Back to the Good Ole Days™

By: jerry | 05/25/2013

A couple of weeks ago news of Amy’s Baking Company, a Scottsdale, Ariz. restaurant, broke as the owners showed the world what not to do when it comes to social media.

For background on the story, click here.

This case has been getting a lot of attention, particularly about the owners behavior on social media. The real lesson to learn, though, is that people who are jerks in real-life will likely be jerks online … except more so. Now, this might seem like a trite observation, but if you expand that thought to any kind of behavior (e.g. secretive, oversharing, verbose, etc.) then you can quickly see how not every company is cut out for social media. Actually, that’s not entirely fair. Every company can have a successful social media presence, but some may need our help as communication experts to educate them how to behave in public – which could include hiring the right person or team to speak for the company.

The moral of the story is this… in today’s world, digital and real life are THE SAME THING! The best thing we can do is help our clients to start equating the two and to stop thinking about digital (and social media) as something mystical or arcane – or even special. Yes, there are some things that engineers do that you don’t have to learn, like setting up an Apache server and there are certainly best practices for creating content for social media. But, we are all on Facebook (or almost all) and we interact with the digital world every day. Many companies have become very good at not talking to their customers, or only talking to them in controlled settings like press releases, surveys, focus groups, call center scripts and special events. Now it’s back to the Good Ole Days™ when your word was your bond and you had to look your customer in the eye.

There’s nowhere left to hide!

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