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The Nanny Nine: Best Buy & Twelpforce

The Nanny Nine: Best Buy & Twelpforce

In my early days of Social Networking I was greatly impacted (personally & professionally) by the presence of Best Buy and Twelpforce on Twitter. To see a company of it’s stature reaching out to consumers every day was very impressive. The correspondence with consumers is fast, polite, and shows due diligence, as is evident by John Bernier, Product Line Manager / Social Media, and other Best Buy and Twelpforce employees. John shares some amazing facts and insights, that businesses of all sizes can incorporate in Social Networking.

1. How long have you been using Social Networking for business?
If you break it down, we’ve been “social” for 46 years. Retail is a high engagement business, and in recent years, some of the social tools have simply allowed us to do what we’ve been doing for years, in the digital space. As far as using Social Media, we’ve been had community forums in place for over 5 years, been active for nearly two years with the Best Buy account and Twelpforce initiative, and have had our Facebook page in place for roughly two years as well.

2. Is the business using Facebook &/or Twitter?

We’re using both, in many ways and are currently looking hard at how we could participate in the Quora platform. Some interesting stats:

  • over 2,000,000 Facebook fans
  • We have over 1,000 Best Buy twitter accounts. The biggest ones being @bestbuy, @twelpforce, @geeksquad, @geeksquadonline, and any of a variety of senior leaders accounts.
  • We have 1,000’s of employees who participate on behalf of the brand in the social space
  • Many of our senior leaders participate on Twitter actively, check out this list:!/list/bernierjohn/best-buy-leadership-5

3. Facebook vs Twitter – do you like one better? If yes, why?

They both serve different purposes. Facebook is great for starting (hosting), and participating in a conversation, and for gathering insights from employees and customers. Twitter is great for both 1:1, customer service, and for communicating specials, deals and unique offerings. With twitter, it’s all about setting the right expectations of what you plan to use the account for.

4. Do you post daily?

Facebook is about 2X daily, and with Twitter, and the number of accounts we maintain, it would be difficult to even put a number on it. Twelpforce, for example, posts about 75-100 times a day, mostly with @responses to users. Our @bestbuy account averages between 8-10/day.

5. What is your favorite thing about Social Networking?

Connections, and our story of empowerment. It’s fun to watch employees serve our customers in this space, while at the same time make connections to others whom they would never have met if it weren’t for Social Networking. There’s something magical happening when you can create a web of connected employees sharing information that customers find valuable.

6. What do you think is the biggest benefit of Social Networking?

Listening to what customers want from your brand, and how they are asking you to change your business. The other thing is employee engagement. It’s a simple thing to get involved with, and one individual can make a big impact in a public way. It makes them feel good to be called out by a member of our Senior Leadership team for a job well done.

7. How do you measure Social Networking, & explain:

ROI – Return on Investment
ROR – Return on Relationship
ROE – Return on Engagement
ROL – Return on Loyalty
ROK – Return on Knowledge It may be a bit of all of those. We look at how Social Media impacts all of the above, even if sometimes it’s a bit klugey, or hard to get to “exacting” numbers that we can draw from say, email. We measure how well we’re satisfying the promise we’re making, how likely people are to recommend us, how often people take our advice and make a purchase, and basically, how useful people think we are.

8. What is the best moment you’ve had on a Social Networking site?

The best moment for me is watching a team member go to the mat for a customer. That happens daily, and I’ve literally had 1,000’s of those moments. I love watching our people at work, and going to extremes in service of the customer. Technology is HARD, and we know it like the back of our hand. It’s nice to be able to contribute in a meaningful way.

9. What is your best piece of advice to other businesses about Social Networking?

Start small. Do not try to create your own Twelpforce, instead, try things to see what works, and build on them. If your first experiment fails, try another. If the feedback you are getting provides results that make you uncomfortable, something is working. In every piece of negative feedback lies an opportunity to learn, and grow.

Best Buy

Best Buy




The Nanny Nine brought to you by the Social Networking Nanny

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