The famous marker company, Sharpie, recently offered a perk through Klout. They gave so-called "Sharpie influencers" a bunch of free stuff to do all kinds of artsy things. I love crafts and was bummed I didn't get the perk; so I sent a tweet (I'm a smart aleck, what can I say):
Sukhraj Beasla responded to my tweet and said she was disappointed, too. We started kidding back and forth about how much we loved Sharpies and wanted Sharpie to love us, too. Soon after, Lindsay Fultz said she was laughing at our funny tweets and joined in. Hugh McBride was next. He changed his avatar to a pack of Sharpies and started sharing great photos of things created with Sharpies! Then, Shana Ray joined and tweeted a photo of her Sharpie table.
We started using the hashtag #sharpiechat on some of the tweets, and even more folks started tweeting about Sharpie. People shared how they used Sharpie and what they liked about the product. Sheetal Makhan from South Africa asked what Sharpies were and of course I told her about all the permanent marker goodness. What had started off as a joke had turned into a full-fledged chat on how great Sharpie products were!
For nearly two hours that night, we traded tweets, shared Sharpie art, revised song lyrics to include Sharpie, and kidded about who loved Sharpies the most. It was terribly fun and at it's peak, #sharpiechat had more than 20 participants. Twenty-plus people sharing their love of the product and giving Sharpie's twitter account lots of love. When I went to bed, I thought, "I bet the Sharpie folks will get a kick out of seeing all those tweets in the morning. And how much will they love that we started the first ever #sharpiechat!".
Well, imagine my surprise when the next day came and Sharpie said nothing. Nada. Zilch. I even looked at the Sharpie Twitter page to see if they had respond to anyone from the previous night. Negative. Sharpie hadn't even followed me back (nor have they in the subsequent two weeks)! Granted, I didn't host #sharpiechat for any self-serving purpose, but not to even get one tweet from Sharpie? I thought that bit the big one. (For the record, not everyone put "@sharpie" in their tweets, however there were enough who did that Sharpie undoubtedly saw the surge of mentions and could have tracked the #sharpiechat hashtag.)
So, here's the free advice for the day. If your customers say how great you are, thank them! Respond, engage, do something! The last thing you should be doing is ignoring them. And, since Sharpie didn't see fit to acknowledge anyone who participated in #sharpiechat, I'd like to do that now--because that's how social media works.
Thank you to the following individuals:
And special thanks to:
@lindsayfultz for coming up with the hashtag
@hughcmcbride for scouring the net to find the most amazing Sharpie-inspired content to share
@sbeasla for responding to my initial tweet, which got the whole conversation going
Want your customers to love you? Remember to love them back! That's how brand loyalty is created. That's how you turn customers into full-fledged fans. That's how ordinary companies become extraordinary!