St. Louis Social Media Profiles That Bum Us Out
This post is a wake-up call for a few organizations or figures in the St. Louis Metropolitan area that need to [Get Digital!](http://www.getdigitalseminars.com/ “http://www.getdigitalseminars.com/”) Come on, folks- we’re in the home stretch of 2011. If you want your brand to stay afloat the waters of success, you absolutely have to refine your online presence. Before you dig in, make sure to slip into your thickest skin. If I come across as harsh, it’s only because I firmly believe that these brands can do a better job of marketing online.
The first brand on our radar is a chain of “the friendliest stores in town.” I’m talking, of course, about [Schnucks.](http://www.schnucks.com/ “http://www.schnucks.com/”) Or [Schnucks.](http://www.culinariaschnucks.com/ “http://www.culinariaschnucks.com/”) Or [Schnucks](http://www.schnuckscooks.com/ “http://www.schnuckscooks.com/”) Or [...Schnucks.](http://www.peaceofmindpricing.com/ “http://www.peaceofmindpricing.com/) [Schnucks!](http://www.peaceofmindquality.com/ “http://www.peaceofmindquality.com/) [Schnucks.](http://customeryou.com/ “http://customeryou.com/”)
Geez how many sites do you need?! That’s not even the full list of domains. Anyway, back to them being the Friendliest Stores in Town. Wow, the friendliest? Hm. Interesting. Didn’t [24 people get E. coli last month?](http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/fitness/size-of-e-coli-outbreak-shrinks-to-sickened/article_eb845696-9bfb-53eb-8747-83d5edd6bf12.html “http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/fitness/size-of-e-coli-outbreak-shrinks-to-sickened/article_eb845696-9bfb-53eb-8747-83d5edd6bf12.html”) Yup. They did. However, there was no mention of the situation on any of Schnucks’ social media channels. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Public Relations, it is that a timely, honest, straightforward apology and plan of action can do wonders. I understand that it might be tempting to simply look forward and hope that the unfortunate circumstances simmer. Still, Schnucks could use a lesson in PR. What’s worse is that they were as vocal as ever on Facebook and Twitter during those days- they just left out the story of their salad bar passing E. coli on to 24 people. Imagine how sickening it would feel to read about their incredible Wednesday Wow coupons while your mom is lying in the hospital because she happened to eat a tainted salad that day. Shame.
Another thing we’re picky about is Schnucks’ lack of control on [foursquare.](http://foursquare.com “http://foursquare.com”) While certain locations (Culinaria, Clayton, Hampton) do very well, the listings as a whole are disorganized and a bit sloppy. There are more than 8 general “Schnucks” destinations. These don’t have addresses or any way to differentiate them from the other generic Schnucks locations. If each store had its own defined listing on foursquare, then the customers present would know exactly which one to check in to. Maybe Schnucks enjoys being spread out and confusing, though; its multiple Facebook pages are just as chaotic. The most popular and active page, “Schnucks Markets,” has a thriving fan base and does a fine job of interacting with its consumers. But it also bothers me a little that it lists six domains under “website.” SIX.
We love Schnucks. It’s a great company that provides unparalleled service and a delicious selection of food and drink. We think it can do better, though.
The next culprit has been a St. Louis icon for more than 20 years. We recognize her face, her voice, and of course, the way she gracefully rides those magic carpets.
I’m referring to Becky from [Becky’s Carpet.](http://www.beckyscarpet.com/ “http://www.beckyscarpet.com/”) THE Becky. She once dominated the television networks with her borderline obnoxious ads (you know, cheesy effects and shouted scripts). Now she seems to have fallen off the planet, perhaps due to a faulty rug. Becky’s Carpet still exists, however. I know this from the live site on the domain www.beckyscarpet.com. But here’s what I want to know: why would anyone click through to the site when the Google results show this:
I think I’ll take my money somewhere else, Becky. You don’t seem to have very good reviews or, from the looks of it, customer service. (Because if these customers’ needs were met, they wouldn’t have rated her business so poorly.) Google reviews are as honest as they come. I’m serious. Work on your [Reputation Management.](http://evolvedigitallabs.com/services/reputation-management/ “http://evolvedigitallabs.com/services/reputation-management/”) Your 48 “likes” on Facebook aren’t really cutting it. Neither is your link to MySpace. Pretty sure I haven’t logged in to my account since 2007.
St. Louis Art Museum
Ok, who’s next in line? Ah, [The St. Louis Art Museum.](http://www.slam.org/Collections/ “http://www.slam.org/Collections/”) This organization is an incredible asset to the St. Louis community. Admission is free daily. It has an impressive array of art from all periods- there are even mummies in the lower levels! What’s more: They have educational, inspiring exhibitions that are free on Fridays.
Did you know that right now you can see Monet’s famous painting, Water Lillies, in person through this January?
Neither did I! Their presence on Facebook is decent, but they are nonexistent on Twitter. That bums me out. I follow as many local organizations as I can because I enjoy knowing what events are going on. Having a perpetual stream of updates keeps me happy. I feel like I’m not the only one who would enjoy reading the happenings at The St. Louis Art Museum. (Their domain is www.slam.com. How sweet is that.)
You’re almost there, SLAM. I can see the potential beaming out of your striking architecture. Just take it to the next level.
Next- [Sam Bradford.](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Bradford “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Bradford”) What’s the deal, man? You’re injured, so I know you’re not too busy playing football to tweet to your +12,000 followers on Twitter. The only two tweets were from over a year ago. They are as shown in the image. All right, Sam. I know you’re a football player and you have other priorities, like running for your life 2 out of 3 plays, but you have 12,000 followers. They all support you. Take a quick break from filming commercials and send out a few insider tweets to your city. Think of it as Public Relations… because it is. We know you are a good person who feels connected to a cause and has something to promote and support. Why not use your Twitter account for it?
Okay, St. Louis, don’t get mad at me for this one. [Ted Drewes](http://www.teddrewes.com/home/default.aspx “http://www.teddrewes.com/home/default.aspx”) is a staple in this town. Everyone loves it, everyone eats it. But there would be so much more to “eat” up if the company dished out some sweet content online! (Too many puns?) You might be thinking, “Well, the business is only open 10 months out of the year.” That’s not an excuse to be quiet for 12. Ted Drewes is already on Facebook and the page actually has an impressive fan base. However, Ted Drewes should seriously consider starting a company blog, one that highlights different custard combinations, tells stories of bizarre customers, and gives away gift cards or other freebies. This, along with consistent engagement on Twitter, will give customers, current and potential, a reason to chime in. I’m already thinking about Ted Drewes treats. It’s noon on a rainy, wet day and I can think of nothing else but rich, creamy frozen custard. Don’t just be present online. Be alive!
These brands certainly aren’t the only ones with a sub-par digital entity. They’re just the first of many more to be called out. St. Louis, be smart about how you use social media. Evolve has its “eye” on you.