Social Media Update

The world of social media is vast and ever-changing. How can you keep up? Our Marketing Department weighs in on social media news.

Social Trends

What’s New?

Katie: Google+ introduced their Business Pages mid-November which is the latest way to connect with customers and clients. Google+ features “Circles” which allow you to segment groups of people. For instance, a business would most likely have a circle for active customers, inactive customers, clients, partners, colleagues, etc. These circles allow you to share and market to specific target audiences depending on what circle you categorized them in. “+1″ Holdcom’s Google+ Page! http://plus.google.com/u/0/s/holdcom

Juli: I agree with Katie, Google+ Business pages are huge. I read that 60% of major brands signed up for a page within the first 2 days of their availability. For Google+, which many thought was playing second fiddle to Facebook, Brand Pages are a major game-changer. Google+ is very rapidly growing and evolving. Join now and you can call yourself an early adopter!

What’s Out?

Katie: There has been some major scrutiny surrounding Blackberry functionality in recent months. Although Blackberry was one of the first smartphones, Research In Motion (RIM), maker of Blackberry, has failed to keep up with the constantly changing market. When the iPhone first came out, people were attracted to this revolutionary pocket-sized touchscreen computer/phone, and popularity continues to rise, especially with the new release of the iPhone4S. The iPhone is certainly a game changer. RIM has struggled to keep pace with Apple’s smartphones and tablets, but hasn’t been able to make a triumphant comeback…yet. Blackberry still has 65 million subscribers and RIM plans to revamp its new generation of smartphones using a new operating system. The company has also introduced a tablet that now retails for under $200. Has Blackberry totally fallen out of favor, or is RIM poised to rise to the top once again? We’ll see what happens!

Juli: Facebook? I’m not too sure about this and it seems that not too many others are, either. A recent Mashable Poll found that 45.5% of users thought the site was just “Lukewarm,” compared to 30.34% who say the site is still “Hot” and 24.16% who say the site is “Not.” For now, people are holding onto their Facebook accounts. It’s certainly the biggest player with the most connections in the social media world, so it makes sense that people aren’t going to run away. Facebook has recently settled with the FTC over privacy concerns, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “I’m the first to admit that we’ve made a bunch of mistakes.” Since privacy was one of the main issues bothering Facebook users, maybe this settlement will keep the site at Number 1. Regardless of what is to become the next big thing, Facebook is still a major player, and you should have a business page, even if you don’t want a personal account.

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Album Reviews-Happy Holidays!

Royalty Free Hold Music for the Holidays-Red ornament with music notes on christmas treeHappy Holidays! Wondering what message-on-hold music you should add this holiday season? Let our audio production team steer you in the right direction. Whether you’re looking for some festive cheer, wintery sounds, religious music, heart-warming acoustic guitar or an album offering a break from the ubiquitous, our expertise will guide you as you discover the right music for your holiday on-hold marketing. Don’t forget to listen to our online samples!

Follow Up: Holdcom Donates MOH to Community Blood Services

In August, Holdcom donated a Message On Hold package to Paramus, NJ based Community Blood Services. Community Blood ServiceThe new program has been playing for callers, helping to raise awareness about blood donation and inform callers about becoming a donor.

Karen Ferriday of Community Blood Services recently said, “Non-profit organizations like ours are struggling to make ends meet during these difficult economic times, while providing the best informational services to our community members that we can. Holdcom has unselfishly demonstrated its commitment to our community and our organization, helping us to continue to help save lives of patients in our community hospitals, by donating an on-hold messaging system that keeps our community connected to our lifesaving programs & services. How awesome is that!!?? We are very grateful for their expertise and generosity and consider them a true community partner.”

Holdcom looks forward to working with Community Blood Services in the coming year and is glad to have made an impact for such a deserving organization.

Featured Blog: Airline Hold Times During Hurricane Irene

When Hurricane Irene hit the east coast in early September, the results were inconvenient for some and devastating for others. During the storm, travelers bombarded airline customer service departments for information about flights to and from the area. Telephone lines were jammed and Twitter was flooded with customer complaints. What did callers do during long hold times? How were Twitter responses handled? Which airline was best able to handle customer inquiries and complaints?

