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It Takes More Than a Facebook Page

By | 04.16.12
It Takes More Than a Facebook Page
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!

  • Exactly! I worked for a company 2 years ago that had never had a social media guru. I tried and tried and tried to get them to cooperate and put the Facebook link around the company. I tried to get the employees to become fans, more than half of them had no idea we were on facebook, even after I gave them the link to join they didn’t seem interested in helping spread the word. I tried with little acknowledgment from the company. Internal and external marketing are equally important. I was even called “strange” and “odd” because of what my position required. I thought what I did was very important because we had thousands of guests every week, many of whom had lots of questions. Some people don’t get it, or don’t care. It is hard to sift through them and make a difference. Social marketing in teams is very powerful. The more people that are available to help you spread awareness, the more powerful your company will become. Just thoughts I felt like sharing.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jacqueline. It can be frustrating when each of our marketing areas are siloed out and not considered as a whole entity, both online and offline. The synergy achieved when all of the marketing strategies are coordinated together is amazing.

    • David Herberticus

      Getting employee engagement with social media would be a lot easier if business, and I’m mostly talking corporate America here, did anything at all to make their employees feel like more than just an expense to be gotten rid of ASAP. Want engaged and helpful employees? Don’t treat them like a number on your P&L.

      • Thank you for your comments. A company’s culture is a huge part of how well every employee interacts with customers, both online and offline. Happy, appreciated employees can do wonders for a company’s marketing and customer service efforts.

  • Brandon

    So wait, the restaurant had what you wanted and it was good, but you gave it three strikes? Am I the only one that sees a problem with this mentality? The internet is not what this company’s business is about, obviously, it’s about selling food. I don’t care if local pizza places never get a Facebook page as long as what they make is delicious.

    • Thank you for your feedback. I understand that if a business makes a good product or provides good service, it can thrive via word of mouth recommendations and walk-in business.
      The point that I was trying to make was that a business needs to manage its marketing, promotions, and customer service across all channels. It’s not just online marketing and social media.
      Strike one was the fact that none of the staff in the restaurant knew about the promotion on the big sign in the parking lot. Strike two was that they weren’t managing the negative comments on their Facebook page. Regardless of what type of business, more and more people are going to Google and Facebook to find out about it before they make the decision to visit or call. Being proactive and establishing an online presence, both on the Web and in social media, will help a business have a voice among the multitude of complaint sites and other outlets that exist.

  • I agree. When I am planning a trip, sometimes I base my selection of food locations to visit on Facebook presence.

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