Yes, I’ve become a social media junkie.
This is largely because I’m fascinated by the commercial application of these tools. It’s a topic that we’ve covered before.
Our bloggers have been critical of its longevity (Can social media sell anything but itself) and equally dazzled by its potential (How I used social media to put my CEO on the street).
Of course, the following example (first published as a ‘Discussion’ on the Social Media Academy LinkedIn Group) had me from the get-go.
Its author is Paul Rickett, Founder and Principal at VARKETING!:
Lots of local businesses are using twitter these days. In particular I seem to be following a lot of restaurants and wineries. The other day I tweeted 2 restaurants with a simple question (and emailed a third as they weren’t on twitter) about what wines they were serving.
Now, not everyone checks twitter every few minutes and my question wasn’t time critical – but after 24 hours with no response I tweeted a #Fail and mentioned their names.
Received a snippy email from one owner (whom I knew and who had recommended the restaurant on twitter under their personal id but I didn’t know they owned it) about why I did this. In part, here’s my reply:
As a general point, I see many businesses getting on the twitter bandwagon and not being prepared to invest the time (even if its a few minuted a day, but consistently) to make it work for them. Secondly, most use it purely as a substitute/addition for other forms of advertising rather than as a social means of connecting with their market.
“Its an object illustration of social media’s power and responsibility. Social media is 2-way communication, not 1-way so by establishing yourself on twitter you invite people to talk to you as well through that medium and in my case I chose to use that invitation to save myself cell minutes in calling a restaurant.
So you sort of have an obligation to check and respond in return for the ability to promote. I did give you 24 hours before complaining about it as I know not everyone is on twitter all the time.”
So my question is: a) do you agree with the premise that business does indeed have an obligation (sounds like common-sense, but maybe not) to monitor and respond in a timely manner if they use twitter to promote themselves, and b) when you are advising clients to you try to inculcate this responsibility to monitor and respond in a timely manner?
Had the restaurants simply tweeted back a response, I’m sure it would have been of interest to their customers and potential customers.
As a general point, I see many businesses getting on the twitter bandwagon and not being prepared to invest the time (even if its a few minuted a day, but consistently) to make it work for them.
Secondly, most use it purely as a substitute/addition for other forms of advertising rather than as a social means of connecting with their market.
Earlier this year, we hypothesized that it might be a while before many of the common social media tools move into the marketing mainstream (Why executives fear social media).
But the marketing crime here seems to be akin to putting in a telephone line and neglecting to pick up the receiver when it rings.