In a recent forum I attended on the effective business use of social media, each attendee was asked what their challenges were in their business. Being the ONLY golf business in the room I was picked on a little, but in a very productive and positive way. What I learned from the experience confirmed (again) a few of the major things golfers who use the social networking in business seem to forget (or ignore) about how social media works.
As is normal for any gathering of social media types, there were very few golfers in the room. However, the leader of the exercise took my challenge of find golfers online to task and asked everyone there to search, using their laptops, iPads or other tech device they had, their social networks for golfers. The remarks, statements and questions generated from the group brought a smile to my face as well as validating a number of issues I have been addressing for many years.
The following was a summation of the questions the group directed to me for an answer about the golfer’s they found…
- Who are all these people who post golf gloves, golf balls, logos, brands, cartoon characters and other absurd photos images as their avatar?
- Do they know how foolish they are making themselves look?
- Do these golfers, who seem to be consumers..if they are real people.., really expect me to follow them or have anything to do with them with the logo they post?
- Out of all of the thousands of people on Facebook, this is all the golfers?…I see your challenge.
The remarks and questions concerning the lack of seriousness towards the people they found who are assumed golfers went on for at least an hour. Naturally, the observation was made of the non-golf arena not showing a personal photo of ones self which lead the conversation for the forum back to a more neutral discussion on how social media and product branding has changed over the past year to mandate some sort of trust building.
In the business arena, the person speaking for the business, brand or logo will need to post a real photo of themselves since the wary consumers are now requiring it before taking the business/product/service serious.
In the consumer or customer arena, the same requirement of a photo being posted in their social networking groups helps businesses determine who to target their product/service offerings. No photo, no deals.
The bottomline was, shotgun marketing to millions of unknown people in social networking groups is finally proven to not have as much of an ROI as target marketing to a selected group is now developing. Businesses and business people, as well as consumers, who do not post a photo (anywhere in their online media) will be passed over by nearly 90% of today’s consumers..and over 75% of the businesses marketing to the group.
I guess this goes to show that putting a face social media efforts is starting to become standard procedure..finally.