Earlier this week, I walked into a Caribou Coffee near my home and noticed a gentleman sitting at his table with a full-on iMac laptop. My jaw dropped. I almost laughed out loud. And, I immediately felt the urge to tell the world. So, I did. On Twitter.
It was a throwaway post. Something I just wanted to get off my chest. I just had to tell someone. So, I told everyone.
The response was instantaneous. And furious.
At least 10 replies within five minutes asking me, no BEGGING me, to get a photo of this crazy, or brilliant, man (depending on who you ask).
The lesson? You never know what’s going to interest your community or spark a conversation. That particular conversation continued for about an hour. This, all because a guy walked into a Caribou with a suitcase and plunked down a 17-inch iMac monitor on the coffee table.
For brands, the lesson also has merit. As you consider how you engage on Twitter, Facebook or a host of other social networks, sometimes you don’t have to over-think things. I think there are a few key learnings here:
* Experiment. Social media allows you to try a whole slew of approaches–all for little to no cost. Ask questions. Poll your community. Share industry research data. You never know who might be interested.
* Share the B-roll. Remember those ads that didn’t make the new campaign? Why not share them on Twitter or Facebook with a “left on the cutting room floor” disclaimer? If you’ve worked in a creative industry, you know the most creative idea is rarely the one that’s actually executed. And, wouldn’t your fans/community be interested in seeing those ideas?
* Brainstorm with your community. Think I’m crazy? Ask Best Buy. They crowdsourced for their manager of emerging media opportunity earlier this year, with great success. You might be surprised what your community offers up.
* Back to basics. What you might consider extremely basic and garden-variety, your customers may find truly interesting. Who knows why. You may be too close to it within the four walls of your organization. Or, maybe you’ve seen the information in four different spots already online. The point it, you might be surprised what your community finds intriguing. So, give the basics a try once in a while.
Has the situation I mentioned at the outset ever happened to you? If so, would you care to share?