Responding faster on social media

The Social team has received over 580,000 social media interactions already this year. That’s over 580,000 comments and messages from colleagues, members and customers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and across our blogs. Of course, we want to respond as swiftly as possible, and we’ve been making our processes more efficient to help us to do just that.

How it used to work

For around 2 years, we’ve used a system called Sprinklr to bring all social media interactions together into one inbox. From there, the Social team (that’s us here in Co-op Digital) would review each interaction, answer the ones we could, and assign the ones we couldn’t to the relevant customer care team in different parts of the business.

However, we noticed that around 40% of questions and comments need a response from an expert in one of our customer care teams. Because that’s such a large chunk, manually sifting and sorting them took up a significant amount of time. To be more efficient, we decided to look at what we could do within Sprinklr to automatically assign interactions to the appropriate team.

Writing rules to speed things up

By August, we’d written a set of rules for the Sprinklr ‘rules engine’ with a series of yes/no scenarios. The sorting process sends each interaction down a flowchart and automatically assigns the interaction to the right team.

Here’s an idea of what the yes/no scenarios look like. But it’s a huge and sprawling live rules engine and it’s difficult to take a screenshot of the entire thing.

Screen 2017-11-30 at 12.26.30 The rules we’ve written work out:

  1. Who someone is, eg, a customer, member or colleague, an online influencer or a journalist.
  2. Which part of the business their interaction relates to.

From this information, we decide how best to respond.

We’re seeing positive results

So far, the new process has meant we:

  • respond 30 minutes sooner, on average
  • respond within an hour, 70% of the time, during working hours. (This is fairly good because a 2015 survey found that 53% of UK tweeters expect a response within 1 hour).
  • are able to identify when an interaction has come from a Co-op member, and if it has, we respond to them within 28 minutes, on average

Screen shot from a Co-op customer that says: Appreciate the speedy response

But it’s a work in progress

After the change, our Food customer care team noticed their response times were actually slightly slower. We realised this is largely because when people get in touch with a customer care team, they’ll say one thing over several messages. 

Previously, we would have forwarded just one of the messages to the Food customer care team and they’d have been able to see the whole conversation. Now however, each message and image automatically ends up in the customer care team’s inbox meaning we’ve basically just passed the filtering on to them to do. In response, we’re working on new ways of displaying interactions in Sprinklr to speed up Food customer care’s responses.

We want to be faster still

We’re pleased with the improvements we’ve made but things can still be better. Faster. We’re hoping to help Food customer relations respond to 95% of the messages assigned to them within 2 hours during working hours. That’s our next goal.

We’ll continue to iterate as we learn more about what colleagues, customers and members need from us on social media.

Jordan McDowell
Senior Social Media Manager

 

New Membership and social media

Just like our Membership contact centre, our social media community management team have been busier than usual with the launch of our new membership. We’ve been helping thousands of members and customers understand more about it since it launched on 21st September.

Our team are based in Manchester at 1 Angel Square and between us work 365 days a year (yes, Christmas day too) and have around 20,000 social conversations with members, customers, and colleagues each month. We’re not alone though, colleagues in our Food and Insurance customer service teams help us out too.

A picture of the social media team

Membership launch day saw our usual social inbox traffic increase by 80%, with members sharing which local cause they’d selected to receive their 1% with us. They were also asking us questions about how it all works.

The main topics of conversation we’ve been having with members, and the answers to their questions, are:

  • How do I nominate an alternate Co-op cause, to receive my 1%?

Our colleagues chose their community’s 3 Co-op causes for launch, but we’ll be asking members for their nominations on our next round of causes, very soon.

  • Where is my card and does my old card work in the interim?

All cards are being posted to members currently and will be with members by mid-October. Old cards work in the interim meaning the 5% and 1% is being earned already.

  • Does the 5% replace the dividend?

The 5% doesn’t replace the ‘divi’, membership points will still be accrued in the usual way on the total spend (not just Co-op branded products and services) and a ‘divi’ will be paid out again once our rebuild projects conclude in a couple of years.

