Thursday, December 15, 2011

Business and Social Media

Being a social media junkie, I look at a lot of profiles of businesses and day after day I see them making the same mistakes. I think a lot of them forget that their official social media profiles are like customer services. Here are some that really annoy me:
  • Ignoring questions on social media (and inconsistently)
  • Posting updates after that so everyone can see that they’ve DEFINITELY seen the query.
  • It can go the other way, they can just be a bit too enthusiastic and annoy you with a million updates a day. *click* unfollow!
  • Retweeting EVERY single tweet they are mentioned in
  • Stalking Twitter for every possible misspelling and indirect reference to them and replying to them all. It’s just a bit creepy if it’s too frequent.
  • Having boring Twitter and Facebook feeds. Why would anyone want to read that? If it's all about you, you're not engaging.
On the other side, there are some companies that have great social media presences and realise how powerful social media can be (side note: I hate the amount of times I've had to use the term 'social media' in this post. Makes me sound like an idiot). A lot of them give great customer service, have interesting feeds and alert me to stuff that's actually interesting. Most of you will remember the @shippamspaste account which got closed down as it wasn't official by Shippam's (bet they're kicking themselves now), but was endearing, inept and alerted many people to a virtually forgotten brand. Bad move, Shippam's Paste.

Here's who are INTERESTING businesses.
  • @arenaflowers - so funny. Mostly not about flowers but I'll bet they've got loads of business from it.
  • @betfairpoker - totally surreal and its users actually complain when it post stuff about poker. But one of my favourites nonetheless.
  • @nationalrailenhq - informative and occasionally posts amusing puns. Not sure it's quite worth the hype as it's by no means the best of its kind but entertaining nonetheless.
  • @gauthiersoho ok, so I'm a bit biased, but: live-tweets wine matching of TV shows, replies to tweeters asking questions and controversial tweets!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Buskers Code

I haven't blogged in such a long time it's embarrassing. It's also embarrassing to read stuff like this because nobody really gives a shit but I'll soldier on because I should give an explanation to the, ahem, one regular reader of this blog. Ok, me. I'm on the tube home after after work drinks and I've been talking about blogging and writing all night and I feel horrendously guilty. This is the interesting(ish) part. This post is about buskers. I always feel really guilty about walking past buskers and not giving them any money because they work so hard for relatively little, or no money. But then I remember that they're shooting themselves in the foot.

Out of all the buskers I've seen in the tube station, there was only one that I enjoyed. I can't remember what he was playing or what kind of music it was but I really enjoyed it. But what I do remember was that it was a mainstream song and it wasn't overdone. It might have just been him and his guitar. And this is the fundamental mistake that most buskers make. Cater to your audience, for christ's sake! Do they really think that what most people will enjoy is a seven-minute Steve Vai solo that is quite frankly, self-indulgent and also terrible guitar playing? It's so boring - there is such a high number of wannabe guitar soloists playing, nay crucifying a moderately good rock song and making the fatal mistake that passers-by will appreciate their (admittedly good) skill.

But no-one wants to hear anyone's skill at the tube station. They've had a hard day at work. Or later on, they've had a night on the lash and they want soothing sounds on their ears. No-one wants to hear a massive guitar solo. They want to hear, I don't know, Coldplay, or Jack Johnson, or someone equally soothing.

So my advice to you, tube buskers, pick something that people want to hear. Not what you think showcases your amazing talent. Soothing, pleasant or plain what's in the charts at the moment. Something familiar. There is a potential audience of thousands here. Play what they want to hear, not what you want to play. That is what your mum's garage was for when you were in school.


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