Be Professional and Courteous- Return Your Calls

Texting on a qwerty keypad phone

Increasingly it’s becoming rare for people to do the simple task of returning someones telephone call. And it shows a lack of courtesy and professionalism as well as humanism that is becoming pervasive in this country.

Let’s be clear my opening statement excuses all non-returned calls to strangers who have no known connection to you. If someone calls and leaves me a message and I don’t know them and they don’t identify someone we know mutually or they don’t give me compelling reason to call them back, I probably won’t. If you’re calling someone who doesn’t know you it’s YOUR responsibility to give them reason to call you back.

I’ve been deluged with this problem lately; and I’ll admit I’m venting a little. But what has pushed my buttons to the point of writing this blog is how many people don’t return calls who initially contacted me or who personally asked me to call them. Quite candidly, that’s rude. Just like I was always taught about the practice of being on time for a meeting or appointment where being late tells those who are waiting for you that you and your schedule is more important in your own mind than is the person left waiting or their schedule. Not returning a phone call to someone who took the time to call you, or return your call simply says to that person, “You’re not THAT important to me”. And what does that say about your own arrogance? Or courtesy? Or character?

Let’s face it, some calls you don’t want to return for any number of reasons. But for whatever reason at that time you don’t want to speak with the person who attempted to call you. But here’s a revelation, we all have to sometimes do things we’d rather not. I’d rather sleep in until whenever I wake up rather than rise at 5:30am like I’ve done everyday since starting my company Total Broadcasting Service in 2005. But though I have no boss watching over me to see to it that I’m on time and that I’m showing up, I do have a family depending on me to bring home the bacon. I have clients expecting me to complete the tasks I’ve promised to complete for them. And I find that I can keep those promises best when I rise early.

I will join others like Pamela Paul of the New York Times in putting some of the blame for the lost art of returning phone calls on technology. Why return a call when you can email or text? By emailing or texting a Reply you can say what you want to say and be done with it and not have to listen to whatever it is the person calling you wants to say. This is exactly my point. It takes an awful lot of arrogance and not too much love or caring to make a judgement that you don’t want to hear what a friend, business person or family member has to say before they’ve even said it. You’re not clairvoyant. As Paul writes in her 2011 Times article certainly teens and young adults have long ago abandon any sense of needing to return calls. A business associate I was speaking with yesterday had the kind and thoughtful idea of buying an AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge and accessory products from my wife and I for his 24-year-old daughter. He put me in touch with her. and when I spoke with her she enthusiastically sounded like she wanted the high quality health and nutrition products that AdvoCare offers. But upon talking again with her father he lamented how his daughter wasn’t returning his phone calls and that this was not unusual. I related to him my complete understanding since I have a 25-year-old daughter who has never felt compelled to return my calls.

I also recently had dealings with a 23-year-old daughter of one of my best friends. Despite his chastising her and my repeated attempts to reach her she simply would not call me back. After about 1 week she emailed me. How nice. NOT!

But don’t let me give you the impression that my negative experiences in this area are reserved for teens and young adults. While its my sense that age group is more frequently neglectful in the courteous practice of returning phone calls, they are by no means exclusive to the practice of not returning calls.

In years past when my sales career involved about 6-hours a day of calling clients on the telephone I developed the habit of seldom leaving phone messages. To do so was pointless. Not only was it unlikely that I would get a return call; but leaving a message also made it far more awkward for me to be able to call again. So if I failed to reach a client or potential client I simply said to my inquisitor “No message. Thank you. I’d rather call back. When’s best?”. And of course if there was no inquisitor, only a voice mail or recorder, I wouldn’t leave any message. If I was cold calling I used the baseball practice of 3-strikes and you’re out. Meaning, if I called three times without reaching the person I was trying to reach I would stop calling and be rid of the annoying task of repeatedly calling back. If my efforts were directed at a past client my efforts would expand depending on the value I placed on that client. Still, it was a rare client with whom I’d leave a message and trust to get a call-back.

