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Support/SocialMedia

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Contents

Abstract

Reach out to Firefox users in need of help even if they haven't found our support website, extract useful support metrics for SUMO, and use the viral nature of social networks to spread the message about our community-powered support.

Background

A huge number of people are actively engaged in social networks, where they speak their mind and share that information with their circle of friends. When they experience a problem with Firefox they might just post a tweet or status update and express their frustration instead of finding their way to SUMO and getting help with their issue. This presents several problems for us:

  1. If a users feels frustrated enough to write about it, that's bad. She should get help no matter what.
  2. Sites like Facebook or Twitter have hundreds of millions of users. If we would actively monitor those places we could extract better information about the most common problems with Firefox, since only a small minority of users find their way to SUMO and are counted by us.
  3. Social networks make it very easy for issues to become viral. That changes the perception of Firefox in a disproportionate way.

Several companies, Comcast among them, are already active on social networks and we see it being appreciated by the customers, who usually don't expect a company to be proactive about support and reach out to them. This can also result in a positive attitude towards the company even if the proposed solution to a problem is not immediately helpful, since the company makes an effort and is trying to help even outside of the traditional processes. That should also make it much easier to communicate with people once they move to SUMO.

Objectives

We therefore have 3 objectives with the social network monitoring:

  1. Reach out to users who need help, using little snippets that could solve their problems. Long-term, we want to reach close to 100% of all users.
  2. Get a better understanding of the current perception of Firefox and the biggest problems users experience, and act upon that information.
  3. Use viral effect to increase our reach: people retweeting our help messages.

Related Work

  • Asa has a set of snippets that work and he has a lot of experience in communication on Twitter.
  • Marketing is present on Twitter and Facebook with two updates a week, but usually it's one way communication.

Plan

We want to start with objective 1 and 3, since they are interlinked and are approachable with minimal use of tools. We also want to do a test run with a small team over the course of one week, to gather information about collaboration in a social media setting. We are starting with Twitter, since it is the most open and manageable social network platform, and use co-tweet to coordinate the work. We will use the experience from the one week test run on twitter to decide about how to continue the process.

Timeline

Week of March 15/22:

  • Discussion of this plan and agreeing on the way forward in bigger team.
  • Getting in touch with the community to select a small team to start and test our approach.
  • Setting people up with the appropriate tools

Week of March 29:

  • First test run with a small team and tool of choice (5 days)
  • Active monitoring of the test run

Week of April 5:

  • Evaluation of test run and decision about the form of the way forward.

Further work

Objective 2 (monitoring twitter to extract information about current status of Firefox) will most definitely need tools that we don't have ready yet. It should be considered in the phase following the test run and could either be integrated into the forums dashboard to be augmented manually or could be a stand alone application aggregating data automatically with nightly reports to everybody interested.