Don’t Feed the Trolls – How to Respond on Social Media and Keep Your Cool

Some years ago, the US Airforce Public Affairs Agency released a handy process that could be followed when responding to social media responses. It’s still a great tool to guide social media, communications managers and business owners. But more importantly, it’s a tool that we can use as individuals.

There is one tried and tested rules – simply don’t feed the trolls.  But if you find yourself being triggered by a comment:

  1. Don’t engage: Trolls want attention, so the best way to deal with them is to ignore them. Don’t respond to their comments or messages and don’t give them the satisfaction of knowing they’ve gotten to you.
  2. Report them: If the troll’s behaviour is abusive, threatening or violates the social media platform’s community guidelines, it’s important to report their account. This can help prevent them from harassing others in the future. Of course, platforms are uneven in their responsiveness.
  3. Stay calm and composed: Trolls thrive on conflict and drama. Don’t get into heated arguments and try to remain calm and composed. Responding with kindness and empathy can also help defuse the situation.
  4. Use humour: Sometimes, responding to a troll with humour can be an effective way to shut them down. It can also help lighten the mood and prevent the situation from escalating.
  5. Block or mute them: If the troll continues to harass you despite your efforts to ignore them, block or mute their account. This will prevent them from being able to contact you or see your posts.

Can ChatGPT Boost Your Marketing? It Depends What You Mean by “Marketing”

Last week, I used ChatGPT to interrogate whether it could be used to help your marketing efforts. Of course, this was slightly disingenuous, but I was interested to see what it might suggest.

For small and medium sized business owners, content marketing has been a revolution. It has provided a strategic and tactical opportunity to build brands, generate leads and provide options for growth. But content marketing requires content – and a not insignificant amount of it.

As you will see from the article generated, there was precious little in terms of insight or direction offered. The article felt like a report on the topic of marketing rather than an investigation of marketing and its potential for business. The article also focused more on the customer support side of marketing rather than brand or demand generation side.

There are ways to address these – including developing more precise prompts or iterating and refining the generated content by responding to content.

But what is clear is that ChatGPT’s understanding of “marketing” as a discipline or profession is limited. This means that to get value out of ChatGPT, we need to be not only more specific, we need to create context for the ChatGPT engine to respond to. And this already starts to feel like something akin to work. 

What we have at the tips of our fingers is a new tool that can help us get our work done. But at this stage it is far from a silver bullet. We’ve got work to do to understand where and how ChatGPT and other AI tools fit within our martech stack.

Unconvinced: Can ChatGPT Really Boost Your Marketing Efforts?

As a business owner, you are always looking for new marketing strategies to gain more clients and increase your revenue. ChatGPT is a relatively new chatbot technology that claims to help businesses with their marketing efforts. However, you may be unconvinced whether ChatGPT is worth the investment. In this article, we will examine ChatGPT’s marketing claims and discuss whether it is worth the hype for your business.

Examining ChatGPT’s Marketing Claims

ChatGPT claims to offer businesses a cost-effective and efficient way to handle customer queries and improve customer engagement. With the ability to interact with customers 24/7, ChatGPT can help businesses save time and reduce the need for human customer support. Additionally, ChatGPT boasts of its personalized approach, being able to tailor conversations to each customer’s unique needs.

While ChatGPT’s marketing claims may sound promising, it is important to consider whether it is suitable for your business. ChatGPT’s personalized approach may not be effective for all businesses, and some companies may require a more human touch to their customer support. Additionally, while it may be cost-effective in the long run, implementing ChatGPT may require a significant investment in the short term.

Is ChatGPT Worth the Hype for Your Business?

Ultimately, whether ChatGPT is worth the hype for your business depends on your specific needs and goals. If you have a high volume of customer queries and need to reduce the workload on your customer support team, ChatGPT may be a good option for you. However, smaller businesses with lower query volumes may not benefit as much from implementing ChatGPT.

Furthermore, it is important to consider the potential drawbacks of implementing ChatGPT. While it may save time, it may not provide the same level of support as a human representative can. Customers may also feel frustrated if they are unable to have their queries answered in the way they prefer.

