On May 12th, Guy Kawasaki presented an amazing discussion via WebEx about social media. This presentation was offered in conjunction with our new free beta, WebEx Meet - which is our first step into turning online meetings into social media (you can get it here).
Guy: A good example of selling is Dell Outlet. @DellOutlet has 1.6 million followers. And what they do is announce specials, such as 15% off any Dell Outlet laptop or desktop. They have a special coupon code so they'll know which tweet you are seeing.
@DellOutlet also points you to a specific web page. Coupon coming here [e.g. look at the tweets on their page and you'll see code and links]. It is also providing a little bit of interaction [e.g. see examples of DellOutlet chatting with tweeters].
The key here is that Dell is now selling refurbished Dell Outlet equipment through Twitter. And if you think about it, what could they have done with this before? I suppose they could have called their ad agency, designed an ad, submitted it to legal, bought media, place it in Wired and other places.
Four weeks later they'd be running a different ad to sell something else. Today they can write out a little 140 character promotion, can give a specific landing page and a specific coupon code so they know which tweets people are responding to. And in less than five minutes they are tweeting out a promotion. I think that's very powerful use of Twitter.
This is Twitter sales.
An interesting side point here on Dell: if you look at the number of followers, I don't have these numbers exactly right, but I was told that when they started Dell Outlet they had 2,500 followers and they sold something like half a million dollars worth of equipment. Then they got on the suggested user list of Twitter and they got to 1.6 million followers and they sell about $2 million worth of equipment.
You would think when you went from 2,500 to 1.6 million, in a perfect world it would be that order of magnitude increase of business, but it only tripled or quadrupled their business. One ke lesson to learn here - particularly for selling - it's really not the number of followers, it's the number of followers who are really interested in what you're selling.
It's more important that you had 2,500 people who really cared about discount Dell equipment than getting another 1.6 million people who have no clue what you're doing and didn't know they were even following you.
An even more clever use of Twitter selling is @KogiBBQ.
Kogi BBQ is a seafood vendor in Los Angeles and what it does is tell people where how to find them. Kogi has 63,000 followers some of whom want to know Kogi will be at a location from 9:30 to 12:30 – like the coffee gallery in Altadena on Lake Avenue. And when the Kogi BBQ truck shows up, there are 50 to 100 people waiting to buy their Mexican-Korean mash-up food.
I think this is a fascinating use. I mean consider the alternatives for Kogi BBQ: we have 12 trucks in Los Angeles; could it run an ad in The LA Times to announce their locations? I doubt it.
Let's think about what that would involve. You are a seafood vendor and you want to tell people you're going to be on a certain street corner from 9:30 to 12:30 – could you run an ad in The LA Times? Let's say The LA Times has six million subscribers. What percentage are going to be reading The LA Times at a time when they want to get in their car and go to that corner and buy a taco? The answer is zero. And think about what that ad would cost and where would that ad be? The Food Section? Sports Section? Who knows?
This is a great example of a small business using Twitter to drive traffic to a particular street corner to buy tacos. It doesn't get much better than that.
The poster child for customer support is Frank Eliason over at Comcast.
He runs a Twitter account called @ComcastCares. What he's doing is constantly searching for people who have issues with Comcast. For example here he's telling @RModel that a new router is on its way to him, talking about receiving their email. So he's providing tech support. And he has about 10 people now that help him with this, and they constantly monitor issues with Comcast so they can be the frontline for Comcast desk support.
This a very good example – they're engaged, they're providing tech support, they're pre-empting problems.
I think now most major brands have a Twitter presence, and major brands are very, very cognizant of their image on Twitter – perhaps too cognizant. I've had issues with some hotels in how they handled shipping and receiving of packages, and I tweeted out my issues and the national headquarters contacted me. I've had issues with some car brands, and I've tweeted out my issues with them and they've contacted me.
Now it is true that it helps that I have 230,000 followers, but I don't think that's the sole reason. I think basically they are monitoring their brands.
This concludes part three. Come back on Wednesday to get the next
section of his talk on prospecting with Twitter! And don't forget to try the
new WebEx Meet beta.