third party doldrums

I spend a lot of time building relationships on the great internet via social media. I talk regularly with people I have never had the pleasure of meeting and have made some real friends along the way.

I also have regular cyber conversations with restaurants, hotels, out of state services and local business owners. Each group has created an identity for themselves or the establishment they represent. As a consumer and believer in the almighty word of mouth marketing (WOMM), it excites me to watch the relationships grow before my eyes.

Which is why, on a recent visit to a local restaurant and bar, I was saddened by the treatment (or non-treatment) from the staff. Now don’t get me wrong, I am NOT looking for handouts or freebies, just the continued sharing and conversation that is done online.
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Before heading to happy hour with four other ladies, we all did our fair share of tweeting and facebooking about where we were going and at what time. We included the twitter handle of the establishment and even received a tweet back from them. They were happy we were coming in and excited to serve us (I bet they were also happy for the free WOMM). Also, I should mention, this was not my first time “chatting” with this business. I have been a supporter and so have the other ladies who include foodies, business owners and mega social media users.

The staff had no idea who we were. I do not expect the average restaurant to know who I am as I am not famous, but when five ladies have tweeted, facebooked and checked in on foursquare, it is assumed that an owner, manager, bartender, host or bartender will have some clue. Nothing. Enter the third party doldrums.

This particular establishment hires an agency to manage their social media which is NOT a problem at all for me. The problem is they do not have a system in place to inform the on-site staff of what to expect at any given time.

One large benefit of social media is building relationships with potential and current customers. People do business with people they like and spend money in places that make them feel good.

At this point the relationship has been broken and the experience was a let down. Even more alarming is that the employee, customer and company are not aligned so there is no way to provide the optimal customer experience.

Have you had the third party doldrums? If you are an establishment who hires out of house social media management, what systems do you have in place to avoid third party doldrums?

One Response to “third party doldrums”

  1. Wow…a missed opportunity there!

    Do you have an example of a restaurant that does a good/great job of transitioning from Social Media to a cool IRL welcome? Like “oh cool…it is so nice to meet you @RestaurantTweeter! We appreciated getting to really meet you!”