Social Media is amazing, but it’s a tool that truly can do no good than harm when left in the wrong hand, be it the person who blabs all too much about their personal life, or a business slowly tearing their own brand’s reputation to shreds without event realising it.
Recently, yet another nail salon opened up in my neighbourhood. I think that makes 20 in a three block radius. Like many men, a “nail salon” for me is a hot shower and a nail clipper that my Dad gave me 20 years ago. In my book, if the nails are trimmed neat and clean, then I’ve done my job. I don’t begrudge anyone — man or woman — who patronizes these establishments. But for me, color on the tips of my fingers and toes is way down on my priority list. Just ahead of starting a wasp circus.
I walk by the new nail salon sometimes four times a day. And if I see the proprietor in the window I’ll smile and nod. Yesterday I introduced myself and welcomed her to the neighbourhood so it came as a surprise when she looked at me contritely and did not introduce herself. Instead of shaking my hand, she grabbed my hand without saying a word not to shake it but to examine it. “You need a manicure,” she said. “Come inside now my girls need the work.” Most people would agree that this tact showed bad manners and bad business, yet this is exactly the way some brands approach social media.
So many brands and services take the shotgun approach in social media, hoping to hit as many people they can in the crossfire. Problem is no one likes to get shot. Like the nail salon owner, many brands are uninterested in getting to know me, my likes and dislikes. And if they do, they discard me when they find I don’t hit the demographic.
Social media is a reflection of our daily lives that is repackaged and then delivered in digital format — or at least it should be. The nail salon owner surmised quickly that I wasn’t in the target market. Who knows? Maybe I’m considering a future career as a foot model? Tough to tell with my shoes on. What the nail salon owner could have done was assessed that I was not a likely customer by asking rather than assuming, then show interest and kindness ahead of trying to bully up business with a hard sell. By not doing so, she lost me as a referral to those who would use her business.
Social media done wrong, in turn, can have a similar counterproductive affect. Not engaging potential and current customers may be the best it does. You may alienate them and lose potential referrals. This is what sets good social media brand strategies from bad, and hitting the nail on the head, rather than hitting the nail with a hammer.
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