Imagine pulling out of your driveway and HAMMERING the gas pedal of a Corvette and never touching the steering wheel.
2 weeks ago I was on my sofa watching TV at 9:35pm when a private message came across my phone from one of our client’s Facebook Pages. If you know me, you know that I constantly monitor our client’s pages, 7 days per week and 16-18 hours per day. So it’s not unusual for me to respond to guest questions, complaints or concerns at times when most people are unplugged from work. This message stuck out more than any other and here’s why. This was a guest that was at the restaurant at the time of the complaint. She was sitting at the bar and messaged that she wasn’t happy with the service she was getting. I asked if she had spoken with a manager she said no. This really caught me by surprise she’s sitting in the business and turns to Facebook to get an issue resolved??? Who does that? Today’s customers, that’s who!
Luckily, I was monitoring it and I reached out to the manager and he solved the problem. We manage hundreds of social media pages with hundreds of thousands of fans, DAILY and every day we do more “customer service” type work than we do branding or content creation. The BUZZ WORDS in Social Media are “engagement” “viral” “high value content” but the major one should be “THE NEW 800#”. The facts are the people aren’t turning to 800 #s or even managers 10 feet from them anymore, they are turning to Social Media. Why? it’s quicker and honestly a great way to scare the business into answering your concerns ASAP. The major issue though is that many companies aren’t equipped to manage situations like this.
Recently I was speaking with a colleague about this and I wasn’t surprised to hear that no one manages their pages after hours and on the weekends. The major problem with this is that something could BLOW UP big time in that short period of time. Imagine the traction a bad Facebook post can get in 24 hours, strike that, 24 minutes! This time a year ago I was involved in a post that went viral REALLY fast. It turned out to be a PR stunt by a non-profit trying to get attention. It was amazing how fast this went from a post, to a post with 100+ shares and a lot of negative PR attached to it. Luckily we saw this right away, got the facts from management and squashed it in a few days. It was a really stressful few days, but we were able to come out on the good side of this one, BUT WHAT IF this had sat there unanswered for 2-3 days. WOW, that would have been ugly. In 2014, an unanswered Facebook post is almost an admission of guilt. Consumers want to hear from you now.
Back to the Corvette.
Why are you pressing the gas pedal on a corvette and not looking at the road? If there’s a straight road you’re in good shape, but we all know some curves, a school bus and a stop light are just around the corner. That’s what’s happening if you’re not monitoring your Social Media pages ALL THE TIME to make sure every post, good and bad, is being answered. Like it or not, you need to have eyes on your pages all the time. Probably the only time your somewhat safe is 11pm-6am, since the vast majority of your customers are asleep.
So I leave you with this thought…GRAB THE STEERING WHEEL, no one wants to wreck a nice Corvette.