I recently had to reload the cord on my gas-powered, Echo SRM-225 weed eater. No big deal, right?
Wrong. Tasks like this which take most guys three minutes take me 43. And as I failed the third time to get the cord wrapped around the spool — tight enough so that when I put the cap back on it didn’t unravel — the thought occurred to me: “You’re an idiot.” This was quickly followed by another thought: “There should just be a three-minute online video on how to do this.”
Surely someone knows how to do this, recorded a video of themselves demonstrating it, uploaded it to YouTube, and thousands have already seen it, I thought. I was right.
I hear you, I hear you. “Read the instructions,” you say. “Why complicate things?” Forget the instructions for just a minute, because I did read them. I even understood them. I just wasn’t coordinated enough, I suppose, to pull this minor task off. Whenever I would get to the final step — popping that cap back on, it would all come unwound. Embarrassing.
(And before you think this is turning into a perfect social media case study, re-read the title of this post.) With that video notion racing through my brain, I headed back inside, started up Firefox, launched YouTube, and did a quick search. This is what I found:
Decent enough audio. Adequate video.
Now, I don’t know what social media voodoo magic then passed on to me, but I immediately figured it out in two minutes, 34 seconds. Seeing someone do it trumped reading about it.
There’s a missed opportunity in this story, though, for Echo. I could have gone straight to their website. But nothing in the instructions encouraged me to go there; and they didn’t come up in my “change string on echo weed trimmer” YouTube search.
They even have their own how-to videos on loading a trimmer head. But they’re not on YouTube. There is no narration for them. They’re not mentioned in the instructions. And everything sort of blends in at the Echo site. Meaning, they’re missing a prime opportunity to engage me as a customer, making me just that more brand-loyal — going where I, and millions of others, go to search for how-to videos: YouTube.
Lesson learned: You should create and post how-to videos online. Teach your customers how to buy, use and troubleshoot your product. And go beyond a stale presentation set to elevator music embedded at an inside page of your website.