Head in the Sand

It’s no secret that I can be a dick. Let’s get that out of the way. Sometimes I take this attitude onto twitter, especially when I’m out somewhere and there is beer involved. A few weeks ago I decided to head out and go somewhere different on a Wednesday night. I ended up in Canton. In Canton I ended up at JD’s Smokehouse. This was my first ever visit to JD’s and I hate to say it, but it will most likely be my last. I’ve heard good things about JD’s from numerous people, but with the lack of people I know that will actually say something negative about an establishment, I always take these recommendations with a grain of salt. It was burger night, half-off burgers. Was kinda jazzed… but this isn’t a Yelp review. Let’s just say the $1 shot of Jack with my burger was far and away the best part of my evening.

During this visit, I was annoyed enough at the level of service that I received that I went to twitter to make a comment.

Granted, I was very unhappy at this point, but it’s not the point of the post. This is about do you do more harm than good by sticking your head into the sand or plugging your ears. Let’s take a look at JD’s Twitter Profile.

In a year and a half they have 12 tweets? Follow 9 people and have 70 followers? Obviously they are really paying attention to what the Twitterverse is saying about them. This is a problem. You simply can not put yourself out in social media and then forget about it. It makes your business look bad. Especially when the single post turns into a conversation that involves close to a dozen people. When you are put in solely a negative light in a conversation like this, you need to know about it. There is no saying that you had a chance to rescue the relationship with the person that started the whole conversation, but you might be able to rescue the relationship with the other people affected by the conversation. When you are mentioned at least 20 times in the course of an hour, it should be pretty obvious that you need to pay attention. There is little excuse as Twitter did turn on the “E-mail when Mentioned” by default, which means someone was being told that negative things were being said on the internet.

Things got really interesting in this context when another twitter use decided to be funny and fake a retweet of a fake response from JD’s.

This is by far the biggest reason that their lack of monitoring of their social media presence is a big deal. This far and away made them look bad as it made it look like two things:

  • They made their first ever mention on twitter and made it in a “rude jackassery” way. (Credit to @ingloriousBOH for the term).
  • They realized it was a bad idea and then deleted their tweet, trying to cover it up. Since by the time I say the tweet from @CDoubleIPA, I couldn’t find the initial tweet from JD’s.

If I was one of the owners of JD’s and saw that tweet, I would be furious. That tweet is detrimental¬†to my business and could be damaging to my reputation, but since I don’t actively monitor the social media accounts I set up, I’ll never even know that it happened. Even if @CDoubleIPA mentions later in the thread that it was a joke, how many people are going to see that? It is the classic case of how many people ever see the retraction after a highly inflammatory story?

Am I being unfair? I don’t know, it’s 2012 and quickly approaching 2013. Even small businesses need to start realizing, you make a presence on social media, you have to keep up with it. Once you make that step into the social media world you have monitor it. It begs to ask, if they didn’t have a social media presence on twitter would this story even be happening? Most likely not. Why? Because there would be zero expectation in a response.

In the end, the real question through all of this is:

Will you go back?

The short answer? No. It was a really overall poor experience, but add in the fact that they can’t even monitor their own business’ brand, that bothers me even more. A simple, response via social media would have made for a different answer. If they bothered to worry enough to keep an eye on things and respond and say they wanted me to try them again and come in again and retry what I had that night because they stand behind their product, I would definitely be back. (There is actually another blog post coming about doing this properly with a ¬†Yelp review I wrote about Red Brick Station).

What is the point of all this? The point is: If you aren’t going to pay attention, don’t step into the roadway. It’s safer to never get in the car than get started but stall out and stop as soon as you get on 95.

Don’t stick your head in the sand. You’ll find it simply makes things more complicated for you when you finally pull it out.