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NSA Leaks: The Big Data Two Step for Businesses This post originally appeared on LinkedIn as part of their influencer program on June 10, 2013.  To see the original post click here. I expect we will be seeing a lot of dancing over the next few...


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Customer Service Week: Here's Your Call Center This post originally appeared on LinkedIn as part of their influencer program on October 7, 2013.  To see the original post click here. As we begin Customer Service Week I want to thank all those...


Defining the Customer Experience Role This post originally appeared on LinkedIn as part of their influencer program on October 2, 2013.  To see the original post click here. Customer experience is a term growing in popularity within businesses...


Apple's #Fail When Dealing with @MarthaStewart This post originally appeared on LinkedIn as part of their influencer program on September 30, 2013.  To see the original post click here. It feels like it was the Tweet heard around the world: "I...


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Am I a Social Misfit? I Hope So!

Posted on : 10-11-2008 | By : Frank Eliason | In : Social Media

Tags: ,


On Sunday Morning I received a tweet from @ChrisJohson asking “did you see how you got slammed on the last page of the November issue of Fast Company?”  Of course this piqued my interest, so I immediately went to the Fast Company website to find the article.  I was surprised to hear they would speak negatively about company involvement in social media because here is how Fast Company describes the magazine:

“Fast Company sets the agenda, charting the evolution of business through a unique focus on the most creative individuals sparking change in the marketplace. By uncovering best and “next” practices, the magazine helps a new breed of leader work smarter and more effectively.

Fast Company empowers innovators to challenge convention and create the future of business.”

I also have so much respect for many of the writers and bloggers involved with the publication.  The magazine is excellent at spurring new thoughts and additional innovative ideas.  In fact I like it so much I recently sent in an order based on my frequent flier points.  So anyway I go to the website and I look through the articles in the current issue.  I think what Chris was talking about was an article titled “Abusing Social Media:  How companies abuse tech’s latest tools and embarrass themselves.


The link that leads you to the article changes the title to “Not So Fast: Social Misfits.”  So I read the article multiple time to try to determine the viewpoint the author was attempting to portray.  I am not sure it was negative about my work.  So the article starts off with:

Thanks for nothing, Web 2.0. With each sexy bit of social media that catches fire with users, lame companies get another fresh opportunity to pretend they know how to connect with customers without understanding what they’re doing.  No business is abandoning traditional advertising in favor of these gimmicky, halfhearted efforts. They’re just abandoning any self-respect they once possessed”

It discusses different ways companies have used social media.  One of the first points is regarding me on Twitter.  Of course she did not mention the 4700 follower or the thousands of people my team has helped through the course of the year.  It also talks about the need for sales generation or other corporate goals that these efforts have.  Well I can easily make that case and so can my followers.


Now one of the points in the article is some of the silly RSS feeds that are part of corporate twitter accounts.  I agree that this can be silly, but no one has to subscribe.  I prefer interactions that are more personal.  I still applaud the companies in recognizing social media spaces and trying to find a way to get involved.  It is at least a start.  In the article it talked about @Starbucks and @Wachovia talking to each other.  I have had fun talking to @Starbucks too!


I also chuckled when she stated that Twitter is popular with Gen Y.  I do not think this is the selected social media space for Gen Y.  I have found them more in MySpace and Facebook.  Twitter I have found to be more of the early adopters which is a little older.  But hey if they want to think of me as Gen Y, I would be happy with that!


What I kept coming back to when I read the article was the lead in link regarding “Social Misfits”  This gives the connotation that this is outside the norm.  I have never sought to fit into any specific group.  I have always sought to be myself.  I think this leads to different thinking and an alternative way of looking at things.  I applaud companies for trying something different.  Companies may not always get it right but those that at least try can learn and become even stronger.


Maybe the author was trying to take a traditional marketing view of the web 2.0 landscape.  This is not a space for a traditional viewpoint.  Now I work from a Customer Service viewpoint.  Imagine if there was no innovation in service?  You would have to visit someone for service.  No phone, mail, email, or online chat.  Isn’t social media a natural progression?  Now I may have a narrow viewpoint, but personally if I saw someone on the street asking for help, I would help.  Why would I not want to do the same for someone on the web?


Am I a misfit?  I hope so.  That just means that I am doing something that is different, maybe revolutionary.  What do you think?  Should companies be normal?

WOW! Relationships are Key

Posted on : 04-11-2008 | By : Frank Eliason | In : Customer Service, Social Media



Since it is election day I should probably write something political, but that is not what inspired me.  I do hope that everyone does take the opportunity to vote.


The past 6 months have been a whirlwind for me.  It has been a little weird being discussed throughout the internet and featured in different news stories.  I always think of myself as a simple service person doing what makes sense.  If someone needs help I want to help them.  Yesterday was a busy day because I have not been in the office due to recent travel.  It was time to try to get caught up.  In the morning I read a blog post by Michelle Buckman, the reporter for a story about my team that aired last night on Fox 29 Philadelphia.  I was touched by the kind words.  As the morning progressed I read a really nice article about our efforts that was in this week’s PR Weekly (sorry I am unable to provide a link).  All this caused me to be a bit sentimental.


