By Brian Murray Saturday night I went out to dinner with my girlfriend. At some point during dinner I casually checked Twitter while babbling about something inane like the Yankee game or The Masters. I saw on top of my stream that @Zappos_Service had posted a question that had nothing to do with shoes or customer service. What happened next was completely out of my hands.
So I did what I normally do when a question grabs my attention on Twitter, I replied to it! We proceeded to go back and forth. Melissa tells me she is into Pokemon. I tell her the last game I played with regularity was Call Of Duty: Black Ops and she then asked me if I tried the Zombie Mode. I tell her it's great to play with friends. So let me sum this up so far. I am at dinner with my girlfriend who is rolling her eyes at me and laughing at the same time. I am carrying on a conversation with a website that sells shoes, a lot of shoes. Our conversation has nothing to do with their products or what they are selling, instead we are talking about our favorite video games.
I began to think to myself, I could use a new pair of new sneakers. I wondered what Melissa would recommend, so I decided to ask her. She asked me what colors I liked and what type of shoe I would wear. I told her I wanted a lightweight shoe and that I am currently wearing the Nike Free 5.0. Twenty five minutes went by and I began to think she got lost. Then Melissa came back and offered this.
Now I have to be completely honest. This wasn't my favorite pair of shoes I have ever seen and not really my style. In Melissa's defense, it can't be easy trying to sell a shoe to an avatar. We continued our conversation until I went to their website and did away with my personal shopper for the evening. After about 10 minutes I found a pair of sneakers I liked and purchased them. I now have a new pair of sneakers on the way because of a conversation about video games with @Zappos_Service. Don't worry, I realize to some people this might sound weird.
Now there has to be a point to this story, right? My story may not be exactly typical, but I am quite sure that a few people have looked at the Zappos website because of their Twitter accounts. The true point of my story is the companies that are regularly discussed as performing well in Social Media are the ones that are engaging with customers in such a way that keeps them in the forefront of the customers mind. I followed @Zappos_Service because I thought they brought real value and had an interesting perspective. Social Media is about having a conversation and that conversation doesn't always have to be about you. Let it be about the customer and make them feel special. These people will become the brand ambassadors you are looking for, they will come back and help spread the word. Those are your advocates who will do the selling for you.
Do you like my new shoes? Have you become a brand ambassador because of an interaction on Twitter or Facebook? Share your story in the comments!