In conclusion, while ChatGPT may have its benefits, it is important to carefully consider whether it is worth the investment for your business. By examining ChatGPT’s marketing claims and weighing its potential drawbacks, you can make an informed decision on whether to implement it as part of your marketing strategy.

How Visual is Your Marketing?

I have always been a fan of images and visuals, but I like the thinking here from Orbit Media Studios. When working on customer journeys and marketing funnels, we can spend a lot of time thinking about the messaging, the calls to action and the pre-emptive activities that we can put in place to reduce funnel leakage. But how often do we incorporate imagery into our messaging in such a way that it helps drive action?

This seems like an interesting series of experiments to run across your customer journeys!

Account based marketing overtakes leadgen as a marketing challenge

From Green Hat’s 2022 B2B Outlook Report

Green Hat’s annual B2B marketing outlook report has seen account based marketing displace lead generation as a top marketing challenge. But measuring brand awareness and health resolutely remains #1.

Given that the last 18-24 months has been driven by Pandemic thinking, it’s no surprise to see this shift in focus in the lower rankings – brand requires strategy as does ABM. And successful lead generation occurs when strategy, segmentation, targeting and journey mapping all work hand-in-hand. So in many ways, these top 3 challenges speak to the need for strategy.

Interestingly, the research indicates that 64% of marketers have no personas or journey maps, or have only developed one of these.

As we emerge from our own Pandemic inspired marketing fog, it’s perhaps worth reminding ourselves that the world has changed. There are new conditions, expectations and challenges. There are also opportunities that we are yet to fully grasp.

With this in mind, perhaps it is time go back to basics:

  • Work from core strategy out – assess, measure and re-validate your brand, brand health and levels of awareness
  • Define and validate audiences – develop and test personas, document your segmentation
  • Develop and match customer journeys – map journeys by audience / persona
  • Map your messaging to key points on your buyer’s journey.

And with Q4 just around the corner – you’d best get started now.

Netflix disrupts the Australian ad market

It has been quite some time since there has been a tantalising new advertising offering in the Australian marketplace. But recent announcements indicate that digital streaming goliath, Netflix, is briefing media buyers ahead of an Australian launch.

Launching before the end of 2022, Netflix aims to sell audiences to advertisers via Microsoft’s ad team and newly acquired Xandr digital marketplace. Strict limits are being planned, with a focus on brand storytelling (not tactical advertising), including:

  • Four minutes of ads per hour
  • No repeat ads
  • Mid rolls on series only, 15 and 30 second pre- and post rolls on everything else
  • Opens to advertisers and subscribers simultaneously.

With inventory restrictions and a limit of three ads per brand to a user each day, Netflix will create an interesting new category. Especially when we consider the power that content-related targeting may offer.

And who knows – we may see this new offering launch just in time for some special Christmas brand storytelling.

Data-driven marketing doesn’t mean colour by numbers

In my business, Disruptors Co, we work with a lot of large companies wanting to innovate like startups and plenty of scaleup businesses wanting to become enterprises. It’s an interesting space filled with tension and possibility.

But it can also be an environment filled with potholes, roadblocks and other infrastructure metaphors.

One of the marketing themes of the last decade has been “data-driven” marketing. As our ability to analyse and report on data, aggregate and automate processes, we started to move away from a “sense” of what works in marketing to knowing what does. Or so we thought.

But like any area of human endeavour … as soon as we feel that we “know” something, we begin to embody a sense of mastery. We take our eyes off the prize (or in marketing – the audience) and the conditions change under our wandering gaze.

As startups grow into scaleups and scaleups grow into enterprises, there are many transformations that need to be accommodated. When your market penetration is small and your addressable market is large, finding the fit between your product and the market is a process of trial and error. Often quite costly. But essential.

In this process, data will reveal the realities that research alone may not explain. For example, you’ll identify the messages that work for very specific audiences. You’ll be able to test and learn, expanding the audience and reach while refining the message and its effectiveness. And at a certain point, you’ll have a system for your marketing that will generate leads, opportunities and deals.

And at this point, you’ll be thinking “system”.

