Editor’s Letter: July 2011
By Laura Aiken
I’m a social media skeptic. I’ll admit that I, along with many others,
haven’t really got it all figured out. But I’m learning slowly, as with
the rest of life. I sit in on seminars and webinars hosted by industry
gurus. I ask net-savvy writers like our Michelle Brisebois to tackle the
subject for a cover story and help us all understand aspects such as
Twitter a little better.
I’m a social media skeptic. I’ll admit that I, along with many others, haven’t really got it all figured out. But I’m learning slowly, as with the rest of life. I sit in on seminars and webinars hosted by industry gurus. I ask net-savvy writers like our Michelle Brisebois to tackle the subject for a cover story and help us all understand aspects such as Twitter a little better. I’ve jumped into a few things, grown frustrated, and abandoned them. This isn’t a strategy I recommend.
There is one great point I’ve heard made from time to time that really strikes a chord with me and perhaps it will with you too. Do you like social media? Does spending time on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn or any other sites appeal to you? Does one, but not another? It’s OK to admit you abhor it. It’s OK to say it delights you. Maybe you have a love/hate relationship with it. However you feel, if it carries no appeal to you but you would like your brand’s presence in a social media space, delegate from the start or I promise it will be one of the most painful things you find yourself doing. Likewise, if you really enjoy it, you are likely the right person to be socializing the bakery online. If you don’t like doing something, it’s awfully hard to do it well and there’s no point in doing it badly. That law of life doesn’t seem to change out of necessity.
If you’ve decided to fold some kind of social media into the marketing fabric of your business, then the next thing you might want to do is make a list of all the things you can Tweet, post or share that are something other than what today’s promo is. It’s common to promote the day’s special, and it’s what a lot of people in food service seem to be doing. Is it working? That’s an answer you can share with me, if you like. It can be tough to think of other things that don’t feel cheesy to share, but people like the little things, the human things. The time you dropped a pile of food on the floor. We can all relate.
In Oprah’s final show she said that the one common trait she found in each of the thousands of people she’s interviewed or met over the years, from murderers to saints, is the need to be heard; to be validated. She’s right on the money. It’s a big reason social media is so popular. It has given us all a public voice. We do want to feel heard; we want to be seen. Sales success comes in being able to see and hear the needs of your customers. Use social media as a tool to do that, and you could find it a relevant way to gain insight into how and why your customers buy. People can criticize Oprah but no one can deny she’s been scarily successful. Some of that success came in asking the right questions that allowed others to be heard. Can that be facilitated in social media? Can you be a gateway for others to be heard? This is just fodder to noodle around in the noggin. It seems when it comes to social media there are many questions with unclear answers. Hopefully, the great article by Brisebois on page 12 will shed some light on using Twitter in a way that’s effective for you.