The future of social media?

I think (and secretly hope) that maybe, just maybe, social media could be dead in 10 years.

If it faces a different fate, however, I’m fairly certain that it will at least be a mere shadow of its current self. Those of us that were around in its heyday will not only no longer recognize it, but will want nothing to do with it anymore.

Having joined both Facebook and Twitter before either was terribly popular, I can tell you that I am so over them.

A future I can see is that brands will almost completely take over the social media universe, transforming it into yet another way to sell, sell, sell.

This, of course, is already going on, but I’m envisioning a world where every tweet is sponsored, every Instagram has a product featured, every Facebook post is an ad.

When forced to choose between the social media I’m beginning to dislike now and such a terrifying hypothetical future, I’ll take the present.

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Customer service: I really don’t need to tell you how important it is. But I will.

I don’t wanna brag, but I kinda think I’m the ideal customer.

I’ve worked in an ice cream shop, been a lifeguard, babysitter, college orientation leader and cashier (excuse me, “Point of Sale”. That’s much fancier.), all positions where I’ve had to deal with people kindly and judiciously.

I’m also just a really nice, compassionate person.

These traits and experiences combined make me Super Customer! Here to make your $%^&*# work day better!

I want their experience serving me to be good so that, in turn, my experience will be a good one. And they almost always are. I cannot recall a single incident that just enraged me so much that I would never return to the store or use that service again. I should note that I do have a quick temper. I’m sure there have been a handful of times where I’ve unleashed my death stare on a deserving employee, but nothing sticks out in my head. Maybe I’m just a forgiving person and realized that everyone has bad days. Just kidding, I’m just really forgetful.

I did, however, have a couple of recent experiences where I will not be using the services again. In the first, there was a total lack of customer service; I was directed to a machine each time. I wrote an angry and sassy Yelp review in retaliation. The other is more about the facility, itself. I recently called a salon that I had a Groupon for to make an appointment. The woman on the phone was not very personable and evidently we were both pretty hard to understand because we were getting nowhere. I ended up having to call back later because she was clearly so frustrated that one of our phone services was spotty. Anyway, minor annoyance. The real problem came when I arrived for my appointment. I had to wait about 15 minutes, no big deal, she apologized, but that gave me time to look around the room and notice how utterly filthy it was. I should note that this appointment was to remove follicles from an unmentionable area of the body (TMI, I’m sorry, but it’s necessary to the story), so it’s extra, super important that the facility is immaculate. Anyway the point of this story is that customer service extends beyond the front desk. Nobody is going to want to return to your facility if it’s in disarray or, in this case, has wax splattered all over the walls. (Really.)

If you ask me, every single employee, every sector, every part of the company has to be aware of the customer. What they may see, what they may feel, what they may perceive. It’s all a part of good customer service and makes a major difference in their experience.

Let’s get personal

I would like to give ALL THE APPLAUSE to brands like Oreo and JCPenney, who have decided to take the courageous step to voice their opinions. That’s not to say “shame on you” to those who haven’t, of course, but they’ve done a really excellent job of stating their company beliefs.

I’m going to be honest, I’m having a very hard time separating my own morals from my position on companies getting personal like that. I’m a flaming liberal, it’s true (um, I’m a Chicagoan in advertising), so I find it very difficult to support anyone that honestly believes that things such as gay marriage should be illegal. I won’t get into any more of my feelings on that matter to spare you a tirade. So, needless to say, I support the brands that support equal rights for all.

I think that sharing their beliefs on such a hot topic is a way for these companies to bond with their existing and potential consumers. Knowing that they are so adamant on their position that they would go as far as to ostracize certain demographics surely creates a more personal relationship between the supporting groups.

That being said, while I don’t agree with the opinions of other companies such as Chick-fil-A and Target, I think they have just as much right to voice their views. Even if I find it obnoxious.

And let’s be real, I’m not gonna stop going to either of them because milkshakes and dollar section, respectively.