By Ahava Leibtag published October 7, 2011

How Brownies and Bridesmaids’ Dresses Proved that Social Media Works

  • “How do we know it works?”
  • “Can we prove that we’ll affect the bottom line?”

Aren’t these the client questions you receive most often about social media? When my clients ask them, I explain that social media is about building relationships with customers. All the different tools — Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. — are the distribution vehicles you choose to get your message across. When you choose the right delivery vehicle for the right message, you can ensure your success.

My guess is that everyone has heard by now how great Content Marketing World was. While I was there, I had two experiences that I’d like to share because they illustrate exactly how to answer the above questions for your clients.

I desperately needed chocolate — and then I received a brownie delivery

On the third day of CMW, I had just about enough of all the candy, but I still had a craving for chocolate. So I tweeted:

Only 1 thing wrong with #cmworld–not enough chocolate. Gotta find @Junta42 some orange chocolate

About 15 minutes later, Pam Kozelka (Joe Pulizzi’s right-hand woman) shows up with brownies. This is a perfect example of how social media is really about building relationships with customers and picking the right delivery vehicle to accomplish your goals. Twitter is instantaneous. It’s communication that can happen immediately with one side making a statement and other side responding. Pam caught my tweet, wanted to make me happy, and was able to do so — immediately.

How Nordstrom will make me look absolutely fabulous

I had a similar experience with Nordstrom. I learned about Nordstrom Dave at CMW. He tweets about men’s fashion, and I asked him if he has a female counterpart. Meet @NordySanda. I tweeted my latest fashion conundrum to her: My sister-in-law wants her bridal party to wear champagne-colored bridesmaids dresses for her big day in December! She instantly replied with a full page of dresses that would be perfect. All I needed to do was pick the one I liked.

How this can help you with your customers

You need to stress to everyone — senior-level executives, social media trainees, and others — that social media is about building important relationships with customers. In both of the above situations,  I needed something.  I sent out my request on Twitter. I got an immediate response. That isn’t always possible in every situation, but when companies show that level of commitment to their customers, they demonstrate that the relationship is paramount. This is how to earn loyal, returning customers — the so-called raving fans we are all chasing.

Oh, and even though I ate the brownies, I could still fit into the champagne dress I picked out. So, there were happy endings all around.

Do you have any social media stories with similar happy endings? Please share your comments with us.

Author: Ahava Leibtag

Based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Ahava Leibtag is a Web content strategist and writer. She leads AHA Media Group, a Web and content consulting firm, and authors the blog Online it ALL Matters. She thinks 60 words is way too few to communicate why she’s interesting. You can connect with Ahava on Twitter at @ahaval.

Other posts by Ahava Leibtag

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  • Pam Kozelka

    Hi Ahava!  I think it says something too that these simple experiences from social media resonate with us long after they have happened.  Trust me, I still chuckle too every time I see a brownie!

  • Ahava

    Me too Pam!!!

  • Fran Aslam

    I like your writing style makes the reader excited about the contents before even reading it.  The name of your group “AHA Media Group” is awesome to create AHA moment for every reader.  Keep up the good work
    Fran A  http://j.mp/nsmE0y

    • Ahava

      Thanks Fran. That’s one of the nicest compliments a writer can receive.

  • http://twitter.com/pamelamuldoon Pamela Muldoon

    It’s also how I got my cable to work after a recent move by tweeting my complaint to @comcastcares.  Social works, content works.  Thanks for sharing, Ahava!

  • http://twitter.com/#!/web_promo webpromo

    Written simply and tastefully. It’s pleasant to read. Thank u.

  • http://www.flmconsulting.com/ project management consultant

    It catched my attention so I continue on reading it. Good job on motivating your readers.