Airline Holdtimes During Hurricane Irene

STELLAService, a customer service firm, conducted a survey on airline hold times during Hurricane Irene, and the results are surprising… (Read More at Sound Communication, the Holdcom Blog)

The Holdcom Year In Review… From My View

By Harvey Edelman, CEO

New YearAround the country and the world it’s been an unprecedented year… hundred year storms, hundred year floods, once in a lifetime revolutions, the long awaited fall of dictators… so much has happened, I’m waiting for the Year In Review shows to remind me.  Back here at Holdcom, it’s been an unprecedented year as well.  While steadfastly continuing to believe that our company’s growth is based on a traditional dedication to ‘customer first’ customer service, we have also taken a bold leap into the sea of social media and emerging technologies.  As a communications company, and an audio company, we have further branded our category of audio marketing, offering our clients an ever-expanding menu of audio applications.

Earlier in the year, we began development of a new user-friendly version of our ground-breaking and now five year old Audio Production Online Store. Anticipating the ever-changing needs and requirements of our clients, including the migration to smart phones, our Store 2.0, with anticipated launch in early 2012, promises to embrace and leverage current and emerging technology, giving customers a convenience factor unknown in our industry.

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Equipment Upgrade Discount: Year-end special

equipment

Want to finish this year on a high note and start the New Year in style? Have use-or-lose money left in your budget? December is the perfect time to update your Message On Hold equipment–with a special discount from Holdcom.

Cassette tapes are out… mp3 and CD technology is in! With the drastic technology advancements, antiquated cassette-load technology for your Message On Hold communication is no longer supported. If you are currently using a cassette-load digital announcer for your On-Hold Communication, Holdcom can assist you with upgrading your MOH for a special price. We’ve just lowered our price on digital MOH equipment at www.audioproductionstore.com. Add a promo code and save an additional $50 — a total of 50% off our original list price!

Having the most up-to-date technology will not only insure consistent and reliable on-hold messaging, but will provide you with a more convenient means to implement your program updates. Get the most out of your on-hold marketing and buy your business a holiday gift — new Message On Hold equipment!

Click here to save $50 when you upgrade your Message On Hold Equipment

Holdcom 2012 Food Drive

Food Drive

From now until February 14, 2012, Holdcom will be hosting a Food Drive to benefit Eva’s Kitchen in Paterson, NJ. 11.5% of New Jersey Residents suffer from food insecurity. During the Holidays, many individuals and businesses donate to soup kitchens, shelters, and food pantries. Unfortunately, donations begin dwindling after the New Year. Please consider participating in our Food Drive. For your convenience, we have developed an informational packet that you can download, with details about Eva’s Kitchen, the Holdcom Food Drive, and how to host a collection at your place of business.

Click here to download the packet, or email info@holdcom.com.

Thank you in advance!

Hospitality Audio Marketing Guide

Often, marketing and customer service strategies can be enhanced and improved with the addition of audio. By combining the power of Message On Hold, multilingual IVR announcements, website audio, eLearning applications, and overhead music and announcements, you can add new dimensions to your business. In our Audio Marketing for Hospitality Guide, we feature tips for using audio to enhance telephony applications, guest services, websites, and social media. Don’t miss these free tips!

Bell

Click here to download our FREE Hospitality Audio Marketing Guide

Holdcom Calendar Strips Are Here!

Have you received anything in the mail from Holdcom lately? If you have, you probably noticed the calendar strip inside the package or envelope. This calendar strip is lightweight and easy to use. It has no messy installation and comes with a one year warranty! Use it to check the date and to keep track of updates for your Message On Hold program.

Holdcom 2012 Calendar Strips

Keep an eye out for calendar strips in your next letter or shipment from Holdcom.  And if you haven’t received your calendar strip, email newsletter@holdcom.com and we’ll send one your way!

Free Holiday Message On Hold Program

Free Holiday Message On Hold program

Did you know that this year, we’re sending out FREE Holiday Message On Hold programs? Take advantage of this offer to spread cheer to your callers. On-hold programming that reflects seasonal changes results in more effective marketing. Our holiday MOH program includes your choice of music type (traditional, religious, or generic) and a greeting that says, “We would like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy holiday season and a healthy, safe, and prosperous New Year,” with alternating male and female voices. Don’t be afraid to let your holiday spirit show!

Click here for your FREE Holiday Message On Hold program

Client of the Month: Can Do Fitness

With facilities located in Short Hills, Edgewater, and Princeton, ‘CAN DO Fitness Clubs’ is with you every lift, push, pull, step, stroke, and stretch of the way… and that’s why we are proud to feature CAN DO as our November 2011 Client of the Month!

CanDoFitness - Holdcom November 2011 Message On Hold Client of the Month

“CAN DO Fitness Clubs help motivate you and prepare your body for life’s most important moments by creating the highest quality health & fitness experience,” explains owner, Stuart Polevoy.  “Our goal is to integrate purposeful health & wellness into your daily life.  And we always encourage you to enjoy your sessions.”

