A few years ago, my aunt gave me a Dyson vacuum. I was psyched. I would never, ever buy a $500 vacuum, but I was thrilled to be the recipient of one. Score! I could hardly wait to put it to work. But when I did, I was utterly unimpressed. It was heavy and cumbersome and didn’t, well, suck. Which really sucked, especially considering the price tag. It sat in my basement for years until I finally gave it away.
So, I lived a happy life with my Oreck. It’s light and it’s effective and we were quite content together, my Oreck and I.
And then, last week, I saw a tweet from fellow blogger about her Dyson. Because twitter is the rare place where it’s not considered rude to jump into an existing conversation between two people, I piped in stating how disappointed I was in my Dyson. We went back and forth a few times about vacuums and then I logged off and forgot all about it. I wasn’t trying to bash the company, I wasn’t trying to get anything from them, I was simply agreeing with her feelings.
Within an hour, Valerie from Dyson e-mailed me. She was sorry to hear that I was displeased with my Dyson and offered to send me the new version to try out. Something must have been wrong with the other, she said, and you should really experience the way a Dyson should work. I didn’t really need a new vacuum, but who am I to turn down expensive, free appliances? Nobody, that’s who.
Three days later it was at my door. Yes, it’s heavy, but this one? Sucks. Like, crazy sucks, You can feel it being drawn to the carpet to drag out every nasty thing. I finally see what the fuss is about: It’s a really good vacuum. I’m kind of in love it.
So, why am I taking a whole post to tell you about my new vacuum? Because I think that it’s social media at its finest. Let’s review…
1. Bloggers being honest to their networks. No expectations, no bullshit, just conversation.
2. A brand closely monitoring social media buzz and reacting quickly and responsibly.
3. This particular blogger realizing she doesn’t in fact know it all and changing her mind about the product.
4. A whole post dedicated to the experience.
5. A trillion people immediately rushing out to buy a Dyson just because the blogger said it worked. (OK, maybe not quite.)
My point: Had Dyson sent me a formatted pitch letter asking me to review/giveaway anything of theirs, I would have deleted it and not thought twice. This is how it should work.
Companies need to be aware of the conversation happening around their brands and react to it quickly. They don’t necessarily need to have their own accounts and be tweeting out sales or worrying about gaining followers. They just need to be aware. And they ought to be aware of conversation among everyone, whether those people have 100 followers or 10000. Everyone is an influencer to their own network, after all, whether those people exist in the computer or in real life.
Anyway, that’s how I became a Dyson fan.
You’ll have to excuse me now, I really have to go vacuum my bedroom.