Zappos is an online retailer with one of the most active social media platforms we see today. CEO Tony Hsieh is one of the most followed individuals on Twitter, having amassed nearly 2.7 million followers. But for Hsieh and Zappos, their social media activity is merely a reflection of their company culture.
“For Twitter, we don’t really view it as a marketing channel so much as a way to connect on a more personal level, whether it’s with our employees or our existing customers,” Hsieh said in an interview with Stephen Spencer. “Initially, we started getting the entire company more involved with Twitter because we saw it as a great way to help build our company culture. But then we discovered it was also a great way to connect with customers as well.”
The Zappos family has in excess of 440 tweeting employees. Hsieh encourages them to not market products or build the brand, but to be themselves and have their social media accounts be personal and insightful. The company does offer Twitter classes to their employees, but aside from that, there are no guidelines for what employees are required to tweet. The only thing Hsieh asks, he says, is that employees not do anything, via Twitter, telephone or in-person that contradict their core values, which can be found here: http://about.zappos.com/our-unique-culture/zappos-core-values.
One of the most fascinating things about Zappos in their social media efforts is that they are not concerned with return on investment. It’s important to note that Zappos does not sell products via social networking, they simply engage and measure reaction through the various platforms. Hsieh says they are really looking to build life-long relationships with customers. The 37 year-old CEO says social media is also a positive in recruiting potential employees because their interaction on social media platforms is a true reflection of their company culture. The unique paradigm set alongside this corporate interaction via social media is that Zappos also highlights their fans. The company will occasionally do a “Fan of the Week” bit. The more you highlight your fans and followers, the more actively they will engage with you.
Zappos has 269,293 likes
They post approximately one time per day, most often on the topic of products, contests or giveaways or fan photos or comments.
The company posted an overview of themselves and their mission and followed up with a brief description of their desired interaction on their Facebook page.
The Zappos service account (@zappos_service) has 13,901 followers
It is the account with the most frequent interaction with followers, having tweeted five times already today.
Zappos has crafted one of the world’s leading social media strategies (even though CEO Tony Hsieh hates that term) by first leveraging their company culture and secondly, no matter by what platform, treating customers the best they can.
Zappos has a wide reach across many other channels of customer interaction such as email, blogs, Facebook, YouTube and the newly-launched Zappos.tv, in which the company aims to produce two to three original videos per week giving customers a unique look at daily life at the Zappos headquarters.