Last week I started a new series of posts on tech, social media, and trends. We talked about the concept of Point, Know, Buy. I got some great feedback on the post and I hope it was helpful. Today we’re going to talk about a concept of “Learn & Earn.” If you have additional thoughts feel free to leave them in the comments. The intention of Tuesday Trends is to help you navigate the challenges with social media.

Learn & Earn

Through social media the world has gotten smaller and the consumer’s voice has gotten louder. Brands who are on Twitter, Facebook, and digital spaces, building awareness, have discovered the reality that consumers can and will convey dissatisfaction.

In the beginning brands initially responded to consumer negativity in one of three ways. 1. They chose to ignore the comment, tweet, or post. (We don’t have to answer to you.) 2. They removed the post or comment. (Whoa! Remove immediately.) 3. They fielded the remark with ownership and apology. (The customer is always right.)

Brands who chose to own a customer’s negative experience and address the issue honestly discovered that there was tremendous credibility restored with the customer and credibility gained by those who watched from the social media stands. Fans and consumers trust brands who show vulnerability. They meet issues head on, learning what went wrong, and earning the right to move forward and be heard.

This practice of “Learning & Earning” has become a proactive artform. Organizations are learning to take initiative in advance on potential areas of dissatisfaction before they are brought up by the customer. Brands are becoming human. They tout their flaws and express their course to change.

Example: Domino’s campaign to slam their own product and turn the ship around to make a better pizza.


As if ministry wasn’t personal enough already, you can expect it to get more personal. People in your community will want to be apart of causes that are helpful and make sense. A post on Facebook, mention on Twitter, or comment on a blog will take you to another level of internal conflict. Ministries that absorb criticism well in front of everyone will stand a better chance of earning back credibility and gaining more credibility from those who watch their efforts.

If ministries and non-profits can learn to proactively engage problems ahead of the community and in front of the whole community, they will benefit from their authenticity, transparency, and social media responsibility. This has led to the emergence of dedicated brand management. Organizations have hired or recruited people to cultivate community knowing online media is more than content distribution.

A Potential Example

Church on Twitter & Facebook: “We dropped the ball last week on our soup kitchen project. 100 of you came out to volunteer there was only enough work for 10 of you. We won’t let this happen again and we’re making changes.”

How will you react to the following?

“you’re talk last night was boring.”

“the people here are cliquish”

What current glaring problems do you have the courage to admit and move forward on acknowledging the elephant on the room with?

Just remember, everyone and I mean everyone is reading your page and watching your tweets even when you think they are not. Don’t think that your online conversation between you and a fan or member is only between the two of you.


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