Childbirth in a castle

Missing the Boat on Social Media Engagement

Missed opportunities on social media happen every day. The digital world moves fast, and when you have a popular brand, it’s tough to respond to every comment. However, I’m bringing this to your attention because I recently engaged with a brand with a particularly cool story and heard precisely nothing back. Here’s how this story goes:

As a marketer, I manage a lot of social media accounts for my job. But I have carved out a little slice of the social media world for myself on Instagram, specifically for my family and friends. Unlike the brand accounts I manage, you’ll find that on my personal Instagram account, I follow very few people and even fewer brands. However, one exception is Glenapp Castle, a gorgeous bed and breakfast located in a real-deal Scottish castle. The reason WHY I follow that brand is personal. My grandfather used to own it.

My grandfather was born to Moravian (modern day Czech Republic) immigrants and grew up in a Bavarian neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan. Through athletic scholarships, he attended Michigan State and became an all-star basketball player, then deployed to Europe promptly after graduation as a captain of artillery in WWII. When he came back from the war, he had $700 to his name and began a business, manufacturing flour milling equipment. He was an entrepreneur, family man and hard worker. He was liked by many…including Lord Inchcape, who owned Glenapp Castle in Scotland.

In the 1980s, Lord Inchcape went through a divorce, and my grandfather, who had somehow made his acquaintance, offered to buy the castle as an investment and a place his family could enjoy. Lord Inchcape liked that he was a family man and sold the property to him.

His daughter—my mother—is a pediatrician, and in 1983, she was pregnant with my youngest sister. An industrious and rather entrepreneurial woman herself, she invited her colleague, an obstetrician, to spend some time at the castle. She told her friend that it would be an all-expense paid vacation at a castle in Scotland for her family. The only catch? She had to deliver my mom’s baby. No big deal.

I could go on, but this story is about engagement, so let’s get back to it.

The other day, Glenapp Castle posted something about the history of the castle on its Instagram account. The exact post was:

Apparently, 2017 is VisitScotland’s Year of History. Since this post referenced Lord Inchcape (a legend in my family), I was moved to respond. I posted my comment over two weeks ago and have heard nothing back. You can almost hear the crickets chirping.

It’s probably not often someone following you has a story like this, and the marketer in me is cringing that they didn’t respond…at all—not even an upsell such as, “Wow, great story. You should visit us again and book a room. I’m sure things have changed!”

I know it takes time to manage social media, and if you’re limited on time, I get that. But had this happened to one of my clients, you can be sure that I would have not only have engaged with the commenter, but also would have sent them a direct message to get their contact info. I would have turned it into a blog post, Facebook video, Instagram story…something! If you are reading this and feeling guilty about not responding to every single comment, don’t. That’s not what I’m referring to. But when a potential customer reaches out, whether to ask a question about a product or they feel moved to tell a story, for the love of Pete, don’t just let that die! If you’re a business owner and you don’t have time to respond to engagement, find someone on your team who does. Your marketer will thank me.

Below are some photos of me and my family at Glenapp Castle, otherwise known as modern day social marketing fodder. Glenapp Castle: if you’re listening, I know someone who can help you increase your digital reach. Just saying 😉