And perhaps more frustrating than anything is that it has never been easier to return calls. Nearly everyone has their own mobile phone. With that, many still have a home and work telephone number. It’s inconceivable that at no time while walking driving or sitting and watching TV that a phone call can’t be returned. And please, get over yourself if you’re thinking “I’m just so busy”. If you return a call right away you don’t have it on the to-do list to be forgotten later. Just a tip…

I am not a fan of email and texting conversations. Like a lot of people I think the anonymous or faceless text or email allows me to have a much “sharper” writing pen than I would ever have with my tongue. And not being able to hear or convey tones, inflections, or facial or body language I have frequently been misunderstood with emails and text messaging. I’m sure I’m not alone in this victimization. And what makes it more frustrating is that I’m a fairly decent and accomplished writer, having done it professionally for much of 30 years.

The saddest part of this scenario is that I view the developments of texting, emailing, and Facebooking

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

as a de-humanizing of our culture. We’re far more than mere scribbles on a white screen. We are laughs, and smiles and sometimes harsh or serious tones all of which can be heard or seen but can’t be conveyed with any degree of effectiveness with the written word. As human beings we grow and learn from contact with one another. We celebrate. We educate. And how much of each is being lost by our increasing efforts to avoid human contact, human touch? I fear it’s much.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

Go to our website, read our story and try some AdvoCare. You won't regret it.

Go to our website, read our story and try some AdvoCare. You won’t regret it.

The Best Time to Post on Facebook and other Social Media

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

If engaged in a business using Social Media to help market your business, products or services its important to know the best times to make posts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and other social media sites. The best times would be the times when most people are likely to see your posts. Other marketers break it down to declare that the best times are the times when most Interactions take place. Interactions (On Facebook, for instance) would be Likes, Comments or Shares. It’s good to have interactions with your Friends, Likes, Followers, Fans, Subscribers, etc. But a lot of them are Social Media voyeurs. They choose not to interact, or don’t know how to do so.

We own and operate Total Broadcasting Service; which is an audio and video production company that provides content for Social Media Marketing. In studying the Facebook and YouTube channels we manage we’ve determined the following:

Worst Days of the Week to Post on Facebook- 

It’s not even close. Monday and Tuesday have the least number of fans and followers on Facebook, with Monday slightly worst. Interestingly, Tuesdays are not so bad on YouTube.

In rating the worst day for Monday proved worst for 50% of our customers business profile pages. Tuesday was worst for 46% of them. And in nearly every case if Monday was their worst day Tuesday was second worst, and vice versa.

Sunday was the third worst day.

Best Days of the Week to Post on Facebook-

This was not nearly as definitive as determining the worst days. But Wednesday appeared best for more customers than any other day. 32% of Total Broadcasting customers were best on Wednesday. Friday was also good with a percentage of 25%. Thursday and Saturdays were the strongest days for 14% of our customers.

In advising our clients we will be telling them to keep an eye on their Facebook Insights data for changing information, but for now plan your best and most important posts for Wednesday first, and Thursday thru Saturday in equal emphasis.

Worst Time of any Day to Post on Facebook-

We would not have needed data to guess this information correctly. You probably wouldn’t either. In each customer’s case the fewest number of online Friends occurred in the middle of the night from 9pm-6am Pacific. Not hard to figure out why.

Yet, strangely a lot of national brands have not caught on to this fact and have programmed their auto-posts to appear on your Walls early in the A-M hours. Presumably their hoping to greet you when you wake with their ads. We would not advise our clients to do likewise.

Best Time of Day to Post on Facebook-

There are two ways to look at answering this. Either one could work for you.

First, post in the morning between 7am-9am. While this is the time frame in which fewest people are on-line (other than over-night) the benefit is that your post will be on the Walls of your fans all throughout the day. So, therefore, even evening Facebook surfers will scroll through their Wall and eventually come across your post.

Still, we recommend posting onto Facebook when the most people are on-line. Among our clients the late afternoon between 2pm-6pm and 6pm-9pm are equally busy online. As such posting at any time from 2pm-6pm would be best. Late afternoon versus early evening using the same argument by those proponents of early morning posting.

