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Just do it – Social media – How Brands should get their act in place..

July 12, 2011
Social Media Influence

Image by Intersection Consulting via Flickr

While everyone’s talking about how brands can leverage Social Media, only a few are really doing something about it. Or getting it right.

I’ve had quite an interesting experience the last week and I can honestly say it triggered this post..

I was disappointed that I was having to change my 3 rd Blackberry handset in a span of less than 2 years and was reminiscing about the Nokia handsets I had owned and their awesome build quality.

So in a random moment, I tweeted about this and asked if I should dump the Blackberry and switch back to a Nokia. Knowing that quite a few of my friends/followers would respond. What I did NOT expect, was what followed.

I received a tweet from @WOMworldNokia saying they would FedEx the brand new Nokia E6 for a 2 week trial, all expenses paid. In 15 mins they’d emailed me a license agreement, and in 4 days, I had the phone in my hands, including a surprise package – the new Nokia J headset – which is a design statement!

NokiaJ_overview1_grey_302x302

I tweeted about this several times, and quite a few other friends retweeted and even asked for a phone for themselves. In all this time, guess what? No tweet from the Blackberry boys! I don’t think they even have a clue! In the meantime, my followers (1600+ of them) have read about what Nokia did, at least 12 times. 4 of them retweeted this, and covered about another 10,000 odd followers between them.

Nokia E61i mobile phone

Image via Wikipedia

Not only have Nokia made a statement, they’ve come right back into my mindspace, and I kid you not. I am thrilled right now, with what they have done.

So if you’re interested in trying out a Nokia phone, for FREE, tweet to @WOMworldNokia, who knows, you might just get lucky!

Here are some more brand connects I or my friends have experienced on Twitter/FaceBook:

1. Here I was, struggling with my AirTel HD Dish TV connection. Their website wouldn’t work, their telephone line would disconnect before I got to a human, their SMS helpline was sending back gibberish. So I tweeted how disgusted I was with AirTel and would move to Tata Sky soon. Within an hour or so, I got a Tweet from @airtelpresence, saying I should write in to them, and they’d sort it out. True to their word, in about 36 hours, they did.

bharti-airtel-ltd-300x224

Image by bhautikjoshi via Flickr

In all this time, strangely enough, I never heard from Tata Sky! But had they responded, I was vulnerable and would have done a deal. No kidding.

2. Tata Motors. A good friend of mine was having a challenge getting through to someone at Tata Motors, and having been frustrated by them several times, he tweeted about it, blogged about it. Guess what? No reply. They are dead to the world we live in, where information spreads much faster than the printed word.

3. Gostana – Just the other day, I had the weekend alone, to myself, so I thought I’d settle into a nice pub that had WiFi and pass a few hours pottering about on the iPad. So I tweeted asking if anyone knew a pub/bar that had WiFi, and I promptly got a response from @gostana saying they serve beer, great burgers and have free WiFi. I was impressed. Gostana is not in the league of AirTel or Nokia, but someone is watching, listening and connecting!

4. Ethos Watches on FaceBook – Most of my good friends know that watches are my weakness. I love owning a good watch and am always on the lookout for a good deal. A few months ago, I stumbled upon the FB page of Ethos (which is a high end watch boutique), and I learned that if you become a member on that page, you become part of the Platinum Club. As a member, I was privy to their once in 2 months’ watch sellout, where most watches went for at least 40% off. This was amazing. Yet another way how a brand and a retail chain, was reaching out to customers differently, and offering them something extra to keep them engaged in the virtual space. They have now gone on to launch a deal called Watch of the Week. If you like watches, and love to get a great discount, check out the link.

5. Mainland China – if a store or restaurant has a loyalty card, my wife will be a member. So she is on Mainland China, and through them she discovered their FB page. I find regular updates of upcoming promotions, deals, events. Recipes even. And my wife is always engaged. When we’re thinking of where to go for dinner, I am never surprised when she says “Oh, there’s a Chinese New Year buffet at Mainland China, let’s go there” and do you know what? This works!

In a nutshell, some brands, big or small, are doing great things with Social media. They are able to leverage the reach it offers, and the dynamic engagement it offers (over TV/Print which are static mediums). These brands are building a new connect with the consumer, in a new domain, in a new world, and a new setting…in new ways. Personally, I am delighted with the way they are engaging. And they are enhancing their brand salience, they are definitely converting this engagement into tangible revenue and are continuing to remain relevant to the more socially evolved consumer of today.

And yet, BlackBerry and Tata have no clue… Time to wake up!

What’s your brand experience on Social Media?

Infographic on how Social Media are being used...

Image via Wikipedia

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 26, 2011 11:17 am

    Most brands are still struggling to find their feet, understand the online world, the so called social media experts hastening their process no doubt, but still…..they’ll never listen. As far as Tata Motors is concerned, their MD and senior team do not even bother to acknowledge the mail, because they have just waived off 7000/- And unfortunately most of us go with it.

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