04 May Mistaken Identity
Walking towards the doorway I raised my hand to wave at the male figure standing waiting and sheltering from the rain. As I got closer I realised that the man wasn’t my business lunch companion but a complete stranger. Before I could blink the stranger was shaking my hand and pulling me closer to kiss my cheek. ‘Lovely to meet you, hope you found it ok?’ He enquired.
Slightly puzzled, but mostly amused, I inhaled his aftershave and explained that I wasn’t the lady he was waiting for. I had a fair idea what scenario was about to play in front of my eyes. The stranger nervously told me he was waiting for a date with a lady he’d been talking to online. Fast forward a few moments and a petite woman with short dark hair and trendy glasses arrived and off they trotted into the restaurant. I’m still giggling at this encounter, especially as I’m tall and blonde and spectacle free.
Earlier this month in a less amusing case of mistaken identity I was confronted by a disgruntled woman in a work environment. She was angry. We had an audience and her voice was loud. I didn’t recognise her and couldn’t get to grips with why this person I’d never met was so annoyed with me. Caught off guard it was tempting to reply in the same tone and give her it back both barrels but I opted for the professional option.
Lowering my voice, I asked open questions and tried to defuse the situation. The outcome? Irate Woman thought I was someone else. She disappeared as quickly as she arrived and no, no apology was offered for the embarrassment caused.
Take these two scenarios and transfer the conversations online to the accounts that represent your business or organisation.
Imagine your business followers, customers, colleagues, investors or board members watching the action unfold on social media, throwing their tuppence in with a comment or a retweet or a share. Hijacking your hashtag. Recording or live streaming from their phones so their network can join in. Generating attention, lots and lots of attention.
What’s your master plan? Are you ready to capitalise on the opportunity if the reaction is positive? Are you prepared to handle negative encounters? What’s best practice? How is your message being interpreted? Is a knee jerk reaction a possibility? How’s your social media policy shaping up? How can you find out if you’re ‘talking’ to the right audience? Have you overdone the aftershave? Geezo, are you dizzy yet?
I do this for a living, I enjoy figuring out the pieces of the puzzle. I’m fascinated by people and how we communicate. Feel free to get in touch if you’d like help in unraveling the ever changing world of social media marketing. Let’s have a chat over coffee, we can wear name badges…. in case these mishaps come in threes.