I think a lot of people see Social Media as a way to support other marketing efforts. “We’ve got a spokesperson, let’s give him a Facebook page!” Or, even using Social Media as a substitute for human interaction.
I think that’s a mistake.
Yes, being able to get a quick answer from a company spokesperson via Twitter is a real innovation and a valuable part of creating two-way conversations. But a recent experience highlighted the benefits of live human engagement.
In a conversation with @TheBKLounge I mentioned I worked in the Empire State Building. A few moments later I received a Direct Message from @TastiDlite with a link to a coupon and an offer to come downstairs to their new retail location located inside the Empire State Building.
That’s pretty awesome. A direct, relevant and unexpected offer. If the story ended there it would be a good example of how to use Social Media. But a day later I received a call from our receptionist informing me that two ladies from TastiDlite were at the front desk.
When I got there, they presented me with an awesome cake; a package of flying saucers; several pre-loaded $5 TastiTreat Cards and some other goodies.
That day I was the hero of the office. Everyone wanted to know how I got these, and I probably told the story 10 times. For more details, check out the TastiDlite blog post on the experience.
Here’s where TastiDlite really took it to the next level. Now, I’ve got a face (or two) to put with the story. Now, when I go downstairs to TastiDlite, I’ve got two friends. They’ve been to my place of business, they’ve given me something tangible. How many of you can say that about your Twitter/Facebook/Blog friends?
No matter how engaging and transparent we are online, it’s no match for face to face engagment.