Social Media Marketing With A Personal Touch

By now, we all know that social media is not just a different kind of megaphone.  It literally makes it possible to reach out and touch someone in a way that is as personal as a phone call or an email, but far less intrusive. It can also be more impactful. Two short case studies illustrate the point:

Imagine if they had just cold called me?

Sales trainer, Noah Rickun, created a fun slide share presentation “Connecting is a Piece of Cake” that described his experience as the target of a social media campaign. The company, XDesign, Inc., brilliantly captured his attention with a personalized message via Twitter:

“Happy Friday Everyone! Today we’re going to celebrate hitting the 200 follower mark. Thanks to @rickun for being the lucky 200″.

But @XDesignInc didn’t stop there. The tweets continued…

“Did you know that our 200th follower, @Rickun is the CEO of TrainOne, a leader in online, interactive sales training N personal development.”

“We’ll show you customer service. Our 200th follower celebration is about to begin. @Rickun.. This one’s for you!”

The firm proceeded to throw a party, complete with cake and a balloon release.

“The balloons are on their way to you @Rickun. We had fun and wish you success.”

Of course, he picked up the phone and called, which led to a project and an on-going relationship. At the end of his story, Rickun poses the question: “Imagine if they had just cold called me?”

How KLM Made Me Feel Like a Pop Star

Frequent travellers like Tim van Waard (@KLMfan) know that travel can be less than glamorous. At best it is an anonymous experience that fills the time between departure and arrival. So imagine his surprise when he received a response from @KLMsurprise after announcing via Twitter that he would be departing Schiphol airport in Copenhagen, asking to meet up. When he arrived, two men were holding a  banner with his name. Here’s how he described what happened next:

This was pretty cool. In some way, people standing with a paper with your name on it makes you feel very important (popstar-like). Or maybey that’s just me. These guys handed me a present: a great aviation watch (limited edition) of KLM’s 90th anniversary and hope that I would remember them next time I would fly.”

Van Waard says he told this story ‘over twenty times to different people‘ at his conference. He is not the only one to have received this pop-star treatment, KLM has posted photos of delighted traveller’s faces when they received the unexpected surprise on Facebook. This gives new meaning to surprise and delight.  What is even more impressive is that each person receives an individualized gift based on their social media profile.

Social media is about gifts.

As my good friend Rishad Tobaccowala (@rishadt) phrased it in a tweet today, “Positive WOM is gift giving“. Mentioning someone’s name in a tweet is a form of a gift, not spam.  I am always flattered to experience a RT, a #FF or a shout out. I am not happy at all about unsolicited voice mail or email. While the latter diminish, social media enhances.

As these two examples illustrate, the key is consider the impact on the recipient. What can you give in social media that will be perceived as a thoughtful gesture, not a sales pitch?