Part Three in a Four Part Series: Common Objections to Social Media

“Complacency is the enemy of progress.” “If you’re not growing, you’re dying“. We’ve all heard these catchy phrases reminding us that in business, as in life, we should never be satisfied. We must always keep moving forward. So why are so many businesses content to be …. you know, content? How far back do you go? Do you remember your workplace before copy machines? before fax machines? before computers? I’ll bet your boss thought you were doing fine. Maybe you were, maybe you weren’t. Gary Vaynerchuk says it well, “Any company that gets so complacent it thinks everything is “fine” deserves to go out of business.”

Think Your Business Is Doing Fine? How do You Know?

If you’re the owner of a business, it doesn’t matter if you think your doing fine. What matters is what your customers and clients think. And now we have the means to ask them. How did we get this information before? Focus groups, comment cards, surveys, mailers. Sure, those were the only means we had back then but even if customers took the time to respond, it was a one time, one way communication. Now with tools like Facebook , Twitter and Yelp, to name just a very few,  we can see what our customers are saying in real time, respond quickly and nurture relationships. As business owners, isn’t this what we want?

The Value in Social Media Far Outweighs the Risks

Last week I wrote how fear is what keeps most businesses from adopting a social media marketing strategy. I think it’s worth repeating: what should really scare you as a business owner is not knowing what your customers are saying. Consider these two fictional scenarios (ok, not so fictional as this stuff really happens every day).

Scenario 1: John and Mary eat at the Good Eats Eatery. They’re not happy with the service and not terribly thrilled with the food either. They tell everyone in their circle of friends about their bad experience. They don’t come back to the restaurant and neither do their friends. Without any social channels to communicate with her guests, Stacey, the hard working owner of the restaurant never knew there was a problem in the first place. Sadly, she only knows there is a drop off in business but doesn’t know why.

Scenario 2: Jim and Sue eat at Good Food is Us. They too are not so happy with the service and food. But they’ve been following Good Food is Us on Twitter and post a tweet about their disappointment. Homer, the owner of Good Food is Us, sees the tweet and quickly and honestly responds. He also notices Jim and Sue’s less than flattering review on Yelp. He takes the time to respond directly to them, apologizes, assures them it will never happen again and sends them a gift certificate to the restaurant. When they come in he waits on them personally. The result: he turned two unhappy customers into strong advocates.

Note: See my earlier post The New Rules of Engagement to see how one restaurant is doing it right.

Summary

  • You can’t really know if you’re doing fine if you don’t ask your customers.
  • Don’t worry about negative comments. They are far more valuable than no comments at all.
  • If you’re afraid to jump into social media, start slowly by listening to others first.

Does this make sense? Don’t hesitate to use the comment box below to disagree with me. Disagreement makes for lively conversation.

Stay tuned to this channel for part four in the series: Common Objections to Social Media. Next week we’ll talk about companies who claim they’ve tried it but it doesn’t work. Hint: Job of the Bible would have been very successful with social media.

Photo Credit: The Inspiration Room

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