media has simply provided a new channel for engaging with your customers; it has not replaced the other channels. And just because a customer is reaching out to you on Twitter does not mean you need to drop everything and respond instantly; you must evaluate and discern the level of urgency first. The balance is important: You can’t simply move all of your great service exclusively to social media channels at the expense of traditional channels.

Better Metrics Management


In social service 2.0, it’s important to track several metrics and adjust your strategy as volume and complexity grow. Response time, time to resolve, tickets opened per day and tickets resolved per day are all part of traditional customer service metrics, but social media can render them more complex.

Devise a system that allows you to track the number and complexity of support requests coming through social media vs. phone or email. Keep track of response times across sites like Twitter and Facebook. As time increases, develop a strategy to push complex requests to another channel, such as email, where customer service representatives (CSRs) can quickly match up new inquiries with cases that have already been opened. As the volume (tickets opened per day) mounts, create canned content, in the form of responses or linkable knowledge base articles, for the most frequently asked questions.

You should also monitor these additional metrics that specifically involve social media channels.

  • The “net-new” group of customers. These are the people for whom you’ve provided a support channel over social channels. It’s likely that this new group of social users is different than the customers who have been contacting you via email or phone.
  • The number of times other customers — not the company — respond to support requests and inquiries. For example, a visitor to your Facebook page asks technical questions about a particular product release, and he or she is quickly answered by one of your Facebook fans. The frequency of this sort of event indicates the value of your social support, and shows how many brand advocates you have.

Marketing and Customer Service Both Report to Social Media Training


If a B2B company has established an online community to address technical problems, customer service probably owns the social media effort. But B2C companies are heavily invested in tracking customer attitude and effect on brand issues. In these companies, marketing will have to collaborate with support teams about inquiries via social media channels.

Make sure that each team knows the protocol for dealing with social media. Hot button issues will arise — via Twitter in particular — and sometimes you’ll have to respond as quickly as possible. In such cases, it’s appropriate for marketing to step in and indicate that they’re responding in turn.

In anticipation of these issues, have a triage and a crisis response plan in place. As discussed, a negative comment on Twitter doesn’t automatically constitute a crisis that requires interrupting a service rep. Discern the nature and depth of the complaint and respond appropriately. As a safeguard, monitor who in the company is responding to inquiries to ensure collaboration between marketing and customer service.


Bottom Line: Adapt and Evolve


Consumer facing companies will have to learn the rules of the road for social service 2.0 if they want to survive. SLAs with long windows of response time simply don’t work on today’s public social platforms.

Know your audience, understand the tight response expectations on social media channels, and keep in mind the very public nature of these platforms that will directly impact your brand. Use tools like knowledge bases to save time and costs, and make sure your marketing and customer service teams are tightly connected and openly communicating with one another.

While you can’t totally control whether consumers “cut the line” by racing to social networks, you can control how quickly and personally you respond on those channels. Stay on top of important metrics to make sure you are responding to each customer, regardless of the channel he is using, in a timely, thoughtful manner that will reflect positively on your brand.

Images courtesy of iStockphoto, fotosipsak, studiocasper

Facebook Timeline for Brands: The Complete Guide

Now that Facebook Timeline has finally rolled out for brands, companies have endless opportunities to refresh their social media strategy. Sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it? Let’s break it down.

As of Wednesday, brands can opt in on the new features. If you’re not familiar them, be sure to review them here before you dive into this project.

Some of the prominent changes include a new layout with cover photo, highlighting features and the ability to edit and update without navigating to a separate page. Timeline will automatically go live for all brand pages Mar. 30.

SEE ALSO: Timeline For Brands: How to Prepare for Your Company’s New Facebook Page

As predicted, these new features will be a huge opportunity for brands that want to tell a more engaging and authentic story. Even the President has jumped on board with Timeline.

Some feel that this could be a potential downfall for companies that do not excel at providing engaging content or brands with various operations compared to those who concisely define themselves under one umbrella.

Regardless, it gives all companies the opportunity to get creative with cover photos, and their overall presence on social media, as we’ve already begun to see with early adopters.


Comment


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Not only has Red Bull taken advantage of Timeline, it has also created a scavenger hunt with prizes to get fans interacting with the company’s history.


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The New York Times‘ Timeline, which features its rather large staff as a cover photo, has highlighted moments from more than 160 years in history.


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ATT’s cover photo brings together an “ever-changing mosaic” of its fans’ photos.


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The professional soccer team has also taken advantage of Timeline’s biographical features, already filling its page with content from 1908.


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The company’s fresh-faced models are featured as the cover photo for Dove’s brand Page.