The success that has occurred is really based on the great team I work with and the wonderful people I have had the opportunity to interact with throughout the internet.  It amazes me how these relationships are the key to so much.  First let me discuss my new friends on the internet.  It is wild that you can get to be so close to people that you rarely meet in person.  Just like in person it is about being open and honest with them.  Listening when necessary and just being there for them when they need you.  If you do that, they will be there for you too.


Relationships on the internet are not new for us.  Over the years we have met so many people throughout the internet.  Some of them have become our closest friends.  My wife likes to joke that I started building these relationship on the internet because of her relationship with Louise, a very dear friend in England.  Of course it is not, but that does show the potential lasting affect of these friendships.  When I built this blog I wanted to share different blogs from friends, but then I could not narrow down the list.  You will see many show up at times simply because I want my other friends to meet some of these great people.  All this with a few short word that are 140 characters or less.  Wow!


Another big key to success is the relationships with those that I work with.  We have a great team that is really dedicated to the Customer, but we are also there for each other.  Now I do recognize that I am the manager and, at times I have to make difficult decisions (some not so difficult), but of course this can be done in a very respectful manner.  I believe my team fully understands this.  At the same time we all know we have to pull together and work hard for our Customers and each other.  We do this sometimes in a fun manner and we make sure we bring out the best in all of us.  It is a great environment to be in.  I love my job, and it is really about the people.  We bring each other success. 


It was very nice to see the Fox 29 story feature my team.  They deserve many, many accolades.  They are a great group of people (of course do not let them know that, I do not want it to get to their head!)  I will share a link to the video once it is posted.


Everything I have ever accomplished in life is really due to the great relationships I have.  I am proud of the work my team has done.  So I try not to make a big deal out of some of the press coverage I have had, but it is a big deal. The only reason it is a big deal is because these relationships are what make it possible.  So I want to take this opportunity to thank all my relationships for making this a success!


Thank you!

What is your Mask? Happy Halloween!

Posted on : 31-10-2008 | By : Frank Eliason | In : Social Media



So what are you going to be for Halloween? Maybe it is Harry Potter, Mickey Mouse, M&Ms or maybe a vampire?  Today is a day we love to put on our mask and be something a little different.  But does the internet allow us to place our mask on more often?

I would love to say I never thought about it, but with all the anonymity on the internet, I have.  Many people on the web choose to have a different personality to show online.  What is the personality you like to show?  Do you have multiple online personalities?  It came up during conversations at the Forrester Consumer Forum.  It was more being discussed on the marketing side, but I have to say it really made me think.  What I really did not realize is how many of us actually do show a different side.  This really confuses companies in understanding the actions of their Customer because they may need to market a different persona than they have all the data about.

I never thought I showed anything different, but the more I thought about it over the past few days I have to admit I may have a mask.  I am a service oriented person, and I always have been.  There is no difference there.  I like to think I am in general a nice person.  No difference there.  But in person I am a bit more introverted and a little shy at times!

So what is your mask?  Do you even notice it?  Do you have a difference in the way you would write a review on Amazon, talk on Twitter or how you write your blog?

Happy Halloween!

What is this Social Media Thing Anyway?

Posted on : 30-10-2008 | By : Frank Eliason | In : Social Media



In the past week I had the pleasure to attend 2 great seminars:  Marketing Profs’ Digital Media Mixer and the Forrester Consumer Forum.  Social media seemed to be the big discussion point for everyone in attendance at these forums.  The big questions was how can we make money in this space.  That is what happens when you are with many people from the marketing side of the business.  Even for a simple service person like myself, I was thrilled to see the excitement.


To me the term Social Media is confusing, I think it is more the socialization of the internet.  In the past we communicated more 1 on 1 via tools like email or instant messenger.  There were some social options such as chat rooms or email distribution groups.  But today we are now talking to more people, not as segregated as was the past with these other methods.  Sometimes it is simple as posting comments about a product at Amazon.  It can also be starting a blog or posting on someone else’s blog or tools such as Twitter, identi.ca, Plurk, LinkedIn, Facebook, Myspace, etc.  The list goes on and on.  But now there is a lot of discussion.


What this means to marketers is control is shifting.  It is more difficult to get a message out there.  So now companies are trying to figure out how they can participate.  This will be a topic I will be discussing in future posts.


Now how did I get involved in this Social Media?  It was not through Comcast (although they were the connection at the time), but back in 2000 our daughter Gia was born 10 weeks premature.  What happens is people want updates, but we were busy enough and did not want to talk to everyone.  We started our own website.  Then 3 years later when Gia was diagnosed with cancer, we used the website again.  We provided regular updates that are still available.  After her passing we let the old website remain intact at the following URL  http://www.sitedreamer.com/gia.  After our other children were born we created a new website http://www.eliasonfamily.info


As I have conversations regarding these social interactions, you will notice that I am a firm believer that people are trying to communicate their thoughts on a variety of topics.  They are trying to be heard, it is just a question who will listen.