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Nothing was going to stop Vincent Zwarts from getting the life-saving percussion vest for his daughter Sabrina. VZ: I have always been able to look after my children but the treatments we are talking about are in the $20,000 range and being a sole parent I needed help to buy the percussion vest for Sabrina. Through the Go Fund Me account I posted a link to mine and Sabrina’s timelines on Facebook so we could share it with family and friends.
Social media has been worthwhile in the way of raising awareness of Cystic Fibrosis and the treatments available in Australia compared to overseas. We were $7,000-short, but the Friendly Society Private Hospital came on board and helped out. VZ: We have had a lot of views lately since Sabrina started using the salt rooms and her gym sessions are posted on her page regularly.
Sabrina is now the healthiest I have seen her in her 17 years of dealing and suffering from Cystic Fibrosis. VZ: To keep raising awareness of Cystic Fibrosis and the treatments available in Australia compared to other developed countries in the world. I would like to see everybody with Cystic Fibrosis in Australia to benefit from this new Kalydeco treatment, and they will as soon as it has been approved by the government to go onto the PBS list. VZ: Sabrina says to post updates regularly, like every day if possible and do photo updates every second day as they get the most views.
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A diverse staff brings a patchwork of perspectives excited to generate creative, inventive solutions. Successfully incorporating social media into your customer service plan should not be attacked willy-nilly.
Tactic: Collaborate the work of a designated social media coordinator with customer service to build community and brand. Early on we realized that moms—our core customer base—were not responding to traditional advertising.
Social media is such an important part of our company that we hired a full-time social media coordinator before we hired a full-time IT coordinator—and we are an Internet company.
Caitlin communicates closely with our customer service manager to resolve any issues posted on Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Our employees are welcome to participate in any social media they wish, but anyone wanting to post about Mabel’s Labels from their personal accounts must take our social media certification course. Our return customer rates are phenomenal, which we attribute to the word-of-mouth power of social media and our customer service.
We use social media tools to help us search for tweets about printer and ink cartridge problems on Twitter, and we respond with helpful tips and information. People are usually so happy with this help they go directly to Castle Ink to buy replacement ink.
We are a small business, so anything that levels the playing field like Twitter is a great help. Tactic: Use Facebook, Twitter and a blog to support new and nursing mothers in a sensitive manner.
If a customer posts a product-specific question on our Facebook page, such as whether she can use a certain brand of bottle with our pump, we respond directly on the social media channel, which helps educate all our customers about that topic. When we help customers solve a problem, we try to let the good publicity happen organically, rather than ask customers to post about it. Join the conversation and follow the latest updates, case studies and insights from industry leaders around the world. A selective collection of past and present highlights, interviews and opinions from industry leaders worldwide. Mashable's founder and CEO is a sought-after authority on the seismic shifts brought by digital communications.
Described alternately in the press as a tech hunk, the Brad Pitt of the blogosphere and the planet’s sexiest geek, Pete Cashmore is a rare bird.
He may not rival Eric Clapton—at least not yet—but his rise to fame was similarly meteoric. The industrious CEO now has 100 employees, and the site’s readers have come to depend on them to keep them ahead of the curve.
The change brought by today’s technology is no less sweeping than that produced by the Industrial Revolution, he argues. Case in point: In December, Mashable underwent a major redesign, one that fundamentally altered the way the site operates. To accommodate the exploding popularity of Instagram and Pinterest, Cashmore’s team reduced the weight of the text and pumped up the site’s pictures, adding way more pixels, because in a world brimming with info, an image can often convey a story with greater ease and impact. The social media ranking system that shepherds Mashable’s stories from one column to the next, however, was far and away the most radical adjustment. This new strategy is a nod to the growing supremacy of social media, not simply as a means of communication, but also as an agent of change.
So Mashable listens attentively to the opinions of its readers, helping them to sift through the barrage of information and make sense of a rapidly shifting world. Those who oversaw Mashable’s redesign—including Cashmore—acknowledge that it took some courage to mess with a model that had proved very successful over the years.
In the fall of 2010, the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity partnered with the 92nd Street Y to host a gathering of Nobel laureates. Far more than an expert on the latest YouTube sensation, Cashmore had become one of the world’s foremost authorities on human communication.
