How important, really, is social media and social monitoring? I propose pretty damn important, based upon the following tale…
Some of you may be familiar with Dooce.com, written by Heather Armstrong. For the uninitiated, Dooce.com is an extremely popular “mommy” blog, her Alexa rating is at about 13,000 and she has 1,409,274 followers on twitter. In the blogging world, she’s big time.
A few weeks ago, “Dooce” had occasion to buy a new washing machine. They researched, bought the 10 year warranty, the works. Normally this event probably wouldn’t rate a tweet, much less a blog post. However, things went sideways with the new machine after 1 week. After 10+ days of waiting for repairmen and then waiting for parts and more waiting for repairmen who threaten to leave, it STILL didn’t work. She decides to call The Corporation, after dealing with unhelpful and rude customer service people, she eventually get a supervisor who still will not replace the machine, and thinks he could get another repairman out to “take a look” in 3-5 days. ANOTHER 3-5 days.
Here is where Social Media comes into play.
At this point, several days into this battle, sleep deprived and up to her ears in all manner of infant discharge covered clothing (did I mention she has a newborn at this pont?) she twitters the following:
“Do not ever by a Maytag, our Maytag experience has been a nightmare!”, followed by FIVE similar tweets.
To 1,409,274 twitter followers. Mom twitter followers. Moms who buy washing machines twitter followers.
This leads to all sort of chaos on twitter and the internet, including…
“Within hours I am contacted by several big name appliance stores on Twitter offering their services, except none of them can really help because I’m trying to work with Maytag directly. And then a few hours after that I get a message from @WhirlpoolCorp who I guess own Maytag, and I send them my phone number and I wait. And wait. And wait.
And then the following morning I get a phone call from Jeff Piraino, manager of the executive offices of Whirlpool Corporation in Michigan.”
Pretty good, right? Except for the fact that it took five irate twitter posts by a major blogger to get the problem even addressed correctly. Nevertheless, she finally gets it fixed, and the world is alerted to her joy.
Here is where Social Monitoring comes into play. The next day…
“I get an email from a guy named Jason Avila who works for Bosch. Yes, THAT Bosch. And they want to give me a free washing machine of my choice. OF MY CHOICE. Who WOULDN’T take up that offer. Except, I don’t know. It just doesn’t feel right. My brain just wouldn’t let me feel okay about it. And I mention on Twitter that I’m being offered free appliances when a woman with the handle @MommyMelee (here is her website) suggests that this might be a good opportunity for me to hook up a shelter with a free washing machine.”
Great idea! For Dooce, a worthy shelter, AND for Bosch. If Bosch had not been monitoring social media related to their products, they would never have known about this whole ordeal. Nor would they have had the saavy to recognized they offering a brand new machine to Dooce (remember those 1,409,274 twitter followers?) would gain them massive postive exposure to their core demographic.
Well done, Bosch!
Social Media generated:
– A LOT of bad press for The Corporation
– A way-up-the-flagpole resolution
– contact from several local appliance stores offering their services
– some final positive feedback for The Corporation
Social Monitoring lead to:
– A fantastic offer of a free machine by a very saavy Bosch
– Great, positive social media exposure for Bosch
– A shelter recieving a new washing machine, gratis.
Ready to start paying attention? Here’s a start: go to socialmention.com where you can search blogs, comments and more for terms that are relevant to your products/business. Comment on those posts, think of ways you can put yor business in a positive light with those readers. Don’t just “sell” your services, work towards a level of trust. You don’t always have to give something away, ala Bosch, think of interesting ways to gain positive exposure for your brand with your core demographic. Create tweetable stories about your brand.
What are you waiting for?
You can read Dooce’s entire post here: