Social Media Case Studies, Social Media Strategy, Social Media Tools, Social Media Marketing

Just Being There Isn’t Enough

adam pierno Just Being There Isnt EnoughGuest post by Adam Pierno (@apierno). Adam is Creative Director at Santy Integrated, working with diverse clients like Phoenix Children’s Hospital and The Counter across all media. He splits his time between Art Direction and figuring out what makes people tick.

You’ve put your brand on social sites like Facebook and Twitter. Congratulations. You’re part of the conversation. When a consumer follows or fans you, you reciprocate. Very nice.

But if that’s where your engagement ends, you have an appointment with fail.

In any good conversation, both sides should speak, both sides should listen. Each side asks, and each side answers. As I’m certain you’ve read, a brand shouldn’t merely be blasting content and shouldn’t be fielding complaints full-time either. There are lots of people and companies using the social Web to promote their brand. The ones doing it best are those that proactively reach out to, and react appropriately when called upon by their fans.

If you’re a regular visitor to Convince & Convert, none of this is news. But here’s a twist.

social media being there 300x228 Just Being There Isnt Enough

Don’t Think You – Think Useful

If you really want to connect, try making the conversation about something besides you. One good example is the growing gourmet burger chain The Counter based in Santa Monica, California.

They use their account on Twitter to try out new promotions, announce products and encourage feedback from their loyal customer base. You follow them, they follow you back. You ask, they answer. You complain, they ask for detail and offer to help.

Recently, immediately following a mild earth quake in Southern California, @CounterBurger tweeted: Did you feel the shake? Go get a free shake at The Counter in El Segundo until 4.49pm.

How’s that for seizing an opportunity? And people showed up to take advantage. During the recent NBA playoff series between the Denver Nuggets and LA Lakers, The Counter offered free burgers to the first 50 customers to say “Go Lakers” in the chain’s Denver location. This is a fun way to activate followers in that region, and interact with them in a way that goes beyond their expectations. It demonstrates that The Counter is paying attention to the fans’ interests.

This approach is smart because it engages followers in a conversation beyond the brand, beyond hamburgers. It makes the relationship larger. Initially, a user follows The Counter because they like the restaurant (and the food), but now they’re getting to know the brand’s personality via interesting conversations and updates that go beyond the promotional or customer service arenas.

Compare your closest friends to your “work” friends, for example. You share a lot in common with your true friends, while conversations with colleagues are limited to your shared experiences at the office or within your industry. There’s an expiration date on those relationships.

AdAge Sucks at Twitter

This pretty much sums up why brands like Ad Age are missing an opportunity on Twitter. They ignore any conversation, they NEVER respond to comments or inquiries. And they break the most common rules of etiquette for the community. This isn’t surprising considering they represent both the print media (who clearly doesn’t understand how to exist online) and advertising’s Old Guard (who desperately want to remain relevant but usually can’t wrap their head around it).

A typical post is represented by an example like this one: Brink’s Set to Unveil $120 Million Rebranding Effort: NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — At a time when awareness of its br.. http://tinyurl.com/nt623f

They ignore the 140 character limit completely, clearly copying and pasting from an article. Doing this demonstrates that they don’t care about the way information is exchanged on a specific channel (in this case Twitter). Even worse, it has that old media stench, the “WE will tell YOU what is important and you will read every last word”. Using the full character count with a wasted segment of an introductory line also keeps the piece from being re-tweeted. (see another example of AdAge Social Media Blindness)

In this forum, it would be be best to rewrite the headline or summary of the piece to fit the forum. It would also help with engagement if they would add some posts asking for reader opinion or feedback, or by occasionally responding to a tweet in their direction.

Social site users aren’t there to talk about your brand, even though they may occasionally indulge you. They are there to share experiences. To participate in a conversation that they might not have offline. That’s why you should be there too.

(photo by Kalandrakas)

Related
  • http://www.michaeljbarber.com/ Michael Barber

    Nice post Adam. I’ve been putting together a post along the same lines for the past few days. It’s sad to see so many companies/organizations like AdAge using a simple push strategy when there are so many opportunities for them to be engaging with consumers. There might be something more to why & how these organizations don’t have the bandwidth to truly engage, but then they should be asking why are you engaging at all?
    .-= Michael Barber´s last blog ..Ruminations from Rome: Day 1 =-.

    • http://www.adampierno.com/ Adam Pierno

      Thanks Michael. It’s too bad for them, but just shows why they in particular – but anyone unwilling to embrace the opportunity they have – are fading. Yes, bandwidth is tight and a million other excused, but it’s not too complicated to tweak a headline for 140 character consumption, is it?