To help you achieve your goals, CAN DO Fitness is exceptionally selective with the equipment they choose, the personal trainers and instructors they hand-pick, the comprehensive programs they provide.  ‘Be the best you can be each day. Renew at CAN DO, where it’s all about you’ is their belief.

In addition to their fitness facilities, they offer Koi SpaSalon – located within their Edgewater and Princeton clubs.  At Koi SpaSalon, you can renew your mind, body, and spirit with exceptional treatments in the hands of their knowledgeable and caring staff.  The salon offers an extensive menu of hair, nail, and salon services.  Skilled stylists and technicians are prepared to customize any service to achieve your desired look.

“When the need arises to place our members and clients on hold,” states Polevoy, “Holdcom has enabled us to keep them entertained, while promoting our various services.  The professional-sounding voices and music compliment the upscale nature of our business.”

For more information regarding CAN DO Fitness Clubs and Koi SpaSalon, be sure to visit candofitness.com or koispa.com.  And congratulations once again to Stuart Polevoy and his team for being selected as our Client of the Month!

Music On Hold Album Reviews- Health and Fitness plus the Holidays

Gotham X-Games

X Games and Cinematic Promos: Exciting Tracks for Health and Fitness

Reviewed by: Joseph Blakely

If you’re in the field of health & fitness, X Games and Cinematic Promos is an album with the type of music that will really get your heart pumpin’. This album is loaded with off-the-rail tracks that are sure to inspire your customers to get up and get to your health club, or at least make them bust out some cardio while they are on hold. (Read More…)

HolidayCocktails

Holiday Cocktails: Jazzing up your Holiday Hold Music

Reviewed by: Brett Lubansky

There’s something undeniably classy about Holiday Themes done within the light jazz genre. In fact, I find that the Holiday Season isn’t in full swing until I hear a lazy drum beat with a melodic saxophone. If this is the holiday mood you would like to convey in your Message-On-Hold Program for the next few months, check out Holiday Cocktails in our Holiday Music Library. (Read More…)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Turn your speakers on to hear the Audio

Happy Thanksgiving! Holdcom gives thanks to all of our clients and partners. We would like to wish you and your family a happy, bountiful Thanksgiving Day. Please note that our office will be closed Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25.

Want to know whom you’ve been talking to as you plan your Message On Hold and audio marketing programs throughout the year? Check out our Thanksgiving photo card and match the names you know to our faces.

Holdcom 2011 Thanksgiving Card

Back Row (L to R): John, Megan, Rob, Katie, Juli, Joe P
Front Row (L to R): Joe B, Brett, Nick, Brian, Neil, Andy, Harvey, Donna, Mary, Jennifer, Chris

Want to send a card like this to your clients? Click Here to learn more about our Audio Greeting Card Services.

Adding Your Own Voice to Messages On Hold

“Can I add my own voice to my Message On Hold program?” is one of Holdcom’s Frequently Asked Questions. The short answer is yes — but how?

Until recently, Holdcom offered just a couple of ways to record a customer’s personal message for insertion into their MOH program.  One required a visit to our studio, and the other relied upon the transmission of voice over phone lines (cellular or landline).  Both of these solutions have their drawbacks, in that the former requires travel and time, and the latter compromises audio quality due to phone line compression.

Businesswoman using cell phoneHowever, with the rise and proliferation of smart phones, there is a new option for adding your own voice.  Holdcom’s new ADD YOUR VOICE service allows you to record an audio file with your smart phone, email it to us, and have it processed and inserted into your MOH program.

This new service is more convenient than coming to our offices to record messages and easier than our previous call-in service.  Recording with your smart phone also helps us produce an even better result for your hold programming.

Adding your own voice to on-hold marketing, in the form of a “Special Message” from a CEO, President, or other administrator, adds a personal touch to your MOH program, making it even more engaging and effective.  Who knows more about your business than you? Click the play button to hear a message recorded by Holdcom President Neil Fishman:

We have tested numerous voice recording apps available for smart devices, and based on cost, ease of use, file format compatibility, and “share” features (sending the recording directly from the app via email or SMS), we recommend the following:

iPhone

Voice Memos voice recorder for the iPhone

iTalk voice recorder for the iPhone

  • This is one of the most popular voice recorder apps that provides several levels of recording quality (good, better, best).
  • The free version does have a 2MB file size restriction for sharing, so the $1.99 full version might be necessary.
  • Here’s a YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7oxkFceOpg

ANDROID

Tape-a-Talk voice recorder for the DROID

To prepare for making your own recording, download our newest guide: 10 Tips for Professional Recordings

If you would like to ADD YOUR VOICE to your Message On Hold or other Audio Marketing initiative, please contact Client Relations or your Script Consultant at 800.666.6465.

