Social media has become a place for consumers to vent. As evidenced in a discussion on this site last month, "Who Needs Call Centers When There's Twitter?," many are learning that the fastest way to get a response to their complaints is to go public on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.
But social media isn't just a public woodshed. Many individuals go online to connect with friends, family and even brands and companies they like. An article published on the Fast Company website last week discussed the author's "wow experience" with REI following a tweeted question to the retailer: "What is the best gift suggestion you have this year?"
In under an hour, REI posted a personal video response to the tweet. The author admitted to being "flattered" that "someone actually took time to create a custom response for me."
REI, according to the article, created its social media team five years ago. Today, three people within the co-op are charged with connecting with the members. One element of that was the decision to create custom videos this past holiday season as part of REI's #giftpicks program. To respond quickly, REI enlisted store associates known as Green Vests to offer personalized suggestions. It made a believer out of the Fast Company author. We wonder how many others were won over in a similar manner.
How important is a dedicated team to the success or failure of retailers' social media outreach programs?