One of my biggest pet peeves working with companies wanting to “be on social media” is just that; they only want to be on it. I always encourage clients (and anyone I talked to about social media) not to get a Twitter account or Facebook page just for the sake of being on either network. While I think it is important for companies to have online profiles if it works for their business, I also think it is important to do it right. Every day I see companies who would rather schedule self-promotional broadcasts but not actively monitor the environment they are participating in.
In my opinion, this is the equivalent of going outside every day in Canada without checking the weather. You can want it to be warm all you want, but you are going to look stupid when you walk outside during a heatwave in your snowsuit and it might even hurt you in the long run. Just the same as how stupid you look when you schedule messages advertising your product or services without interacting with anyone or taking one week to answer a question or acknowledge a mention.
Case in point: I had an unfortunate and unprecedented reaction to eyelash extensions I went to review at a local salon. I tweeted after the procedure that my eyes were red and irritated, but figured it would calm down as time went on. It didn’t, and I tweeted (a few times) that I was quite uncomfortable. Like this uncomfortable (and that’s 2 days after having the extensions removed).
Fortunately for me (and not for the salon I visited) their competition was monitoring their social media environment. After offering some advice, the practitioner offered her e-mail address to address any ongoing questions and concerns I had while my eyes were sore. Thank you for being there for me, Flirt Custom Lashes. I take my eyesight pretty seriously (doesn’t everyone?) so being available so readily showed me that you are serious about more than just your clients. You are doing social media (and customer service) right!
Like many businesses and service providers, some companies immediately recognize the importance of building a community and monitoring their surroundings using their social media accounts rather than just scheduling messages promoting their services. While social media can be used as an incredible tool to market and advertise your business, it shouldn’t be used for that alone.
Monitoring social media not only serves a community building and customer service function, it also helps businesses manage their reputation and identify brand advocates and potential customers. In my case, the salon either didn’t see my Tweet at all or they chose not to acknowledge it which means they are not effectively monitoring their social media account to identify potential issues and manage them proactively.
Social media is a tricky tool to use properly, but monitoring is as key as participating at all. Treat everyone online as a potential customer. Interact with as many people as you can even if they have never visited your store or purchased your product. Leave a lasting impression and you will create your own brand ambassadors. Push advertising no one cares about and you’ll lose much more than “Likes” and followers. Miss out on opportunities and the opportunity to address and manage issues by not monitoring and the competition will remain competitive.
As for the salon I chose not to publish a bigger review on…it seems they need to work on more than just their social media plan:
After three days of increased redness and discomfort I called the salon and spoke to someone who told me to come in and have them removed. After having them removed I was told by the owner that she didn’t have time to talk to me about it, but that my reaction was not due to the eyelashes. I e-mailed their community manager multiple times with no response, other than invites to events where I could buy services at discounted rates.
Would I try extensions again? Gosh they looked great and call me stupid, but I may try them again – at the salon who went above and beyond to help me after I went to another salon for the service. The same salon that understands how to use social media to attract new clients and interact with current ones.
Would I recommend the salon I was reviewing? Certainly not. But I would recommend Flirt Custom Lashes!