To Answer or Not to Answer… That is Apparently the Question for Some Businesses Online


So this morning I had kind of an interesting, annoying, local small business fail. I’m in the country for the weekend – many of you know I live in KC and Garnett, which is a rural Kansas town of about 3500 people and about 20,000 cows. My mother is here for Mother’s Day and there is a surprisingly attractive spot here that serves brunch on weekends. (A miracle in a town this size.) So on Facebook, which is where they are, I asked them if they’re open on Mother’s Day for brunch… pretty much a very basic, yes or no type of question that can be easily answered.

They Liked it.

And that was all. No “yes, we are” or “no, we’re closed” not to mention “thanks for asking.” Just a thumbs up to the question… I guess?? How utterly frustrating and kind of a time-waster all round. Naturally, I told my Twitter friends about this unexpected sm fail, and some of the replies were quite amusing…






So… they never did answer. They’re kind of the only game in town, so I will have to keep laboring to get the answer, and I just wanted to point this out to make you think about your own social media use when it comes to customer or prospect questions. Are you using these channels as a place for push marketing? Or as an easy customer service hotline. You should be doing BOTH, if you’re on Twitter or Facebook at all. To blast out stuff you want people to buy, do or share, yet ignore basic questions from people following you is quite crass. To “Like” a question, but not deign to answer it is just downright strange!

Don’t be strange, crass, or stupid. Use social media like the person you are, act the way you’d expect others to act if you interacted with them, and let’s make the online space a better place! Pushing Like is easy… but so is answering a simple question or connecting the person with someone else in your company who has the answer or can help.

Now, to sort out that Mother’s Day meal… le sigh.

  • Kris Colvin

    Update: the business did answer, and with lots of details. Possibly they Liked in lieu of having an immediate answer but the lesson here is to think about what the customer will think about that. Waiting for the right answer would have been better as the Liking just confused me!