Think Social Media is Stupid? You’re Going To Lose.

Think Social Media doesn’t matter? … Well you’re dead wrong. Allow me to give you a personal example of why you can’t afford to ignore Social Media…

“If you’re in the group that thinks twitter is stupid you are going to lose.”
– Erik Deckers (06-Mar-2012 in Skype conversation)

On the 12th of February, 2012 my fiancée and I had a nice bit of wine tasting over at the Wild River Grill and figured we’d give Campo another go, since it was right across the way, prior to the movie we wanted to see. We had been there once before (I had the wild-boar pasta) and dinner was okay, the service wasn’t great, we had to ask for a number of things multiple times, but the atmosphere was half entertaining. On the 12th we walked in at probably 4:45pm, the hostess was extremely snooty and while there were definitely more than 10+ open tables, she insisted that there was “no room for us” and that she had “reservations coming in within the next 45 minutes”. Okay great, sorry to bother you by bringing you business… we’re not coming back here again. We went to Chocolate Bar across the street and they were more than happy to have our business; not to mention their melted-cheese chip dish and sliders were great!

The past few months I’d been telling people, “I don’t know why people think Campo is so great. Their hostess was a complete bitch to us and their food isn’t that good. I loved Moody’s and Baxsters, but I don’t think I’ll ever go back to Campo.”

Flash-forward to April… I’ve been taking a Personal Branding course at the University of Nevada, Reno to work on my Social Media Marketing skills. One of the requirements a few weeks ago was to review some places on Yelp. On the 3rd of April I posted the following about Campo:

I didn’t expect anything to come of it, perhaps I would help someone chose Chocolate Bar as we did before wasting their time with the bitchy hostess. A few days later Mark, the Owner, shoots me a message on Yelp:

“Daniel, i am interested to hear more.  if you would not mind emailing me at ******  thanks!”

Interesting, okay… I figured, what the heck, if he’s really interested I’ll tell him what is up. I shot him a quick email about the experience and not a day later he gave me a call (from my number in the signature line), and asked if I had a minute to chat.

I was blown away. Mark, the owner of Campo, Burger Me, Moody’s, & Baster’s was calling me up to apologize for the bad experience. In my opinion he did all the right things. Mark didn’t make excuses nor complain about my review; he simply apologized, explained that he did have a gal he had some issues with up front and that he had let someone go, that he was trying train his people better to accommodate both walk-in and reservations without turning anyone away as much as possible, and that he was adding seating outside this summer. Mark explained to me the health regulations, said he had not had other complaints about the wild-board pasta, but was sorry that it disagreed with me. And that was that. He didn’t beg me to come spend more money, offer me some corny discount, or request that I change my review. Nothing. Simply “I wanted to reach out and apologize for the bad experience.” Fantastic. He built a human connection with me and I felt compelled to update my review to 4 stars:

This was a first-hand, real-life example of the benefits of business involvement in Social Media. Not only did Mark deal with the bad rap I was spreading about his business, but his genuine approach was so much above and beyond the norm or ignoring that he has inspired me to spread his good word. Sure I haven’t been back yet, but the way he handled this situation definitely says something about his character, or at least his business sense. Mark, my hat off to you.

I invite you share your experiences with Mark, Campo, & Social Media by leaving a comment:

Author: Dan Herr

catalyst. tech geek. ENG & MBA. tahoe raised. helping @CastleCrowCo. been @ProjectVesto, @CleanEnergyCtr, @MartisCamper, & @Cornell I invite you to visit my personal blog or connect with me @DanHerr on Twitter.

6 thoughts on “Think Social Media is Stupid? You’re Going To Lose.”

  1. This is an amazing story, Dan. I have NEVER heard of a restaurant owner CALLING to apologize. Shows that service recovery is more important than perfection. Mark is the real deal, which is why I will gladly spend my money in his business and tell others to do the same. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Absolutely! I was having a hard time understanding why everyone (including you) was raving about Campo, but now I understand. I am sure after this experience that Mark has nothing but success written into his future if he sticks to these tenets he is applying to business.

  2. Great story. It takes some minerals to call a customer directly and open yourself up to some harsh criticism. But that is how you become great.

    I have glanced at the Campo website and read Mark’s blog. He seems like a nice guy and takes the time to acknowledge his employees and his community.

    I am truly surprised that after all the reviews Dr. Simmons has given not once has he received a direct call from an owner. He must be very jealous of you! But also proud that Mark Estee is practicing what he believes make a business great…engagement.

  3. I kind of see its purpose for a business. But for individuals, i.e. solo bloggers or just everyday folks, I still don’t see the point. Maybe I’m a bit old-fashioned but I’d rather reach out Ma Bell style rather than via Big Brother Suckerborg. Or face-to-face. I don’t have a business; I’m one of those unemployed Millennials the media likes to harp about (I’m actually 16 and am disillusioned by the PWOT that is college, so I’ve decided not to go). I’m sort of interested in starting a blog, but I had enough of high school when I was there (quit because of bullying) and don’t feel like re-engaging with the same idiotic popularity contest that is the halls of Facebook and Twitter.

    I’m one of those introverted bookworms that would’ve been stuffed in the locker had I not gotten out while the getting was good. I only wish there were better ways to promote a “separate” outlet (such as a blog) without bothering to waste time with the twits (of all ages, I might add!) clamoring about Beeb the Dweeb’s bathroom habits. Plus, I consider myself too elaborate in my dialogue to squish my ideas into a 140-character bumper sticker. There’s only so many LOLs one can tolerate before society shows itself to be a big fat joke.

    1. Agreed on many counts actually, though I generally avoid using the term twit :). Universities have, to a large extent, become degree-mills and a large majority of the professors I’ve had (Engineering, Business and otherwise) would never make it in the real world, and some have actually failed there to end up back at the Universities, but I digress…

      In terms of avoiding certain conversation topics, I think that boils down to the audience that you surround yourself with (on or offline). I originally started blogging merely to have a catalog of my thoughts figuring if someone also finds them, and believes them useful, great. to my surprise people found some of my junk useful; hopefully that’s still the case.

      Your old-fashioned approach seems 100% correct to me in terms of meeting people in person. My opinion would be that everything you do in social media should have the purpose of working toward directly connecting with people to meet with them in person. From a business perspective social media plays to the old adage, “It’s not what you, know it’s who you know,” and I believe that to still be the case. That being said, if you’re worth meeting in person, you’re likely worth connecting with on social media and social media often gives an easier avenue through which to reach (or initially contact) people.

I welcome your questions, thoughts, comments, critiques, and words of wisdom

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