So I was minding my own business, probably baking a cake or something, when I received a knock on my door. It was a sales rep who caught me at 6:30 pm in the evening, half-dressed (okay, still in my pajamas) and right smack in the middle of doing something domesticated. I was a little agitated but thought I’d let him stand out there and give his best sales pitch.
He wound up scheduling an “expert in their industry” to come by another night to tell me in detail how great their product was and how it was made. We scheduled for a couple of nights out and that was that. I shook my head and walked away thinking “Do people still actually do door to door sales calls?”
As a consumer I decided to do a little research into the company before the “expert” arrived so I could find out what folks were saying about the company, their product and their service. WOW! I did not expect to find such negative reviews and was blown away. Folks weren’t necessarily talking bad about the product and in fact stated how great the product was but the sales strategy, set up and customer service were in fact not good.
When the “expert” came in to the house I listened for a while, watching his displays and telling me how great the company was, how great the product was, and how other people gave them such great reviews. Now, this is where I had to chime in and share how I had done my research and actually found the complete opposite to be true in regard to how they operate. Very defensively, the “expert” came back with “Well, you can’t believe those online reviews. I’m pretty sure they are our competitors trying to run us in the ground.” I’m sure you can imagine my look back at him while he’s telling me this.
I listened to him talk for about three hours total and while he talked I kept getting on my phone and checking out their website and did a little more research. I’m pretty sure this annoyed him, but anywho! We got down to price and after almost coughing up a lung I told him I understood the value of the product and it was something I desperately needed to do but simply could not do it at the moment and I would not go in debt to do so.
I asked him were they on social media and his response of course was “Yes. We’re all over Twitter and Facebook.” So I proceeded to go to those sites. They had 6 followers on Twitter and around a 100 Facebook likes and no one was saying anything good.
I asked him how they were handling the negative reviews and he said they just simply could not take the time to comment to all those negative comments and why should they since they were probably their competitors trying to run them out of business. He even spoke up and asked me was the reason I was not buying that night because of what I had found online in my research.
Clearly, these folks have no idea how to run interference and put out fires, much less social media marketing.
So, here’s what you get when you have a half-arse Social Media Marketing approach:
- No designated person to be the ears and eyes of your organization to be able to put out fires (bad reviews, complaints, etc).
- Having a designated listener or team of listeners keeps this in check and keeps you on top of any negative feedback allowing you to be in charge.
- You aren’t taken seriously as a company/organization who is trying to reach their customer / (or potential employee) where they are (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and those who do understand this will have a competitive advantage.
- Most companies that implement a social strategy to their marketing efforts understand that people are online looking for them, looking to do business with them, looking to work for them and they are searching for them. They know that it’s crucial to have a strategy in place of who your target is, where they hang out, etc. so that they’ll find you when they search. This is the new way of doing business.
- If you’re going to have crappy service and a crappy way of doing business you should probably get off social media all together. If folks aren’t happy with you they’re going to get online, share reviews, post pictures, etc. of how you have treated them. Good or bad. It’s just a fact.
- Perhaps you shouldn’t blame other people for sharing bad reviews or your competitors and take a look at your business strategy and how you’re running your business. Perhaps it’s time to stop doing things the way you’ve always done them hoping they’ll still work in this day and age and make a change. Fix your business, train your people, then develop a strategy or call an agency to take care of your online activity.
On that note I may as well bring up the fact that someone came to me on LinkedIn a few weeks back wanting me to come do some work for their organization. Guess what? Yep. I Googled them “What it’s like to work for >>>>” and found some terrible reviews from former employees, especially on Glassdoor. This kind of stuff is important to know before making any decision.
It’s 2014, people are going to Google or Bing you and that’s just something you need to face. What are they going to find? Are they going to find that your employees hate you, you’re a terrible person and you treat your customers like a red-headed step child?
It’s always better to be proactive than reactive. But for goodness sake, do something!
Okay, rant over!