When the Facebook Tail Wags Your Business Dog

Friday night I went to a concert by a well known San Francisco community group.  They’re talented. Although they are a non-profit volunteer group, the back orchestra tickets were $25, and the show was well attended.

Of course, the organizers want people to keep with the group’s future concerts and events, and they’re on top of social media.  So, they naturally pushed their Facebook page.  The master of ceremonies suggested that people take photographs during the evening, post them on Facebook, and compete for prizes for the best photographs.  The concert program even suggested when photographs should be taken.

Instructions from the Concert program to take a photo and post it on Facebook
Instructions in the Concert Program

So, after the house lights dimmed, audience members starting turning ON their cell phones and snapping photos.  Folks were maneuvering in their seats for the perfect angle, holding their phone up and out, and snapping away.  The man in the row in front of me really got into the spirit by starting the video camera and he recorded a section of the performance.

  • Cell phone displays are very, very bright.  In a dark hall, they are somewhere between distracting and blinding.
  • Some cell phone cameras flash in dim light.

The benign suggestion to share the performance online with your friends interfered with the experience for people who had already were fans. At the intermission and the end of the show, our group talked about the flashing and lights and not about the music.  Professional theaters ban pictures and videos both because their concern about intellectual property rights AND they don’t want amateur paparazzi disrupting their shows.

There’s a lot of good will for the organization sponsoring the concert I saw, and I doubt that their misplaced suggestion that people take pictures will impact their following.

But, what a good lesson for your business on what you should and should not to do!

  • Use social media to build buzz and get people in your doors.
  • Use social media to get your customers to tell their friends about you.

Do NOT let Social Media distract or de-focus your customers from doing what you want them do:

  • When I am already at a concert, don’t degrade my current concert experience in attempt to get future clients.
  • If I am already in your business, don’t suggest I check social media for deals or future events.

Just like in so many other areas of life, the bromide of “Moderation in Everything” will help your business use Facebook successfully.

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