Gary Vaynerchuk is genius. I can listen to him talk about paint drying and learn something. I was watching this video about business and EFFORT, and found myself nodding along and basically screaming, “Yes. YES!”
Here at B Squared when we’re talking to leads we go through a LOT of questions about their business, their goals, their marketing and brand goals, and especially their social media fears. 99.99% of our potential clients say they’re scared social media will open them up to more negative comments about their brand.
Newsflash: People are going to talk about how you suck not because you’re using social media, but because you suck!
It’s About The Bathrooms, Not Facebook
Case in point: I had an owner of a bowling business in New Jersey call me begging for help one day. He had seen me speak, but was not a client. He left a message saying he was having, “major problems with Facebook.”
I figured it was a technical issue, and called the gentleman back. It turns out several ladies were complaining on his business Facebook page about the condition of his restrooms. He wanted to know what to do.
My answer: Clean the bathrooms.
We dug a little deeper and it turns out hooligans liked to tear up the bathrooms during late hours. Again, my solution was to send a staff person to the bathroom on the hour — and twice an hour during the times it was likely to be teepeed — for cleanup and inspection.
My other suggestion was to make sure he (or someone) responded to these complaints with absolute sincerity, and promptly (aka: NOT two days, or even 8 hours, later).
Follow Up (Again & Again)
My last and possible biggest piece of advice to the bowling center owner was to follow up with these ladies. Leave a note at the front desk saying to page you when they come in; give a phone call to the ladies; write them a heartfelt apology letter and ask if the situation has been made right since the solutions were put in place.
Plenty of people say they’re going to fix something and don’t. Or maybe they do fix the problem but then don’t reach out to ask how the solution is working. Just because YOU think you’ve solved the problem, doesn’t mean you’ve actually done it the way the customer expects.
Check and double check! It’s not only good customer service, it shows you care – and that’s hard to come by!
ALWAYS Be Listening
I know this seems like common sense. Everyone THINKS they’re listening to what their clients, or audiences, want. However, with a quick look-see I easily found places where online & social marketers were not listening to what their customers were saying.
These are actual posts from actual Facebook pages (that use lots of memes, puzzles and other non brand-related tactics):
Notice how the first post got no response from the page administrator? And when the admin did decide to respond, they did nothing to show they were listening? It’s clear the owners of this page are only after ‘Likes’ and shares, and not trying to convert their fans to paying customers, or to get them involved with brand-related events and items.
What are YOU doing to listen? And are you REALLY listening to what your fans and followers are telling you?
Social media is about the consumer – it is NOT about YOU.
I’m afraid if you’re still using social media the way YOU see fit that your strategy probably (still) SUCKS.
Granted, we can’t be all things to all people all of the time. However, if you really sit back and ask yourself whether you’re catering to your fans and followers or to what YOU want to talk about, you’ll probably be surprised at what the honest answer is.
What’s your take on sucky social strategies? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
See you in the social sphere!
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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
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