How social media works

Ian Lurie

Today, I got a fantastic demonstration of how social media really works.

Here’s the timeline:

8:33 AM I totter over to the office fridge, looking for a Diet Coke. It’s my only source of caffeine. I’ve been working since 6 AM. I’m desperate. My batteries are near zero. As my vision starts to fade, I claw the door open, only to stagger back in horror. The office is out of Diet Coke. That leads me to post this tweet:


12:15 AM. Aviva walks into my office with a Diet Coke. Apparently, someone on Twitter saw my cry of despair. He picked up two 12-packs of the sweet nectar of life, and brought it to my office, with a card and a small note:

“Hi Ian. I saw on twitter that you were out of Diet Coke. Cheers! Charles, aka @charlessipe

Who was this hero, who swooped in and saved me in my hour of need?

Charles Sipe, Director of Search at Sparkplug Digital.

Enchantment equals response

Charles must have read Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment (you should, too, it’s awesome). He listens to Twitter. He saw my cry for help. He brought me what I need, totally spontaneously.

It makes me want to tweet “I’m out of Ferraris. Noooooooooooo.”

That fits Guy’s definition of enchantment, perfectly.

And, it got me to respond, first by being happy, then by writing this blog post.

In social media, enchantment = response. Period.

Best demo ever

And now, I’m sitting here writing this post. I also tweeted about it:

Do something remarkable for a client, or a customer, or someone you hear from on Twitter.

They’ll remember.

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

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  1. Great example Ian. People I talk to are constantly worried about how actions taken from social media will be perceived, but I think this is a top-notch case study in leveraging the medium to build authentic relationships. I might have to steal it for a talk or two 🙂

  2. This is awesome case study, a great example of power of social media. Its about building those strong relationships and connections.
    Perfect way to promote and position your products and services without others even knowing about it.

  3. Relatively small scale, but a great example of how social media can work! Very amusing example at that! I recently also witnessed a similar example of social media working, it was more focused on customer recommendations, but was also small scale, but the real life examples that can be witness are great morale and confidence booster for an online marketing campaign.

  4. Thanks Ian! I have read Enchantment which was great. I was mainly thinking: wouldn’t it be funny and unexpected if someone actually delivered Diet Coke in response to a Tweet.

  5. A great example and so well written Ian. It had me smiling through the day and showed me how effectively social media can work!! Am definitely tweeting this one.

  6. This IS what it’s all about. Recently, I have created an “anyone know” search column in my Hootsuite to answer questions I see. It is really rewarding and more fun than just posting my own content all the time.
    Pay it forward!

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