Omega Blog

Not every aspect of business is ready for social media

Posted on 20 July, 2013

Social media has proven to be a boon for marketing efforts in every industry. Companies are able to share information with thousands of followers on a personal level to enhance customer experiences. Unfortunately, not every company has managed to successfully navigate the often dangerous waters of social media.

A column for The Wall Street Journal pointed out that chefs and restaurant managers are increasingly using Twitter and other social media tools to attract customers to their businesses. The strategy seems sound, as it allows employees to connect with other bloggers, reviewers and foodies to create an enriching community for patrons. However, the source noted that opening areas of businesses that typically stay behind the scenes could create a negative experience for customers.

Sometimes showing customers how merchandise is made and the work that goes into creating a great product can be enlightening. If done correctly, the process can highlight the value and care that goes into the customer's experience. However, it can also backfire if not handled correctly.

Restaurant kitchens are not known for being customer-friendly areas. Staff members can be rude or express crude humor that may offend some people, and giving them control of Twitter accounts attached to the company's name could cause consumers to lose their appetites. Not everyone wants to know what goes on in the kitchen of their favorite restaurant. In many cases, the reason social media efforts are not successful is that employees are using company feeds for personal enjoyment, rather than focusing on building customer experiences.

Controlling brand image through social media
Businesses in every industry need to carefully consider who has control of social media efforts. Terra.com reported that Twitter accounts and other marketing tools need to be carefully managed to ensure they are in compliance with brand objectives. The source recommends keeping all marketing efforts in the hands of the appropriate personnel. This does not mean that the chefs and other key personnel can't join the online conversation, but they should be well informed of the importance of presenting a consistent brand image. A Twitter feed should be about the customer rather than sharing hijinks from the kitchen.

Individuals who understand the audience will be better positioned to enhance customer experiences. If the company does make a mistake with its social media activity, it is important to handle it quickly and correctly. ChicagoNow reported that organizations have become too reliant on the hacked account excuse – claiming that any time an ill-conceived tweet is sent out, it it is the result of a hacked account. The source stated that it is important for companies to own their mistakes, as this will help build trust among consumers. Apologizing and showing that the lesson was learned can go a long way to building brand loyalty. 

CEM strategies can directly improve companies' bottom lines by increasing customer acquisition, retention, growth and win-back. Customer experience management companies, such as Omega Management Group Corp., provide the insight and experience needed to generate results.