An example of social network marketing #FAIL.
I don’t follow many people, but among those I do follow is a person connected to a tourism publication that serves the Phoenix area. As the owner/operator of a helicopter tour and charter company, I thought it might be interesting to see if this person tweeted anything that could help my business grow.
On Thursday, January 14, at 4:03 PM, he tweeted the following:
There is still time to advertise in our annual Spring Training issue – it’s only 6 weeks away. Affordable exposure that drives results.
This is an exact quote. There are a few things wrong with it:
- The tweet makes no mention of the name of the publication or the area it serves. So unless you know what publication this guy works for — and its name is not part of his Twitter name — you’d be hard-pressed to understand why this might interest you.
- The tweet mentions the “Spring Training” issue, but neglects to identify the “6 weeks away” as the editorial deadline or publication date.
- There’s no link in the tweet to take action. I suppose this guy thinks that if you do figure out what this is about and are interested, you’ll track him or his publication down and make contact. A link sure would make that easier.
As a former frequent business traveler, I’m very familiar with the publication. It’s available in all major cities. It might be a good match for my business to advertise in. But I needed more information.
I tweeted back with a direct (private) message about fifteen minutes after his initial tweet, at 4:20 PM the same day:
I’ll bite. Call me with your ad rates: 928/###-####.
(I obviously provided my entire phone number, which I don’t need to reproduce here.)
And then I waited. I didn’t sit around my computer. I had other things to do.
Almost an hour later, at 5:08 PM, he responded:
Maria… I’ll have my partner [redacted] call you – he handles sales, and I produce the magazine, videos & social media :)
But because I wasn’t sitting at my computer and wasn’t checking my incoming messages, I didn’t receive this response for a few hours. I figured I’d reply with some additional information that would help his partner get a better idea about my business before he called. So when I received this tweet a little after 8 PM, I replied:
Tell him it’s for http://www.flyingmair.com/
At 10:37 PM, he replied:
Will do :)
So from the time of his initial tweet about special ad rates to the conclusion of our discussion, more than six hours had elapsed.
By this time, I was asleep. Since he’d received my phone number after 5 PM, I wasn’t expecting a call that day anyway. But I did expect one in the morning.
But I didn’t get it.
In fact, it’s now Monday, January 18, almost four full days since his initial tweet, and I have not received a phone call from his partner.
So in addition to the poorly composed tweet, here are a few other ways this person failed at social network marketing:
- When he posted the initial tweet, he was obviously not monitoring Twitter for immediate responses like mine. It took nearly an hour for him to respond.
- Although he had my phone number in hand, he didn’t use it to contact me — even to tell me to expect a call from his partner. Instead, he relied on direct messages through Twitter — not even text messaging directly to my phone! — which relied on me checking for such messages. This stretched out an initial contact to more than six hours.
- Although our contact was made on a Thursday afternoon, no follow-up contact was made on Friday (a work day) or the weekend. At this point, I don’t think any contact will be made at all.
In short, this person attempted to use Twitter for marketing, actually got a lead (!), and still dropped the ball by failing to follow up in a timely manner. This is a perfect example of a failure to use social networking for marketing purposes.
The result of all this:
- I will stop following this person. There doesn’t seem any reason to continue to do so.
- If his partner ever calls, I’ll tell him I spent my advertising budget on Friday, when I expected his call.
What marketers need to understand is that in this economy, few people actually need their product. It isn’t enough to make a half-assed attempt at reaching customers and expect them to do all the legwork. And it’s absolutely inexcusable to fail to call a potential customer after that customer has requested a call.
All the tweeted smilies in the world can’t fix that.
I call that #MARKETINGFAIL