Yesterday I woke up on a mission. A mission to go buy a Lilly Pulitzer + Starbucks S’well bottle. Okay, so not exactly a world-changing mission, but nonetheless very important. These limited edition S’wells released yesterday and immediately hit eBay because limited edition Lilly items have a high resale value. Luckily, I was able to find the print I wanted at the first Starbucks I visited. Yay! Once I got home I posted my new find to Instagram and Twitter because, you know, #socialmediajunkie. I tagged Lilly Pulitzer, Starbucks and S’well in my tweet and I got a response from each brand.
The days of brands being unavailable are gone. Now accessibility is in. Lilly Pulitzer, Starbucks and S’well are big brands and I bet they get quite a few mentions every day, especially on days when there is a product launch of such high caliber. No matter the size of the company, all brands can learn from this social media interaction example provided by these companies.
The fact that all three brands took the time to at least like my tweet really meant a lot to me as a customer. Starbucks even used my name in the tweet. How did they know that flattery will get them everywhere with me? I spend money on these products, so even the smallest interaction adds a personal touch to these mega companies. As silly as it sounds, it makes customers feel valued and they develop a deeper connection. There are a lot of factors that go into choosing a brand and maybe some personal interaction will be a deciding factor. I interacted with an L.L. Bean employee on social media once and it made me love that brand so much more. Why? Because everyone enjoys being noticed by someone they like. On the flip side, brands must be aware that social media gaffes can have the opposite effect. Yes, social media can be an amazing tool but it can also be problematic if used poorly.
Brands with small or nonexistent social media are going to be left behind if they don’t get on board–fast. Customers want interaction and the want it to be professional yet fun-loving, timely and personal. Even on social media we are relational beings and we expect our brands to be as well. I never would have thought that any of the brands, let alone all three, would interact with me on Twitter. This interaction made my day and reinforced my positive feelings about each of them. The fact is that brands are stepping up their game online and customers should utilize that interaction. After all, that’s good PR for them. So, way to go social media monitors at Lilly Pulitzer, S’well and Starbucks!
Holly Hoehner is a public relations senior at the University of Oklahoma. She considers herself more of a Russell Westbrook than a Kevin Durant and enjoys learning about and participating in the digital age, blogging about anything that comes to her mind and creating witty Instagram captions. Holly was raised a die-hard Sooner fan in Edmond, OK.