Social Media Case Studies

Please Vote for the NOW Revolutionary of the Month

Real-time business is about capitalizing on opportunity. About keeping your antennae up and finding a way to engage with speed and context. Last month, Amber Naslund and I named our first NOW Revolutionary, someone who’s living the faster, smarter, and more social principles we wrote about in The NOW Revolution. Our first winner was NOW Revolutionary – George Jordan from the Hotel Felix in Chicago.

This month, we have so many candidates, we need your help picking a winner (who will receive a signed copy of the book). Introducing your NOW Revolutionary finalists:

Bill Fisher from Golden, Colorado

The City Councilor of Ward 4 in Golden, and a long-time technology executive, Bill Fisher combined his passions in a hurry during the recent Indian Gulch wildfire.

Eventually burning more than 1,750 acres of pristine Colorado wilderness and forcing numerous evacuations, the fire dominated life in Golden for days. Within hours of the initial outbreak, Bill (as well as Mayor Jacob Smith) began posting live updates via Twitter (using the #GoldenFire tag).

Bill then sent email updates to his constituents with links to all online sources of information, and once the fire was out several days later, created a summary blog post with facts, photos, and curated coverage of the event.

For using social media to inform citizens in a frightening, fluid situation Bill Fisher is a nominee for NOW Revolutionary of the month.

Tamar Weinberg and NameCheap

You may have heard that Bob Parsons, CEO of domain name registrar and Web hosting company GoDaddy, uploaded a video recently that showed him participating in the killing of an African elephant. Debate rages about whether the killing was just, as well as whether this was just another craven PR stunt by the publicity-addicted Parsons.

Regardless, it was the actions of GoDaddy competitor NameCheap that shows a real-time aptitude. Based on the significant public fallout from the GoDaddy video, NameCheap (led by community manager and social media superstar Tamar Weinberg) very quickly launched a promotion offering $4.99 domain names, with a $1 donation to Save the Elephants for each domain transferred from GoDaddy. The coupon code for the promotion is BYEBYEGD (nice touch). (NOTE: Tamar tweeted a moment ago that hey have raised $20,000 through this program)

For instantly capitalizing on market realities and competitor actions, Tamar Weinberg from NameCheap is a nominee for NOW Revolutionary of the month.

Jeramie McPeek and the Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns have been long-time leaders in social media, but their real-time edge is now razor sharp.

Social media consultant and author Scott Stratten was recently in Phoenix for a speaking engagement, and decided to take in a Suns game. He bought a ticket online (naturally), but was chagrined to find that his view was obstructed by a pole in the upper reaches of the US Airways Center. Being a Twitter guy, Scott tweeted (with photo) about his seat:


[blackbirdpie url=”!/unmarketing/status/53273928382156800″]


Within 5 minutes the Suns’ VP of Digital, Jeramie McPeek saw the tweet and found Scott, then escorted him personally to a seat in a corporate suite, causing Scott to tweet a new photo:

[blackbirdpie url=”!/unmarketing/status/53280809855098881″]

For instantaneous customer service and true “antenna up” behavior, Jeramie McPeek is a nominee for NOW Revolutionary of the month.

And the Envelope Please…

Now it’s your turn. Please take a second and let us know who you think deserves NOW Revolutionary of the month. And if you have nominees for next month, please send them to [email protected] Thanks for your support!

[polldaddy poll=4836025]


Facebook Comments


  1. says

    Hi Jay,

    Great to see companies reacting (and quickly). But part of me can’t help wonder about the Suns example.

    As you mention, Scott had been in town to speak. The Suns are “long-time leaders in social media”. So I’m guessing their digital guy knows who Scott is (and probably that he was in town – maybe he was even at the event).

    Call me cynical, but would Joe Blow with 100 followers received the corporate suite upgrade the same way an author and social media mainstay with more than 87,000 followers? I’d like to think so, but my head questions it.


    • says

      Thanks for the comment Danny. Jeramie told me they didn’t know who Scott is until afterwards. Jeramie will probably comment here, but he’s an old friend so I’ll certainly take him at his word.