“Real women have been our inspiration from the very beginning. Today your photos, stories and memorable moments make up our new timeline,” writes the company.


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Madonna has switched over to Timeline, and is using her brightly colored album cover as her Facebook cover photo.


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Coca-Cola’s Timeline dates all the way back to its founding date, May 8, 1886.

“The Coca-Cola Facebook Page is a collection of your stories showing how people from around the world have helped make Coke into what it is today,” writes the company.


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The motorcycle company’s history, dating back to 1903, is all filled out on its Timeline.


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Nike is also an early adopter to Timeline. Its Page info dates back to 1972, when it was founded.


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Kate Spade mixed designs with its cover photo and profile picture, and has filled out to its founding date in 1993.


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The car company’s Timeline dates back to when it was founded, Oct. 31, 1957.

“We encourage you to browse through our extensive Timeline to discover (or re-discover) some of the rich history of our products, people as well as messages from our loyal fans like you,” the company writes.


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Coldplay has filled its Timeline all the way back to the band’s first show in 1998. They’ve also included interesting facts about their early days as a band.


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Naturally, Facebook has filled out its own Timeline as well.


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Walmart has its Timeline filled out back to the day it opened its doors for the first time in 1962. There are images of old stores and information about the evolution of the company.


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Macy’s also filled out its history on Timeline, including pictures of the first “fancy dry goods store” in 1822.


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Ford’s Timeline dates back to 1903, when the first Model A sold for $850.


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People has placed some of Hollywood’s most familiar faces across its profile as a cover photo.


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The cast of the Today Show was among a select few photos chosen to roll out the social networking site’s new design.

The Timeline explores 60 years worth of history.


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ESPN’s SportsCenter used its colorful studio as a backdrop for the program’s Timeline.


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Lexus has included milestones throughout its Timeline, dating all the way back to its start in 1983. The cover photo is a hybrid concept.

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Not only has Red Bull taken advantage of Timeline, it has also created a scavenger hunt with prizes to get fans interacting with the company’s history.


The New York Times‘ Timeline, which features its rather large staff as a cover photo, has highlighted moments from more than 160 years in history.


ATT’s cover photo brings together an “ever-changing mosaic” of its fans’ photos.


The professional soccer team has also taken advantage of Timeline’s biographical features, already filling its page with content from 1908.


The company’s fresh-faced models are featured as the cover photo for Dove’s brand Page.

“Real women have been our inspiration from the very beginning. Today your photos, stories and memorable moments make up our new timeline,” writes the company.


Madonna has switched over to Timeline, and is using her brightly colored album cover as her Facebook cover photo.


Coca-Cola’s Timeline dates all the way back to its founding date, May 8, 1886.

“The Coca-Cola Facebook Page is a collection of your stories showing how people from around the world have helped make Coke into what it is today,” writes the company.


The motorcycle company’s history, dating back to 1903, is all filled out on its Timeline.


Nike is also an early adopter to Timeline. Its Page info dates back to 1972, when it was founded.


Kate Spade mixed designs with its cover photo and profile picture, and has filled out to its founding date in 1993.


The car company’s Timeline dates back to when it was founded, Oct. 31, 1957.

“We encourage you to browse through our extensive Timeline to discover (or re-discover) some of the rich history of our products, people as well as messages from our loyal fans like you,” the company writes.


Coldplay has filled its Timeline all the way back to the band’s first show in 1998. They’ve also included interesting facts about their early days as a band.


Naturally, Facebook has filled out its own Timeline as well.


Walmart has its Timeline filled out back to the day it opened its doors for the first time in 1962. There are images of old stores and information about the evolution of the company.


Macy’s also filled out its history on Timeline, including pictures of the first “fancy dry goods store” in 1822.


Ford’s Timeline dates back to 1903, when the first Model A sold for $850.


People has placed some of Hollywood’s most familiar faces across its profile as a cover photo.


The cast of the Today Show was among a select few photos chosen to roll out the social networking site’s new design.

The Timeline explores 60 years worth of history.


ESPN’s SportsCenter used its colorful studio as a backdrop for the program’s Timeline.


Lexus has included milestones throughout its Timeline, dating all the way back to its start in 1983. The cover photo is a hybrid concept.


With spring right around the corner, consider Timeline your chance to do a little housekeeping. The features require you to tidy up a bit, as well as do some research on your company’s history — but the results could be quite beneficial.

At Mashable, our community team updated our own brand page to Timeline on Wednesday, and took a walk down memory lane. It’s an easy way to look back on our milestones, and rediscover what we’ve learned from past Facebook posts throughout the years.

Will you be an early adopter of Facebook Timeline for brand pages, or wait for the inevitable switch on Mar. 30? Let us know in the comments.