It`s here. Finally! I have been talking about this for weeks, so today this is me delivering.
So what exactly is this?
Social Media Superstars is my brand new award to recognize excellence in social media practices. It is exclusively for brands and companies. You may email me or contact me or DM or tweet if you think your brand deserves this award, but this is not a silly pass on the sunshine blogger award. It is serious. Because I am nothing if not serious as evidenced by my vlogs like this one (I will not choose you because you send me stuff. I will not choose you because a network of bloggers has pooled money and run a strange contest. I will not choose you just because you showed up at a conference and handed out swag.) This is about best practices and doing things well. I am a journalist, trained and educated to research and inquire and make rational arguments and report. This is how I am approaching this new feature here.
Every so often I will highlight here, on a Saturday, a brand or company that I think is a social media superstar and using best practices and just really nailing it so well that they need to be noticed. I have had a couple of excellent experiences recently with this. So I am very excited. This is judged entirely by me on a couple of things.
Responsiveness, Creativity, Savvy Social Media Use and Personality
So without further adieu, here is the first company I think worthy of this award.
TD/Canada Trust is the head of the class.
RESPONSIVITY A+: When I am at TD and I check in on Foursquare, I am greeted within half an hour, often faster by a personal response. TD is a huge company, I know. But they have a whole team, an entire office in London, Ontario where six or seven people are dedicated to scanning all the social media channels all the time for complaints and kudos and simple mentions. When I tweet huffily that the line up is too long. They respond personally with sympathy. `Sorry sounds like it is a busy day. Anything we can do to help?’ They acknowledge, respond and are fast, so fast that I am often tweeting back – “Wow, you guys are on it!”
CREATIVITY: B+ This is maybe the only area where there could be a tiny improvement. Because I love to see out of the box thinking. So for instance companies that are reaching out to bloggers, or employing brand ambassadors and showing us what they do for the community. I know TD is good at this in person. They might be able to step it up on line too. Or reward me on Foursquare or acknowledge that I am the Mayor of your brand. I know that sounds funny, but it is creative and it is smart. Beyond that: I have an excellent example of their savvy creative customer service.
My daughter had a birthday back in March. On that day we went to the bank to get my Mom some money. I manage some of her stuff too. So while there chatty daughter told regular teller that it was her birthday. Really nice guy, also a DAD, and we had a great chat about kids for a time and Dr. Seuss. Then she told him her birthday was going to be movie day seeing The Lorax. So the amazing teller handed me my money and then proceeded to give her $5 for the movies. The money was not from any of our accounts. It was simply amazing and human and kind and excellent customer service. My eight-year-old will never forget that. I guarantee you that she will bank at TD for the rest of her life. How perfect is that? That once small kindness and I started tweeting to my 7,000 followers and all of a sudden I got about 10 Moms and a couple of really well known Canadian authors who tweeted back and retweeted. For those of you who don`t really get this business of impressions and so on, well that`s like that commercial she told two friends and she told two friends and so on and so on. Well that two friends then ends up becoming hundreds of thousands. No joke when you combine Canadian Author who tweets a lot with my followers and the other eight blogger`s followers well you just leveraged a whole lot of excellent PR. It wasn`t even a calculated move. It was just a spontaneous kind teller. Loved that!
SOCIAL MEDIA USE: A They take it off line when the issue needs to be resolved and is a negative one that could clog up the twitter stream with negative reflections on the business. For instance here is a great example: Two weeks ago I screwed up at the bank machine and paid money on a credit card I no longer have. The number was still in the machine as a card that I sometimes use. I do not. Anyways essentially I used my disposable income for that week to pay off a card I don`t have and then was told in bank and on phone it would take 5 days to fix. I had never been madder. So I tweeted. Quick response again. And a name. Hi this is – I think her name was Christine. DM me or call me and I will try to help. Long story short where the initial in person bank teller IRL and the phone agent could not help, social media Christine came through. Money and issue fixed within two hours of my intial tweet. Crazy fast! Happy customer.
PERSONALITY: A+ The TD team is always personal, always polite and really both on line and in store they have won me over with all of their great combined social media use and in real life expertise.
TD Canada Trust you deserve the First EVER Social Media Superstars AWARD. Thank you for setting the bar so high.