What We Can Learn from Boners BBQ…

… aside from not naming your business something to do with the word “Boner”.

Thanks to Twitter, the biggest social media fail of 2012 was brought to my attention today. What happened was this:

  1. A BBQ joint who has barely stayed afloat since opening posts a coupon online to entice people in.
  2. A customer chooses to use that coupon, bringing in their husband for his birthday dinner (who promptly cleaned both his plate and hers!)
  3. Finding the restaurant okay, but not great, the patron leaves a 25% tip for the service she received as the only customer in the restaurant.
  4. She then goes home to write a review on Yelp, detailing what she liked and disliked about the restaurant, the food, and the service.
  5. The owner proceeds to post the customer’s photo on their Facebook page, insulting her, warning other restaurants about her “not tipping” and telling that she “cleaned her plate… every last drop!” Also added in were detailed instructions on a game similar to hide and seek (but with more profanity) and likening the woman to a female dog.

Now, I’m not sure what to say in this situation. I wouldn’t even really call this the worst use of social media in 2012, I would call this “the reason they’re going out of business in the first place.”

Social media did not do this. Boners BBQ did this as a natural act, something they likely would have done through another avenue had social media not been available. This would have caused a problem for them no matter what.

Why? To quote my friends over at Unmarketing…

Social media doesn’t make a business bad or good, it amplifies what they already are.

If you’re great at customer service, social media will amplify this. If you’re innovators, social media will amplify this. And if your business name includes the word “Boner” primarily because that is the owner’s nickname… Well, social media will amplify that too.

The lesson we can all learn from Boners BBQ is this:

Whether you’re a genius or a Boner, social media will show the world.

My advice? As long as you’re not a Boner, just be yourself. Your customers will love you for it.

How to Use Google Calendar for Project and Time Management

We all use Google Calendar here. In fact, many of our calendars are shared, so we know exactly who is working on what – and when – to keep workflow straight. But it wasn’t always that way…

We tried Zoho, we tried Salesforce.com, we tried Basecamp and Manymoon and probably half a dozen other systems before settling on the simple Google Calendar system – and here is how we do it.

This is written from a company director’s perspective, so if you do not have your own staff (or you are the staff) then obviously change to suit your needs.

First, you’ll need a few key calendars. One for each staff member, one for yourself, and one specifically for meetings.

Then, setup Google Tasks on your Google Calendar (just click on “Tasks” under “My calendars” and it will pop right up.)

Now, share each employee’s calendar with them. You can do this through your Calendar settings. This is a great way to keep things private as well, as your staff can only see their calendar – not everyone else’s. You can also choose to share your meetings calendar with all staff, so they know when you are available (this can be set to simply show “available” or “busy”.) This is optional.

When you set up your work flow, it is quite simple:

  1. Dedicate a name to each client or project that is descriptive and simple, such as their name (or an abbreviation of their name if it is long.)
  2. Delegate the work to your staff by creating the event called “Project Name – Specific Task” as an all-day event on their calendar, on the date it is due.
  3. Manage your own day by creating Google Tasks for things that need to be done during the day, that don’t necessarily have a specific time frame.
  4. Schedule all of your meetings – in person, by phone, or with other staff members – using your meetings calendar.

Voila! Now all of your work flow is easily accessible from anywhere with web access, can quickly be changed on the fly, and can be monitored frequently by micro-managing bosses or the assistants of the more hands-off style manager.

How do you use Google Calendar to manage company workflow?