Social media marketing presents us with opportunities every day, we just need to be cognizant of them. Something simple can become a major boon, and sometimes it pays to go over the top a little bit, because if you don’t, a competitor might.
This played out last week after a joking Facebook post went viral. A man named Thomas Cook posted on the Facebook wall of the Thomas Cook travel agency. He wrote, “Seeing as I share the exact same name as your huge company, and because of this I have been ridiculed for as long as I can remember. I think it’s only fair that you help compensate for this by giving me one of your lovely holidays.”
The global travel agency politely declined. This might have been the end of it, but for LowCostHolidays.com. They saw the message and replied to Thomas Cook (the man) with this, “Here at lowcostholidays.com we completely sympathise with your suffering and if your name was “lowcostholidays.com” we would certainly have accepted your request to be sent away on a weekend in Paris. … So how about we send you on that weekend in Paris?”
And they did.
And the story blew up.
It’s been featured on most major news outlets and no matter how whimsical the story, it still ends up as a lot of great publicity for lowcostholidays.com, more than they ever could have gotten from spending the relatively small price of a weekend in Paris on advertising. Thomas Cook (the company) isn’t getting bad press, but they missed out on the opportunity for some GREAT press.
The takeaway? When you’re in a competitive field, sometimes it pays to be willing to go a little further than the competition. Keep tabs on their social media as well as your own, and capitalize on their mistakes and missed opportunities. Just make sure they can’t do the same thing to you!