Many companies see twittering as another arm of a marketing campaign, but the companies admired by customers and employees often tweet to let their humanity show.
Companies that customers love work hard not to lose their personality—not in their products, not in their service, not in anything they do. They become beloved because of how they connect with customers in their lives. They relate personally with their customers, and their personality comes through during interactions with them.
DECISION INTENT: Let Customers Know the People of Zappos.com
Twittering is democratic. No baloney. Good “tweets” are short and sweet. There’s no room for any pretense or pomp. Tony (Zappos.com CEO) is a guy who Twitters and he’s glad to have you know him as Tony. So do George and Mary and Sue and all the other Zappos.com folks (“Zapponians”) sending “tweets” about what’s going on in their day. For Zappos.com, Twittering is, plain and simple, about staying in touch with the people in their lives. This naturally includes customers.
MOTIVATION: Zappos.com Wants to Be a Part of Customers’ Lives
Twittering is a natural extension of how Zappos.com exists and participates in people’s lives. Zappos people are straight-talkers who embrace ten principles to guide how they conduct themselves in business.
1. Deliver WOW through Service
2. Embrace and Drive Change
3. Create Fun and a Little Weirdness
4. Be Adventurous, Creative, Open-Minded
5. Pursue Growth and Learning
6. Build Open and Honest Relationships through Communication
7. Build a Positive Team, Family Spirit
8. Do More with Less
9. Be Passionate and Determined
10. Be Humble
Twittering is a natural part of the “conversation” Zappos.com has with customers, suppliers, and now, many people around the world. Zappos also responds to “tweets” about them when possible. The folks there feel it’s only fitting that they stay in touch and reach out—just as you would if you found a friend who needed to talk to you. Go to https://twitter.com/zappos to join the party and the conversation.
IMPACT: Millions of People Follow Zapponians on Twitter
Zappos’s growth is fueled by their great products and service. But with Twitter, it goes beyond business to make connections personal. One recent tweet from Tony was “Getting a haircut.” Why would anyone want to follow that? Because the commonality of how we go through our days pulls us all together. Following Tony on Twitter creates an unexpected bond. People feel like they know him, so of course they want to buy things from his site. Twitter is deepening Zappos.com’s connection beyond their initial fan base of zealot female shoe buyers, helping them to expand (as Amazon.com did) into many other product categories beyond the shoes they originally sold. The company that earned the right with shoes continues to earn the right to expand, in part, by letting people know they’re at the dry cleaner.
Decide to Be Real Challenge: Stay connected to customers
Stay Connected By Reaching Out – Evaluate How Real You Are
- How would you rate your ability to genuinely connect with customers?
- How would our customers say we are doing?
- Do customers rave about how we communicate in a personal, human manner?
- How do your decisions to know your customer (and them knowing you are people) compare with this beloved company?
- Do your decisions for being part of customer’s lives in a natural way earn you “Beloved” status today?
Take Action: Identify one new way to reach out to customers so they feel like they can talk to you in a manner that is devoice of marketing hype – person to person.