Creating Alerts from Twitter Searches

Last week, I briefly wrote about how I use Twitter. It prompted a co-worker to ask how I made use of it to “listen,” apart from the aforementioned Flipboard.

There are several tools — like Crimson Hexagon and Radian6 — that deliver comprehensive social media business intelligence. At a price.

If you are a non-profit or an SMB/SME, the price tag of a few thousand dollars a year probably puts such tools outside the range of affordability. Fortunately, Twitter’s free built-in search is actually pretty good.

Improving Customer Experience on Your Site – Part 3 – Features vs. Benefits

As I mentioned in my last post in this series, the internet has moved the balance of power decidedly into customers’ hands. Some larger institutions have yet to realize that this fundamental shift has taken place. The focus of your thinking needs to move from inside-out to outside-in.

As we continue to try to piece together the tattered remains of our economy, it is more important than ever to understand what customers want.

Improving Customer Experience on Your Site – Part 2 – User Registration

Jeffrey Zeldman posted an article the other day previewing Internet Explorer 9. More specifically, he rakes Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft’s General Manager for Internet Explorer, over the coals for some of the language in his IE9 blog entry. According to Zeldman, Hachamovitch “brags” about the new features of the browser. He says that the writer should have adopted a more personal, down-to-earth tone.

I am not going to take sides. Myself, I think this situation is a good illustration of a writer (the MS fellow) not understanding his audience. Engineers and other technical types, even more than others, do not react well to bloviation of any kind. In Hachamovitch’s defense, the article didn’t seem that boastful to me, but after reading the comments at the bottom of the post, I’d say that I am not a typical reader of that kind of blog. Hachamovitch didn’t understand his audience. Or maybe he was edited. Who can say?

Anyway, understanding one’s audience is crucial.

Improving Customer Experience on Your Site – Part 1 – 404’s

We’ve all seen it many, many times. You click a link or type a URL and you are confronted abruptly with a cryptic and unhelpful 404 Error Message like this :

Unhelpful 404

Don’t bludgeon your poor visitors with error pages like this. Remember, your competition is only a click away. It doesn’t take much to irritate your users enough to get them to say, “Enough,” and off they go.

A professional handles such errors with aplomb. Some suggestions: