From what I am learning in my marketing class, when utilized effectively social media can be a great way to attract consumers, cultivate relationships with customers, and build on successes to create a successful business. However, what happens when a business suddenly stops engaging in social media? Do customers wonder, “What happened? Where did they go? Can I still rely on this business to stay open and continue to provide the products I like?”
I came across a nice-looking site selling flower essences for animals. The site is visually appealing, simply organized, and easy to navigate. Curiously, there is no “About Us” tab, but there is a link encouraging visitors to check out the company’s “new blog”. Eager to learn more about the company and their products, I clicked to investigate.
The blog turned out to have over 100 detailed posts that explain the uses of flower essences and highlight different products. The blog was regularly active from April 2008 to May 2010 and then for 3 months in 2013. The last blog post is from September 2013.
There is a link to follow the company on Twitter, and I clicked on it to discover that the company has 1,860 followers, with a total of 6,606 tweets that go back to August 2007. Again, the last posts are from September 2013, and interestingly they are about social media marketing!
This leads me back to my questions: “What happened? Where did they go?” If I were a regular customer using these flower essences I might be concerned that the company had shut down or might do so in the near future. Any number of things could have happened that affected this small business owner’s ability to actively market her business and keep up with social media–illness, family issues, personal commitments–and while I of course feel compassion at the thought of these possibilities, I am left wondering.
In your opinion, does having a presence on social media platforms work for or against a business when it is not kept current? On the one hand, we can clearly see that this business is well established, has provided useful content and information to customers in the past, and has knowledge and expertise in their field. On the other, for whatever reason the dialogue with customers has come to a standstill and there is nothing to suggest that the business is actively engaged in development or keeping up with new products and trends.
Is it valuable to leave the blog and Twitter account in place so people can see the archives, or would it be better to take them down and deactivate them until the business has time to keep them current once again? I look forward to your comments.