Companies who understand social media know that their strategy should be centered around consistent listening and engaging, rather than constantly pushing and selling. Far too many companies, however, have yet to play catch up to the busy, loud, and social world that is the Internet today. One, among others, however, is nailing their social media approach. And the results are hilariously great.
Enter stage right: Applebee’s. The restaurant chain has an active presence on Facebook, and has developed a relationship with a certain customer on one of it’s local pages. His name, according to his profile, is Chip Zdarsky. The two talk on the regular. It is a fascinating showcase of how serious a brand treats its social media presence. Below are some of our favorite interactions.
They like to exchange jokes.
Chip shares the struggles he’s faced in life.
Applebee’s gives halloween costume advice.
But the talk is not always personal. There is a selling component to the relationship. Chip helps family realize how great Applebee’s food is. Applebee’s chimes in when needed. Essentially, this is word of mouth becoming relevant again.
As the bond grows, Chip is unafraid to offer cuisine suggestions.
The relationship is not limited to the interactions pictured above. Check out this BuzzFeed article to see a more complete list.
So were these conversations funny? Yes. But what is more important to notice is how high Applebee’s regards its customers on social media. That is why companies like this will “win” the Internet in 2014. Winning the Internet is a running joke across the web. It is a phrase used when readers want to label something funny or meaningful they have read or watched that day. Because they are so consistent in their approach, no matter how inconsequential a particular conversation may be, companies like Applebee’s will not just win the Internet for a day, they will win the Internet for an entire year.
2014 is going to change they way companies think about selling, advertising, and customer service. As we have said many times, business is becoming much more humanized, and social media deserves major props for that. No one signs up for Facebook or Twitter to see the latest sales going on, or to get the best deals. They join these communities to socialize with others, to engage, and to share ideas. They don’t sign up to buy snake oil.
As a disclaimer, Applebee’s is not the only company crushing it on social media. But this is by far the most hilarious example of what the right approach to social media interaction is. What is most encouraging about this relationship between brand and customer is if a chain restaurant as big as Applebee’s can keep up with what is being said to them across their social channels, so too can any brand no matter the size.
Stories like this are encouraging because it shows that companies are beginning to display just how much they care about their customers. Applebee’s understands how important listening is, and because of that they will not just win the Internet in 2014, they will crush it.