All Total Broadcasting Service customers surveyed operate businesses on the West Coast of the United States in the Pacific time zone. Data used to formulate this information comes from Facebook Insights during a recent 1-week period in July 2013.

The Best Days and Times to Post on Social Media According to National Data-

Look hard enough and you’ll find conflicting data online. We came across blogs referencing studies that said Wednesday was the absolute worst day to post. We found more studies and ones we found more credible stating that Wednesday was best.

The chart below gives very specific recommendations for all the major Social Media sites. Click on it to see a larger clearer version.

Best times to post

What you’ll find it says is not too dissimilar from our findings in studying Total Broadcasting Service customers. It says:

Best time to post on Facebook? Wednesday at 3pm.

Worst time? Overnights and weekends.

Best time to Tweet on Twitter? Monday-Thursday 1pm-3pm.

Worst Tweet times? After 3pm Fridays.

Best time to post on LinkedIn? Just before or just after normal work hours; 7am-9am or 5-6pm.

Worst? Mondays and Fridays.

Best time to Pin on Pinterest? Interestingly, Saturday mornings and evenings from 8pm-1am.

Worst time for Pinterest? Late afternoons 5pm-7pm.

The chart also mentions Google+, and while I know they have a significant membership it’s not unlike a forced Labor Camp. You are only on Google+ because Google makes you have an account when you want an account on YouTube or Gmail. There is still no one playing on Google+. So who cares.

How Much Should You Post?

On Twitter there is virtually no penalty for over posting. Have at it. Tweet yourself to death.

But on Facebook there are definite penalties for posting too often. Your Fans will stop being your fans. They’ll stop paying attention, they may unlike you. They may just Hide you.

Various data sites calculate that 2-posts per day is optimum. Once you post 3 times or more the amount of interactions in the form of Likes, Comments, and Shares starts to drop off.

Use this information to your benefit and you will find Social Media terrific for staying in touch with customers and finding new ones, or more specifically, making it possible for them to find you. Above all, as we like to say with regard to our posting live by this rule…ALWAYS BE INTERESTING! Boring sucks.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

Put Content on Your Social Media Pages then Get on With Your Day

Facebook logo reduced

I’ve seen it before and I always find it interesting. When my Facebook business page for my audio and video production company, Total Broadcasting Service, gets ignored the number of people seeing and viewing it and subsequently learning of and being reminded of my company, its products and services, diminishes. So learn from my experience and make certain that every day something gets posted on your business page. It only takes a moment. But being consistent with your efforts will pay off over time in the one area you desire more, more customers, and more money.

Total Broadcasting Service Insights to start new year.

Total Broadcasting Service Insights to start new year.

The graph above is from the Insights Facebook provides for administrators of business pages. This shows the activity on my company’s business page from roughly December 20th through January 12th. My company is Total Broadcasting Service (please like us on Facebook). I didn’t work between Friday December 21st and New Years Eve December 31st. In that ten-day span only seven posts were loaded onto the company’s Facebook page, three of those on December 28th, which represents the bottom of the graph’s downturn and the beginning of its upturn. The difference in interest on the page is dramatic.

Our practice, which we do a pretty good job of observing, is to post something onto the Total Broadcasting Facebook page every day Monday through Saturday. At least one per day is easy and never time-consuming. If you run a business this is what you ought to be doing. And you should be doing it not only on Facebook but anywhere you have a business presence on Social media. If you are on Twitter, or on Pinterest or on LinkedIn you are making a mistake by not making your presence known daily. Consider this your minimum effort.

Inc Magazine published a study in November 2011 saying a survey of consumers found 7 or 10 of them were more likely to patronize a business or business person who had a social media presence than someone who does not. And that was 15 months ago! You can be sure that the influence of the internet and social media has only grown since then.

Where business owners and or people fail on social media is by failing to be consistent. Yes, they may have a presence on Facebook and other sites but if they remain static with no activity you might as well not have a profile/business page at all.

Your posts can be a simple as “Have a great Monday!”, to elaborately planned online contests. More important than the content is to do something. Worrying about content is for another post.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.