SOCAP International


  • That's Great - But How Do I Use It in My Business?

    Posted on: 04/22/2009

    Yesterday afternoon, Membership Director Patti Coen mentioned that Symposium attendees who came to the SOCAP table were asking how they could use Twitter in their business.

    As it turns out, Lifehacker posted an article yesterday morning discussing 6 useful ways to use Twitter. Several of these can be implemented in a business context. Here are a couple:

    1. Monitor What You Care About
    Does your company produce pistachios? If so, it might be beneficial to know what people are saying about the pistachio recall in real time – or to track the scope of the recall. Well, this is where Twitter search comes in. Just go to and type in “pistachio recall.”  Here are your results. Even if your company does not produce pistachios, there are probably other issues that do impact your business and that you could use Twitter search to track in real time.

    Do you monitor the social media buzz for your company? Twitter search, once again, can help you monitor that buzz in real time from potentially millions of Twitter users. Go to Twitter search right now and type in your company name. You may find that people are saying things you don’t want to hear, or that people are posting inanities. But there also might be a trend in public perception that you can – and should – follow in real time.

    If you find a term you wish to monitor, the Lifehacker article mentions some desktop apps that you can download for free and use to set up permanent searches. Tweetdeck is probably the most popular.

    2. Ask Questions, Get Answers
    This can be a very powerful use of Twitter. One day in 2008, Tony Hsieh, CEO of, tweeted that he was meeting that afternoon with eBay executives. He then asked Twitter followers to send him suggestions for ways that eBay can improve the user experience. He was going to share the responses with eBay execs during the meeting. He got such a high volume of responses that he shared some suggestions during the meeting and emailed the rest.

    Are there questions you would like to ask your customers in real time? Are there suggestions they could give you in real time that you could then pass on to Marketing or the C-Suite? Twitter is a great way to get this sort of information from your customers.

    3. Beyond Lifehacker: Updating Consumers
    This is something that the Lifehacker article doesn’t mention, but some companies are using Twitter to provide information updates and/or interact directly with their consumers. Take a look, for example, at these classic examples of how some Twitter-savvy companies are using the service:

    There are many examples of companies using Twitter to update customers. One memorable one: During a big  Northeast ice storm and subsequent power outage, the local utility company provided customers with updates on restoration of service. How would that be useful if you didn’t have electricity? Well, since Twitter can be used on your mobile phone, you could follow the updates from your phone.

    I hope that these few examples give you some ideas that can help start you brainstorming about how Twitter might be useful in your business. If you have specific Twitter questions, you can use the contact form to reach me by email or call the SOCAP office and ask for me.

    Cindy Collins Smith – SOCAP

  • Want to Connect with Your Industry Community Online?

    Posted on: 04/21/2009

    SOCAP recently created four new Industry Communities on LinkedIn (in addition to the already-established Food & Beverage Community ListServ).

    If you would like to become a member of one of these communities and discuss your industry’s Benchmarking findings in more detail, you can join them by following the links below. Membership in these communities is open to members of SOCAP.

    Pharmaceutical & Medical Devices Community

    Travel & Hospitality Community

    Retail & Consumer Goods Community

    Household & Personal Care Community

  • Day 2 - SOCAP Symposium - thoughts from the windy city

    Posted on: 04/21/2009

    Amy McIntyre – great speaker and an excellent way to jump start the day.  Nuggets from her presentation that I liked most:

    - Hire the right people

    - Get rid of the wrong ones

    - Take very good care of the ones you keep

    - Learn to listen…say thank you…and say I’m sorry

    Leveraging Contact Center Data to Develop Usable Consumer Insights…Ed Billmaier – the key = ATTITUDE, be a strategic differentiator not a cost center…pursue the changes needed in your company

    Leveraging Social Media in Product Recalls…Listen first; have a social media plan/strategy before you are in crisis mode and don’t be afraid of social media

    Eileen Troise – Dannon

  • Another Wonderful Day

    Posted on: 04/21/2009

    Another wonderful day with my SOCAP family.

    Wow! Amy Curtis-McIntyre started the day off perfectly! She had the whole group rolling with laughter and still delivered a powerful message.

    The sessions were great and proved so effective in sharing ideas. Can’t wait for the social tonight!

    Matt Sanders – Hyatt

  • Awesome General Session! (thank you, Live Tweeters)

    Posted on: 04/21/2009

    The unofficial SOCAP Symposium Twitter brigade gives those of us who could not attend a  detailed look into an awesome morning general session. Here is a recap of Amy Curtis-McIntyre’s keynote presentation, from the #symp09 Twitterstream. It has been sequentially re-ordered. Each bullet point is an individual tweet (i.e. Twitter post). Most of the #symp09 hashtages have been removed to keep the googlebot happy:


    • grabbed a great seat in the morning session #symp09 to hear Amy-Curtis McIntyre, sitting next to Jeff Hagen of General Mills, intro-ing her.
    • Amy is from Hyatt, formerly CMO of Jet Blue. the introductions are beginning… #symp09 day two of the symposium
    • Nice key recaps of the vertical sessions are on the SOCAP community site: – similarities among all!
    • Jeff Hagen being introduced – General Mills is sponsoring the event. Annual conference 10 11-14 in Tucson “Doing more with less.”
    • “You’ll never meet a marketer more appreciative of customer care.” to great applause… Hyatt works carefully with customer care.
    • At Jet Blue – if you can’t explain a promotion to the head of reservations, don’t run it. She worships customer care organizations
    • Your product is your marketing – in most cases, that’s your people. Take care of your people, they’ll take care of your customers
    • Themes from today: Do more with less. She’s never had big marketing budgets, she works well with less. #symp09 keep marketing, break out


