Here’s how you create a powerful viral marketing campaign on social media, Target style:
Hire a cashier who bears a more than passing resemblance to Justin Bieber. In this case, the young man is named Alex.
Monitor your social media presence carefully, so when people start tweeting about Alex from Target, you’re more than ready to take part in the conversation. This requires watching for hashtags associated with your brand. In this case, #AlexFromTarget.
Talk to your employee who’s at the center of the Twitterstorm, to make sure they know how to handle themselves appropriately. Finding yourself the focus of the internet’s attention can be overwhelming, and because you’re a good employer, you’ll want to support your team member through the experience.
At the same time, it’s a good idea to craft your own response to the issue – in this case, Target put out an image of Alex’s nametag with the message “We heart Alex too! #AlexFromTarget.” Joining in the fun is a big part of maintaining an effective social media presence. The ability to share light hearted sentiments humanizes a brand, and when the brand’s as embattled as Target has been, post- security hacking scandal, a little humanity is a good thing.
Understand that this will pass, and pass quickly. Internet fame comes and goes in the blink of an eye. In a month or so, no one’s going to remember the entire #AlexFromTarget experience, with the possible exception of Alex himself. By maintaining an awareness of what’s being said about your brand online, you can respond and participate in real-time. But don’t try coming late to the party – that just won’t work.