I solemly swear to tell the truth

pinocchio-nose

I have had the opportunity to work with many burgeoning companies in a variety of fields. I’ve also worked with companies that have long, established histories and clientele.  I’d love to say they were all fabulous but this piece does have the word “truth” in its title. Let’s be honest, not all companies are cut from the same cloth. But what they do all share in common is that the climate of the company comes from the top. It’s a lot easier to see that top in a small company but the leadership in any company can always set the tone for how they will chose to do business.

If I’ve seen it once, I’ve seen it a hundred times. Company A puts out a big email or social media blitz that reads “Half Off” or “$X off now!”. Only to have customers, enticed by the offer, click a link to a promotion that reads, “Buy 1 get 2nd Half Off” or “$X off when you spend $Y”. Oops! This tactic may have worked years ago when the only backlash you may get is an angry customer in your check out line or a strongly worded letter in the mail. This is a new day, a social media kind of day.

Social media can be your best friend. But like a best friend, you have to be a good friend too. Bait and switch type tactics will render your social media pages an erupting volcano of hot followers. People do not like being “baited”. If the deal really is a BOGO deal, that is good enough in itself. There is no need to trick your loyal customers or future customers into clicking a link. You imply to the customer that YOU do not think it’s a good deal and that’s why you were misleading in your advertising. Customers already have a built in distrust of many companies based on years of hearing stories of fraud and unethical dealings. Don’t give your followers any reason to hijack your social media with angry tirades.

And in case you’re thinking, “Well I’ll just turn off comments on my Facebook page.” Feel free. But it wont stop people from commenting on posts that you post. And it wont stop people from calling you out on Twitter and other platforms. And bear in mind, Facebook has been around a long time. People are very adept at it. Consumers know that companies that don’t have comments allowed usually do so based on the comments they receive. It may not be a red flag, but it’s a shade of pink for sure. If you are truly interested in serving or rewarding your customers make it authentic. The social media boom has made every facet of your operations visible to the world so craft that vision carefully with truthful marketing.