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Creepy?

I attended a social media marketing for business MeetUp (see http://www.meetup.com/SocialMarketing/events/192578412/ ) and listened to an excellent discussion about one, main point made at the 2014 Internet Marketing Association conference, “Has the Internet has become creepy?”

Catchy headline (those clever marketers), but the discussion led by Mike Hanbery (http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikehanbery ) provoked me to think about my own position regarding the tactics we in the sales/marketing profession leverage in today’s marketplace.

Permit me to share three examples:

1. “Listening” on social media sites for customer service complaints.

Sound familiar?  We buy something; are disappointed; and call the vendor’s Customer Service Department.  After navigating a seemingly endless automated call directory of options, playing the vendor’s version of, “Where in the World is Mario, my Customer Service Rep?” – hitting “0” in desperation.  Finally we get some poor schmuck who is clueless and/or powerless to help – sometimes even treating us rudely:

How to Manage an Irate Client Call:

“I’m sorry you’re so upset.  I really feel your pain.  No, I don’t think we can fix the problem.  No, you can’t get your money back.  Well, I am the supervisor.  Let me transfer you to Mr. Dial Tone…”

Unknown Sage

Seeking revenge, we vent on Facebook, Pinterest, and the plethora of social media sites to telling the world never to buy from that vendor again!  Then (and only then) we receive a polite, social media response offering to help.  Creepy?

I give – why don’t companies simply staff social media sites with their customer service reps and relieve us from the frustration of calling them to begin with?

My customer service contact info?  (303) 324-1225.

2. Re-posting someone else’s stuff.

Google is purported to have a push today around the principle of “authenticity”.  Further evidence that the Internet has become creepy?

I mean, how much stuff do we see posted on the social media sites these days by Person A who is simply re-posting stuff originated from Person B, who got it from Person C?  Such re-posting of stuff can even be automated with a social media app.  It harkens me back to a simpler (and more authentic) time:

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.

Elliot

My “stuff”?  You may or may not enjoy it, but I wrote it, and posted it, personally.

3. Cold-Calling is dead.

Every week I am pinged by someone near my age; who has written a book; proclaiming “Cold-Calling is dead!”; and offering me insight to leveraging social media tools to gain access to my target prospects.  Even those online Customer Service Representatives are being trained to cross-sell/up-sell after addressing the customer service issues we post on the Internet.  Creepy?

These sales reps posing as book-authors suggest that all we have to do is post interesting content on the Internet; become “thought leaders”; and our prospects will flock to transact with us.  Well, my grandmother who was born in Europe and immigrated to this country in the early 1900’s would say, “I’m no believe.”

Back to Mike’s MeetUp comments:

Setting up a Facebook or LinkedIn account is free.  Posting content on these sites is free.  Getting someone to actually see your content – that costs money.

Call me Kooky, but when I want to gain access to a new prospect – I pick up the phone and call her.  Old fashioned I admit; tough to get through to be sure; but creepy?  Not!

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

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4 Comments


  1. Chad Salisbury
    Nov 12, 2014

    Now – this one hit home. Well said 🙂


    • Gary
      Nov 19, 2014

      Thanks for reading and commenting Chad! Approving and opposing views are always welcome 🙂 Thx, GAP


  2. Mike Hanbery
    Nov 13, 2014

    Gary, thank you for this attribution and for your contributions to Social Marketing for Business and the zeitgeist. The other day, I went to Google and typed, “create d,” at which point Google suggested I was searching for “create drop down menu in Excel.” This was, in fact, to the letter, exactly what I was about to type. (And making a drop down menu in Excel, I’m happy to report, is remarkably easy.) Creepy? Google was able to guide me thusly because I was voluntarily logged in, allowing the search engine to record my behavior in hopes it would be able to provide exactly this type of personalized assistance. Facebook news feeds–digital word-of-mouth– A larger context of my takeaways from IMPACT14 include that while 86 percent of the sample survey find the Internet, “creepy,” 85 percent of that same sample was perfectly willing to provide personal information in exchange for “value.” From a marketing perspective, then, one of the first questions we must address in social media and the Internet is: What can we provide on that channel that our community will find valuable?” From a larger, business perspective, everything comes back to relationships and I’m sure we agree that social media is an extension, and not a replacement, of the phone call. A rich mosaic of communication keeps the creepy away.


    • Gary
      Nov 19, 2014

      Thanks for reading and commenting Mike! Or, as you coach “joining the conversation” 🙂 Yes, we humans are a strange lot – what we like vs. what we say we like… I guess that offers some degree of explanation on how our elected officials wind up in office 🙂 Thx, GAP

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