Marketers have amazing opportunities to wow customers and grab attention through Social Media. They also have remarkable opportunities to drop the ball and lose potential customers. In this post I’d like to share one example of the latter.
This past weekend, I went to have my car’s oil changed at our family’s usual spot down the road. It’s close, but very busy. The service there is good, not great, not poor, and the prices are competitive. I take my cars there not because the service is spectacular (or the coffee), but because it’s close. And easy.
On Saturday, the lines were longer than usual but not long enough to deter me from waiting. I dropped my car keys off and went into the waiting room. It only took a minute for me to realize there was nothing for me to do, and a long time for me to do it. I tweeted my frustration.
Should have brought the #Kindle. I forgot how long the wait can be for an oil change.
— Brian Cheung (@bdcheung) May 14, 2011
Honestly, it was a bit of a rant and I didn’t expect anyone to pay attention, much less respond. Imagine my surprise when @FrederickNissan posted:
@bdcheung Should have come to @fredericknissan Express Service. Get you in and out fassst!
— Younger Nissan (@YoungerNissan) May 14, 2011
I was kinda sorta pleasantly surprised. But instead of expressing this, I (callously) replied:
@Fredericknissan And u should have looked at the geotag on my tweet. Gas is $4/gal. I'm not driving to Frederick for an oil change.
— Brian Cheung (@bdcheung) May 14, 2011
To give some context, Frederick is about 40 miles (1 hour by car) from my town. That’s a long way to go for an oil change, but had they tweeted something along the lines of “Waiting sucks, but at our place we’ve got books, magazines and a Wii to keep you entertained” I’d seriously consider driving up there for my next oil change. But they didn’t. And they didn’t reply to me when I mentioned the GeoTag. Talk about a missed connection.
And to drive the final nail in the coffin, yesterday @FrederickNissan tweeted this to me:
Which was a reply to my original tweet about the long wait. Two days later and they skipped over the conversation I tried to start, reverting back to my original tweet. In the end, I felt ignored and, in a way, used.
Would you have done anything differently had you been running @FrederickNissan’s social media? Would you have done anything differently had you been in my shoes? Let me know in the comments.
Outstanding customer service.
Webinar Recap: Charlene Li Discusses “Open Leadership” « Social Media Monitoring and Engagement – Radian6
Great webinar today. I’m looking forward to seeing Charlene Li at SOCAP’s annual conference in San Francisco!
The snowball is growing on the social privacy discussion. Here are some other good reads:
A recent Twitter back-and-forth with Dan Zarrella and a blog entry by Elizabeth Lupfer in Social Media Today got me thinking about who is responsible for content privacy on social networks? Facebook has been under heat lately for changes to its privacy settings. I had a quick conversation with Dan Zarrella on Twitter about Facebook users, content, and what should/should not be posted:
danzarrella: Are there any young people who actually care about this Facebook privacy non-issue?
bdcheung: @danzarrella I’m 25 – does that qualify as “young”? and I care about the Facebook issue.
danzarrella: If you don’t want the whole world to know about it, don’t put it on Facebook in the first place. (via @slavetofashion)
danzarrella: Also, if you’re doing something you really don’t want anyone to know about. Maybe you shouldn’t be doing it?
bdcheung: @danzarrella The issue isn’t that info is being shared. It’s that the default visibility wasn’t chosen by end users.
danzarrella: @bdcheung Again, if you don’t want the world to see it, don’t put it on Facebook.
bdcheung: @danzarrella Facebook wasn’t conceived as a global sharing platform. It was for peer-to-peer comm. I can be social w/out being global.
Call me old-fashioned, but I believe that Facebook was designed to be, and still is, a platform for sharing between friends. I really don’t buy into Dan’s whole stance that “If you don’t want the world to see it, don’t put it on FB”. Facebook was never, in my eyes, meant to be a global sharing platform (a la Twitter or Google’s Buzz). If you’re callous enough to friend your boss, then the consequences of poor common sense–as outlined in Elizabeth Lupfer’s blog entry–are your just rewards. But Facebook still allows fairly fine control (though not as fine as I would prefer) over individuals’ privacy. I can still decide what I want the world to see, and what I would like my friends to be able to syndicate. Am I a bit peeved that the majority of my profile customizations (my favorite books, bands, movies, etc.) are now forcedly associated with Pages? Yes. But that’s about my only gripe. People shouldn’t blame Facebook for their privacy gripes – they should take some personal responsibility and take their lives into their own hands.
