This post is courtesy of AE Mike Fearon (@MDFearon) – a guy always cruising the Twittersphere for free t-shirts and the latest tips on orange soda consumption…
Being in the social media biz, you see some brands that get it and many that don’t. When I’m not being an average PR Joe, I use the tools from my day job to hobnob with some of my favorite companies and brands. I don’t want to email brands. I don’t want to call a customer service line. I just want to send them an @ message on Twitter.
My desire to interact with brands on Twitter makes the platform a great proving ground to separate the social haves from the have-nots. For example, I turned to Twitter when orange soda brand Sunkist started to run a summer 2010 ad campaign promoting its new Solar Fusion flavor and I couldn’t find the product locally. Excited that the brand had a Twitter handle, I initially didn’t notice until after I tweeted at the handle that their last tweet came on October 2, 2009. Orange I mad I couldn’t connect with you on Twitter. For those interested, I never did get to try Solar Fusion…it’s something that will haunt me for the rest of my days.
Another example of a Twitter disappointment is Keystone Light’s lack of a Twitter handle for its newest pitchman Keith Stone. In his adverts, Stone is the coolest Keystone customer offering the smoothest advice on the block. His 30-second sound bites would have made a smooth transition to the 140 character world and, if handled properly, could have given Keystone the Q3-Q4 version of the Old Spice Guy. Instead, I’m just left with a bitter beer face.
However, there is one company that has consistently knocked my social socks off with its efforts to connect with fans on Twitter. In fact, they were recently lauded in an Ad Age piece for their social marketing efforts. That dedication helped Popeye’s Chicken win a national taste test over top rival KFC, but more importantly, made me a fan for life.
It all started in February, Mardi Gras to be exact. The Popeye’s Twitter handle kindly asked fans to retweet a post for the chance to win a t-shirt (no flashing required for these beads). Being a lover of free t-shirts, Mardi Gras and chicken, I obliged and was soon rewarded:
The t-shirt arrived at my house a few days later and I’ve been turning heads ever since (it is one of a kind) but this story is not over…fast forward a few months to planning a monthly team outing…to Popeye’s in Kenmore Square.
Of course I couldn’t visit my favorite chicken chain without representing their colors and coming unannounced:
In a savvy move, Popeye’s responded:
I obliged and provided my dinner photo:
Popeye’s social media team did not spend the entire day on my tweet. It didn’t take hours of strategy sessions to agree on messaging before replying to some nerd talking about wearing a Popeye’s shirt to a team outing (I have a hunch these hours were put in before the Company’s first tweet). In fact, it could be argued that this nerd and his co-workers did most of the heavy lifting – but I wouldn’t want to take credit from a job excellently executed by my friends at Popeye’s. It took three simple steps for Popeye’s social media managers to earn my lifelong loyalty: monitoring, personality and action. Make sure these elements are in your social media plan and who knows, I might make you famous on Twitter and Facebook. 🙂 For a great example of brand/customer interaction, you can follow Popeye’s on Twitter at @PopeyesChicken.
And to Popeye’s, the only thing I love more than your social media is your chicken! You’ve got a friend in me!