Social Media – damned if you do damned if you dont

This blog post may have a dark and depressing title.  Social Media isn’t something that can be ignored but, if you’re doing it and not doing it right then there will be consequences.

Anyone who has been reading the papers over the last few months will have noticed a massive public outcry over the treatment of passengers in US Airlines.

One Doctor lost two teeth thanks to the authorities when they ‘requested’ he leave the plane.

Another Man who paid for a seat for his elder child to fly (who didn’t come) gave the seat to his younger child.  The airline wanted that seat for another passenger and then to cut a long story short threatened him and his wife with jail and that his kids would be put into care.

Now sorry… apart from this is the worst customer service that you could possibly ever see.  Airlines, Retailers, Police remember that social media is not just for companies.  People have mobile phones.  People will record stuff.  People will tweet about stuff – people will take photos.

Things like this can go viral very quickly and if you don’t know the term “exponetial” then I suggest you look it up – actually wait here is the definition:

If you one person shares something then this could be to over 1,000 people.  Those 1,000 people may have 1,000 of their own – EACH!  so that is 1,000,000 people and again … 1,000,000,000.  Yes that is a BILLION people who could potentially read this.  Now obviously that is an extreme example.

However, what is not an extreme example is that some of these experiences get picked up by celebrities, news agencies, politicians and they share it and suddenly you’ve gone from a seemingly mild-mannered altercation to a “holy shit” moment.

When the White House press secretary is talking about seeing the video of the Doctor on United Airlines being carried off the plane bloodied.  Then confirming the President of the United States has seen it.

Surely the brand and PR people at United Airlines were just looking for the nearest cliff to jump off.

Such a reaction isn’t likely to go well with shareholders either.  United Airlines lost over $1 billion off their market capitalisation.  The CEO kept his job but, wow it took some effort and I gotta say the video of him apologising was very good.

Could such brand damage destroy a company?  Well yeah it could – governments have already done the “too big to fail” thing with the banks but, I doubt that they would look at bailing out every company in the country.  Especially if something as negative as the examples given happened.

Even if you were best friends with a politician and your company was responsible for ‘something similar’ I would imagine that your phone calls to said politician would take a little longer to be returned (if ever)!

Social media is a customer service channel just as much (maybe more so depending on your sector) as a marketing channel.  You need to listen to what your customers are saying and if someone leaves a negative comment then don’t ignore it .. deal with it.  Learn from it.

It could be that your product has an unknown fault which wasn’t caught by quality teams.  It could be that someone in your company isn’t addressing someone else’s legitimate concerns.

Whether you think their opinion is wrong, whether their issue is valid or not.  They are talking about your brand and you need to handle it appropriately.  Imagine that you’ve got an irate customer in your shop.  Would you ignore them?  No.

I recently had a friend who had a problem with an airline.  I tweeted about the issue and copied in the CEO and the airline’s main competitor.  It seemed bitchy but, I wanted to solve the issue.  So now not only does customer service know, so does the CEO and so does their competitor.

Now if the competitor was “listening” then this was a great PR opportunity to ‘steal’ a customer and solve my friend’s problem.  They weren’t – hardly surprised.

What did happen was the CEO’s office got in touch and promised to resolve the situation.  Chalk one up to the power of social media.

Think thought, what would have happened if the competitor picked up the ‘dropped ball’?


Is Self-Service Analytics really the way to go forward

Bernard MarrBusiness Analytics - Self Service has written a very interesting piece on  He surmises that self service analytics (the act of giving analytics access to non analyst but business users – e.g. marketing managers) has it’s place but, should be as a back up or verification. Continue reading Is Self-Service Analytics really the way to go forward

Monetate Summit 2016 – Customer Experience and Personalisation is key to success

Monetate Smarties

Last week I was lucky enough to attend the Monetate Summit in London.  This was a gathering of some amazing digital professionals and I learnt an awful lot from them.

Just sitting around the tables talking with other delegates was great to see how other people where handling personalisation and given my background how they were handling metrics. Continue reading Monetate Summit 2016 – Customer Experience and Personalisation is key to success

Cart Abandonment – Are you looking at the right metric?

Cart Abandonment Lost ItemsNothing is more annoying to a web analyst than seeing the cart abandonment go up.  Has the quality of traffic gone down?  Are we targeting the wrong customer segment?  Is the marketing in need to being adapted?

All these questions can not easily be answered but, what can be answered is understanding the real metric.

Continue reading Cart Abandonment – Are you looking at the right metric?

Regular Expressions – Complicated or not

Regular expressions is a language that every analyst needs to know when working with web analytics tools (and a lot of others aswell).  Regular Expressions (or RegEx) allows you to filter, create segments, group together values and more.

The scary thing is that well it appears to be code like and this isn’t every analysts best skill-set.  The truth is that it isn’t as hard as all that.  Any coder of any level will tell you that you need to make sure that your coding is accurate.  The computer can’t be expected to make a judgement call based on a close spelling.  It needs to be accurate.

So in the lives of analysts.  When writing Regular Expressions just be sure to give it the love and attention that you give your stakeholder reports.  Imagine the storm of trouble inaccurate reports would bring down on you.  Regular Expressions – well if they aren’t written accurately then they simply won’t work (or work as expected).

Sample – filtering on a domain name


this will select everything that has in the string.  So imagine you’re looking at a long list of email addresses and you’re wanting only those that are from  Then simply apply the above.

Most Common Used RegEx


 ^  Denotes the beginning of a string
 \ Ignore the next character
 (0-9)  Any value between 0 and 9
 *  Anything
 |  Or  e.g. a|b will give a or b
 $  Denotes the end of a string



  • – matching
  • – matching
  • – not matching

NM - Regular Expression Test Screen 3

How to Test RegEx

There are plenty of testers that you can plugin in both your proposed RegEx and also a test string.  If it matches then it will highlight.  Similarly if it only part matches then you will only see a part highlight.

The one I’ve used most over the past few months is:  I find their interface very friendly and easy to use.  However, just because it works in a tester doesn’t necessarily mean that it is going to work in Google Analytics or another analysis package.  Some of these analytics providers have a custom RegEx implementation so it is always good to check.

NM - Regular Expression Test Screen

You can see here that the I’ve highlighted the test string and it’s highlighted in blue by indicating that the value matches the regular expression.

All you need to do is them simply copy the string and place where required.

Numberminds is always willing to help so ping us an email and let us know what you need.

How to Make Every Web Page a Freakin’ Awesome Landing Page

searchenginejournal.comWeb marketers talk a lot about how to build the perfect landing pages. Do any search and you’ll find dozens, if not hundreds of articles on how to build landing pages that kick butt. You will undoubtedly find some great nuggets of information and wisdom.

But too often, these articles focus on building specific landing pages for a specific task. That’s great, but what’s missing is the reality that you don’t need to build new landing pages for your website. Rather, you need to make sure that every page on your site is a landing page.


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