Am I just too old fashioned? Has the Facebook privacy train left the station, and left me behind?
This post is part of a four-part series on privacy in the Social World which attempts to answer many common questions about the intersection between private and social. See Part 1 here. If you have a question that you’d like answered, leave a comment and let me know! Thanks for reading!
Meet Joe Average. Joe is headed to a cocktail reception to meet other people who are interested in Widgets. When Joe arrives at the party, fashionably late, he grabs a drink, maybe a few hors d’oeuvres, and starts working the room. He’ll maybe do a lap of the room, scanning the crowd, picking up bits of conversation, then he’ll dive into a group and join the discussion.
What does Joe talk about? At first, maybe it’s the party atmosphere, or the hosts. Maybe it’s the weather or the outcome of a recent sporting event. But as the conversation progresses, Joe will probably talk about himself. How is he involved with Widgets? He’s a buyer. How many widgets does he normally purchase in a quarter? Who does he get them from? What kind of widgets do his customers prefer? And Joe will probably ask questions of his new acquaintances, as well. At some point, Joe will politely excuse himself to find a different conversational group, but not before grabbing a business card or exchanging contact information. Joe is a Social Networker.
Deciding how much and what to share online is not a drastically different process from in-person social interactions. We consider to whom we are speaking, where we are speaking, and who else might be eavesdropping. At the bare minimum, you should share your name and a way to contact you. But depending on where this information is getting posted, anything more than that might be too much. As the potential audience for your message grows, the sensitivity to what you are giving away also needs to increase. Note that this is not a violation of the Social Contract 2.0, either – a small group of people sharing a lot can achieve the same social community as an extremely large group with each individual not sharing a whole lot.
Where do you draw the line on what to share?
This post is the first of a four-part series on privacy in the Social World which attempts to answer many common questions about the intersection between private and social. If you have a question that you’d like answered, leave a comment and let me know! Thanks for reading!
Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote The Social Contract, Or Principals of Political Right (Du contrat social ou Principes du droit politique) in 1762, in which he outlined his philosophy on how individuals form a political community. In short, Rousseau proposed that in order to achieve an effective political society, man must enter into a social contract with others, forfeiting a certain amount of freedom to the political authority for the benefit of the entire community.
We must also enter into a Social Contract 2.0 to establish a successful social community. Whereas in forming a political community, man is asked to sacrifice bits of freedom for the good of the whole, in forming a social community, man is asked to sacrifice bits of privacy for the good of the whole. Under the Social Contract 2.0, when everyone sacrifices the same amount of privacy, the entire community benefits from the information shared and the connections fostered.
At its heart, social is a way of being, and not a predefined strategy or set of rules. Social is also not a new concept – we are all inherently social, and give up little pieces of privacy in all of our social interactions. As an individual progresses from acquaintance, to friend, to confidant, they gain progressively more access into our private lives (and gain more of our trust). What makes the social world, and the contract that governs it, different from our day-to-day interactions is the scale and permanence of the new Social World. What is said on the Internet is instantly available to millions (billions?), and often cannot be unsaid.
The Social Contract 2.0 asks us to accept this exposure and give up bits of privacy (my name, my image, my email address, etc.) for the overall benefit of the Social World. By doing so, and forming connections with others, we establish a social community in which ideas can be openly shared, freed from the silos of isolation.
In future posts, I will try to answer a few questions about privacy in the new Social World:
- How much, and what, should I share?
- How much have I already shared that I may or may not know about? (with tools and tips on determining your current level of exposure)
- How can I balance my desire to maintain privacy with my desire to be social?
- Should I even engage in social networking if I really, really value my privacy?
If you have any more questions on privacy, the new Social World, or the Social Contract 2.0, let me know in the comments and I’ll address as many as I can! And as always, thanks for reading!
Update: Check out Mashable for some great insights on why uber-privacy isn’t always great.
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