Just Because It’s New Doesn’t Mean You Need It

I was a rabid frozen yogurt fan when it was all the rage in the 1980s. Then, like all good things I loved, it was sent out to pasture with my severely wide-legged pants, sweaters with shoulder pads and my Lionel Richie records. The period of mourning has long since passed, but imagine my delight to see that frozen yogurt is now *in* once again. I was thrilled to see a new frozen yogurt shop open within walking distance of my home. OK, so it is wildly overpriced, but it’s there and that’s all that matters when I want a fix.

It’s not the same old frozen yogurt shop. It’s shiny new and modern. In fact, the shop is even leveraging social networking tools. I know this because I saw the big “Follow Us on Twitter” sign on the cash register. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that the employees are unhelpful, consistently unhelpful. And, now that they’ve armed me with the news that they’re using Twitter, I went online after my last visit to share my thoughts about their level of customer service. Then, I waited; and I waited some more. When I had given up all hope of receiving a reply, I dug a little deeper.

Don’t Use Tools You Don’t Understand

I quickly discovered that the frozen yogurt shop was *on* Twitter, but not *using* Twitter. There is a huge difference. Yes, they had an account on Twitter and it seemed to be active. However, their Twitter account had only been linked to their Facebook fan page, meaning that all of their posts on Facebook were automatically broadcast to Twitter. They were not monitoring Twitter or responding to anyone who had sent them a message.

Using tools to broadcast only, without understanding that this gives your audience the impression that you’ll also be there to answer questions and reply to concerns, is tremendously short-sighted. It seems like the cool thing to do, sure, but does that make it smart? In short, no. In fact, the net result is that the business comes off looking disconnected and less interested in their community than they are in hawking their wares. Bad form all around.

Before jumping in feet first and adopting the latest tool to represent your business or brand, it might be worth your while to take some time to understand the pros and cons in order to determine whether or not it will be a good fit for you.