Last week I attended a presentation by the good folks at Blue Bell Ice Cream at Gangplank HQ in Chandler, AZ. Let me begin by first saying that their ice cream is fantastic. I had never had it before, in fact, I had never heard of the company prior to this event. So, I really enjoyed the flavors I tried and went back for seconds. In case the FTC is reading this I have waited a few days before writing this so as not to give the impression that I was overly influenced by their ice cream.
The regional sales manager who was speaking kept talking about how the company is really traditional in its ways and is infused with old fashioned values. The point being that this is reflected in the quality of their product. I love these kinds of companies myself. He mentioned their employees are extremely loyal and stay on for long tenures, there have never been layoffs and the product is just awesome. One point he kept making though kept bugging me and from what I could tell it was bothering the audience as well. He kept talking about how slow they were to change and they have no social media strategy at all. Someday he proudly said, they might embrace social media marketing!
The audience, being overtly social media savvy, pounced on this remark during the question answer session. However, one person did make a very good point. He pointed out that by not having a direct social media strategy, yet engaging social media savvy audiences, the company was in fact harnessing the power of social media. So, instead of tweeting and enticing the audience to join its Facebook Fan page, the company was more authentic and being more real with its audience. Following a more direct approach would not necessarily be in line with who the company was!
Considering the number of tweets that went around that afternoon and the fact that food bloggers now have learned about the company I think there is truth to this observation. In other words even if you don’t directly use social media tools to talk to your audience, you can at least participate in the social media community and get your message across that way. In many ways this is better because social media is all about being authentic and if this is you then this is you. Don’t do something you’re not comfortable doing just because all the other kids are doing it!
Us social media folks need to relax sometimes and learn a few things from the old timers!
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