Are We Smothering Our Customers with Social Media?

I bought a tube of lipstick on a rainy weekend afternoon. I love lipstick, and I love the store in which I bought it. But let’s be real—It’s just lipstick.

After the purchase, I was given a receipt that had an online survey to fill-out about my experience in the store and my purchase. As a former sales associate, I understand the employee bonuses are often tied to these survey results. I almost always complete these surveys, especially after a good experience. So, I filled out the brief survey with all positive marks.

Next thing I know, I’m invited to join the mailing list, follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Then, I’m encouraged to follow Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and Photobucket for special offers.

“Hashtag our name, and you can get a free sample of face wash!”

“Like this picture, and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a $500 shopping spree!”

“RT and we will follow YOU!”

When does it all end?

As a fellow marketer, I understand where the company is coming from with their social media campaign. They want to be connected and part of the conversation with their customers.

Awesome.

There is definitely something to be said for staying current and constantly evolving with the changing times. It’s really important! And most large corporations have entire teams or task forces managing a specific and separate social media platform. In a small business, like the one I work for currently, I am pretty much it for our social media footprint. I can see from the front lines when engagement turns to smothering; however, the further the person responsible for the update on Facebook is from the customer, the further they are from seeing this change.

How do big corporations fix this?

This isn’t necessarily a problem for each corporation or business individually, but the trend has a possibility of becoming overload. It can lead to Unfollows, De-friending, Opt-Outs in e-mail blasts, or even, causing a customer to leave the business and adopt a new company.

I think we would all benefit from a minute to think about that. We don’t want to smother our customers, and for the most part, we are coming from a good place. We simply want to talk to our customers. It’s important to practice balance. Consider a balanced approach to social media. And for those big corporations with different teams managing Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest: Let’s commit to do what we intend to do. Let’s actually engage and communicate with our customers. And each other.

What companies are you following on Twitter today?

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