It’s quite interesting listening to all the chatter on Twitter everyday. It seems we have 6 million subscribers and 9 million experts on the subject of Social Media.
On of the most provocative statements I read earlier this week "Generation X and the Baby Boomers just don’t get it." I guess I fall into the baby boomer category. Personally I see just as much hype in the promotion of social media as I do in any multi-level or network marketing program.
Public Relations – Customer Relations Has Been A Lost Art!
Years ago in any small town USA, you could walk into your local mom & pop corner store and get personal service. They knew and called you by your first name, and always thanked you for your business. Back then we did not have the mega-marts and proliferation of chain stores that we do today.
The majority of todays chain stores could careless about you and I, and very little social marketing via Twitter, Facebook or any other medium will make any difference except for a small percentage of any population.
Depending on who’s statistics you believe there are anywhere from 220,141,969 or (72.5%) to a more realistic number based on user who’ve logged on within the past 30 days which Nielson Online puts it at 152, 798,460 or (50.2%) of the U.S. population.
Other studies that I’ve read indicate that out of the 50.2% that do log on, the majority are there just to check their email, so how effective is that in reaching your audience?
Customer Service begins at first contact!
The first few minutes when a customer walks in will make or break any business. This initial meeting will tell them a lot about your company! Personally I’d rather walk into a local store run by the owner, they don’t fake an interest, they are genuine and sincere, that or they are quickly out of business.
So when I see a PR tweet that states "Companies that don’t get it… see less returns, get scared and then run back to traditional methods." To me that indicates an individual trying desperately to create something that is not there! Something I would expect to find in an ad run on Google for the latest secret for only $29.95!
Ask yourself this question, "Why did Apple Inc. do so well in 2008 and Dell had decreasing revenues?" Dell sold more computers by dropping their prices, launched massive PR campaigns, so what was the cause of their decline in profit? No you cannot say it was the "economy stupid!"
Dell To close its U.S. Stores! this happened in the beginning of 2008, while Apple was opening new stores at a record pace. Apples philosophy was old school marketing at its finest. You could walk into a store, talk to a knowledgeable person with a warm friendly face.
It must be working, even Microsoft announced earlier this month February 2009, they would be opening retail stores. Now this is something I’ve felt they should have had a long time ago.
Now, granted they are going to face greater challenges, which will demand great customer service skills. Apple has an advantage here, they make the hardware and software, Microsoft does not have that luxury, so when it comes to satisfying customers wants and needs they will need people who have talent and patience.
Social Media is not a fit for every company!
If over 50% of the businesses in this country are small to home based businesses is social media marketing really effective for them. I know the social media experts will Scream a resounding yes! Yet do they really have the time or in todays economy the budget for it?
PR is not what you or your employees say about your company. It is not about how many tweets or facebook updates you make! In the end, it’s what your customers are saying about you that really counts!
Word of mouth advertising will make or break any business, just look at the outrage over Facebook’s recent terms of service changes! It’s amazing how Tweets, Blog Posts, etc… caused them to rethink their position on this, yet those same users will still post a video to youtube!
Social Media has a place in marketing, yet a tweet will not replace a great forum where you can get questions asked and answered.
What are your thoughts?