And this is where the danger begins. For as soon as you think “system”, you’ll think that marketing is a science that you have mastered, and all you need to do is colour-in the blanks with pretty colours to deliver the systemic outcomes you are looking for.

But this isn’t marketing. Or creativity. It’s accounting.

ABC iview and its dirty little privacy secret

When the ABC announced that its digital TV streaming service would require a user ID and password a few months ago, I was concerned. After all, why would a public broadcaster NEED its users (ie the general public) to register? What would be the user benefit?

Remember – as we learned from Google and Facebook, if you are not paying for a product, then you ARE the product. And while the broadcaster’s communications all suggested this new registration requirement was about customisation and generating better content recommendations, the hard deadline suggested there was some other agenda. And that agenda was not my own.

So what’s the story? Follow along with the Chew the Tech team to find out just what happens to your data as you stream an iview show.

Putting Strategy to Work

When we think of “strategy”, we often think of a document that is written, placed on a shelf, and forgotten. But in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world, strategy must come closer to operations for every business. In fact, we must learn to operationalise strategy in new, responsive and scalable ways. And in almost every instance, that strategy must be digital – or more importantly, digitalised.

The continuous digital strategy framework

As we move strategy off the shelf, it becomes actionable. This means that each step needs to be articulated and validated. Here is how we work this through:

Objectives: You have to have serious objectives. Your research and insight process will have delivered you a challenge – a problem to solve – and out of that you or your client will have laid out some objectives which need to be met. These objectives may be “fluffy” objectives like “awareness” or “reach” or they may be harder – like “increasing sales 20%” or “200 new customers”.

Audience: Once you know what the company or client expects, it’s time to turn your attention to the need states of your audience. What do they want? What do they expect? What do they aspire to? What need is unmet? What do your customers look, smell and taste like? It’s time to get up close and personal with the folks who pay your bills! As a deliverable, you might develop a series of customer personas.

Footprint: Now that you know your audiences in their pungent granularity, you now need to understand their behaviour. Where do they go? What do they do? Where to they spend time and why? This is about walking a mile or two in their shoes. But it also a chance to match the footprints of your brands/products. What overlaps? What doesn’t? Where are the opportunities? And where are the touchpoints that will become valuable as your project grows. As a deliverable, this is where you work to develop customer journeys and use cases.

Content: Brand storytelling and messaging, themes and campaigns drive the focus of your content. At this step we are looking for the ways that you can emotionally engage and entertain your audiences – linking key brand and product messaging to the customer journeys. This might include website copy, templated (but engaging) email copy, newsletters, thought leadership and so on. As a deliverable this often takes the form of a content calendar that not only covers key customer touch points, but also articulates cornerstone content, campaign and thematic messaging.

Converse: What needs to be done to progress a customer conversation? At this point the strategy should address the development of shareable content, policies relating to social media and interaction and the interaction design that supports customer engagement. This could include customer contact planning, chat automation and lead scoring and nurturing. From a deliverables point of view, this could include tone of voice guidelines, automated customer journey paths and messaging, the scoring of leads and more.

Commitment: Once we begin conversing the strategy should now consider what success might look like. How do we know when our objectives have been reached? What is the customer commitment that we seek to validate that we have reached the required stage of the customer journey? For example, we may aim to turn our prospects from “unknown to known” – which means we are seeking an email address or contact number.

Measurement: We often think that measurement is difficult. It’s not. What is hard is committing to the numbers and to the metrics. If we have done the hard work of aligning our project objectives with the overall strategic objectives of our businesses, then much of this falls in place. But we also need to follow this through each of the other steps. For example, which audiences are important (or are influential) for your brand/product? Measure it. How much time do they spend on the web and on which sites? Measure it. Which pieces of content will drive engagement (and which pieces need to change and evolve as your project grows)? Measure it. How far do your conversations echo across the web? Measure it. What are the intangibles – and what can be substantiated via research? Measure it.

Now, once you have completed an iteration cycle, race through it all again. Pool your learnings from each step and drive them back through the process. Make your brand better. Make your customer experience more profound. Refine, substantiate and evolve.