For our assignment this week, we have been tasked with discussing how a company manages relationships with their customers in their social spaces. I have chosen to discuss a company that I am always eager to do business with and one that I am always interested in building my relationship with: Silent Stage Gallery. The gallery is based out of California and boasts “top quality fine art prints along with very limited edition sculptures at an affordable price.” I buy many things from my favorite artist, Aaron “Angry Woebots” Martin from them and have appreciated the way that they do business. Today, I would like to discuss how they build relationships online through social media and where I think they can improve.
Let’s start with the things that Silent Stage does right. The primary means of contact that I have used in my interactions with Silent Stage is email. firstname.lastname@example.org is usually a great place to get answers to any questions you might have about upcoming products or shipping of purchased products. Palmetto, the owner, has always been very courteous to me over email and the gallery’s appreciation for their customers is always very apparent. Emails are typically answered within 24 hours and usually do a great job of addressing the issue at hand. As this seems to be the primary means of communication, I do occasionally wish the address was a little more apparent across platforms and the website.
From a social media perspective, Silent Stage does a very good job at remaining “human.” As a fellow collector, it is fun to see Palmetto post pictures on Instagram of new things that he has added to his own collection and you can tell he shares the same excitement as us when he gets a new piece. The “language” the gallery uses on Instagram is also appropriate to the platform and does a great job of promoting new works before they premier on their website. The gallery answers questions on Instagram, but I have noticed that not all questions get answered. Silent Stage also takes great pictures for Instagram, which is important and helps them to stand out as professionals.
Silent Stage’s social media is not without fault however and I do think there are some things that they can do to improve their relationship management with current customers all the while appealing to a new audience and bringing in new customers. For one, there is a Facebook account that like their Twitter, is mostly used to re-post images from Instagram. Posts do not receive very many “likes” because it seems there isn’t much of a real presence on the platform. Also, I think it was an ill-advised move to create a second Instagram account that was promoted as being more “exclusive” regarding product information. I understand why someone might think this is a good idea at first, but all it has really done is segmented their audience and forced monitoring two accounts on the same platform. I would like to see efforts to change this to monitoring the same account on multiple platforms! Instagram is really the only social media presence the gallery has and while they are doing a good job on it, more can be done in my opinion. I would like to see fresh content across multiple platforms that is not limited to just information about their products. Silent Stage has the opportunity to become a thought leader on social media simply by talking about the trials of operating a gallery or sharing information that might be relevant to the art world as whole. A Twitter and Facebook account that does more than just re-posts Instagram posts would be great. Even a YouTube or Pinterest channel might be a new way to attract a new audience. Overall, I am pleased with my current relationship with Silent Stage, but do feel they could be doing more to build relationships with other customers and expand to relationships with more new customers.