After a recent social media response that has gone seriously viral, you might know the one I’m talking about; I thought I would have a look at a few brands that seem to have cracked the social media medium. So firstly, the brand I was talking about above was entitled “Bodyform Responds: The Truth”. What happened, in case you missed it, was a male Facebook fan writes to the company complaining that, throughout all of their advertising campaigns, they had lied to men about what happens to women during “that time of the month”. If you’ve not seen it, here is the original post:
From this post, Bodyform decided to create a YouTube video response admitting, rather sarcastically, that they had in fact lied to men and were very sorry about that. Watch the Bodyform YouTube response here. This simple yet creative retort quickly went viral and had received more than 1,000,000 views in 2 days. Not bad eh? On the flip side, failing to see an opportunity can also cause a viral effect, much to the detriment of a company. Let’s take Thomas Cook’s social media fail as an example. Here a lad called Thomas Cook decided to write to the company that shared his name asking for a free holiday, but he did so by saying that he deserves one due to a lifetime of ridicule. Of course, it may not be the sharpest move to just give away a holiday straight away, but as one of the comments below mentioned, they would be stupid not to do something with it. Instead, a Thomas Cook employee named, and shamed, Lara refused the holiday and simply offered him a link to their website, where he could find the latest deals. Rubbish. This wasn’t the end of it either; when a competing holiday company got wind of this, they decided to send Thomas a message showing their understanding of his situation, and that they wanted to help him out and offer him the deal, in fact, they even extended it to a week for him and a friend.
Thomas Cook, the company, deleted Thomas Cook’s original message and many related messages and comments until it snowballed too far and they couldn’t keep up. They then tried to respond by posting a message explaining the deleting of posts and finally posting this response. Which I think you can agree is not very creative and, although a great cause, comes across as a bit desperate.
This strike of social media brilliance gave lowcostholidays.com a lot of great publicity, the story also went to the front page of reddit, a site that receives over 43 million unique visits each month. Some amazing PR that will no doubt convert a lot of Thomas Cook customers over to lowcostholidays.com, well worth giving away one free holiday don’t you think? Moving onto to one from last year. Have you ever heard of Giraffe Bread? Maybe you’re more familiar with Tiger Bread? Either way, Sainsbury’s took social media to another level and renamed Tiger Bread after a letter they received a letter from Lily, a 3½ year old child, went viral. Although the letter was politely rejected, when it received widespread fame and Facebook campaigns were created to change the name, Sainsbury’s acknowledged this and gave the people what they wanted.
Next up is another example of something that was initially rejected, in a kind and humorous way, which then turned into a happy ending, for both customer and company: Shane, a Samsung fan, wrote to Samsung on Facebook listing all the Samsung devises he had bought and finished off by asking for a free Galaxy S III. He also included a picture of a dinosaur as a gesture.
To which Samsung replied, rejecting the request, but did so in a more creative way than Thomas Cook managed. They sent him back a Kangaroo on a unicycle as well.
Shane was so impressed by this effort he posted the story on reddit. The story created a huge buzz online and also made it to the front page of reddit. It even got mentioned by the The Globe and Mail, a popular Canadian online newspaper, this happened in Canada by the way. Due to the huge viral reaction of the story, Samsung thought that the best way to show their appreciation would be to thank Shane, and no doubt to keep the viral going, at least for a bit longer. They did this by sending him the item he had asked for, but with a touch of genius. The phone they sent to him was customised with none other than the original dragon he had sent them.
So, what we can learn from this is that a simple act of kindness or comedy in the world of social media can go a long way. Think of the bigger picture and take advantage of opportunities when they arise. They could backfire if you don’t.