Social media marketing is hard. Really hard. Even if you’re the master of personal social media networking, managing social media for a brand is a totally different beast. That’s probably why so many brands seem to be struggling to find their place. They try to engage their audience but just end up falling flat (let’s be honest, no one likes those fill in the blank tweets or Facebook statuses).
Some companies seem to have figured out the puzzle, and they’re great role models for all of those other brands trying to make a splash on social media. Courtesy of Digiday, here are 5 brands that did a great job on social media this year.
In case you haven’t heard of it, Purolator is a Canadian shipping company. In July 2013, they turned a customer complaint into a humorous Twitter conversation. Customer Lloyd Rang missed a delivery. Purolator sent the package 40 minutes away to the closest pick-up center rather than rescheduling the delivery. Of course, Rang was annoyed (who wants to drive 40 minutes just to pick up a package)? Plus, they spelled his name on the ticket something that looked like “Iliad” instead of Lloyd. So Rang took to Twitter to vent and joke about the delivery snafu, using the too-good-to-pass-up Homer reference.
He didn’t even tweet to Purolator’s handle, but the brand found his tweet anyway (behold the glory of social listening). Instead of the boring, cliché apology, Purolator decided to play along with the joke. The ensuing back and forth was funny, and left Rang surprisingly happy with the company.
Netflix has grown incredibly fast, and sometimes fast growing companies experience growing pains (especially when it comes to keeping up with social media mentions). But, Netflix definitely win at social media when Netflix customer service showed their sense of humor. Last October, reddit user tonypotenza posted a funny exchange between a customer and a Netflix customer service rep, “Mike.” The customer was having trouble watching an episode of Parks and Recreation. The rep, who called himself Captain Mike, treated the exchange like they were two people talking between space stations.
The post went viral on reddit, and Netflix loved it. Instead of scolding the employee for going off-script, they tweeted him to a commendation on Twitter in the style of Captain Spock. Nice.
In July 2013, Alan Silberberg was traveling on American Airlines with his kids. He was concerned they wouldn’t make their connecting flight in Chicago. While he was stuck on the ground in the plane, he started tweeting @Americanair asking if he should rebook the connecting flight. Anyone who’s ever faced a similar situation (probably most of us) knows that airlines aren’t usually known for their above-and-beyond customer service. But this time, American Airlines handled the situation like pros. They tweeted back to Silberberg and got his flight info. They then had the Chicago airport hold his connecting flight until he and his kids arrived.
Citi Bike & J.Crew
In December, Paull Young, the director of digital media at charity: water fell off of his Citi Bike on his way to a morning meeting. Being digitally savvy, he tweeted about the accident. In a response to a friend that asked if he was okay, he told them that his pants were ruined and used the hashtag #PLEASESENDPANTS. Citi Bike noticed and sprang into action, partnering with J.Crew to send Young giftcards so he could buy new pants. An amazing example of real-time marketing done right.
You’ve probably heard about this one, as it got a lot of press. Luke Aker posted a funny Craiglist ad and created a parody commercial for his, shall we say, well worn, 1996 Nissan Maxima. Aker is an aspiring ad creative, and he decided to put his creativity into creating a fun sales pitch. Nissan contacted Aker via Twitter, applauding his sense of humor AND buying his car at the original asking price. Plus, they donated $1,000 to Aker’s charity of choice, the Wounded Warriors Project. Nissan’s fast reaction, ability to sense a good thing when they saw it, and generosity resulted in a major social media win.