Take our 2-Question Survey

Customer Service Survey - 2 Questions

How would you rate the service you receive from Holdcom? Is there anything you want to tell us? Take just a minute and fill out our two-question survey and let us know! Our objective is to always provide the highest level of customer service possible, and we need to hear from you to ensure we’re continuing to do a great job. Thanks in advance!

Click here to complete the survey.

Just For Fun – Chatbots

Artificial Intelligence just got smarter. We already know that it is possible for computers to interact with humans, as evidenced most recently with Siri, Apple’s new iPhone voice assistant feature. But did you ever think you would see the day when computers can interact with other computers and have in-depth conversations?  Watch as these two Cleverbots carry on a discussion ranging from simple small talk, to disagreeing about their artificial being, to sharing religious theories.

Featured Slide Presentation: Overhead Marketing for Health and Fitness Facilities

Within a gym or fitness center, an overhead system can be used to play music or announcements for your members to hear. Do you know how to use this overhead system as a marketing and member services tool? By combining music and announcements, you can help your members become more fit, drive retail traffic, increase loyalty, and more. If you’re already playing music in your facility, find out how to make it appealing to your customers and be sure it’s legally licensed.

Watch our presentation on SlideShare to learn how to turn overhead announcements into a powerful marketing tool.

SOCAP Recap

SOCAP 2011

The Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals converged in Orlando, Florida on October 16-19th for their annual Conference. With hotel bookings overflowing, the word is out on this special group of professionals who handle consumer affairs for thousands of brands we interact with on a daily basis.

Holdcom’s own Andy Begnoché attended and returned energized with new ideas on mobile, social media, and customer engagement. “Holdcom has been involved with this group since 2004 and we’ve seen tremendous grown in content and leadership.  So much has changed in the way companies interact with consumers over the past 7 years, it great to be involved with an organization that is leading the conversation and education to prepare professionals in this space with the tools to tackle their jobs” noted Andy Begnoche Vice Chair for the membership committee. “So many people volunteer their time and share so much information in this group, it’s really quite unique.  Our committee has been responsible for a lot of content that is part of the webinar series as well as the website for a brand new knowledge base called PING (Providing Information through Networked Groups).  I was initially concerned with the resources it was going to take to gather the information and load it into the system, but when we reached out to membership for assistance, they once again came back with armfuls of content.”

This year’s conference also featured Advanced Breakout Sessions with the goal of not just introducing or reviewing content, but really digging in and getting into specifics and making it a true learning experience.  “I attended the Muli-Generational Training Strategies session that was done by Ronna Caras of Caras Training and I was really impressed by the level of content that was covered. Many of the members who attended the session raved about the valuable material Ronna shared. “ Andy shared.

SOCAP not only leverages the expertise of it’s membership for show content, they also bring in thought leaders in trending topics within the consumer affairs space.  This year saw the likes of Mitch Joel President of Twist Image, Simon Mainwaring Author & Blogger, Tomi Ahonen Author and International Speaker on Mobile Industry, and Author and Poet Chris Abani.  “I always look forward to the keynotes.  SOCAP does a great job of combining experts and professionals who make you think and reflect professionally and personally.  The presentation for Tomi Ahonen was somewhat mind-blowing. The direction mobile is moving and the things that we will be doing with our mobile phones in the very near future was exciting and powerful.  There will definitely be a shift in how we live our lives.”

What’s up next for this group?  The annual Symposium will be held in Baltimore Maryland April 22-25th and next year’s conference with be in San Diego, California.  “It’s a great group to get involved with, but you don’t have to wait for one of the big events, there are chapters all around the country.  The New York Metro Chapter is having their year-end meeting at the Madison Hotel in Morristown NJ on November 16th” announced Andy.  Click here to register for the local event.

FREE Holiday Message On Hold Program

Enjoy a Holiday Message On Hold… On Us !!!

Free Holiday Message On Hold program with Royalty Free MusicA seasonally relevant Message On Hold can keep callers more engaged than playing generic or outdated information. This year, make sure your callers are in the spirit of the season: sign up for one of Holdcom’s FREE Holiday Message On Hold Programs.  Our holiday programs provide this greeting to your callers – “We would like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy holiday season and a healthy, safe, and prosperous New Year” – and include your choice of a holiday music theme.

At no charge, add some holiday cheer on hold!

Click here to choose the options for your FREE Holiday Message On Hold Program

Do you have an available update on your Message On Hold Plan?  Email Scripts@holdcom.com instead.