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Case Study: Zappos.com on Twitter

Zappos.com is an online shoe and apperal shop known for it’s quirky attitude and fun style. Consistantly ranked as one of the best companies to work for, Zappos puts a large emphasis on the company’s culture and values in all it does. Recently, this has spilled over onto Zappos’ presence on social media, specifically Twitter. In 2009, Zappos was awarded the “best use of social media” title by Abrams Research (see here).

CEO Tony Hsieh strongly encourages all of his employees to make use of social media tools, as it aligns with one of their top ten core values as a company, which states “Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication”. Active on YouTube, Facebook, and Corporate Blogs, Zappos is consistantly seen as one of the most successful companies on Twitter (see more here). Recent counts show more than 430 Zappos employees on Twitter and Zappos is consistantly one of the most active companies to recruit via Twitter.

CEO Tony Hsieh leads the company by example, recently ranked the 185th most followed person on Twitter with over 2 million followers, Hsieh has taken the @zappos Twitter account on himself. Typically, this account and the account of other Zappos employees do not focus on products Zappos sells, but rather on sharing their unique culture and listening to customer feedback.  They are known for their laid back and accessable voice on Twitter that makes the brand more of a friend than a company. Consider, for example, the recent pictures posted by Tony Hsieh.

To many, these may look more like the recent pictures a friend may have Tweeted than a company trying to sell you shoes. This is in line with the culture of the organization and the voice they show in all they do.

According to recent articles, there are various core things that lend most prominantly to Twitter’s success. First, the Twitter voice previously mentioned, which makes the company approachable and friendly. Second, Zappos’ transparent brand tracking, which consists primarly of a page that shows all public mentions of Zappos on Twitter. This is also in line with Zappos’ company goals and a bold move possible for only a company with overwhelmingly positive mentions. Finally, Zappos regularly celebrates “super fans”, which inspires users to become one of these people. Fans are even posted on a fancy Zappos TweetWall, linked to Zappos.com. Read more about each of these here.

Zappos is a unique company with a unique culture. Now, people everywhere can learn about the fun that the employees are having at Zappos through their Twitter page. If you want to engage with some of the most energetic and crazy shoe salespeople around (these people, right here, featured in their own music video!), Zappos has opened the door to allow you to do this. This unique approach of using a unique culture to carry over into Twitter has proved immensely successful.

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