This past week was an interesting one for me. I had some very unexpected interactions with brands that left an impression on me, and I thought I’d share them.
First: The Follow-Up
A couple of weeks ago I heard about the start-up Fitbay. Their website lets you put in your size and body-type and then they recommend clothing based on the information you provide. They’re currently in beta, so you have to request access and get on a waiting list. Somehow, I got quick access (my profile) and I’m already loving the site.
So @Fitbay tweeted that they’re looking for a social media manager for their young company, and I gave them a retweet because I know there are several social media savvy people who follow me on Twitter and might be interested in joining a start-up. Not too long after, @Fitbay publicly replies to thank me for my retweet.
Thanks so much for the RT @IPhilpot ! Hope you're having a nice evening!
— Fitbay (@Fitbay) May 28, 2014
Our exchange went on for a few more tweets, and they even mentioned that they saw I’d participated in the suggestion area of their website. Not only did they follow up with me, but they made the effort to look me up. I felt valued as a user, and I’ll continue to rave about them for a while.
Second: The Shout-Out
Around the same time I learned about Fitbay, I read about another start-up called ReadingPack. They allow users to save web articles and share them as reading lists. I signed up (my profile) thinking that ReadingPack would be an interesting solution for my coworkers and I to share articles with each other.
Then on Friday @ReadingPack tweeted about my reading pack. I was completely surprised.
Interested in #Startup #Marketing? Social Media? Check out @iphilpot's list — http://t.co/4vQtZNm8wq #socialmedia pic.twitter.com/rQQF1BbJLr
— ReadingPack (@ReadingPack) May 31, 2014
Granted this is something that they’ve started doing regularly with users, but I still felt awesome that their company is paying attention to their users, including me.
Third: The Cold Shoulder
There’s this really popular blogger/leader who I follow on Twitter. (Let’s call him Hichael Myatt.) He tweets probably around 80 times a day, and though I find that incredibly annoying, some of that content is relevant to me. So I follow him anyway.
One day last week, Mr. Myatt had a malfunction in his auto-tweet software, so his tweet had special characters in the message instead of the title of his recent blog post and the link that accompanied it. So a few fellow tweeters and I replied to the message to try to get Mr. Myatt’s attention. I even went so far as to include the title and link that his tweet was missing.
Here’s a link to my reply (Warning! My reply totally gives away who the real Hichael Myatt is.): link.
Ten minutes later, the original tweet was deleted and replaced with what should’ve been in the original tweet. Which is good and fine, and I totally understand why Mr. Myatt (or the person running his Twitter account) might’ve done that. But it was also an opportunity to show a little humanity, to reach out to some very concerned and connected users. Instead, he hit delete, erasing it from existence.
(This wouldn’t be so bad if this wasn’t the fifth time I’ve tweeted at Mr. Myatt when he’s tweeted for help on a topic. Never once have I seen him reply to someone who has replied to his tweets.)
Conclusion: The New Truth
Social conversation is the new marketing. It turns users into advocates, brand reps. And it’s way cheaper than advertising.
Brands need to be aware of the importance of conversation on social media. My three examples are interactions that I take as personally as if I had spoken with a representative in-person. And they can rest assured that I’ll be sharing their story, content, and brand with my friends, family, and followers.
Hey Ian! Curious if you will be teaching social relationships via blog or if you will ever do a “go-to-meeting” type? I would love for Ben and I to get a better understanding of what it looks like to be more socially connected. As a small business we feel a little overwhelmed with just running things on a volunteer basis so wondering what we could do to ramp up reaching out without being time consumed? 🙂
Hi, Melody! For right now, I think I’m going to get my ideas out on my blog…and even here, I’m all over the place with my ideas. I’ve been talking to a few people about working on a beginner’s guide to marketing/communications, and I think that would be a much better resource for what you and Ben are looking for.
In the mean time, I’d highly recommend checking out Justin Wise’s blog: http://justinwise.net. He really knows what he’s talking about when it comes to social media, and he writes for all levels of users.
If/When I do get all of my thoughts together, I will make sure that you and Ben are among the first to hear about it. 🙂