I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of public toilet stalls – in particular, for some reason, the ones you’d find round the back of the tuck-shop sheds on the edge of public ovals.
You know the ones: stainless steel bowls with black plastic seats, which are often broken or held in place by half a hinge.
But when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go.
Next time you find yourself in one of these abhorrent locations, I’d like you to check something out while you’re hoping no one’s going to push the door open (because, let’s face it, the lock will be missing).
Where has all the graffiti gone? Ten years ago I’d be entertained, shocked and mortified by some of the most stupid, naive and frightening messages etched into the stall walls. But now? More often than not I have noticed that these messages have disappeared under a once-over with paint and it’s like their creators just thought “hmmm… I don’t want to vandalise this toilet stall anymore.”
I genuinely believe they have lost interest in vandalising those stalls and I’m going to tell you why.
Why would you, dear potential public toilet stall vandaliser, take a few minutes to inscribe a note in a location with passing traffic of, at best, a few hundred per year, when you can take a few seconds to get your brain farts seen by the entire world… instantly.
Yes, we live in a world where our public toilets have been relieved of graffiti thanks to the splendid invention of social media. A lot of people think that the internet, and social media in particular, are making more people more stupid, but it’s not. It’s simply making all the stupid people that have always been there, more visible.
Gotta love technology! But stop shuddering and allow me to venture toward the flip side. A lot of people tell me that social media is a waste of time, energy, resources and patience and that it doesn’t result in sales. To them I say, “Nej.” Yes, it requires time, energy, resources, patience and a whole bunch of other things but it is not, I repeat not, a waste.
Here’s why: For the first time in history we have been endowed with a technology that allows anyone in the world to have a conversation with you in real time, without requiring a phone number, an email address or some other form of directory service. All they need to know is who you are and thanks to the nature of your product, there are a lot of people who know who you are! Every single one of the bottles you produce every year is a marketing tool to intrigue people enough to want to get to know you and your story.
How do you think they’d like to do this? Are you going to make them go on the hunt for your website or are you going to provide them with a location where they can interact and get to know you (and your brand) simply and seamlessly? Social media is a utility that provides you with the most awesome way to find new customers who are trying to find you – especially the ones who are unable to interact with you in person due to geographical constraints.
You know how you tell people one on one the story about your brand? Well, imagine being able to tell that same story to thousands of people at once as if they were standing in front of you.
That’s what social media can do for you – instantly.
And that word reminds me why I started writing this column in the first place. Instagram.
This is the one where people upload pictures of their lives – the partners they’re dating, the friends they’re hanging out with, the places they’re visiting, the dogs they’re walking, the products they’re buying, the food they’re eating, the things they’re liking and the wine they’re drinking. I get that a lot of you don’t get it, but here’s some good news. You don’t need to get it. All you need to do is acknowledge that your customers get it and for them to engage with you, you need to have a presence there.
And now you can amplify your presence.
The major announcement this month is something that businesses the world over have been waiting a long time for – Facebook (the owner of Instagram) have now made it so any business can deliver targeted advertising on Instagram and these ads now permit the user to “click out” of the Instagram app to another app (say, for example, your profile within an mCommerce app).
“Check out this wonderful picture of someone you recognise drinking our wine… and here’s a button that will take you directly to the page where you can buy it.”
When you start receiving those orders you can ponder whether the person that placed it, pulled out their phone while sitting in a public oval toilet stall with nothing on the walls to read.
Is Instagram part of your wine marketing strategy? Who looks after your company Instagram account? Let us know here.