When you get right down to it, Mashable doesn’t simply report the news; it strives to generate talking points. It’s not the star power of the panelists that matters as much as the way in which they engage Mashable’s digital audience. Cashmore’s uncommon insight, coupled with his interest in humanitarian issues, is enough to make one wonder what the future holds for the fast-rising CEO. In September of 2010, AOL acquired Mashable’s rival Tech Crunch—also founded in 2005—for a reported $25 million. Given its global audience, its command of technology and data gathering, the company holds an enviable position in today’s media market.
And yet it’s staggering to think that the 100-man operation started out as a simple WordPress blog. As much as he thrills to discovering the latest breakthrough, the repercussions that inevitably follow it are never far from his mind. When he isn’t writing for SUCCESS, Chris Raymond tweets about media, innovation and the future.
So he enlisted the help of Social Media and with the help of the local community, he succeeded! I asked around and once I found out the Australian government was not able to help with the cost I started a fundraiser on the Go Fund Me website. That’s how I came into contact with a Social Media consultant and made an appointment to have a chat. We got the word out there about CF but no donations coming in because as we found out it is very hard to get a donation of someone you don’t know.

They negotiated a price with Hill-Rom as they buy equipment through them regularly and they also gave Sabrina 15 weeks of physiotherapy at their hospital to teach Sabrina breathing techniques that will help loosen the mucus off her lungs (they don’t do this in the public hospitals), as well as securing Sabrina a 12-month membership with Simply Salt in Crofton Street (valued at $1500).
We have had messages asking about the salt room and how it works to also getting messages that Sabrina inspires other people by her dedication in staying fit and doing the treatments she has to do to stay healthy. We are there to listen to people’s problems and concerns, and try to help them if we can. To keep our followers up to date on Sabrina and her battles with Cystic Fibrosis and to fight and raise awareness until CF no longer stands for Cystic Fibrosis but CF will stand for Cure Found. Other western developed countries have it readily available for their CF citizens but in Australia it has been approved but is not subsidised and it comes with a cost of over $300,000 a year.
Unfortunately our government has known about this for about 2 years but they still have not approved it to go onto the PBS list because they say the drug is too expensive.
Visit their website for resources on improving your business's Social Media results or to apply to have your Social Media advertising managed professionally by them.
The benefits include providing rapid responses, combating negative comments and positioning their brands as thought leaders—all with minimal overhead. Is it to resolve the issue directly on the social medium or connect the customer with an expert to tackle the question or complaint offline?
Will a single account serve for both marketing and customer service agendas, or will these be discrete accounts? This mechanism serves as a critical tool for improving customer satisfaction, resolving product issues, monitoring trends and keeping up with the public chatter about your brand.
That means not deleting negative posts and not taking issues offline; we respect that if a customer wants to complain through Twitter or Facebook, that is where we will respond. This manager attends all of our marketing meetings to ensure these departments work together closely. Over a couple of hours, this class provides the basics about online etiquette, public relations and how social media communication that mentions our company must also reflect our core values and business objectives. Rather than hard-selling people (we only have a promotional tweet about once per month), we’ve tried to simply be helpful in an area where we have expertise and experience. We’ve amassed more than 11,000 followers through this process and estimate that five to 10 percent of our sales can be traced to Twitter. Being able to interact with customers and potential customers in a more engaging way—and doing so in real time—is a win-win for us.
Our goal is to answer their breastfeeding questions as quickly as possible around-the-clock through whatever channel is most convenient to them. We are very proactive with every interaction we have with customers, but we walk a fine line between using social media as a tool to educate all parents who follow us on social media, while respecting the fact that these can be very sensitive and emotional issues. However, if something is more specific and personal, like if a mother is concerned that her milk supply is too low, I will reach out to her directly through email, perhaps ask for her phone number.
At 2 o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon, in walks the man who launched the Mashable media empire. You have to remind yourself to stay focused, to listen carefully to what he has to say, because you don’t want to miss a thing. When he started the Mashable blog in 2005, he was just a kid, a 19-year-old rogue holed up in a bedroom in his parents’ home on the north coast of Scotland.
