Social Media: Bad Timing and/or Tone Deaf


Popped upon my social media feed this afternoon.

Price Chopper is running a sponsored ad touting their support of Riverfest, at the same time the cancellation of said event is all over most social media feeds.

Riverfront Cancel Facebook

It’s one of the reasons I’m a bit hesitant to embrace scheduled, planned social media posts, and have a more hands-on, direct approach. Because one never knows – some sort of political incident, tragic accident, hilarious meme, or other news story could crop up and the juxtaposition of a social media post (sponsored or otherwise) with a problematic news story could result in a social media fail. Even if there’s no direct connection (as there is here), promoting a fun and games event in the wake of a crime, attack, or natural disaster is at best, tone deaf.

I do schedule some things, but I do so judiciously, and keep an eye on things – ready to pull the plug at any time. And I notice what companies and organizations seem to be managing their social media somewhat robotically or blindly – and make some assumptions about the entity’s customer service accordingly.

God Takes Care of Fools and Small Children

Recently, I’ve noticed a Sponsored Post coming across my social media feed.

Berkshire Sponsored Post

The State of CT Tourism groups is promoting it’s new CT Visit website (and tourism in general) with a post theme – Sea / Air / Risk / Reward. And right in the middle of it is my good friend Robert Zirpolo and his hot air balloon company, Berkshire Balloons.

Now, Robert is way behind the curve on internet marketing. I set up a website for him years ago, and migrated it to a free blog type page so he could update it himself. I’ve set up a Facebook account, and post to it occasionally, but if he posts to it more than a few times a year (usually a “happening now” post of passengers posed pre-flight) it’s a lot. Sponsored or paid advertising? Not hardly. Robert is no fool, but he’s not very aggressive nor savvy when it comes to social media marketing.

And yet, here he is, beneficiary of an aggressive (and no doubt, costly) state of CT tourism campaign. Robert commented this week as he called up looking for crewing help “for some reason, everybody wants to go flying this week”. Pretty sure I know why….

It’s not completely happenstance – Robert donated time, propane, and equipment for a couple of State of CT film shoots last year – I was along to crew for both dates (a windy “no inflate” shoot at Lyman Orchards, and a short, flight with camera, video, and drone filming out of Meriden’s Hubbard Park)

But still – you can’t buy this sort of exposure. Or perhaps, you can’t AFFORD this sort of exposure.