Social Media Is A Two Way Street

Read this interesting article that Amy Jo Martin, owner of Digital Royalty and Twitter coach of Shaquille O’Neal (among others), wrote for Harvard Business Review.

“Whoever invented the term “social media” didn’t do the world a favor because, while that’s the accepted term now, it’s completely wrong, and I believe it’s part of what drives this disconnect. Social media is not really media. I think of it as a channel, more like a telephone than a TV commercial.

And when’s the last time a CEO asked, “How are we monetizing the telephone?” And has a CEO ever threatened to not invest in phones because the company can’t make money off of them?

Truth is, companies monetize the telephone quite well, and if you don’t think so, take away your company’s phones and see what happens to your top and bottom lines. Likewise, companies can monetize social media, but they have to stop thinking about it as a way to market products and start thinking about it as a way to communicate and build a brand.”

Does you answer the phone? If you have a brand or shop, you know how important it is. It’s a huge part of your customer service. So how does that work for you on your social media platforms?

I just checked a few Facebook pages from different skateboard brands. I’ll leave out the names to protect the guilty. It would help these brands in my opinion but I’d leave it up to everyone to see what they need to improve.

Example 1: One of your fans, and quite possibly a consumer, wants to pay (!) for some stickers, yet you leave him hanging? If he would get the stickers his friends will probably hit you up too. You don’t want free advertising by the people that are into your brand?

Example 2: So you made a sale (on your website), but since you’re customer service is not up to par you lose this sale, plus a returning customer, and quite possibly all his friends. Who would recommend a brand to his friends if they don’t take care of you?

Example 3: So you sell skateboard shoes but you can’t answer someone that is looking to buy a pair?

Example 4: This is pretty gnarly. Someone bought your product but is very disappointed in it. He is probably never buying your shit again. And buy not taken care of him/her in any way, all his friends will be informed if he gets a chance. Either in person or on social media.

The average person on Facebook has 300 friends, so all of these examples above could have been seen by 1200 people! Is that how you want your brand to be known?

All this info is out in the open! I just visited a few brand pages and scrolled down. Anyone can do this. I guess you can get away with not answering your phone, but social media (Facebook in this case) is out in the open. Your fans and consumers see that you don’t care about them.

Many people always ask about the ROI (Return On Investment) of social media. Look at a skateshop. The ones that offers a couch to watch a skatevideo, a cup of coffee (for the parents) or take care of you when you have a complaint are the ones that will win. Any brand on Facebook has a chance to show the world that they care about the consumer, but not too many are doing that right now.

Get on it before it’s too late and answer every single comment that people post! It’s a huge part of your actual customer service and it will grow your business.