I ran into an old friend and business neighbor last week, and as usual, we chatted about business, family life and as always, fishing. Charles Flickinger (glass bender extraordinaire) and I were neighbors on Pier-41 in Red Hook since 2001 until Hurricane Sandy would see us relocate all of 500-600 feet to our new location. As close as we remain in terms of the neighborhood, being in a different building makes a huge difference when it comes to daily interaction.
Part of the conversation had Charles telling me how he has engaged his niece to handle his social media. A monthly newsletter via email, updates to Instagram, and Facebook. It all sounds good, and it seems like that job does require one person to stay on top of communicating with the customer base.
I find that keeping up with social media can be a loathsome task at times. Besides, I feel I don’t have anything interesting to say. I had mentioned to Charles that my email list hadn’t seen an email sent in all of 2018 and nothing this year either. But he encouraged me anyway and suggested that I rethink my attitude about social engagement.
Over the many years of maintaining a web presence, I have had a more than a few iterations of a blog. The Pieman’s Journal, the View from the Waterfront, even my pie-runner Sunny Jim, was required to keep his comical running account of his experience working with us. My then-manager added her occasional offerings with Sam’s Rose Colored Glasses. I did have some interest in my posts, which were more about my observations in general than anything work-related. They weren’t about pies and product or the challenges of running a business or upselling our latest new offering. But in terms of Charles’ prodding me to hit the re-set button, I asked myself, is anyone listening?
I recently activated keylime.org to promote our “One Seed at a Time” initiative, which finds us sending key lime seeds to the Florida Keys. It has required me to post updates which usually consist of a few lines of text or a link. But it has reintroduced me to the need to update regularly and required me to write, even just a little. But behind all of this, I have always been writing: countless drafts reminiscent of old are piled up in a folder. It turns out that I do have a lot to say. But finding the focus is more challenging, and completing thoughts to a written offering never happens. I’ll add to that; I am not learned in proper writing techniques, even the basic structure of a sentence.
So that’s the question I pose, is anyone listening? Does it matter if anyone is listening or not? The internets is home to countless personal observations and amateur reviews, what’s one more? So I think I’ll give it a try. On the one hand, I owe it to those on my email list (and those who might find my missives online) a reminder that we’re still here. And everyone wants to know (please don’t ask) WHEN ARE YOU SHIPPING? If I had been conveying some of the daily challenges we’ve faced, there might be a better understanding as to why we’re not shipping.
Actually, I’m beginning to think that —as a business owner— it’s my responsibility to communicate with my followers. What a novel idea, not. So I’ll give it a go, post this to the website and send a copy our those on the email list, sit back and find out if anyone is listening or not.
Drop a line, won’t you?