Vlogger does a poo, tweets for toilet paper

A #TweetFromTheSeat is nothing new, but this one caused a bit of a stir.  (Not literally. That's gross.)

When VLogger Adam Greenwood answered a call of nature on a ride with Virgin Trains, he encountered a nightmare we all hope to avoid: No toilet paper. Stuck for ideas, he tweeted the train company who, miraculously, were able to send some some from the train crew with supplies.

So? You might be thinking, Why should I care?

This post seems like a nothing more than a fun conversation that helped a guy out. And it is. But it led to:

  • a very satisfied customer,
  • highlighted how quickly their Social team responds to tweets, and 
  • generated a lot of positive exposure for the brand.

That's not bad for a total of two tweets each.

Let's break each of those points down:

A very satisfied customer - This should be obvious, and hopefully the response from Virgin would have been the same if her weren't a key influencer on Twitter (more on which later). Socials offer a great way for a brand to offer a secondary and very personal level of satisfaction (after the good or services they provide, obviously) to customers who bother to engage.

Quick response from the Social team - the timestamps on the tweets say that there was only a 2-minute delay between Adam's original tweet and a response from Virgin. That's impressively fast. Virgin's responses tend to be within half an hour of receiving a tweet, but still. Explanations? Ok then.

  1. Just efficient Socialing - The team was entirely up to date on responding to queries and so could address the issue immediately.
  2. Flagging: Their social listening software saw this individual as a key influencer due to his klout score, or follower count or something and flagged it for immediate attention when it arrived.
  3. It was all staged, and was just for Virgin Trains to seem cool and ultra-responsive. (So cynical!)

If it were 3, he'd have made a video about it. He's a vlogger, after all. I want it to be 1 and that the response would have been exactly the same if he weren't an Influencer, but I think there might be an element of 2 in there, too. 

Generated positive exposure - It would have been easy for Virgin Trains to ignore this tweet. To have consigned it to the same trashpile that all of the 'OMG,@VirginTrains ARE SHIT. I'D RATHER WALK' messages land on would have been slightly quicker, and justifiable in that it's not a request for information about a Virgin Trains service, or a dispute needing resolution, which are the primary functions of their Twitter stream. There would have been no negative consequences to that course of action. Yet they didn't, and by doing something in response to the tweet, garnered a huge amount of positive exposure. And that, I think, is the moral here: 

Social offers brands the opportunity to go above and beyond for their customers. You don't have to, and often it's impractical, or absurd, or dangerous. But when they do, it tends to turn out pretty well.