There’s an up-and-coming local business (who shall remain nameless) that hired someone to handle their social media presence. Unfortunately, it seems they hired someone who is a marketer first, and who happens to know that social media tools are out there, but doesn’t have a clue how to use them appropriately.
Today, they posted a special on facebook: “Come by before we close, and will give you <free stuff>”. Since their <free stuff> is mind-blowingly good, I stopped by on the way home from work. The owner himself was a little baffled, and didn’t even know what the special was. He had to call his “social media person” (who didn’t answer the phone), and then resort to looking it up on Facebook. He tried to explain that their new social media person was “going a little crazy”.
Previously, they’d had a twitter special that involved DMing them a certain phrase when you got there, and they would DM you back a coupon code worth 10%. When I tried that, it took 5 days for me to get my coupon code. I’ve frequently received random DMs from them that indicate to me that something is amiss with their twitter auto-responder. Comments to their twitter account pointing this out went ignored. I’ve never had this business respond to anything I’ve posted to Twitter or Facebook about them.
The person handling their social marketing has neglected the crucial element of social media: the SOCIAL aspect. I get wanting to outsource it. But a good social media practitioner absolutely HAS to keep the business owner in the loop. The key aspect of social media is that it’s a conversation with your customers, not a one way communications blast. The owners/staff should know what’s being put out there with their name on it. They should be aware of the people that are conversing with them, who they are, and ideally, when they show up at the business.