More than Facebook
Facebook? Don’t forget to “check in” visit our page

My family and I went out for breakfast tacos this weekend. We had seen a big sign outside a local Mexican restaurant that exclaimed, “We have Breakfast Tacos,” so we thought we would try it out. What we didn’t know was that we were in for quite an experience in both offline and online marketing, with a little bit of social media thrown in for good measure.

Be Consistent with Your Marketing

We walked into the restaurant and were seated by a personable waiter. He handed us menus which didn’t have breakfast tacos listed anywhere. We asked him about the breakfast tacos and he said he would have to ask, because he didn’t know anything about the breakfast tacos. Strike one.

There was a HUGE sign in the parking lot advertising the restaurant’s breakfast tacos, but that wasn’t followed-up with consistent messaging inside the restaurant or on the menu, and the staff who should be promoting and handling the marketing campaign wasn’t even aware that the product existed!

Social Media Requires Management

He came back and told us we could order breakfast tacos, which we did. While we were waiting on our food, we noticed a sign on a pole in the middle of the restaurant that said, “Facebook? Don’t forget to ‘check in’ visit our page”. Although the sign was a little ambiguous, I thought that it was pretty forward-thinking of this small, locally owned restaurant to have a social media presence on Facebook, so I checked in, using my phone. Once I checked in, however, I noticed that the check-in wasn’t connected to their actual Facebook page and that the only comments I could see were how terrible the food was. Strike two.

While someone in the restaurant had heard that it was a good idea to have people check-in on Facebook, no one had followed up to see what that actually required on the part of the business or had even checked to see what the people who were checking in were saying about their experience. You can’t just create a social media property, be it a Facebook page or Twitter account and leave it alone to see what happens. Social media requires management and interaction between the business and it’s visitors, hence the social part of social media.

Social is Mobile

We received our food and, after reading the comments, it was surprisingly very good. Much to my wife’s chagrin, I continued to search unsuccessfully for the restaurant’s actual Facebook page but had no luck finding it. I then searched for their actual website, but had almost as much trouble. Once I did manage to find it, I couldn’t tell what I was looking at. Since I was searching on my mobile phone, I had a limited amount of viewing area, but the home page of the site was just a scan of the front of the menu. It was a huge image that took forever to download and didn’t give me any information. Strike Three.

If you want to reach out to your customers and potential customers via social media, you need to realize that a lot of this interaction is going to happen when your visitors are on the go. They will be checking it and checking out your Facebook page and website on their phones, so the experience needs to be optimized for mobile.

Good marketing is more than setting up a Facebook page. It requires consistent messaging across all facets of your business, as well as optimization for specific social media properties and mobile devices.

Have you had similar experiences? Have you found inconsistent messaging and branding in marketing that leaves you scratching your head, saying “What were they thinking?” Feel free to share!