Friday, August 24, 2012

Brands on social media are like movie directors.


25 years ago, I took a magazine writing class with Edward Gubar at Indiana University, where I majored in journalism. His class made such a deep impression on me that I still remember several lessons I learned from him.
One of those lessons was this: if you show the gun, you’ve got to use it.
Image
You know that moment when you’re watching a movie, and the camera lingers on a weapon — maybe it’s a gun tucked away in a bedside drawer. The point is, you just know it’s going to come into play at some point, and in some way, in the film. Sure as shootin’. You know this with such certainty that it would be jarring if the gun didn’t come back into view and get fired.
If it weren’t going to be used in a later scene, why the would the director show it?
So, ever since that class, I have found myself noticing occasional unsettling moments when, as a reader or viewer, I am offered details in a story or film that don’t figure in later. I try to eliminate similar disconnects from my work.
In real life, it’s never as easy as the gun-in-the-movie analogy, by the way. Usually, it’s a description that goes on too long for no clear reason. Or, perhaps it’s a character who doesn’t really add to the tale. It might even be an extraneous sentence. If it’s not essential, it calls attention to itself conspicuously. It gets noticed. In a bad way.

What does this have to do with social media?

Plenty.
When a brand is on a certain social media channel, but not using it — or not using it actively — that’s confusing and annoying to the customers and prospects who see the brand there and try to connect with it. That happened to me recently, and I Tweeted about it.
 One of the replies I got asked why customers would expect to hear back from a brand after Tweeting a comment, complaint or question.
“What happened to just picking up the phone?”
Here’s the thing. I really like chatting on the phone. (I have wireless headsets connected to two of our landline phones at home. I use Bluetooth in my car…) And I have some friends and family who would much rather talk on the phone than email.
But others in my social circle, including a few of my best girlfriends, would much rather text.
I’m not going to even try to send a text to my mom. She doesn’t text. And my step dad doesn’t have an email account. So, I’m not going to count on communicating with him by email.
The point is, it’s a good idea to try to converse with folks on a platform they prefer. If you don’t want to use a certain way to communicate, that’s okay. We’ll chat another way.
Brands also have preferences for communication. It’s great if that includes several social media sites. But not every brand must be on Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest and… so on.
If a brand doesn’t have the inclination, resources or size to monitor a specific social media channel, and be present in a fairly timely way, it should steer clear of using it.
I wouldn’t counsel a client to open a channel that it can’t, or doesn’t want to, interact with customers on or through. The point of social media is just that: to be social. It’s fine to invite a conversation that began on Twitter to continue on the phone or offline, over email. But it’s not fine to just ignore feedback, complaints or comments from customers.
Setting up a Twitter account and then ignoring customers who ask for a reply or to be contacted is an especially glaring mistake.
Here’s why.
It’s also very public. Brands are broadcasting the fact that they don’t respond to Tweets or care to interact with customers or others that way. Which, would be fine — except they started a Twitter account. By doing so, they invited that very feedback and indicated they’d be conversing with customers through Tweets.
See what I mean? If a company or organization doesn’t want to communicate in a certain way, it shouldn’t fake it by pretending it does.
Say, for instance, that a company’s customer service staff ignore the email inbox for a few days. That’s not good, but only customers who emailed know it. And if the company’s phones aren’t answered for a few hours, only the customers who called are wise to that slipup. (Along with a few of their friends who they likely told.)
But when a company has an account on a social media channel, such as Twitter — and isn’t present there or monitoring it or responding on it — a very wide audience will know that as soon as a customer being blown off decides to Tweet or blog about the experience.
That normally gets a response. But it’s not the kind of experience a brand wants to go through because it involves the risk of reputation-related damage or at least less than stellar feedback publicly spread across social media.
Back to the lesson that opened the post: brands that do this are showing the gun and not using it. I’d argue there isn’t a truly compulsory social media platform, one essential for every brand to use. But it is an essential requirement that brands actually use the social media platforms they choose to be on. Not just to push out content, but to engage.

