A Social Case-Study on how a Travel brand went from Engaging with Influencers to Generating Leads & nurturing the seeds of a long-term mutually beneficial relationship
Being a Social Evangelist and a budding one at that; means that I am only at the beginning of the learning curve when it comes to this bold, new universe. To compound things further, I am also a part of the new-age advertising media.
While I am exposed to most of the popular social platforms on a regular basis, there is one that occupies prime property in the mind – Twitter. 140 Character Limits that bring out the best (& worst) in everyone, pretty much anything goes out here. Everything happens here in hyper-real time with battles waged, won & lost on a daily basis.
It is highly interesting to see brands playing out there roles here. Certain influential individuals have made Twitter their home as well and the brands go all out to woo them. A single brand mention by these successful individuals is likely to have a carry-forward effect, bringing brands closer to that elusive thing called ‘a sales lead’ and the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship.
Not everyone is successful in their endeavours, for many a brand fails to realize that merely signing on a celebrity is no guarantee for a sales flood. Online Reputation Management (ORM) programmes, armies of SEO’s and sales people manning the lines would still fall flat if there isn’t a properly laid-out plan in place.
This is why; it was refreshing to see an interesting conversation play out a few days ago:
The ever so lovely Gul Panag sent out a tweet, evincing her interest in for a holiday.
The screen-grab above shows just how vocal this lady is. She lists her requirements succinctly, putting out the important bits for everyone to see. Naturally, one would expect her many followers to jump in the fray with suggestions on the destination & the hotel bookings, etc. But then, something really cool happens.
Responding to Gul’s tweet, this person named Prakash Dogra tags Make My Trip India – a leading travel portal and tells them directly that hey, here’s a sales lead for you’ll. He also mentions Gul in the same, to let the guys know that this is for real.
Now, who Prakash Dogra is & his equation with either Make My Trip, or Gul, is beyond the scope of this piece. But, I can bet a month of ORM Hours that the other Travel Portals would have given up an arm and leg to be mentioned instead of @makemytrip (E.g. Travelguru, Cleartrip, Thomas Cook India, etc.)
Make My Trip in turn, responds swiftly (Kudos to them). They promptly thank Prakash for the lead; inform Gul that they are sending her a few recommendations whilst engaging her further by asking about her travel dates.
Gul, naturally responds with the said information:
Make My Trip takes it to the next level, closing the deal and sends in this response:
Two Hours after the first point of contact, Make My Trip came good with their promise. They reached out to Gul with the idea of offering her a detailed travel plan.
Meanwhile, they began offering her vacation suggestions as she had originally tweeted.
They even took things beyond National Borders for Gul, would she be interested in such a trip.
She was keen on visiting Lakshadweep Islands
But was thwarted due to tourism restrictions as laid down by the government.
Quite naturally, the news saddened her
And just right then, Make My Trip made a move that had the potential to cement their fledgling relationship to a great extent.
Make My Trip made Gul an offer that she’d find irresistible to refuse. They wanted to feature her on their Celeb Travelogue Blog!
In a little under 2 Hours, Make My Trip had managed to pull off a series of wins, viz.
- Demoed that they are actively present on one of the most happening of social platforms
- They have followers that recommend them wholeheartedly
- The capability to track & respond to recommendations
- Engage with Influential Personalities with quality assistance in double-quick time
- Provide solutions and ensure that the said Influencers are kept well satisfied with the solutions offered
- Closed an invaluable lead, one that goes beyond mere monetary gains
- Laid the foundation for forging a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with the said influencer
While the competition may be ruing this missed opportunity, they must take heart that there are multiple customers out there (influential or not), who are looking for a quality response. Needless to say, the brand that delivers, like Make My Trip did in this particular instance, is going to be winning the competition and the market-share sweepstakes.