Idiots Hate Applebee’s (and They’ll Hate You Too)

Failure, Leadership Thoughts, Marketing, News, Social Media 51 Comments »

I was super busy all week with two productions and just got to this.

Now that the dust has settled and the real facts are available, I wanted to quickly weigh in on the giant “Applebees Unjustly Fires Poor Waitress” fiasco.

I’d like to get your thoughts on it too.

Here are the facts before I get started:

 

1) An Applebee’s waitress received this stupid note from Pastor Alois Bell on the signed credit card receipt.

It says “I Give God 10% Why do you Get 18″

2) Chelsea Welch, a different waitress (not the one who served the customer), took a picture of that credit card signature receipt with her phone and posted it on Reddit.com along with the caption:

My mistake sir, I’m sure Jesus will pay for my rent and groceries.

3) Customer found out about it and complained

4) Chelsea admitted to doing it and Applebee’s fired her

5) Hell broke loose on the internet.

The media ran to the server’s rescue.  Competitor’s ears perked up, fan pages popped up, and 20,000+ fans commented on Applebee’s first Facebook post about the situation:

“We wish this situation hadn’t happened. Our Guests’ personal information—including their meal check—is private, and neither Applebee’s nor its franchisees have a right to share this information publicly. We value our Guests’ trust above all else. Our franchisee has apologized to the Guest and has taken disciplinary action with the Team Member for violating their Guest’s right to privacy.”

6) Applebee’s social media team tried to engage upset people.

People called them names and accused Applebee’s of hypocrisy for breaching their own privacy policy by sharing a customer’s “receipt”  earlier in the year.

(looks like an informal positive comment card to me)

6) Applebee’s posts a larger update and temporarily hides the old post.

Enraged Facebook fans claim that Applebee’s deleted their comments.

7) Applebee’s unhides the original post and denies manually deleting any negative posts.

8) 20,000+ more comments go onto their Facebook page.

Thousands of people now “hate” Applebee’s

 

You know what this is?

 

We’re witnessing an old-fashioned online lynching.

What we’ve got here is a company protecting their customer’s privacy (I don’t want my signature online) and being dragged through the mud by idiots looking to lynch Applebee’s.

The idiotic pastor’s note was truly stupid.  Great servers deserve great tips.

However, it would take another true idiot to think it’s okay to post a customer’s signature (customer is the key word) online while mocking them, even if what they were mocking was indeed stupid.

No, I don’t think Applebee’s had the perfect response on Facebook.
No, I don’t think there is such a thing.
Yes, I’m calling a lot of names here.

Here’s why:

  • It’s not okay to hurt a business because you don’t understand how to run one.
  • It’s wrong to post nasty stuff about companies or people when you don’t have the facts.
  • It’s easy to play armchair quarterback when it’s not your business.
  • The local owners, people that work at Applebee’s, and their family members are real people who get affected by idiotic boycotts, 40,000+ nasty comments, and all the distractions this has caused.

But this isn’t just about Applebee’s.  It’s about you and me.

I had something like this happen on our Attention Era Media Facebook page last year when we posted this video and asked if people liked their idea:

A large feminist group began saying we supported misogyny and tying women up for commercial purposes.  It wasted a ton of time and hurt our new brand.

For what?

For entertainment.

People like to hear themselves talk on social media, especially if there’s an ignorant mob that agrees with them.

I know people that work for Applebee’s.  This is not amusing.

This is not entertainment.  Don’t kid yourself. Idiots hate Applebee’s and they’ll hate you too.

That’s why we need to stick together.

Have a great night,

Aaron @Biebert

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Social Media Myth Busters

8pm Warriors, Marketing, Social Media 4 Comments »

My friend Phil Gerbyshak (@PhilGerb), along with some of his friends (including my buddy Robert Caruso aka @Fondalo), just produced a free e-book to bust a couple social media myths.  It’s called “The Naked Truth of Social Media” and I enjoyed the quick read.

Here are a couple of the myths busted:

Myth: Every business should be using social media.
Myth: Nobody cares what you had for lunch.
Myth: There is a “right way” to do social media.

Some of the brilliant myth busters involved in this project:

  • Susan Baroncini-Moe
  • Chris Reimer
  • Erika Napoletano
  • Brian Clark
  • Keri Jaehnig
  • Jason Falls
  • Tom Martin
  • Ari Herzog

They certainly provided some interesting viewpoints that are worth discussion.  If you’re interested in this quick read, you can download the e-book here at SocialMediaNakedTruth.com.

Have a great night!

Aaron @Biebert

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The Problem with Yellow Pages

Changing Times, Failure, Marketing, Social Media 14 Comments »

If you’re paying money for Yellow Pages ads, but not investing in new media…you have a problem.

