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Newsletter #828: The “Support the Unofficial Voices” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

If only the marketing and PR folks are allowed to reach out and help customers, you’re missing a big opportunity. Check out how a few smart companies are empowering the “unofficial” talkers and ambassadors on their payroll:

1> For personalized service
2> To promote customers
3> With thought leadership
4> Check it out: Find the perfect gadget

1> For personalized service

One of the great advantages social media offers is the ability to scale personalized service. Never before has it been so easy to reach so many individual customers. David Angiulo, for example, works at Nordstrom in Burlington, MA. He connects with local customers on Twitter to share photos of clothes he likes and to let them know if he thinks any of their new arrivals match someone’s specific tastes. It works because David is passionate about clothes, his customers appreciate all the ongoing support, and Nordstrom lets David do what he does best: help customers.

The lesson: You wouldn’t think of taking away phones from your sales and support staff, so why take away social media tools?

Learn more: Web Ink Now

2> To promote customers

Domino’s franchise owner Ramon De Leon has one mission: To be the pizza guy to know in Chicago. That’s a lofty goal in a town known for pizza — but thanks to his hard work and some smart use of social media, he’s well on his way. His secret: He spends 90% of his time putting his customers at the center of attention. He posts videos for individual customers. He retweets what they’re saying. He even prints their feedback on pizza boxes. And as you can guess, these customers quickly turn into fans — the type of fans who order from Ramon instead of any one of the zillion other pizza joints in town.

The lesson: Advertising doesn’t make you the pizza guy. That title is earned through millions of small, genuine conversations with your potential talkers.

Learn more: GasPedal

3> With thought leadership

If you have smart people on your payroll who want to share their business knowledge with customers and prospects, why not let them? At Cisco, they encourage social media participation. They do it with a simple list of plain-English guidelines designed to train employees on safe, ethical social media engagement. And all this encouragement has paid off: Cisco has seen significantly better results from product launches, and all of this social media outreach has raised the company’s profile online.

The lesson: Your biggest fans and potential talkers may already be under your roof — you just need to train and encourage them on proper social media engagement.

Learn more: Scribd

4> Check it out: Find the perfect gadget

Need help to narrow your next gadget purchase? Measy looks promising. Just enter some basic filters, answer a few simple questions, and Measy will give you a list of which items will work best for you.

Check it out: Measy

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