By then Mashable had shifted from a pure tech blog focused on innovation and startups to a news service committed to helping the “connected generation” stay abreast of social media. Much like mass production, digital media has affected the way people work, the way they collaborate, how they live, where they live, what they do for fun. It forced the site’s readers, who were accustomed to scrolling up or down to take in a full day’s news, to make a bold psychological leap. Facebook altered the way people consume news, Twitter altered the way editors write headlines, Pinterest and Instagram forced them to think more visually. When Facebook announced its March redesign, Cashmore’s reporters immediately posted stories explaining how to master the updated news feed, including posts tailored specifically to publishers, marketers and advertising executives. Wiesel, winner of the 1986 Peace Prize, had been coordinating similar conferences for years.
He flew to New York to join the discussion, a dialogue that had been broadened to include the voices of young business leaders.
Five years into his run at Mashable, his buddy Cashmore was no longer a sleep-deprived blogger. He had studied the rise of MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare and dozens of other people-powered networks, and he understood like few others what made them weak and what made them strong.
Yes, every post on the site concludes with a request for reader comments, but the outreach stretches well beyond that. In 2011 we got a good look at the force social media can bring to bear in places such as Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen. Will he continue to lead Mashable or will he parlay his expertise into a larger role in the social revolution? Five months later the email pioneer purchased the Huffington Post website for $315 million. If anything, Mashable’s humble beginnings, the lack of venture capital, the exhausting schedule Cashmore once maintained, may have slowed its progress in the early years. In a moment of reflection, Cashmore thinks back to his first inklings on the scope of the disruption digital technology can foster. Money-wise we only raised about $1,000 online and that was mainly through family and friends.
People that have messaged us on advice on how to go about fundraising and we told them what we did and to not to give up. We are also raising awareness of the new drugs Kalydeco and Lumacaftor as this combination of drugs will greatly help Sabrina with her lung function and weight gain but comes at a cost of over $300,000 a year because the Australian government will not subsidise it and put it on the PBS list like most other countries have. Sabrina needs Kalydeco in combination with Lumacaftor for her to live her life as normal as possible without the need for hospital admission, antibiotics, weight supplements etc. For most people, mobile phones were a migration, the Internet was a huge unknown, and social media is a fad or the end of face-to-face communication as we know it. Caitlin, the coordinator, started with us as an intern when she was a college student and was always very savvy about social media. Typically we’ll link to a helpful blog post or articles about the topic at hand, but we also do a lot of direct messaging to help with specific problems. We are 100 percent online and don’t have the benefit of face-to-face conversation that a competitor like Staples or OfficeMax enjoys.
If a mom is worried that she can’t use her pump because she dropped a piece down the kitchen sink, we want to respond in real time so she doesn’t worry unnecessarily. Moms have different comfort levels; some are perfectly comfortable talking about body issues on a public forum, while others prefer to take the discussion to private message.
I might connect her with a lactation consultant or another expert in her geographic area who can help her directly.
Dressed in a long black coat, with a cup of coffee nestled in his hand, he strides into the company’s recently renovated office, breaks into a smile and reaches out to shake my hand. In an era when marketing genius is measured in Facebook likes and Foursquare check-ins, the guy is supremely well-connected.
A bout with appendicitis had interfered with his studies, delaying his high school diploma for years. Silicon Valley had the programmers and the venture capitalists, but the moguls of media, marketing, advertising, fashion, entertainment and business—the fields most disrupted by Facebook’s breathtaking climb—were headquartered in Manhattan.

The group also took pains to make the design more responsive, versatile enough to accommodate an increasingly mobile audience. The site now rates stories based on the number of clicks and shares, governed by something called the velocity algorithm.
Social media is so dominant these days that it’s transforming search engine optimization (SEO). Along the way, the company gathered valuable information about what the influencers in its community like and don’t like—insights coveted by advertisers keen on sidling up to such trendsetters. If you change one variable, it’s easy to measure the reaction, says Cashmore, who clearly inherited his biologist father’s empirical thought process. His goal: to assemble the smartest people on the planet and set them to work on solving the world’s thorniest problems. The participants sat in a circle in 92Y’s auditorium, name cards in front of them, discussing poverty, education, the environment, conflict in the Middle East. The site’s content—headlines, pictures, quotes—springs up all over Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. I lost my daughter Jessica to CF in May 2013 at 18 years 6 months and I want for Sabrina to live life. This drug is not a cure yet but we are getting closer to finding the cure for Cystic Fibrosis. I have written to the drug company that makes it to see if we can get it on compassionate grounds or at a reduced cost but this is a long process. My work with individuals and companies has taught me that social media is a change that can work to your advantage—whether you grew up watching black-and-white TV or have known only Hulu or YouTube. This is especially true of customer service, which can be some of the very best marketing we do. Even though it was a natural progression to put her into the role of social media coordinator, for the first few months I still approved all the tweets that she sent out. The happiest people are those who are looking to buy a new printer but have no idea which model is right for them. We reached out to one of our retailers in her area to hold the pump on her behalf at no charge so she could pick it up the same day. Golden-brown hair dips to his shoulders, artfully framing his steel-blue eyes and the dark stubble that lines his chiseled jaw. Considered by some to be the most influential voice on Twitter, he counts more than 3 million followers on his Mashable feed. Not only did Cashmore instantly recognize the cultural significance of social media, but he also had a knack for finding the right stories, whether they involved the commercial applications of YouTube or the endearing appeal of the latest lolcat meme.
