I’ve written in the past that I think the best university I have ever attended is the university of YouTube. But that may no longer be true. I’ve found a better educational place - podcasts. What are podcasts you ask?
Podcasts are programs you enjoy for free from sources such as Apple’s iTunes or any number of other providers. They are created by people or organizations who have something to share and the barrier to create a podcast is really, really low. But that doesn’t mean podcasts have little value.
There’s nothing cheesy about social media. As a component of business communication it is becoming ever more important. Mastering your “voice” in the social realm can differentiate one business from another even more today than ever before.
Case in point. People love to go to social media the second there is even the least little thing wrong with their experience somewhere. If the pattern on a team member’s shirt is just a bit off, the customer is out there using all capital letter to exclaim how they’ve been permanently and irreversibly harmed and how nobody should every patronize that business again.
Writing modern blogs using old analogies can be dangerous. There are a lot of people who will see the analogy and just know the answer, or think they do. This week it’s about one bad apple spoiling the bunch. Yep, another old analogy.
But that bad apple is a team member and their caustic attitude is spoiling everybody’s work day. It’s like having one bad or painful tooth. Here you’ve got a whole mouth full of teeth that are perfectly good for biting into that wonderful apple sitting in front of you. But anybody who’s had a painful tooth knows that that one little tooth can ruin a lot of things.
There is a lot of noise on social media and, in particular, Facebook. Part of the reason for that is that there are so many prospective customers on that platform that you absolutely need to be there but how do you do a good job of creating posts people will react to?
You can look to one locality in my area who is absolutely doing the greatest job I have seen with a Facebook Page and I want to highlight their incredible work. We have a little town here called Kelseyville which is a local farming town. Like many small towns there’s a Main Street dotted with restaurants, a brewery, a bar, a couple of small grocery stores and various other businesses.
This morning I was at the meeting of one of the service clubs I belong to and, as usual, there was the common complaint that young people just aren’t joining and that membership is down. This made we wonder - are service clubs passé?
It used to be that being invited to belong to a service club like Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions and so many more was a true social feather in one’s cap. Furthermore being on the committee at a Chamber of Commerce or volunteering to help with community-focused functions was a mark of a true forward-minded community member. The Elks dotted the land with their halls and so many clubs did so much for the community.
I’m not a big fan of Starbucks. Their business practices of squeezing out small, locally-owned businesses is counter to my philosophy but their products are consistent and their stores are clean. Recently I ran across a Starbucks on a road trip to an RV show where one employee made such a difference, I went there every morning of my visit.
On the first day my wife and I were in town we chose, as we usually do, to patronize a locally-owned coffee shop. I had to get this Monday Morning marketing blog out and my own Wifi hot spot device had let me down with zero connectivity. Oh well, that just means finding a locally-owned coffee shop and we did.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I worked at what was then the world’s largest retailer. While most of my compatriots saw this as a summer gig in a terrible job, I learned a lot from that experience including some lessons that are relevant to this day. Today I hearkened back to lessons learned while dinosaurs roamed the earth as I visited today’s largest retailer.
I’m sure that some of the people reading this are going to laugh but winter’s coming here in Northern California and I was looking for a heater. Never mind the fact that there are those who are shoveling snow we Northern Californians are whining about our nights in the 20s. Heck, at least it’s not Southern California where temperatures below 50 mean ski jackets and Ugg boots.
I try to “shop small” whenever I can - preferring smaller, locally-owned businesses to the large chain stores. But large chain stores seem to have the advantage of longer hours, and sometimes seem to have the additional advantage of actually sticking to those hours.
In recent social media chatter there were a number of local businesses that were being berated for being closed during the hours they purported to be open - at least according to the signs in their windows. Being a small town, the owners of those businesses chimed in after complaints were lodged with reasons they had been closed which ranged from being tired to having a medical emergency.
When you’re market testing things, it helps to have the opinion of people with all levels of maturity, age and background/gender. While studying anything you’re about to bring to market, including slogans, designs and logos, is often done with the most advanced methods a lot of people forget to include the childish people in the audience when doing so.
But sometimes you can miss something based on whom you’re not testing to.
It’s been said and written for a long, long time - religion and politics have no place at the dinner table. They don’t belong at work, either.
This might seem obvious to most people but our country is becoming increasingly divided politically with people highly passionate about their view on either side of the aisle. This blog is completely non political but it’s safe to say that we basically all want the same thing - clean air, clean water, safe neighborhoods and good jobs. The big division comes in how we think the best way to accomplish that is.