Update: On 2/14/2012 I received an email of apology from Kaela Wasnich of FICOH. She and I had met at one of my speeches and her brother is a fellow associate at Oceanit. She was very gracious and receptive to my suggestions, sharing that there’s a “team” handling the social media for FICOH. I further recommended that they select a voice to be the person(ality) of FICOH, otherwise it will be confusing for community members. She agreed.
Above is a screen shot of a brief conversation with First Insurance Company of Hawaii. I published my wall post after declining an invitation to a “social media” event co-hosted by First Insurance and Good To Grill restaurant. FICOH’s reply took me by surprise, “Happy shopping.” It triggered some questions, but mostly a shrug that they weren’t interested in my business. For the record, we’re looking at purchasing auto insurance for two vehicles and business insurance for three companies by the end of the first quarter of 2012.
Let’s examine the invitation.
“Sample the delectable creations of Good To Grill; test your auto insurance knowledge in fun games; learn how you and your friends and family can get a Good To Grill gift card simply by getting a free auto insurance quote from First Insurance; be one of the first 30 attendees and receive a special First Insurance gift bag!”
I’ve dined at GTG on Kapahulu and can attest that their food is delicious! It looks like they have new items on the menu since I last dined there and a new location in the First Insurance building. Sampling “delectable creations” would be a dealmaker for me to attend or at least now it’s on my radar to dine the next time I’m in the area.
Games are a great way to engage attendees and gift bags for the first 30 creates urgency. Smart marketing. These two things alone will gain them at the very least free content from attendees that post their experiences (and gifts) through their personal Twitter and/or Facebook accounts.
Attendees and their family and friends will learn about an opportunity to receive a GTG gift card by getting a free auto insurance quote. Another smart marketing tactic. I mean, who doesn’t want something in exchange for data? If you participate in any social network, you’re giving up your data for free. Why not get a gift card to a great restaurant?
If you’re a business owner of any size, here are some lessons to learn from one brief post on Facebook:
- Everyone has a circle of influence. My mentor Guy Kawasaki has coined a new phrase in social media, “Nobodies are the new somebodies.” Technology has empowered people from usual consumers to publishers of media. This is very impacting on the future of communication.
- Outsourcing content may not be the solution. Surely, an insurance salesperson would not have missed the opportunity to sell me a package. Raise up and train your internal evangelists!
- The maximum characters for a tweet is 140. It may not seem like a lot, but the reply I received was less than 40-characters and quite possibly cost them a few thousand dollars. And, don’t forget…everyone has a circle of influence.
Recommendations to FICOH
Providing feedback without solutions is simply complaining. I’m not complaining. Here are a few solutions for FICOH:
- Review your social media policy and standard operating procedures on handling replies. Both should be very flexible and allow for case by case management.
- Pause and focus. Managing social channels can get overwhelming very quickly. Don’t forget to take a break and a breathe, then return to replying.
- Be sincere in your efforts. Do you really want me to be happy while I by pass your insurance company to become your competitors customer?
Again, this is not a complaint, but to bring awareness to all businesses and organizations opting to use social media as part of their communications and marketing plans.