In October 2012, two months before the new look debuted, the company counted the number of unique devices that accessed the site. BMW and Visa are among companies that pay to sponsor series on subjects such as urban innovation and leaders in design.
He speaks with greater vision than Mark Zuckerberg about mankind’s need to share the stories of our lives.
By pointing them to third-party information, we help them decide which model is the best fit.
If the editors wish to override the data—like, for instance, with a special report or a breaking news story—they can do so. As sponsors, they get no say in the content, but they do get a close-up look at the people who are drawn to the subject matter. The CEO had braced himself for a major backlash from readers who were unprepared to shed the familiarity of their old news consumption habits, but in general the response has been favorable. Not long ago, the young Scot returned to the 92nd Street Y to interview the 83-year-old Wiesel during Mashable’s Social Good Summit, an annual event created in partnership with the United Nations Foundation to engage the world’s leaders in an open dialogue during the week when they assemble in New York to conduct U.N. In Australia, a person that has CF is lucky to make it to their mid to late 20s and early 30s. The woman then tweeted about that experience, saying it was the best customer service experience she’d ever had. And when he chooses to appear in public, descending on Austin, Texas, for the South By Southwest conference, he arrives on the scene like a rock star. Outfitted in skinny jeans and untucked shirts, the bright-eyed reporters bunkered in the crisp white cubicles have their eyes on their computer screens, scanning the Internet for the latest buzz, which they then translate into plainspoken blog posts and fire out to the Mashable masses. He spent hours in front of the whiteboard in his office with tech department staffers, picking their brains and mapping out the future of his company. Asked what he can reveal about the company’s suitors, he looks up at the ceiling, searching for the right words.
You’re going to be able to order your groceries and they’re going to show up in the fridge!” He laughs at the idea now, before looking ahead once again to the world of tomorrow. Clearly establish who is in charge of which social media tasks and how any overlaps will be coordinated. Before long, he was working crazy hours, waking up at noon to put himself in sync with the titans of Silicon Valley and hustling until dawn.
And it’s not going to stop.” What distinguishes him from the average CEO, though, is his uncanny ability to read the shifting landscape.
The site is designed to put readers way ahead of the game, and Mashable does that with ruthless efficiency. Speakers have included Hillary Clinton, Ted Turner, Deepak Chopra, Geena Davis, Forest Whitaker and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Nick Kristof of The New York Times.
However, if they know that tweeting a request to your company’s Twitter account will produce results, their ire may be tamed. Instead of flowing downward hour after hour, stories now migrate from left to right across each page, based on the volume of interest they generate. And what we’ve looked at essentially is, ‘Would this opportunity grow us faster?’ That’s the core question.
Eighteen months later he had 2 million readers and his first paid advertisement, a $3,000 deal with a video-chat company called Userplane.
The first column holds the latest news, the middle column features storylines that are heating up, and the last column showcases the things everyone’s talking about. To help facilitate those dialogues, Cashmore’s engineers parsed Mashable’s content into bite-size bits for easy sharing. The metric dispenses with page views—the site now features infinite scroll—and measures actual engagement.
More2012 Fall Interactive Innovation ProjectDecember 13, 2012Medill graduate students innovation project asked parents of CPS students what they most wanted to know about their childrena€™s educational experience. When readers rush to embrace an unconventional storyline, the editors get right to work on follow-ups.
The staff worked together remotely until 2008, when Cashmore moved to San Francisco to put himself closer to the action.

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