Brands Rocking Social Media In The Real World

The number one question I receive about social media has always been “But what do I post?” Business professionals and owners want to see the value in utilizing social media but are intimidated by the thought of how to develop a loyal fan base and keep these folks happy. So I thought I would share some cool uses of social media by brands as examples.

Online / Offline Integration — On a Budget

Recently, the local metro park system passed a renewal levy to continue receiving well deserved operating funds. The parks, which are popular in the area, wanted to say thank you to voters for their kindness. Budget is always a concern for an organization that depends at least partially on tax revenue for funds, and users of the Metro Parks range across all ages, income levels, technology abilities, etc. Put another way, some users follow the social media-savvy park system online and via its app while others never turn on a computer. What to do?

The parks printed thank you signs and placed them by their park entrance signs, which are typically in high traffic areas. I actually noticed one a few days after the election on the way to my ‘home’ metro park for a trail run. It caught my eye, and I thought what a cool idea! Then the parks took pictures of a few of these signs and posted them to their social media platforms along with a heartfelt thank you to its fans.

This is just one reason why the Metro Parks, Serving Summit County rock social media, and I’m proud to be a fan.

For more ideas, check out the Metro Parks, Serving Summit County on:
Facebook   |   Instagram   |   Pinterest   |   Twitter   |   YouTube

Looking at the Big Picture (And Dancing to the Beat of Your Own Drum)

More and more brands are flocking to Instagram to take advantage of the popular photo (and now video) platform. So how do you stand out? Check out Virgin Mobile‘s attempt to step back and look at the big picture.

As a Virgin Mobile customer, occasionally I receive alerts on my phone from the company with updates — a new app, news of note or a cool download. One of these alerts led me to check out Virgin on IG. When I clicked on the link, I immediately saw how the creative company used parts of several pictures to form a larger image. How cool is that?

As you’ve probably noticed, the Virgin Group companies like to color outside of the lines (and this author loves it). Need more examples?

The King of Tech Even Fails In Style

If you’re familiar with technology at all, you’ve probably heard of Mashable. Founded in 2005, the self-proclaimed leading source of news, information and resources for the Connected Generation offers insight on social media, technology, business, entertainment and more. I receive emails from this tech giant (which is monumental for me because I generally opt out, not in) and had to laugh at a broken link I found this week. Yes, a broken link. Why? Because Mashable even fails in style. Check out the message below that I received when a story link was invalid. How can you not smile?

Mashable broken link message

The king of tech even fails in style!
(Screen shot from Mashable)

So there you have it… Three companies of all shapes and sizes rocking social media to fit their needs.

Related reading: Tweet Some Love, Gain Some Respect | Super Bowl XLVII: Not A Complete Blackout

What do you think? What other companies are rocking social media or doing something different?

Feel free to share in the comments below, including your own company. If you have any questions or would like help with your social media efforts (on any level), please let me know. CCC would love to help!

Getting social,

Rock social media with me… 
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Is Your Business Like Cheers?

Recently I’ve watched a few episodes of the classic show, Cheers (thank you, Netflix!), and remembered why I always enjoyed hanging out with the gang at the friendly bar in Boston. The show’s tagline, Where Everybody Knows Your Name, says it all.

Cheers logo

Cheers — Where Everybody Knows Your Name

The characters came across as regular people who you would love to discuss current events with over a beer (and by current events, I mean last night’s game or Sam’s love life). They made everybody feel welcome, whether you were a local or out of towner passing through. (OK, unless you were a rowdy New York fan.)

The point is, people wanted to come there because they felt welcome and accepted. I’m sure there were other bars they could have ventured to (even Norm), but Cheers is where they chose to spend their time — and money.

Does your business leave customers and prospects with a warm feeling? Do you have regulars (repeat customers) that you know inside and out and always try to add a little extra touch for?

Do it amazing, says Sir Richard

What’s the most amazing way to treat your customers, especially regulars?

I was always amazed when the general manager at the Panera Bread near my former company’s office would already be making my order when I got to the counter — whether it was a caramel latte in the morning or a cup of creamy broccoli cheddar soup (and possibly another latte if I needed a boost) for lunch. She always left me with a smile on my face. True story: I met some former colleagues there for lunch a year after I left the company to start my business and had not returned to this location. As I was ordering, the general manager walked up, greeted me by name and asked how I was doing.

Why did I choose to return there time after time? There were other places I could get espresso or soup, but I felt a connection to the company and this location — all because a general manager provided excellent service and remembered my name.

I see the same type of service (and smiles) at my local Starbucks and enjoy the atmosphere at a local coffee shop that’s really established itself as a part of the community.

rafting the Green Valley Ranch in Las Vegas

Yes, I have an espresso problem. I even take it rafting.

Are you noticing a theme? I tend to give my business to companies that provide excellent service, make me smile and remember my name. Are you nodding in agreement (or just nodding off)? Notice that I didn’t say anything about the cheapest price. Yes, I want to see value for my dollar, but that doesn’t translate to cheap. And I’ll take a wonderful experience over cheap any day.

So how can your business be that place where Everybody Knows Your Name?

  1. Establish a ‘frequent shopper’ program. If that’s not exactly applicable, reward repeat customers in other ways. At CCC, we discount our services on program business (i.e. repeat business/multiple services purchased together).
  2. Say thank you — on each order, payment, quote/opportunity, referral, helpful advice, etc. A Starbucks or iTunes card is an appreciated token of appreciation for referrals or loyal customers as is your expertise. We’ve been known to help out a loyal customer with his LinkedIn profile or offer complimentary suggestions on improving a fellow company’s online marketing efforts. But trust me, even saying the words thank you is noticed — and appreciated — in today’s rushed and flustered world.
  3. Communicate clearly. So much of our communication is digital today; emailing, texting, tweeting or messaging is convenient. At CCC, we like to communicate how our customers prefer, whether that’s Skype, Facebook or a good old-fashioned phone call. Also, make sure you’re on the same page about a project, including any applicable deadlines. Nothing’s messier than miscommunication; it causes stress all around, puts people in bad positions and costs both parties time and money.

Check out: Seth Godin on Miscommunication

How do you make your business a place where Everybody Knows Your Name?
How do you make your loyal customers feel special?
Put a smile on everyone’s face?

Photos courtesy of Brad via Sitcoms Online and Richard Branson’s blog


Join the conversation: 

“What’s the most amazing way to do it?”

Great thought from Sir Richard Branson…

What's the most amazing way to do it?

How do you make what you do amazing?  As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Photo courtesy of Richard Branson’s blog

Enjoy the weekend!

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