  • How does the 5% and 1% work in independent co-operative society businesses?

The 5% and 1% can’t be earned on transactions with independent co-operative society businesses, but membership points still accrue. If that independent co-operative society makes an annual profit and pays a divi, it’ll be paid to members by us, on the independent society’s behalf.

I’ve been really excited by the level of intrigue among our members on social, members who perhaps hadn’t considered the Co-op as a different way of doing business before.

Members, like our colleagues, recognise something different is happening at the Co-op, and we’re just getting started.

Jordan McDowell
Senior Social Media Community Manager

The art of conversation generation

The art of conversation is a difficult one to master, but as Community Managers at The Co-op, we’re responsible for predicting and evaluating the direction and volume of conversation across social media – in real time. In short, we help turn social conversation around our brand into an asset.

So when it came to Valentine’s Day this year, the objective was clear. Co-op Food were going after breakfast. After all, we are your local convenience store with all you need for the perfect breakfast in bed, from freshly baked croissants to award-winning Prosecco, or even just some (Fairtrade) tea bags for a morning brew! It made sense.

Food Marketing, PR and the commercial teams worked on their above-the-live proposition, looping in the support of Channel 4’s Fred Sirieix from #FirstDates, and we in the Social Media Community Management team set about generating the right conversation, at the right time!

We had two simple objectives: encourage users to share inspiration beforehand and then share in real-time on the big day. We choreographed a strategy in two phases. Firstly we hit key online influencers (who we already know and love) with a surprise through the post – Truly Irresistible croissants, coffee, Valentine’s chocolate and some Hazelnut spread for a truly indulgent breakfast in bed. All this, ahead of the big day, as a taster for them and their audiences. This acted as a catalyst with the influencer community sharing their breakfast ideas in the week running up to Valentine’s Day.

Then we targeted consumers with the next batch ensuring their #LoveAtFirstLight breakfast box arrived on Saturday 13th, just in time for their Sunday morning treat where they gladly shared photos of their breakfast from bed, the beach and with their whole family too!

Co-op's valentine's conversation on 14th February (green) versus the grocery market's campaigns
Co-op’s valentine’s conversation on 14th February (green) versus the grocery market’s campaigns

Together these simple gestures helped Co-op Food become the #1 most talked about Valentine’s campaign within the UK grocery sector on Valentine’s morning. 20% of the day’s conversation was made up of our audiences sharing their breakfast in bed with us too. Our volume peaked at 11am and we then handed over the Valentine’s baton to the likes of Aldi, but our work as your local Co-op was done. We’d served breakfast in bed to the nation and it was delicious.



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#doorstepchallenge, how we did it

You may have seen the #doorstepchallenge viral campaign that lit up our social feeds over Christmas, spreading a little seasonal warmth and love with the power of paying it forward.

Here at The Co-op, we jumped at the chance to demonstrate our purpose by getting involved in the social conversation whilst highlighting the affinity the challenge had with our Christmas TV advert for The Co-op Food too. Watch the advert here.

Here’s a short video about how we made #doorstepchallenge happen.

 


 

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Going Viral for Christmas: #DoorStepChallenge and The Co-op Food TV Ad

#doorstepchallenge

This Christmas we launched our TV advert campaign for Co-op Food to critical acclaim from customers, colleagues and journalists who warmed to the heartfelt message of the simple adto look out for those in need in your community.

As well as ensuring our TV advert was broadcast across the main video social channels – Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – social media had a specific part to play in making the content of the TV advert resonate online. Customers across the nation were inspired by the sentiment of our ad and took to their local streets to partake in the so-called #doorstepchallenge, bringing our TV advert’s treatment to life, and to social, in a way we could have only dreamed of! From this, we spied an opportunity to help kickstart the #doorstepchallenge and to help to demonstrate our Group purpose of “championing a better way of doing business, for you and your communities.”

We agreed to fund a set-amount for each of our 850 Community Pioneers, (store colleagues with hours set-aside in their working week to benefit the local community in which their store is based) in Co-op Food products for them to donate to a customer in-need in their store’s local community. In keeping with the spirit of the #doorstepchallenge, Pioneers were asked to deliver the shopping bag (in a Co-op Bag For Life, of course!) to the customers’ doors and take a snap to share on social media, helping inspire others to do the same!

And inspire they did, many Pioneers taking it upon themselves to donate more than was funded, by raising funds in their local stores and by partnering with other community organisations like British Red Cross, British Legion and local community charities.

Doorstep challenge
A simple idea, paired with the incredible enthusiasm and effort of our store colleagues, made for a wonderful contribution to social media conversation this Christmas, and the best way to bridge the gap between our TV ad and social media communities. What’s more, national conversation about #doorstepchallenge was dominated by Co-op above any other grocer, helping us solidify our place as the community focussed retailer among the pack!

#doorstepchallenge
Top mentioned tweeters and hashtags for Dec 2015

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Talking social metrics with MMU Marketing students

This week I was invited to speak to Marketing students at Manchester Metropolitan University as a guest lecturer for their Marketing Metrics course, in final year. I gave the students a whistle-stop tour of key social media marketing metrics and how we apply them here at the Co-op.

But, first thing’s first, I dispelled any misconceptions that ReTweets and Likes were the be all and end all of marketing metrics available to social marketeers. They’re a useful content KPI, yes, and certainly have their place, but there is a wealth of metrics available to us when analysing social as a marketing discipline.

Screen shot 2015-12-08 at 19.24.42

As a means of helping the students understand social marketing for corporate business, I demonstrated a framework those at the Co-op have heard me mention before, the 3 Cs of social media (read about this here), which succinctly outlines the way we segment varying social disciplines and subsequently measure success in those areas.

Screen shot 2015-12-08 at 19.25.01

So, what are these metrics?

  • Conversation volume
  • Conversation sentiment
  • Response rates and times – particularly key with our regulated businesses
  • Demographics analysis – gender, profession and age
  • Location – even when only 2% geo-tag their social, the macro view is still useful
  • Referral and CTR
  • Ad impressions
  • Engagements
  • Engagement rates – as well as industry benchmarks provided by the networks

As well as this, I did still mention social actions like ReTweets and shares. I also touched on Influencers, as a means of assessing the viability and opportunity within a community conversation, but stressed that influencer outreach can include a whole scope of other metrics like influencer score and those outside of social, such as domain authority – I could spend an hour on Influencers alone!

boolean

Before we closed, I introduced two gentlemen by way of their Google Doodle, Mr George Boole and Albert Einstein. Boole because he founded Boolean, a means by which social marketeers can source social intelligence. I urged the students to familiarize themselves with Boolean operators, as it could be their differentiator when applying for roles in social and digital marketing.

einstein

Einstein got the closing line because he (may have, the jury’s out) once said: “not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts,” reminding us that it’s our job as marketeers to choose the right measurement metrics for our activity to help reiterate the power of social for delivering business benefit.


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Our First Ever Social Media Clinic

This week we hosted our first ever Social Media Clinic at our Support Centre, 1 Angel Square, for colleagues in the building to drop-in for a brew and talk social.

As a team, we’ve been hosting The Co-op Social Media Forum three times a year for a while now, where we speak about the latest innovations in social and the work we’ve been doing, but it was brilliant to get some one-on-one time with colleagues interested in social.

Just to have a natter, really.

I managed to help a colleague from HR understand more about hashtags and Twitter, helping her send her first tweet about a local baking competition she’s entering (good luck Sophie!) and also helped another colleague download WhatsApp onto her phone and send a message to her son who is away serving with the Royal Navy.

We spoke to colleagues about better integrating social intelligence data into the work of our sustainability and policy teams, and even our product development teams. We chatted about Facebook privacy and showcased social intelligence via our Brandwatch Vizia visualisations too.

We’re all looking forward to the next incarnation of the Social Media Clinic, and for the next Social Media Forum on Thursday 26th November!


Find me on Twitter @jordanjmcdowell

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