A key feature of ALERT & ALERT-TV+ is a way to set up monitoring for your social media channels and general online presence. This is an essential part of any social media strategy. Monitoring not just your own social media channels but also your competitor’s social media channels can pay dividends.
Let’s take a look at two recent case studies to illustrate the point.
Case #1: Samsung – Monitoring and Responding to Its Facebook Fans
In August, electronics giant Samsung showed how monitoring and responding to its social media followers can result in great publicity.
It all began in May 2012 when Facebook user, Shane Barrett posted a picture to the official Samsung Facebook Page. The picture of a crudely drawn dragon was accompanied by a message asking Samsung for a new Galaxy S III smartphone to replace his older model. In return for the phone Shane said that Samsung could keep the picture he had drawn.
Samsung responded, thanking Shane for his picture and query but declining his request for a new phone. Instead, Samsung’s online community manager drew a Kangaroo on a unicycle and sent it back to Shane in response! Shane posted the conversation on the popular social news website Reddit. The post of the conversation quickly became one of the most popular on Reddit and the story went viral.
At this point, Samsung could have sat back and enjoyed the free publicity it had earned. Samsung did not, instead choosing to send Shane a brand new Galaxy S III smartphone with a custom case featuring the dragon he had drawn on his original Facebook post (see below). After receiving the phone, Shane posted a picture of it on Reddit and once again the story and picture went viral earning even more publicity for Samsung.
This token of Samsung’s appreciation for a customer resulted in lots of positive online sentiment for the brand and millions of views of the Reddit posts. By monitoring and responding to its Facebook fans, Samsung gained loads of publicity for the low cost of a new phone.
Case #2: Low Cost Holidays Moves in on Another Travel Firm’s Turf
In November 2011, UK based travel agency Thomas Cook received an interesting request posted to its Facebook Page. The request came from a man who shared the company’s name, Thomas Cook. In his request Thomas asked for a free holiday, posting “Seeing as I share the exact same name as your huge company, and because of this I have been ridiculed for as long as I can remember. I think it’s only fair that you help compensate for this by giving me one of your lovely holidays.” Thomas Cook politely declined and instead directed Mr. Cook to its website where he could book his own holiday.
One of Thomas Cook’s (the travel agency) competitors, Low Cost Holidays was monitoring this conversation. After reading of Mr. Cook’s plight and of Thomas Cook’s reluctance to offer him a free holiday, Low Cost Holidays intervened and offered him one instead saying, “Here at lowcostholidays.com we completely sympathize with your suffering and if your name was “lowcostholidays.com” we would certainly have accepted your request to be sent away on a weekend in Paris. … So how about we send you on that weekend in Paris? In fact why not make it a week for you and a friend?”
After his free holiday Mr. Cook posted a picture of himself in front of the Eiffel tower along with screenshots of the Facebook exchanges he had between Thomas Cook and Low Cost Holidays to Reddit. The posting quickly shot to the number 1 most read slot on Reddit and has garnered thousands of views and comments since. By monitoring its competitors social media channels and reacting in a humorous way, Low Cost Holidays has received lots of positive online sentiment and has been featured across news websites such as Fox News and The Daily Mail.
Despite posting a message to Facebook stating how happy the company was for Mr. Cook and his free holiday, Thomas Cook (the travel agency) received criticism online for its lack of sense of humor when Mr.Cook initially approached for the holiday. Mr. Cooks Reddit post has received over 2,000 comments and has been viewed in excess of 50,000 times, add this to the publication of the story in major news outlets you’ll see that Low Cost Holidays has gained lots of publicity for the relatively low cost of a holiday for two to Paris.
What other great examples have you seen of companies monitoring and responding to their online followers?