The same goes for newspapers, direct mail, and so many other forms of media that half of the country doesn’t even know exists.

Watch how these two young men treat the Yellow Pages. It’s an alien.

Makes me feel old.

I remember having classes in school on how to use the Yellow Pages. Now it’s a joke.

The average person pulls out their phone and searches for a business using the internet. Younger generations have never used the Yellow Pages, rarely read the newspaper, and hardly open their mail.

The world has changed. Those who haven’t, now have a major problem.

Spread the word. The Yellow Pages are dead. What’s next?

Learn something new each night,

Aaron@Biebert

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3 Reasons the “ROI of Social Media” Debate Continues

Attention Era, Changing Times, Leadership Thoughts, Marketing, Social Media 23 Comments »

After years of case studies showing social media’s power to connect people (customers, partners, and employees), you would think the debate would be settled.

It’s not.

In fact, it’s just beginning in some companies…now in a new way.

While nearly everyone is probably willing to admit there is some value to social media and that “it works”, a new question is arising.

Exactly how much is it worth?

This video parodies what’s going on in some companies as the new year begins.

How do situations like this happen?

Sometimes decision makers are not educated enough on what they were buying, had their expectations set too high, or don’t have patience to see it through.  It might even be a combination of all three.

Here are three big reasons why leaders are beginning a new round of debates about the value of social media in the marketing mix:

1) Poor Education


Leaders are not being educated on what they are buying, how long it will take, or what it actually does.

Sometimes, overzealous marketing leaders used the “Everyone’s Doing It” pitch and got approval without explaining that social media is a new kind of war, not a single battle.

2) Wrong Expectations

Have you heard or said things like:

  • “Social media is free advertising!”
  • “Social media will make sales explode!”
  • “Let’s make it go viral!”
  • “We won’t have to spend money on other expensive marketing routes.”

In reality, using social media is only one part of building a modern business.  Setting expectations too high, too fast, or too easy makes for trouble.

3) Lack of Patience

Some leaders have been properly educated with correct expectations, but just don’t have the patience.  Their ADHD leadership tendencies make them lose focus or patience and they withdraw support so they can focus on their next great strategy.

 

Social media is not a strategy.  It is a method of communicating.

Communication can be good.  Communication can be bad.  However, for most industries there is no way to calculate return on investment of communication.

It is everything.

If you choose to do social media poorly, you are choosing to do business poorly.

Don’t stop something you’ve started because you’re impatient or afraid.  This social media stuff isn’t going away and your competitors are only spending more time and money each quarter on finding ways to connect with your clients.  Ignore it for too long, and your clients may begin to ignore you too.

Finish the debate tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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When You Have Someone’s Attention: Don’t Waste It!

Attention Era, Changing Times, Family, Leadership Thoughts, Marketing, Social Media, Time 6 Comments »

A couple quick thoughts at the end of the week.

Humans are no longer limited by a lack of information.  We’ve never had more Wikipedia articles, Google search results, emails, updates, and every other way we get information when we need it.

We even have Siri or other artificial intelligence like Big Blue to do the work for us.

Information is not the problem.

 

We are now limited by the amount of attention we have available.

When you earn someone’s attention, you shouldn’t waste it.  It’s precious!

 

Does your page respect people’s time?

  • Do you dominate Facebook with a ton of trivial posts?  We only have so much time and you’re wasting it.  We will unfollow or hide you.
  • Why are our comments awaiting moderation on your blog? You have a spam filter.
  • Are you deleting Facebook comments that are unfavorable to your brand?  You are asking for trouble.  Comments will go somewhere.
  • We won’t do business with you if you ignore questions or comments on your page.

 

Why are your customers waiting?

  • I spent 3 hours on the phone with AT&T yesterday.  Now I’m switching to Verizon.
  • My favorite grocery store has no parking.  I now have a new favorite.
  • Sam’s Club always has 10 people in every line.  I’m not renewing my membership.

 

How are you one on one?

  • Are you constantly checking your phone?
  • Are you dragging the conversation down by spend too much time on meaningless stuff?
  • Are you actually listening?
  • Do you spam your contacts with unnecessary emails or other deferred communication?
  • Do you say stuff just for the sake of saying it?

 

For the sake of humanity, we must stop.

 

The developed world is out of time.  Relationships are suffering.  People are overwhelmed.

If you want to keep people’s attention in the Attention Era, you must respect it.

It starts by not wasting it.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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3 Types of Human Communication

Attention Era, Changing Times, Failure, Family, Leadership Thoughts, Loneliness, Marketing, Social Media 16 Comments »

Are we truly communicating? Are you engaging people?

Humans are not at their best when sending and receiving messages that are either delayed or blindly broadcast into “the stream”, desperately hoping someone will see it.

It is inefficient, impersonal, and too easy to lose, ignore, or forget in an Attention Era where each day means more new signals.

