A little less social conversation, a little more action please

Cork name tags - Miss Annie BloomsTalk is cheap but money buys houses (or whiskey); all talk and no action; and talk the talk but don’t walk the walk; I could go on, essentially the message is the same, some people just do and other people just talk.

Paying lip service and then doing nothing at all is as old as time, social media hasn’t invented the doers and the talkers but arguably it has given the talkers a channel in which to pontificate to ever increasing audiences and for the doers, the distinctions are even more clearly drawn. Sadly, for the talkers, they actually believe they are doing something by posting their comments on social media instead of just uttering them to anyone who can be bothered to listen.

We see this playing out in business, in private and in politics. It’s easy to talk the talk, it’s a bit more difficult to walk the walk. However, social media allows us as private individuals and businesses to talk up our services, our products and ourselves to a wider audience. But it doesn’t necessarily follow that just because it has been ‘said’ in a social sphere it automatically becomes reality. That takes effort.

A business may be quick to respond to a criticism of their service on social media, for example, perhaps posting ‘we apologise that your experience didn’t come up to our regular standards’, but unless they do something, nothing will change. It is all too easy to post the ‘right’ message as it has always been easy to say the right thing but the litmus test is whether it translates into action.

The business which receives a criticism and responds immediately along the lines of ‘we are sorry this isn’t up to our normal standards, we will look into this immediately’, takes the necessary action to improve the situation or put right what went wrong will more than likely turn a critical customer into an advocate who will then comment most positively about the business. This is the difference between those who talk and those who do. And note, the doer doesn’t need to do the talking because someone else does it for them.

At an event I organised recently, we needed all hands to the pump to transform a dull hall into a wonderland. There was Sunflower in bottle - Miss Annie Bloomsmuch talk from many quarters but the main action came from a small floristry start-up ran by a 17-year-old who is still at college. She didn’t just deposit her goods and go (job done, box ticked), her and her team (namely her parents!) worked hard on the entire setting to ensure her creations were seen at their most effective against the perfect backdrop which they helped set up along with the caterers. An example of the most exemplary customer service and I haven’t stopped raving about her company. These are the actions of a doer and not a business which just simply says something and believes it’s enough.

This difference between those who do and those who talk has never been so stark than in today’s world of social media. Whether private individuals or companies, the talkers sermonise endlessly in their posts, comments, tweets and website pages but the action is often far from apparent. Interestingly, the talkers or social media posters appear to be absolutely convinced that their words are enough and it does beg the question whether providing a channel for such outpourings is actually stimulating even higher levels of inertia both in the commercial and private worlds?

Decorated Hall - Miss Annie BloomsFor the doers, though, they have no need to talk themselves up or deliver words of wisdom for they have people like me, their highly impressed clients, doing it for them. Isn’t that how it should be?

So, talk is most definitely cheap but money buys houses; Miss Annie Blooms, one day, I am sure you will have a very big house.

All images courtesy of Miss Annie Blooms

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