Family help and ineffective social media

Family is great.  During the holidays, birthdays, births, summer picnics, random dinners, and all sorts of other events.  But in regards to social media, family may help or create an ineffective campaign.

One of the parts of the social media marketing that I enjoy the most is talking to shop owners, real estate agents, dentists, and many others about their business.  It’s nearly always interesting to hear about what is (not) working and what other thoughts they have before I even say the words “social” or “media”.  Recently, I had visits with two entirely differently businesses that were using family members to run their social media campaign with very different results.

Roses and Social Media!

1 – Local rose farm – I’ve been buying climbing roses for the past several years at a great local farm.  It’s a longer drive, but absolutely worth it in regards to the quality of rose and wonderful customer service.  It’s also a family-run business that has been in operation for over 20 years.  When I bought a recent rose I asked about the business’ need for increased social media marketing.  As it turned out, a niece manages the businesses Facebook page, but they know they can do more in terms of content and the frequency of posts.  They were also interested in the idea of getting more photos up on their Facebook page and intrigued by posting videos on YouTube.  Roses are such a wonderful visual after all.  Lastly, a new website would be help tie together such an enhanced social media campaign.  We’re going to talk more on some potential things that could be done to invigorate their social media campaign.

2 – Kitchen supply company – I had a very different experience than the rose farm.  Before visiting the shop I had run a quick evaluation.  They had no website and seemingly no social media presence.  I put that in a report with some key suggestions and steps to take.  Even before I handed over the report, the owner said “My nephew does that for us”.  She didn’t even want to look at the report before I explained that her nephew could review it and find some good tips in there.  “We’re on Facebook” she said when I tried to explain further and that was the end of that.  The business shall remain anonymous, but their business page on Facebook was so poor that it did not show up under any name searches.  Only with a much longer search string under Google did the Facebook business page finally pop up.  The page was 3 months old with very sporadic posts (a few in January, a few in March).  The content was not generic, which was good, but the use of photos and brand identity was limited.  On the plus side, there were some actual comments on the business, but also no responses to these comments to foster interaction.  Odds are no one is regularly checking the page.  Not surprisingly, there were few followers.  Kudos to the nephew for getting the business on Facebook, but there was so much more that they could be doing.  Unfortunately, the door was most definitely closed to even providing tips.

Thus you have two different businesses using family help for social media, but with very different mentalities.  In the case of the rose farm, the business was benefiting from the help of a family member, but understood that they could be doing a lot more.  The problem with the second business is that they saw family help as meaning that they were okay and consequently were not open to hearing about other things they could be doing.  It’s not enough to just be on social media, you also have to do it well by following some key practices.

Bottom Line:  Using family is fine for social media, but don’t close yourself to quality checks.

Matt Cail

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