May 2010

5 Ways to Optimize Customer Service with Social Media

With a persistently booming popularity in e-commerce these days, it seems that web entrepreneurs of all ages and experience levels are emerging onto the scene daily, snatching up what’s left of the domains with their bright eyes and big dreams of fortune.

And, although, an online business promises many advantages to that of a traditional brick and mortar – little or no overhead, flexible hours and no face-to-face interaction – it’s important that these self-starters don’t neglect the crucial details that can make or break any business, online or not. Customer service.

Fortunately, Mashable.com, with help from social-media blogger Lauren Vargas, has extended a helping hand to these go-getters by providing some invaluable advice to industry newcomers. Below, they have highlighted five key areas worth noting to ensure that your business excels with many happily returning customers.

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Facebook Expounds Privacy Policy Changes

It took all of two days for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to make good on his promise of simplifying Facebook’s privacy settings. Unlike many companies who have come under public scrutiny as of late—BP, Goldman Sachs and Toyota, just to name a few—Facebook moved quickly and decisively to address the concerns of their constituency. The new settings were unveiled at a presentation held today at the company’s headquarters and will provide users with what the company had originally intended: a straightforward, user-friendly means for Facebook members to control the dissemination of their personal information. The changes will take a couple of weeks to be implemented, but here is a brief overview of what you can expect:

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Facebook CEO Addresses Privacy Concerns

Last week we reported on the public outcry following changes to Facebook’s privacy policy, and as they have been in the past, Facebook was quick to address the issue. After Congress sent a letter to the company in response to numerous complaints, Facebook executives met last week to begin discussing the issue. Following a report from the Wall Street Journal, which expounded loopholes in the company’s privacy policy, Facebook announced it would be making changes to the privacy policy and settings in the near future. In addition, in today’s op-ed section of the Washington Post, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg answered many questions concerning the site’s privacy policies and settings.

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NBC’s Social Media Application Holds Potential to Reinvent TV Metrics

What originated as a simple concept to connect friends – new and old – family and even strangers through common interests as well as opposing views is rapidly popping up in new places all over the web, almost daily. That’s right, social media is making extreme headway in cyberspace.

From the pioneer websites like Facebook and MySpace to the newbie pages of Google Buzz and Foursquare, today, social media has evolved into much more than an interactive tool of social networking.

Television network, NBC, recognized the unequivocal popularity of social media and, therefore, launched a networking platform last Monday. Fan It – an interactive, network loyalty program – combines myNBC (NBC’s online community for fans), Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Foursquare to provide a fully-loaded networking experience for users.

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‘Your Jeans Store’ Denotes iePlexus Web Marketing as Wise Spending

No matter her age, size or preferred taste in clothing, every woman is familiar with the struggle to find the perfect-fitting jeans. While some consider this notion a fairytale and others believe it’s about attainable as a four-leaf clover, nearly all women – even those who have stumbled upon occasional luck – share the frustration of chasing this dream.

“I had never heard of Not Your Daughter’s Jeans and then, one day, a friend who lives in Australia called me up to see if I could find her a pair and ship them overseas,” said Lee Ann Singleton.

It was the summer of 2008 and, although Singleton discovered she wasn’t able to grant this wish due to international distribution laws (specific to the brand), the request did spark a curiosity that led her to purchase a pair of her own to find out what, exactly, made them worth all the trouble to track down.

“Before I was introduced to NYDJ, I had to try on every pair of jeans prior to purchasing them because my size seemed to vary from store to store. But after slipping into my first pair of NYDJ, I was enlightened by the exhilarating reality that: Jeans can fit!” Singleton said.

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Google Introduces The Chrome Web Store for PC Apps

If imitation is the highest form of flattery, tech companies have inundated Apple with praise over the last decade. The iPod has inspired a litany of similar MP3 players, while the iPhone has forced competitors to rethink the concept of the cell phone entirely. One aspect of Apple’s business structure that has remained exclusive is their App Store for the iPhone and the iPad, until now that is.

Earlier today, Google unveiled  a new online marketplace where consumers can purchase games, magazines and online applications via the Google Chrome web browser. The Chrome Web Store, which is slated for debut later this year, will feature both free and paid applications. According to news sources, the store will operate in a similar fashion as the Apple and Android App Stores, except the applications will be for your personal computer.

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Changes to Privacy Policy Bring Scrutiny to Facebook

For time immemorial, privacy has been a cornerstone of democracy and free societies. Although people now post personal photographs, messages and other information haphazardly on the internet, there is still the notion that social media sites, e-mail and other web-based communiqué come with a certain level of privacy. Websites like Facebook and MySpace have extensive privacy policies that outline how your personal information is used and who will have access to it—although few, if any, people ever take the time to read these documents thoroughly.

In recent months, Facebook has come under scrutiny for several changes the company has implemented in its privacy policy. Instead of receiving protection from stringent privacy settings, which used to be the case, users now have to alter the settings themselves if they wish to keep particular information private. The company has even announced that it will be sharing user information with third-party sites.

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Major University Abandons Gmail Service

The 30,000 staff members at the University of California Davis are no longer using Gmail as their e-mail provider. The university had been testing Google’s e-mail service since August 2009, in hopes to eventually roll it out to the entire campus population. However, university officials say that the e-mail service isn’t secure or private enough to meet their standards.

Quite a few staff members had privacy concerns, many of which stemmed from Google Buzz, the social network embedded within Gmail. In a letter from the university to Google, school officials wrote that the staff members “expressed concerns that our campus’ commitment to protecting the privacy of their communications is not demonstrated by Google and that the appropriate safeguards are neither in place at this time nor planned for in the near future.” (more…)