Social media is regarded by some as a waste of time. They take the view that, “I don’t do Facebook or Twitter. They’re rubbish!” While others view them as a means to spreading the word about the business or a message that they’re trying to portray to the public and their potential customers.
The bad news for the detractors is that whatever their sentiments, social media is here to stay and they might as well accept and even embrace it. For those who are already “sold” on it, they’d better learn to use and exploit the possibilities or be left behind.
Social media and its spread was highlighted this last fortnight during the build up to the Wimbledon finals and also will be in the run-up to the the arrival of new Duke or Duchess of Cambridge. Within seconds of an event’s occurrence, the news hits the streets and there’s no retraction that come quickly enough if the details are not completely accurate or if they’re not presented in the way that isn’t totally compliant with what the PR machines dictate. For instance, the moment John Inverdale made the disparaging remark about Marion Bartoli’s looks, Twitter erupted with comments and outrage and he had to issue a “grovelling apology” which might even not have prevented his early retirement from the commentary box.
And even as the grin was rising on Ewan McKenzie’s face in Brisbane, the rest of the world knew that Robbie Deans had been axed as the Wallabies Coach – before even the news wires had updated their websites.
Social media DOES work and it is a force to be reckoned with, embraced and utilised, rather than pooh poohed. So much so that an Enterprise Lessee has even launched their own pub version of a social media, called “Pub Network” that is aimed to help pubs engage more with their customers. The site enables pubs to create their own profiles and is seen as a way of letting their customers know about their latest events, offers and promotions. However, one wonders whether those who have successful social media sites will forego them in favour of the new Pub Network – personally, I would use both, as I’m sure the new network could also work and achieve the aim for which it was set up.
With all this marketing and promotional effort going on, I’m convinced that stocktakers like Jon Rutter and the lads take things like planning for social media into account when they give advice and deal with planning strategies of their clients. There was an excellent article in the Morning Advertiser this week that dealt with the need to use a qualified stocktaker and the services they provide in order to be successful in the trade (not, incidentally, commissioned by Rutters nor anyone else) but highlighting the need for business people to use those expert and proficient in the trade in order to make things work out well.
As the article pointed out – you wouldn’t get your car serviced by an unqualified mechanic, would you?
In the same way, those who advise that social media can work and if they have already it made it work for them, should be listened to … or will businesses listen to the mantras of a few years ago when they said, “this Facebook thing will never take off.” They were wrong.
Over 1 billion Facebook users must be viewed as a potential market. As could 500 million Twitter users sending 340 million tweets per day. So, potentially, Pub Network could be the next biggest thing in Britain. However you view it, people like Rutters and their customers will need to take various social media into account in getting the word out to their prospective clientele as to what’s on the menu, what the specials are and what other news there is … because if they don’t someone else will. And right or wrong, the public seem to be paying attention to what’s out there in cyberspace!