Recently Tunbridge Wells has been “gripped” by fear owing to the presence of a mysterious clown-mask wearing individual, whose menacing presence has disturbed youngsters locally, triggering police briefings at schools. The flurry of activity and reporting led to substantial disquiet amongst parents and daughters, as worst fears were projected onto the clown-mask wearer. Finally its identity was revealed: an 18-year old girl, who has now been cautioned by the police.
What marketing lesson for small businesses does this story illustrate? Don’t only rely on first impressions, perhaps. So, in practical terms I would suggest that it is worthwhile reconsidering social media marketing. You may have heard about Internet trolls, offensive tweets and cyber attacks; but these are merely the clown-mask dressing up a cost-efficient opportunity for making contact with thousands of potential customers with whom you can engage. Remove the mask and you will find social media (Twitter) is harmless, polite, friendly and a mutually supportive space for making new contacts; and it can be informative and fun, too; and it’s free to use if you have wi-fi. So think again before you dismiss it and try not to project your worst fears onto something harmless. Proceed with care, of course, as you do in life, but don’t jump to conclusions which may be ill-founded.