There’s a diner in my town with a huge “Follow us on Facebook” sign in the window. Yet if you go to their Facebook page, there’s nothing worth following there. They haven’t updated it in months. It’s a social media ghost town.
Nashville marketer Laura Click recently posed the question, “Is your company creating a social media ghost town?” Many brands and businesses, both big and small, are doing just that. They jumped on the social media bandwagon and have since lost interest. They’ve resorted to the bare minimum or they’ve let the practice slip altogether. Oddly enough, many continue to promote their social media presence, even when there’s nothing but tumbleweeds there.
In the excitement of setting up a Facebook page for your brand or business, it’s easy to forget the commitment that is required to make it worthwhile. Social media may be free to set up, but it takes investment in time and attention to do it well. Brands lose interest because they run out of content, get distracted by other priorities, or expect immediate unrealistic results. The result is a negative social media experience, which is worse than no social media experience at all.
Cultivating a community is not about the platform for that community. It’s about how you behave everywhere the consumer can interact with your brand, whether online or offline. Social media tools can facilitate those interactions, but only if efforts are made to do it well. “Friend us on Facebook” is in danger of becoming as laughable as “your call is very important to us” when you’re waiting on hold for 15 minutes.
True community building is a natural extension of a brand. Consumers can tell when it’s window-dressing. Particularly when the windows haven’t been cleaned in a while.