      But, in terms of would Joe Blow receive the same treatment, I think you’re asking the wrong question. Joe Blow doesn’t receive the same treatment when he calls your 800 number (assuming the agent has purchase history in the CRM system). Joe Blow doesn’t receive the same treatment at the bar in comparison to the guy that’s there every night. Joe Blow doesn’t get upgraded to a suite at the Marriott.

      We’ve always treated customers differently. Kevin Smith got a call at home from the VP of Southwest Air. It’s just that now that inequity is public. The reality is that customers and their value are not the same, and smart companies recognize that and tailor interactions accordingly.

      • says

        An important factor in taking your “wow factor” with customers to next level is recognizing your potential “rock star” clients. The clients who aren’t prominent authors or actors, but who will be your biggest (and loudest) fan when you treat them as if they were. So hopefully there are some “Joe Blows” getting upgraded. :)

    • says

      What’s that line? Assume makes and Ass out of U and Me? :)

      Jeramie had no idea who I was, wasn’t following me either. I bought a ticket full price from Ticketmaster.

      When I got moved to a suite seat (which was sweet) there were 5 other Twitter people in there too, that had tweeted before the game. One had 11 followers.

      They do it right, for everybody they can.

      • says

        That’s why there’s a difference between assume and question, Scott. 😉

        Good to hear they do it right – now if only the companies that Jay refers to would do the same…

  2. says

    I’d say every airline, hotel, casino, 4Square user, guy who has his own mug at the local pub, and possessor of any sort of loyalty card would disagree that treating customers differently is out of fashion.

    That said, I’m certainly not suggesting that “tailoring interactions accordingly” means ignoring some in favor of others. Nobody can be ignored, ever. Every customer is a potential reporter, which is the entire premise of The NOW Revolution.

    That’s why it’s awesome that Jeramie reached out without knowing about Scott’s “influence”. But, there’s a big difference between ignoring a customer, and having different approaches based on lifetime customer value. That’s just CRM at work.

    And even in your own example, you are by definition treating customers differently because you’re providing a customer support lifeline via Facebook that is not available to people without a Facebook account. You essentially did the exact same thing Jeramie did.

    I’ve spent years doing customer experience consulting, so I know where you’re headed on this, and I think we actually agree more than we disagree. But to suggest that every customer is treated the exact same in every situation is unicorns and rainbows.

    • says

      The Facebook account is one avenue – every customer of the client has Live Chat (which seemed to fail) as well as call and email options, along with Twitter. So I’d say they’re pretty covered in the equality stakes. I’m guessing Suns are too. 😉

      I agree, we’re both coming in on the same plane from different airports (sorry, crappy analogy, best I could come up with – must try harder!). I’m just not so sure it’s unicorns and rainbows for companies that want to offer it.

      And I say that as coming in from improving customer experience at the biggest comms. provider in the U.K.; RIM’s customer engagement program; IBM’s B2B and enterprise solutions program; as well as smaller industry players.

      There are companies that cater to the “VIP’s” and there are companies that treat every customer like a VIP. Be interesting to see which ones stay the course in the long run, mate… 😉

      • says

        “There are companies that cater to the “VIP’s” and there are companies that treat every customer like a VIP” – Well said, Danny!

        – Don

  3. says

    OK, the GoDaddy example was downright funny. And yep, we just had a fire in a different part of Colorado (Parker/Franktown), and we were tweeting and Facebooking statuses in real-time.

  4. Lexy at @ClearpointPR says

    Jay, great nominees all. We congratulate them all on being smart with social media! And great examples from some trends – dealing with crisis/catastrophes from govt officials, super sharp & real time customer service, and social charity.

    We voted for Tamar Weinberg and NameCheap – one, as Brian noted below, they’re funny, two, as you identified they smartly capitalized on their competitor’s actions, and *lastly* they tied it to a charity – which people love & appreciate. That sent it over the edge for us. Help elephants too – bonus. :) Good job NameCheap.

  5. Anonymous says

    I hadn’t really followed the other nominations, though I have to say that I was in shock to see how quickly NameCheap reacted to the Parsons dilemma. In a world that can be oftentimes steeped in legalities, this deserves some credit. My vote is for Tamar.

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