Social Media, not Social Networking
First things first, the term “social networking” can NOT be used interchangeably with “social media” and “new media”. Social networking relates to the use of social networks such as Facebook and Myspace. Social media and new media relate to both social networking sites, as well as microblogging, blogs, video sharing, among others (but these are the main ones we usually hear about). I heard somebody (who was presenting on the topic of social media) say this and I could not believe that they actually chose someone so unaware to present on the topic.
But, aside from that, I want to share with you some recent campaigns using social media that I have been impressed with.
“Grasshopper is the virtual phone system designed to help entrepreneurs stay connected and sound professional.” During the Summer of 2009, they had the brilliant idea of sending chocolate grasshoppers to people around the country. Not just random people, may I add, but important people with a voice. The grasshoppers were sent to well known bloggers, celebrities and writers, all of which had a voice. With the grasshoppers, came a link to a video which soon went viral, reaching thousand. The video was what I thought an inspirational video for Entrepreneurs (see the video below). Now, this is a strange thing to send but think about what it did. It made people talk and share this strange idea with their friends and followers. Everyone was interested. I am not sure how much money they made from this but it definitely got people talking and made people aware of their brand which was brilliant. See the Wall Street Journal for the full article.
Zappos, the online shoe and now, pretty much everything else, retailer has created a brilliant execution of the use of Twitter. Zappos has many of there employees twitter accounts connected in a way that you can see all of the employee tweets at once. The tweets are also not just about twitter, but there personal lives as well. People are welcome to ask any of them questions and they will actually respond. It is great for customer service and transparent. The response is quick, helpful, easy and nice. It is great! At the same time, it lets us as customers know how the culture is and gives the company more of a face than just a name. It brings Zappos on a personal level. Like Grasshopper, I do not know the ROI on this, but I do know that this is a successful use of social media.
Like Zappos, Comcast also uses Twitter in an excellent way. They have created the Twitter name @ComcastCares where anyone can ask questions about the Comcast problems and Comcast will respond. The turn around is usually pretty quick and helpful. If the person responding doesn’t know the exact answer, they usually point you in the the direction of where to find it. Like Zappos, this shows great customer service and really shows that they “care”. Next time your Comcast connection is having issues, go through Twitter, it may be faster than calling.
Have you seen any examples of great uses of social media or even just great examples of marketing?