What are the right words?

Local to me here in Tasmania is a wholefoods distributor. I wont name them, but they’re decently sized and over the last two years put a fair amount of effort into their marketing and social media presence. Brilliant, you might say. Well, yes and no. In the initial phases they had a plan, and guidelines, they had set things to post about on facebook and a design which led to all the good things in PR. Engagement. Interaction. Brand identification. Lovely…

Then, as time passed, and the reigns of their social media strategy passed from one person to the next… something changed. The scope was broadened. It became a platform for what was, presumably, the political and social position of management.

In a general sort of sense, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Surely the kinds of people who are interested in buying wholefoods would share a common background? A common sense of social justice. Common political opinions. Apparently not. Feedback from a number of corners suggested that engagement went down. People were losing interest. They felt their feed was being cluttered up with posts that they never signed up for.

Keep in mind, when running a business blog that yes, your customers do want to know you. They want to get a feel for you and they want to trust you. Here comes the but…


All those things have to happen through the prism of what they know as your area. Your expertise. Their expectation of who you are and what you have to offer. So what does that mean? For a wholefoods distributor who wants to broaden their postings, offer more intellectual content and spark greater debate?







What does all this mean? Well, it’s very much like the genre’s in literature. A crime fiction fan who buys the latest Tom Harris novel is going to feel not only disappointed, but betrayed, should they open it and find a Harlequin novel inside. However well written, how ever a brilliant example of this new genre, the customer bought a Tom Harris with a picture of a gun on the cover. They want crime, cops, mystery and intrigue and ah… light on the lovin’.

Your business presence online is much the same. Your genre as a business must remain at the forefront of your mind when you post on your blog, or link content on your Facebook account. The goal is to exceed reader expectations, sure, but to stay within your scope. If you’re a publishing company, your followers didn’t sign up to learn all about your personal passion for, or interest in, flying light aircraft.

9 Responses to What are the right words?

  1. yes.. sounds like maybe this business has wandered away from what they should be doing..
    My mind is working overtime to try and work out which Tasmanian business this is!!
    Coming by from #TUST

    • Hehe don’t try too hard! I wouldn’t want to get into trouble with anyone, I just noticed it as I follow this particular business on a couple of channels and found that the change was really noticeable and was having a real impact on their customer engagement and the feeling of brand trust.

  2. Hmmm. sounds like they’ve gone off track and should get back to what they’re business is actually about, and why their followers, followed in the first place.

  3. It sounds more like a personal Facebook account, there’s nothing strategic about it that’s for sure …

    • I think a large part of the problem is that, without any kind of social media plan, their content is hit and miss. They go for quite some time (whole months sometimes) without a post, and then I think realize that they’ve done it and feel like they HAVE to make remind people they are still there. Then it became a bad habit.

      It’s my feeling that if that’s the case, they’d be better off reappearing in their followers feed with a post about a great special on that week rather than a complain about what American intelligence agencies can and can’t do to American citizens. Yes it’s very concerning to some people, but it has nothing to do with why people would be following your feeds.

  4. I’ve seen a few businesses post political status’ and it never ends well. You are so right about a business needing to stick to articles and posts that are about their business. If they want to share their love for purple monsters, well that is what a personal account is for. The occasional post is fine, but when it starts to overtake the original message of the business, that is when customers start to get annoyed.

  5. Great post. Totally agree that we should all stay within our specific area or niche. Thanks for the reminder :)

  6. Sounds like they don’t have any business social media guidelines in place.

    • My research (which is more like poking around) suggests that the company has changed marketing officers, and either the replacement doesn’t understand/isn’t following the guidelines, or they were never written down.
      It’s a testament to the importance of writing these things down, especially if it becomes apparent that you’re going to have a change in staff!

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