Are you going to wreck your new Corvette?


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.

What if you left your current job?

Matt Plapp Family Picture
Matt Plapp - Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Marketing & Social Media Consultant

I remember back in the late 90’s when everyone was amazed that I had my sales contacts so organized.  I’m not sure what got me doing this, but I had every company and client in ACT ( a computer contact software).  I had their spouse’s name, their birthday, the last time we talked, etc.  I used this to help me stay organized, but also for one other REALLY important reason…CONTACT INFO.

Since the first day I got into sales I knew that I had to create my own following and if I was going to work my butt off I wanted to have a great account list 5, 10 or 15 years down the road.  I knew that if  I was going to cold call early in my career like I had to, that I wanted to be able to have some great relationships down the road.  So I kept great records with all of my customers names and info.

Flash forward to 2012.  One of the BIGGEST issues that drives me crazy is seeing professional sales people not use Facebook and LinkedIn correctly.  It’s amazing how easy it is to create, upadate and connect with everyone on Social Media and Email.  Social Media allows you to get a better look at your client’s life and for them to see another side of you.

BUT…it also holds the key to my question “What If You Left Your Current Job?”   Are you prepared if you were to change careers?  If next week you had to leave your current position and start over on your own or at a competitor, would you have a way to communicate this with your past customers?  I’ve been in this situation before and I can tell you the transition was so smooth it was amazing.  It was easy to get the word out, easy to prime my contacts for the upcoming change and most importantly, easy to start my new path.

Recently a guy that I know made this transition pretty well, and he was able to avoid few hitches due to his past use of Social Media.  He recently left his job and started his own company.  Not to cause any issues he did not solicit any of his former customers during his employment or after his departure.  But, he was able to “inform” them without crossing any boundaries and in turn is starting his business off on the right foot.  What do I mean by this?  He was using Facebook to communicate with his clients, interacting daily with them and participating in their lives online.  The relationships grew stronger and when he left his job he was able to update them very easily with posts on his personal Facebook page.  Many sales people have non-completes or contracts that do not allow them to contact customers from their prior job.  But, that rule doesn’t apply for them coming to you.  So by using social media long before this change, he was able to transition really easily and it’s not surprising to me that many of his clients followed him to his new place of business.

That’s the beauty of it.  Your friends and family are buying what you are selling, but are you TELLING them in a professional manner what you’re selling?  In this example it was more than that.  He didn’t want to cross a line by soliciting former clients.  But since they were connected on Facebook and other social media sites, it was easy to keep them in the loop and at the end of the day start a new business with a great foundation.

So my question for you is…What would you do if you left your current job?  Do you have the ability to pick up where you left off without having to call or see everyone you sold to in the past in person?  Or could you do this with the click of a button?