“Why don’t you try this ale?”, suggests the barman. “It’s new.”
“Sure”, says the man, and the barman pours him a pint of what turns out to be a delicious, creamy brew, full of malty flavour. “Wow, ” says the man to the barman, “this is lovely.”
The barman hands the man a glossy, colourful leaflet from the brewer inviting him to ‘join us’ on Twitter and Facebook. The man pulls out his mobile and fires off a tweet to the named handle waxing lyrical about the pint he’s enjoying.
A couple of days later, the man finds the leaflet in his coat pocket and realises he didn’t get a response from the brewer. He looks the brand up on Twitter to find a largely dormant profile; a couple of self-promotional tweets each day with no conversation or attempt to reply or to talk to people.
Feeling somewhat let-down, the man visits the brand’s Facebook Page. Same story. A couple of updates per week, all self-promotional nonsense.
The man was me. The brand shall remain unnamed.
And it’s typical of many of the brand profiles I see and hear about.
Let’s be clear about this: having a profile on a social network is not the same as using social media. Not by a long shot.
I’m sure we’ve all witnessed this: the brand that never replies or the company that takes two days to respond to a customer service query. Maybe you’re one of them? The thing is, this type of behaviour does a brand a lot more harm than good.
Stop ticking the social media box
In simple terms, there are still too many organisations dabbling with social media. And they need to stop. Do it, or don’t do it. But stop investing time and money into social networks if you don’t really know why you’re doing so, if you don’t have any kind of strategy behind it, if you’re just copying others or if you’re just going through the motions.
Either that, or invest in the expert help your business so obviously needs.
It wouldn’t have taken a lot of effort on behalf of the beer brand to have hooked me in. An upbeat reply thanking me for my compliments would have been nice. An attempt to engage me further in relevant conversation would have been better. Some information on where I could buy the beer would be great. And some kind of small incentive to purchase again, such as a coupon, would have been amazing.
For a new brand, they’d have turned a first-time drinker into a repeat customer with minimum effort. But alas, no. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Opportunity missed.
The lesson is pretty simple, really: you get as much out of social media as you put in.
If you’d like to learn about putting more in, let’s talk.