It will kill our society.

How are you doing business?  How are you leading people?

Here are three ways we can choose to communicate.  As the list progresses, communication degrades and becomes less effective.

 

Concurrent Communication

  • Personal Meeting
  • Skype / FaceTime / Google Hangout
  • Phone
  • Instant Message Conversation

 

Deferred Communication

  • Personal YouTube message
  • Voicemail
  • Text Message
  • Email
  • Facebook Message
  • Social Mentions (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.)
  • Comment
  • Twitter DM
  • Mail
  • Telegraph

 

Broadcast Communication

  • Bullhorn yelling on corner
  • Sandwich boards
  • TV Commercial / Online Video Ad
  • YouTube Video
  • Radio
  • Pins on Pinterest
  • Billboards
  • Twitter Update
  • Facebook Update
  • Social Check-ins
  • Smoke Signals

 

If people are really your people, you need to talk.  Real friends don’t spend years trading delayed snippets of communication with each other.

Communication is more than words. True engagement is harder than you think.

Engage in real communication tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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News Flash: Pinterest Isn’t Just For Girls Anymore

Attention Era, Business Opportunities, Changing Times, Marketing, News, Social Media 37 Comments »

Pinterest is being invaded by men.  It’s true.

Ready or not, here men come!

 

I first heard about Pinterest.com from a woman who was telling my wife that she and her daughter are addicted to “pinning” things and looking at “pins” all day.  Since I never want to miss the next big thing (addictive is indicative), my ears perked up.

That is until they started talking about the cute hairstyles, pretty dresses, and neat craft ideas they found on Pinterest.

I took a pass and let my wife be the pioneer on this one.
Pin It

However, about a month ago I started paying attention again after hearing that it was the #3 social network for time spent, #5 traffic driving social network (beat out Google+), and had growth of 400+% in the last six months.  On Tuesday, Hitwise tweeted that Pinterest’s visits have grown from 10 million to 17 million in just this month!

I also started noticing more visits to 8pmWarrior.com from Pinterest.com, so I did some research.

This is what I found

 

There are men on Pinterest?!

 

I don’t ever want to be a latecommer to the next big party.  Plus, I was an art minor in college and enjoy graphic design & video production.  Many people (all women) told me that Pinterest was right up my alley.

So I signed up.  Yep.

Once on the inside, I found great infographics, inspiring quotesinteresting real estate, funny stuff, and other suitable “pins” for men.

I also learned how to braid hair too.  (You can’t win ‘em all)

I might get kicked out of the men’s club for sharing these names, but to prove that I’m not the only guy on Pinterest, I’ve assembled the entire list of other men on Pinterest:

If you’re a guy on Pinterest, please post a link to your profile in the comment section below so I can follow you.  The more men I hang out with, the less feminine I feel.

In all seriousness though, I strongly believe this will become something big.

 

As an entrepreneur, I see the potential for businesses.  As a marketing thinker, I see the potential for exposure.  In the Attention Era, I see the best stuff in the world getting attention.

Essentially, it’s a visual version of twitter.  Instead of links, there are pictures to click.

17,000,000 people went on it this month, which puts it in the top 10 social networks in the world.

Pinterest is going to be big.  If I was you, I would check it out.

It isn’t just for girls anymore.

If you need an invite to Pinterest (it’s still private), I’ll send invites to email subscribers of my blog since I already have your email address.  Let me know if you need one.

If you’d like to connect on Pinterest, my profile is http://pinterest.com/abiebert.

Try something new tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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Do You Miss Social Media Connections When They’re Gone?

Attention Era, Leadership Thoughts, Marketing, Social Media 26 Comments »

I’ve been gone on vacation and then focused on digging out upon my return.  I’ve been “gone”.

As I got back into the stream of emails, tweets, voicemails, messages, updates, check-ins, texts, questions, phone calls, pins, shout outs, uploads, appointments, posts, sharesscores, and more…I realized something.

Someone is missing!

 

The sad thing was I didn’t know who.  I just knew they were gone.

I wonder if we’re talking to so many people on so many channels that we don’t even know who we’re missing anymore.

Are we forgetting?

  • Clients
  • Family members
  • Friends
  • Mentors

They say the human brain can only maintain an average of 150 weak relationships at a time (Dunbar’s Number), and only 10 strong ones.

You know who was missing?

Me.

You forgot me!  Sadly, I also forgot you too.

Isn’t this crazy?

When we are honest, many of us with a modern social network would admit that we forget each other when we’re gone.  Yes, we remember each other right now, of course.  That’s why it’s so important that people, brands, and blogs stay active and “out there”.  That may be the only way we’re unforgettable in the Attention Era.

When we’re gone, we’re most likely forgotten.

Let’s reconnect tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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