True Story: Tesco’s + Twitter = Awesome Social Media Engagement!

Social mediaIt’s always a debate what to get my Dad for Father’s Day, but you really can’t ever beat a bottle of wine and some Whiskey! So like I do every year and at the last minute I zipped over to my local Tesco’s to pick up some drink for the old man, ready for Father’s Day.

In an unexpected turn of events, the cashier saw the alcohol and asked to “see some ID”, a question I hadn’t heard asked in ages! (“Are you sure know how to drive that thing?” also falls into that category.) I was stunned, and I must say a bit pleased – clearly my boyish charm still has some mojo left. As I left the store I happily tweeted about the experience, both to express my surprise and to let any ladies in the area know that I still had my A-game.

Guess what happened less than twenty minutes later? No, I hadn’t acquired a new girlfriend, but good guess. Tesco customer service saw my tweet and personally responded to it, bantering away with me like an old friend. Needless to say, I was pretty impressed. Tesco had skipped over every traditional “corporate” tactic and gone straight for a friendly, no-strings-attached connection. Typical marketing strategy wouldn’t have even seen this as a marketing opportunity – why bother, they’d say, if your customer’s already bought a product and isn’t even in the store anymore? And communicating with a customer without throwing in a sales pitch? What good is that?

See the conversation thread below:

Corporate Social Media

Turns out it’s a lot of good. Tesco’s response to me, even thought it had no direct marketing plan tied to it, was actually an incredible way to promote their business. Think about it. The fact that they’ve assembled a team to monitor the online chatter about themselves, and then engage with the people talking about them, not only shows that they care about their customers but also gives their company “personality”. Whether a company is big or small, having customers feel like they’re talking with “real people” can do wonders for your brand.

Their response time was almost instantaneous – talk about service! The most important thing Tesco did by replying to my tweet was reputation management. Imagine if I had said something negative about my Tesco experience. What better way to soothe an aggravated customer by apologizing for something they weren’t even formally complaining about?

There’s a lot to be learned here, and I could keep analyzing this until next Father’s Day. But the big takeaway is this – by going out of their way to be social with their customers, Tesco manages to stay present in people’s minds and promote their brand at the same time (I’m writing this post on them, aren’t I?).

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