8 comments:

Coach Factory said...

ghd, yoga pants, new balance shoes, soccer jerseys, insanity, nfl jerseys, supra shoes, ferragamo shoes, valentino shoes, juicy couture outlet, ugg boots, marc jacobs, timberland, nike free, montre pas cher, birkin bag, hollister, louis vuitton, nike air max, ralph lauren, abercrombie and fitch, vans, p90x, air max, beats by dre, chi flat iron, herve leger, north face outlet, soccer shoes, mont blanc, bottega veneta, jimmy choo, hogan, louis vuitton, mulberry, rolex watches, oakley pas cher, mcm handbags, celine handbags, ugg, lancel, ugg boots, ray ban pas cher, lululemon, wedding dresses, karen millen, hermes, asics, reebok outlet, converse shoes

Coach Factory said...

canada goose, raybans, cheap oakley, gucci, canada goose outlet, moncler, canada goose, tn pas cher, moncler, rayban, canada goose outlet, oakley sunglasses cheap, ray ban uk, cheap sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, cheap sunglasses, ray ban outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, oakley outlet, ray-ban, canada goose, oakley vault, moncler, oakley outlet, oakley outlet, ray bans, ray ban sunglasses outlet, ray ban, louboutin, canada goose, rayban, discount oakley sunglasses, ugg boots, oakley sunglasses cheap, oakley sunglasses outlet, ray ban, oakley sunglasses outlet, oakley, ralph lauren, cheap oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses cheap, oakley sunglasses outlet, moncler outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, oakley vault, cheap sunglasses, oakley vault, ray bans

Coach Factory said...

oakley sunglasses, michael kors, nike free, nike air max, burberry outlet online, coach factory, jordan shoes, longchamp, louboutin, polo ralph lauren, coach purses, air max, tiffany and co, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, toms shoes, ray ban, nike air max, prada handbags, louis vuitton outlet online, air max, tory burch outlet, louis vuitton, polo ralph lauren outlet, nike shoes, nike free, burberry outlet online, oakley sunglasses, air jordan, ray ban sunglasses, chanel handbags, true religion outlet, ralph lauren, coach outlet store, coach outlet, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses, longchamp outlet, prada outlet, louboutin, louis vuitton handbags, coach factory outlet, louboutin, true religion, michael kors, michael kors, gucci outlet, kate spade outlet, true religion jeans

Hua Cai said...

louis vuitton sunglasses for women
chrome hearts outlet online
swarovski jewelry
true religion jeans
louis vuitton outlet stores
rolex watches
rolex watches,rolex watches,swiss watches,watches for men,watches for women,omega watches,replica watches,rolex watches for sale,rolex replica,rolex watch,cartier watches,rolex submariner,fake rolex,rolex replica watches,replica rolex
fitflops sale
longchamp solde
michael kors outlet
discount michael kors handbags
omega watches
mcm outlet
oakley sunglasses wholesale
adidas wings
louis vuitton sunglasses
adidas shoes
toms shoes
ferragamo shoes
rolex watches
louis vuitton outlet
oakley sunglasses
gucci outlet online
michael kors online outlet
pandora jewelry
kate spade outlet
toms shoes
calvin klein underwear
lululemon pants
louboutin pas cher
coach outlet online
chrome hearts outlet
longchamp outlet online
kobe bryants shoes
cartier sunglasses
20160618caihuali

chenlina said...

chenlina20160707
toms shoes
polo outlet
ray ban sunglasses
coach outlet store online
coach factory outlet
nike roshe run
kate spade
air jordans
coach outlet online
coach canada
pandora jewelry
michael kors outlet
cheap jordan shoes
toms shoes
ray ban sunglasses
oakley sunglasses outlet
rolex submariner
tory burch handbags
louis vuitton outlet stores
nike uk
coach factory outlet
asics shoes
burberry bags
true religion sale
michael kors outlet
ray ban sunglasses
coach factory outlet
christian louboutin shoes
coach factory outlet
ray ban sunglasses
replica watches
michael kors handbags
supra sneakers
oakley sunglasses
cheap oakley sunglasses
michael kors handbags
oakley sunglasses
louis vuitton handbags
nike air jordan
oakley sunglasses
as

5689 said...

zzzzz2018.10.27
true religion
mbt shoes
manolo blahnik
coach outlet
michael kors outlet
kate spade outlet
christian louboutin
ralph lauren
longchamp outlet
supreme

ww we w said...

Kanye West shoes
adidas yeezy boost
adidas tubular
christian louboutin
michael kors outlet online
pure boost
yeezy boost 350 v2
lebron shoes
adidas ultra boost
goyard handbags

zzyytt said...

coach factory outlet
michael kors uk
louboutin shoes
nike air max
nike epic react
jordan sneakers
yeezy boost 350
yeezy boost 350
nike shoes
ferragamo belts