On Idiot Humans and Puppy Love

Who doesn’t like dogs? They give off a sense of warmth and happiness that makes you want to get on the floor with them and roll around and hug them and just feel loved. You can’t beat that unconditional love they are so eager to give. Unfortunately, in today’s society, there are many people who think that dogs feel no pain or have no emotions. Luckily, organizations like Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue help save dogs from, as they put it, idiot humans.

I learned about Badass Brooklyn when I came across this Facebook share by HONY today.

source: HONY Facebook

source: HONY Facebook

The post featured a picture of a dog, named Brandon Stanton, who was rescued by Badass. Now, for those of you who didn’t catch that: the dog is named Brandon Stanton – after the guy who started HONY. For those of you who are unfamiliar with HONY, here is a quick recap courtesy of Wikipedia:

“HONY, which stands for Humans of New York, is a photoblog that was started by photographer Brandon Stanton in 2010. The tumblr blog, which has since also become a bestselling  book, features portraits and interviews of people in New York City.”

As of today, HONY’s Facebook page has more than 2.3 million likes and countless more on other social sharing sites like Instagram. Yes, you read that right…2.3 million likes. That means that Brandon (the human) shared the Badass Brooklyn post on HONY to all of his blog’s followers. Which means that the chances of this adorable dog finding a loving home just increased exponentially. And not just for Brandon (the dog), but for all other dogs rescued by Badass Brooklyn.

Badass Brooklyn did a bad ass (pun intended) thing and named a dog after someone with millions of followers knowing that he would likely share it to all of his followers given the nature of his blog. For a non-profit like Badass, which relies on limited funding and donations, it was a brilliant move and something all companies big or small should consider when thinking about inexpensive ways to maximize their reach!

Social Media For the Win

I recently ran into a snag with a reservation on American Airlines. I had booked a flight and put it on hold for the free 24-hour hold but when I went to purchase the ticket, I was told that my reservation had been cancelled because another ticket had already been reserved in my name.

After venting about it to my coworker, we decided to try and get the issue resolved via twitter. Within minutes of our tweet, one of my coworker’s followers had re-tweeted it and American Airlines had responded to both of them asking that I send them a direct message. So I did. And my problem was fixed. And I was happy.

You see, what American Airlines did was use social media as a real-time customer service portal. It saved me time and they saved face on a matter that could have gotten ugly. It took all of five minutes to get the issue sorted and I thanked them via direct message and directly to their twitter account. It was a win-win-win scenario. I got my problem fixed (win). They had a happy customer (win) and they got their happy customer to tweet about it in a positive light (win again).

found here

Social media, when used correctly, can really drive business and help with the bottom line. This (semi)recent Forbes article explains it pretty clearly. Social media is everyone’s job at a company. Yes, you may have one person dedicated to getting content out on social media, but the strategy and content creation needs to go hand in hand with a company’s overall marketing strategy. You can’t rely on one person to do it all.

You may recall that American Airlines recently did a full overhaul of their brand. And it seems that social media was clearly a large part of the strategy. And a good part. They use social media (not just twitter) as a forum for interacting directly with consumers – sometimes they post quizzes and fun facts and sometimes (like in my case) they offer customer service stewardship. This didn’t happen haphazardly. This happened because the marketing team made sure to include that as part of their overhaul. And so far it seems to be working – not just because of what happened with me; take a look at their online presence for yourself.

What are your thoughts on social media and its role in the marketing mix? Do you have any stories to share about your experiences with a company and its social media interactions?

The Human Touch

I recently, I read a Forbes article about Publix.  The article discussed the Publix business model and, to put it in layman’s terms, why it is such an awesome company. The key point the article makes is that Publix’s success can be attributed to it’s culture of putting “people-first”. By “people” I don’t just mean customers. They also have put their employees first, which makes them happy, and ultimately makes for happy customers.

You may recall from one of my earlier posts that I briefly mentioned missing Publix. Well, I meant it. So when I saw this article, I couldn’t help but share it with the world and let others know how much I love and miss Publix. One of the first places I shared it was as a status update on Facebook. This led me to the Publix Facebook page (because I wanted to see their latest posts) where I shared the link.  Almost immediately, Publix commented on the shared link. What I loved most about the comment is that it was personalized. It read: Thanks, Alejandra! We miss you. 🙂 Hope you can come back and visit soon. ~ Abby

From here.

From here.

They ACTUALLY read what I posted, and cared enough to comment on it. And just like that, I love Publix even more. How is that possible?

Social media is such a large component of marketing these days, and it’s nice to see that some companies are using it correctly. Many companies use automatic replies or autobots, as I call them, to respond to their online followers. They forget that social media is a way of directly communicating with customers. Using robots can really fray relationships you may be trying to build or maintain.  One company recently made headlines for its insensitive automatic responses to its twitter followers. By automating its tweets, the company validated exactly what it has been trying to negate: the perception that it is “too big” and doesn’t care about its customers. Even without automated responses, companies tend to fall into the trap of assigning one person to reply with generic messages rather than with ones that will make the customer feel unique or cared for.

In today’s digital world of dog eat dog, it’s important for companies to keep strong ties to their customers and potential customers. What easier and cheaper way to do this than through social media?