Zappos on Celebrity Apprentice: Connecting the Dots

Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, will be on Celebrity Apprentice on Sunday March 8th, 2009 9/8C

I tweeted about how popular online shoe retailer Zappos “connected the dots” as I gathered information on its CEO’s upcoming appearance on Celebrity Apprentice. But a full blog post is in order to explain what I meant.

These are the steps or “dots” that I went through to gather information. It’s also a good idea of how I see things from my Internet marketer’s eyes and an excellent example of how to build a fan base.

1) I had signed up to receive the Zappos newsletter from an earlier promotion.

2) I opened up the Zappos eNewsletter that arrived in my Gmail. I scrolled down and saw the Celebrity Apprentice banner mentioning that Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh (@zappos on Twitter) was going to be on the show.

Apprentice Banner from Zappos newsletter
Apprentice Banner from Zappos newsletter

NOTE: I was a bit surprised when I clicked on the banner and it went to the Zappos home page. I expected to see details and maybe a clip of Tony on the upcoming show. Sometimes being taken to an unexpected page is enough to irk me and make me leave the site. But I’ve been following @zappos for several months, so it didn’t bother me.

3) I still wanted more information on his appearance (since I’m also an Apprentice fan) so I did a Google search and saw several related results. The two links I clicked on ended up being tweets from Zappos employees with Twitter accounts.

4) I then tweeted about the experience, spreading the information to over 3,500 Twitter peeps, first tweet and second tweet.

5) Finally, I had two different Zappos employees follow me shortly after my tweets. Most likely they used an alert system that was triggered by my using the “Zappos” keyword in my tweets.

Now take this experience, and multiply it by a 100.

What you get is a ton of people talking about Zappos, replies directly to @zappos, and a huge buzz generated about the upcoming Apprentice show.

Here are some of the related conversations from a snapshot of a Twitter search over “Zappos Apprentice”.

Zappos will appear on the next Celebrity Apprentice, here's the buzz
Zappos will appear on the next Celebrity Apprentice, here's the buzz

The key takeaways here are:

1) You can use social media to promote your brand.

2) Building a relationship with your fans builds trust, encourages word of mouth marketing, and a willingness for fans to find out more about your company/organization or you.

3) There are specific tools that can be used to help you accomplish your social media goals including email newsletters, Twittering, and monitoring “tweets”.

When all these “dots” fall into place, you get a fan (like me) that can’t wait to see the next Apprentice so they can cheer on Tony Hsieh.