    • Take care of your internal customers and they will take care of your external customers


    • product is your marketing, marketing is your product, but keep customers right in the middle of it.
    • Amy named JetBlue, tailfin design, designed the uniform. wore it for 3 weeks, wore it every day. flattering, feels good, washes well
    • brand building: if you set out to build a great brand, you’ll fail. build a great product, take good care of it, repeat.
    • how to tell if your brand is in trouble: if people don’t want to steal your stuff, your brand is in trouble.
    • collect your branded scwhag, put it in a box in the elevator bank. if it’s gone within a couple hours, you’ve got a brand problem:
    • people won’t wear branded stuff when a brand is in trouble. products: sell stuff that people really want or need.
    • Amy: you learn what people don’t want in focus groups – you learn what people don’t want


    • Amy onstage at SOCAP: At Jet Blue- bring humanity back to travel. Make coach suck less.
    • Amy is hilarious – onstage at SOCAP – making me LOL….


    • Great to see Amy Curtis-McIntyre, Hyatt’s marketing SVP, making news at #symp09!


    • Jet Blue was supposed to be Virgin America, which didn’t work out. Started anyway. Customer was in the center: make customer win.
    • flew around the country with family members to experience coach. airline industry at the time was one of most reviled *like DMV


    • At Jet Blue, when they started the brand bar was so low, you “kinda had to crawl over it to make a difference”


    • look at everything you have to do anyway, and make a marketing product of it.
    • when people are delighted, they talk about it for you
    • we hired for attitude, not for talent (except for the pilots) Laughter in the room… and they overtrained
    • you can’t teach people to give a darn. skills can be taught.. you can’t teach them good attitudes.
    • doing a commercial for continental – putting television on every seat back. a first in large carriers.
    • her dad said “my daughter put tvs on every seat back!”


    • At SOCAP symp day 2 – keynote speaker helped launch Jet Blue: “Hire for attitude not skill….skills can be trained, attitude can’t


    • brands she admires: google spanx (to the rescue) apple ipod, hyatt (give people more than they expect), jet blue, zappos
    • people only talk about two things: things they love, things they hate. word of mouth… #symp09 taking cautious approach to social media
    • if you worry about creating products that people love, you’ll never have a twitter or social media problem
    • customer service issues escalate on twitter really quickly. dominos example.
    • how we have conversations are different, but what people say is the same.
    • bottom line: keep surprising and delighting with products. that should be a company’s focus. loyalty most important
    • Hyatt Gold Passport has been completely overhauled, word of mouth went crazy.
    • Give people more than they expect. Zappos is example of return policy being overhauled


    • Amy @SOCAP: everything… every customer interaction is a marketing opportunity.
    • Amy at SOCAP: don’t think of on hold music, think of it as being held…


    • “tell people what they want to know… like the truth for example.” sometimes honesty cuts through the clutter
    • at Jet Blue – no more than 15 minutes would go by without an update. e.g. weather.
    • we said we were sorry in a delay, and the truth is very disarming in a customer service situation.
    • if you give the big troublemaker the truth, he’ll spread the word for you.
    • after 9/11, Jet Blue was the first to put bullet proof kevlar on their doors, and used it as a marketing opportunity #symp09 home run
    • Hyatt’s Gold Passport program full page ads – straight talk from CEO. Right now, the world could use more hospitality


    • RT @amybp: Great to see Amy Curtis-McIntyre, Hyatt’s marketing SVP, making news at #symp09


    • Amy at SOCAP: hire the right people, get rid of the wrong ones, take good care of the ones you keep.
    • Invest in internal communications, no matter what. engage employees in unconventional ways.


    • Nothing they produced for their own people looked worse than they produced for external communications
    • Pilots have great needs for connections – the pilots produced their own newsletters.
    • at Hyatt, they’ve just launched a new intranet for employees – trying to change 90,000 people’s habit is a struggle.
    • Look outside your industry for inspiration – why reinvent the wheel?


    • keep it simple – focus on your strengths. just because you know words like “paradigm” doesn’t mean you should complicate things.
    • do remarkable things – things about which people remark.


    • don’t kid yourself. it’s all personal. learn to listen, say thank you… say i’m sorry. if you’re not passionate, you lose.
    • Amy is showing videos of the Hyatt folks who are submitting to win 365 days free from Hyatt – precious frog lady.
    • go to to see the best videos.


    • okay – the most brilliant and remarkable fun: – the frog lady is my favorite.


    • it all comes down to saying thank you and you’re welcome. people will forget things you do and say, but not how you make them feel
    • questions – jet blue will refund booked flights if people lose jobs.
    • hyatt – hire locally (around the globe) and against the spirit of the local area. regionalizing and living brand authentically.
    • they translate into 15 different languages.
    • in June, they’re launching a “random acts of kindness” program for employees to reward customers.
    • correction: random acts of *generosity* program.


    • #symp09 Awesome General Session!


    • how do you hire for attitude – authentically? group interviewing worked. asked a ton about authentic acts of kindness
    • one of the best sessions in a conference i’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to… brilliant.
    • off to the first of the breakout sessions.


    • @sbowdring – one of the best I’ve ever been able to attend.


    • RT @janetleejohnson: Amy at SOCAP: hire the right people, get rid of the wrong ones, take good care of the ones you keep. #symp09 not easy