  • http://www.michaeljbarber.com Michael Barber

    Nice post Adam. I’ve been putting together a post along the same lines for the past few days. It’s sad to see so many companies/organizations like AdAge using a simple push strategy when there are so many opportunities for them to be engaging with consumers. There might be something more to why & how these organizations don’t have the bandwidth to truly engage, but then they should be asking why are you engaging at all?
    .-= Michael Barber´s last blog ..Ruminations from Rome: Day 1 =-.

    • http://www.adampierno.com Adam Pierno

      Thanks Michael. It’s too bad for them, but just shows why they in particular – but anyone unwilling to embrace the opportunity they have – are fading. Yes, bandwidth is tight and a million other excused, but it’s not too complicated to tweak a headline for 140 character consumption, is it?

  • http://blog.iangilyeat.com/ Elizabeth

    Thanks for the post Adam. You are so right. It isn’t about “you” it’s about them: your customers, listeners, community, whoever. If you listen to them, they will let you know what they think is useful and valuable to them. If you can give it, they will keep coming back for more.
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..Is there a payoff with social media? =-.

  • http://blog.iangilyeat.com Elizabeth

    Thanks for the post Adam. You are so right. It isn’t about “you” it’s about them: your customers, listeners, community, whoever. If you listen to them, they will let you know what they think is useful and valuable to them. If you can give it, they will keep coming back for more.
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..Is there a payoff with social media? =-.

  • http://tejasb.blogspot.com/ Tejas

    Nice post, enjoyed reading it. Social Media will definitely change the way marketing, connecting and communicating works.
    .-= Tejas´s last blog ..A thought bubble.. =-.

  • http://tejasb.blogspot.com Tejas

    Nice post, enjoyed reading it. Social Media will definitely change the way marketing, connecting and communicating works.
    .-= Tejas´s last blog ..A thought bubble.. =-.

  • apierno

    My guest post on Convince&Convert: http://bit.ly/isc9v

  • http://start-thinking.com/ Kris Schindler

    Adam: Thanks for sharing examples of good and bad behaviors. Twitter is still in its infancy and here, you’ve shared some good practices that need to be taken to heart so we can all get through the toddler stage.
    .-= Kris Schindler´s last blog ..Plan A =-.

  • http://start-thinking.com Kris Schindler

    Adam: Thanks for sharing examples of good and bad behaviors. Twitter is still in its infancy and here, you’ve shared some good practices that need to be taken to heart so we can all get through the toddler stage.
    .-= Kris Schindler´s last blog ..Plan A =-.

  • http://twitter.com/igomogul/status/3152607051 iGoMogul

    RT @apierno: Try trading you for useful. Why just being here isn’t enough. http://ow.ly/hDx9 for @jaybaer

  • http://twitter.com/jmctigue/status/3153023045 John McTigue

    Good Post: Just Being There Isn’t Enough – http://bit.ly/1nyINQ

  • http://twitter.com/da11753/status/3153426010 Daniel Arlt

    Just Being There Isn’t Enough | Social Media Marketing | Social …: Social site users aren’t there to t.. http://bit.ly/fpLOp

  • http://twitter.com/sietsema/status/3158009319 sietsema

    great guest post today on @jaybaer ‘s blog from @apierno – excellent creative strategist and a damn fine wordsmith http://bit.ly/isc9v

  • http://twitter.com/rje31/status/3163321048 Rick Eriksen

    @ http://bit.ly/3bC9 Just Being There Isn’t Enough | Social Media Marketing | Social ….. http://bit.ly/RshEp

  • http://twitter.com/srinimetta/status/3163804397 Srini

    Just Being There Isn’t Enough | Social Media Marketing | Social … http://bit.ly/12fBdR

  • http://twitter.com/treypennington/status/3169561020 Trey Pennington

    Good advice from @jaybaer’s blog: Think USEFUL (not "you") http://TwitPWR.com/ohD/ by @apierno.

  • http://twitter.com/markcreaser/status/3169760148 markcreaser

    RT @tweetmeme Just Being There Isn’t Enough | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Consulting – Convince & Convert http://bit.ly/12wTHc

  • http://twitter.com/kkmett/status/3230299425 Keith Kmett

    Just Being There Isn’t Enough | Social Media Marketing – http://ow.ly/jlrW

  • http://twitter.com/jurgenrutgers/status/3542883861 Jurgen Rutgers

    prachtig artikel om mee af te sluiten http://bit.ly/1nyINQ, morgen weer op tijd op kantoor… o.a. gesprek met OTRS partner

  • letstalkandchat

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