Branding lesson from Mr. Sheen: You can bring them to the table, but they’ve still got to eat.

For all the praise heaped upon Charlie Sheen for his social media prowess, I think there’s an element that seems to be forgotten about – when his popularity skyrocketed thanks to social media, Charlie forgot what to do when his invited guests got to the party. Namely, he forgot to put actual work and structure into the main event of his show. Yes, Charlie, people gladly paid to have a ticket. But once they got in the door, they weren’t going to be satisfied to just hear you ramble about “tiger blood” and “winning.” You had to have some organizational resemblance of, well, a show.

After bombing horribly in Detroit, the best reviews coming out of his Chicago show related to the fact that…he didn’t implode?

I guess that’s a big deal considering who we’re talking about, but that’s not exactly saying he brought the house down either (full disclosure – I didn’t attend but certainly got enough of the picture from others who did and news sources).

The lesson we can take away from this is that social media can be intensely powerful in attracting people to your brand but once they get there, you have to give them a reason to stay. The content and communication has to be continuously worthwhile and rewarding.

To that end, are you merely selling on your website or blog? That’s kind of the equivalent of Sheen’s Detroit show – a gigantic disappointment not long after the fans arrived. Or are you sharing information related to your industry that’s helpful so they’ll look forward to receiving it via an RSS feed? If Sheen had done such a wonderful job in Chicago that fans would be raving about it to others and telling their friends in other cities that they couldn’t miss seeing him on stage in their own town…this would be more of the equivalent result.

Which show would you rather put on for your would-be fans?

Put the work into your website. Your blog. Your customer service. The people who could interface with your customers potentially, which is pretty much everybody. Because once the Facebooks, Twitters and LinkedIns of the world help attract people to your doorstep, that’s not the time to proclaim yourself as a guru.

That’s just the beginning.

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