Amazon on Negative Comments: Disregard 5%

Dana (My sister)
Image by Spi-V

In its Holiday Marketing Best Practices Guide, Amazon coaches online merchants to disregard negative comments until they reach a ratio of 5% of all comments:

“Most sellers will eventually receive some negative feedback. When it happens to you, put it in perspective: a 0-2% negative feedback rate is great! If your negative feedback rate is greater than 5%, review your business practices to correct any operational problems that might affect a buyer’s experience.”

Amazon has had its fair share of customer service issues over the years. But I agree with the online retailer’s guidance in principle, and use a similar barometer in coaching clients about negative commenting.
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Get and Keep Readers

White Blossoms, Red Kimono

The following speech was given at Saturday’s New York City Tribeup.

We live in an attention economy. The way content gets found today with social validation and search requires that posts, videos and pictures get referred to and talked about by others.

As a blogger, I did well during the RSS era with the Buzz Bin. I sold that blog as part of an acquisition. In the process I lost 5000 RSS subscribers.

For a little while, my personal blog did well in its stead based on my social network communities and good will. This created a second wave of success.

I then did a bunch of stupid things like cut down frequency, blog without editorial direction, engaged in a few immature blog wars, and restricted my frequency. These things effectively eroded my blog’s social support.

After a period of roughly the past half year, a guest blogging campaign, being exposed to Gini Dietrich‘s brilliant mind while launching our book, and a reinvigorated content mission with a committed frequency, my personal blog began to rebound. Then I joined Triberr, effectively capping a comeback, my third wave of personal blogging success.

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Georgetown Lecture: Social Gets Bigger and Blander

Spring at Georgetown Campus

Later today I will guest lecture at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business on the general state of social media for the Social Technology Marketing MBA class.

I usually write out my thoughts before speaking. Here’s what I’ll be talking about today. Please comment if you’d like to suggest something, I’ve got a few hours to cram (yikes!).

1) Social Media Gets Bigger

We have entered the post adoption phase of social media in America.

Even a significant minority of senior citizens use social media. As of February 2012, one third (34%) of internet users age 65 and older use social networking sites such as Facebook, and 18% do so on a typical day Pew Internet.

Now that businesses realize social won’t go away, and they intend to invest more marketing dollars.

The most recent CMO Survey (August) showed social media investment continuing to rise. This year social commands 7.6% of the overall budget with an expectation to increase beyond 10% in the next 12 months, and to 19% of the total spend in the next five years.

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Amending Online Wrongs Takes a Long Time

Ideas
Image by Blake Reed

As someone who delivered more than his fair share of snarky, forceful contrarian opinion about people and brands in online conversations, I believe this behavior harms communities.

Having alienated readers, friends and business interests alike with this behavior, I’ve made a concerted effort to change.

But people don’t forget so easily, as a couple of commenters reminded me in response to this week’s Cathryn Sloane post.

My conclusion: It takes a long time to amend “douchebaggery.”

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The More We Stay, the Less We Say

Forrester recently updated its Technographics profiles (made famous in the book Groundswell) for global social media consumption, surveying 95,000 consumers across 18 countries in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. One primary finding was the lack of commenting occurring in mature western markets, including the United States.


Adoption is pretty much complete in the U.S. (86%) and globally. Almost everyone who is online also is using or has used social media. Comscore recently corroborated this data, saying 83% of the world’s online population participates in social media.

But, most of us in the United States are not social and care not to converse. The Forrester report finds that 2/3 of the US adult social media population doesn’t comment. This is notable.

Commenting seems to have decreased over the past six years. Perhaps it’s because of the widespread proliferation of mobile media with smaller screens and touch input. It’s certainly harder to type in a blog comment or critique a product on a smartphone.

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