The Stalker Approach to Social Media Marketing

At one point or another we’ve all joked about stalking someone we know on Facebook or Twitter. After all, if someone puts that information out there, they must want you to read it, right? Well, a couple of brands have taken that idea to heart and have shown how Facebook stalking can actually be used as a marketing tactic.

Kleenex Feel Good

For its Feel Good campaign, the Kleenex Israel monitored statuses on Facebook, looking for people who said they had the flu. They then located 50 of those people by contacting their friends and obtaining their addresses. The brand then had couriers hand-deliver the Kleenex care packages to the 50 lucky recipients’ doors.

As a result, the care package recipients were so pleased with their surprise that they all posted pictures of the care packages on their Facebook walls. Kleenex reports that the relatively simple campaign generated 650,402 impressions and 1,800 interactions.

KLM Surprise

In November 2010, Dutch airline KLM took the stalker approach even further with its KLM Surprise campaign. For this campaign, flight attendants used foursquare and Twitter to locate about 40 people who were flying with KLM that day. They then used the passengers’ social media profiles to learn more about their interests and presented each of the selected passengers with personalized gifts upon their arrival at the airport.

Though KLM reached out to a relatively small number of people, the campaign generated a huge buzz as news of the surprises spread through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and word of mouth. During the month of the campaign, KLM’s Twitter feed was viewed more than one million times. The campaign was so successful that KLM repeated it last August.

Is tracking fans down using social media a little creepy? Well, yes. Are we recommending that more brands stalk their customers? Not necessarily. But what both of these campaigns show is how thinking outside of the computer screen and adding a human touch to social media campaigns can create meaningful connections with fans and generate major buzz.

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