Here’s Why Your Social Media Strategy (Still) Sucks

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your social media SUCKS

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!

your social media SUCKS

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).

facebook in the tub

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):

please stop being stupid comment


And another:

stupid letter games

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 an award-winning Customer Marketing Strategist and the CEO & Founder of B Squared Media. Her book, Conversations That Connect has been recognized nationally and is required reading for a Customer Experience class at NSU. Brooke's influence in digital marketing is not just about her accomplishments but also about her unwavering commitment to elevating the industry standard of digital customer experience and customer marketing.
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14 Comments. Leave new

  • Avatar
    Veronica Solorzano Athanasiou
    May 29, 2013 8:44 AM

    Really enjoyed and learned reading this article Brooke. There’s nothing like real life examples and experiences to illustrate what to do or what not to do. Thank you for sharing and for putting it together so nicely.

    • So glad to hear that, Veronica! Thank you very much for stopping by. It’s easy to say we listen … it’s even somewhat easy to listen, but to ACTIVELY listen I think is much, much harder. I know it’s something I can work on. I think the key is asking lots of questions, and listening without talking. Again, I’m still working on perfecting that! :-)

  • Very good points Brooke! It is very important to respond to client posts very quickly.

    • Agreed, Jen. We’re pretty strict about the time it takes to respond to messages. I think it’s even more important to ensure we’re REALLY, TRULY listening to what our customers want. Thanks for reading and weighing in today!

  • Avatar
    Eddie E Winther
    May 29, 2013 9:32 AM

    TYVM Brooke – Great points – Think, do and stand by!

    Perhaps a side-total-process-related comment, but as a tip: Keep a ‘one-line’ process chain, linking anything related to the business process/strategy, not a ‘box’ here and there – but a ‘one-line’ chain – and make sure anyone working within or for the company have a minimum understanding of the entire ‘one-line’ (yes, love metaphors…).

    By having a quick look at a company when/if wanting to understand their ability to sell services we want, aim the focus on in- and outputs – aka customer related ones, and take that to the bank – ‘sucky’ ones will ‘shine’. A scenario: When I want to buy a online service, e.g. marketing/tool related, the first thing to test at the company is the in- and output related processes incorporated, and usually via their social channels – and by looking at response time and response output/feedback we can decide upon a buy-in or not – simply because a company is never better than how they act upon via these very important in- and outputs/processes. And, not to forget, as you point on – anything related to customers in- and output, the processes/policies/standards etc must be linked with the IRL handling (F2F and phone), the website, any social channel etc. – if not, ‘sucky’ stamps ‘shine’. This goes for any size or type of business.

    Well said: “Check and double check! It’s not only good customer service, it shows you care – and that’s hard to come by!” Before any promotion, I will do – TYA ツ

    • Thanks for weighing in and adding your tips on the “one line” chain. I think you’re on the money, that would certainly help in many situations (though may not always be possible). It means team members ALSO need to listen to one another and be working in harmony and sync.
      Like the sign says, if you’re starting with something that’s mediocre to begin with, social media is only going to underscore just how mediocre it is!

      • Avatar
        Eddie E Winther
        May 29, 2013 10:03 AM

        Agreed! And as you point on, if a company see ‘not possible written’, outsource – make it possible – the way away from mediocre into customer satisfaction. TYA and have a great day!

  • Carrie Keenan
    Carrie Keenan
    May 29, 2013 9:50 AM

    You are so right Brooke,

    Just because you have a page (or Twitter account, or Tumblr or whatever) if you are not using them the way the customer needs & wants it’s pretty pointless. You can learn a lot about your offline just by LISTENING online. Answer the questions and fill the needs and those ‘likes’ might just actually mean something

    • You read me, you really read me! Haha … but seriously, thank you for reading and weighing in today Carrie.

      The video by Gary Vee and then the sign … and then the call … it just all came together and I was like, “Wait. What’s the point of having page and likes if you don’t listen to them? And why is listening so hard?”

      Anyway … thanks again!

  • Great post Brooke! Social media cannot help a business that won’t help itself. Love the graphic in the post too – it hits the nail on the head.

  • Avatar
    Lance Wyllie
    May 29, 2013 2:29 PM

    Amen to this. Great post!

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