While people differed on their opinions of whether Facebook and other social media was worth the time and effort, based on a variety of factors, the one thing that seemed to “pop up” consistently was the idea that if you have chosen to enter social media you need to make sure that you are doing it “right.”
How do you know you’re ready to do ‘social’ right?
While this is not a marketing example, it does give you an idea of the kind of talent you need to communicate on social media spaces. . .
Major league baseball writer Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Miami Marlins needed a new centerfielder. Here is the tweet:
Uh, by the way, #Marlins also need a CFer. Would love to trade for #Angels' Bourjos (unlikely), or maybe sign FA like McLouth.
Not long after the original tweet was sent, the current centerfielder for the Marlins, Justin Ruggiano, responded back:
@ken_rosenthal no we don't. I got this.
Classic! Ruggiano’s response instantly went viral, drawing kudos from everyone in the Twitter universe, including Ken Rosenthal. When faced with something negative about himself, Ruggiano didn’t get defensive in his response. He didn’t get snarky. He didn’t get mean.
Be honest, do you have someone at your communities who could respond like Justin Ruggiano did? Or would it be more something like this example:
When a patron of a restaurant wrote a scathing post (comparing the pumpkin pie to vomit among other things) on the restaurant’s Facebook page, the chef, Marc Orfaly responded to her post like this: (Warning-some of the language is harsh!)
Hey sandy, go f*** yourself! You must enjoy vomit .... if you know how much it tastes like … secondly, if you had any clue about eating out ... you would of informed your server you were unhappy with something, while at the restaurant, not on Facebook ... don't come back. Please come back for your two hundred dollars, sorry if you can't afford it, and I don't want your money.
Classic case of an epic social media fail! While I think the customer delivered her critique rather harshly, there is no doubt that Orfaly handled this all wrong.
I understand his defensiveness, after all, no one likes to be criticized, especially when you’ve put your heart and soul into something. Yet, if you have a social media spaces, you have to expect that people will use those spaces to not only “like” you but to vent, shout, scream and complain at and about you and your company.
Obviously, the situation above is the extreme, but believe me when I tell you, it doesn’t take much to tick off your customers on social media. Remember, they are expecting a different, warmer, more organic, more authentic experience on social media.
Can you give it to them?
Do you have the people in place now that can represent your company professionally, handle themselves with restraint and a sense of humor (even in the face of very trying circumstances) and be able to turn potential negative experiences, into positive ones . . . a la Justin Ruggiano’s example above?
Do you have people who know how to respond when they make a mistake, or say something they shouldn’t have, or just insert a Tweet or post in their (proverbial) mouths? (And it will happen.)
If you do have the people, that’s step one. If you don’t, that is something to think about before getting social.
Now it's your turn! How have you tackled the challenge of communicating in social media?
(A modified version of this post originally appeared in Multifamily Insiders.)