Does Social Media Work? Ask Lois!
How do you get behind the wheel of a limited edition Lexus LFA supercar? Unless you have $375,000.00 dollars, you use the power of social media. A few weeks ago a friend posted a question on Facebook, “Does social media work?” I felt inclined to answer the question, but decided to hold off. I’m a huge believer in demonstrating the power of social media rather than selling the idea. I’d like to share a true story about a friend who used social media and made it behind the wheel of the Lexus LFA supercar.
In order to understand how special this story is you need to have an understanding of the LFA. The LFA is a supercar that Lexus has spent the past ten years perfecting until they created a car enthusiast’s masterpiece. Lexus only produces about twenty LFAs per month. They are all hand-built and will only be producing 500 of these vehicles globally. At a price tag of $375,000.00 and with a limited production, most of us won’t ever see this supercar in real life.
Meet Lois Holakeituai, she is a huge Lexus advocate and supporter. She drives a Lexus IS and has been a Lexus fan since she was a kid. One of her dreams when growing up was to one day buy a Lexus… mission accomplished! She can be found online interacting and engaging with the Lexus brand and fans across Facebook and Twitter. She has built her online reputation as a true Lexus supporter and is known by the Lexus online community as the “IS Girl”. Lois defines the word fanatic when it comes to her passion and love for Lexus.
So how did Lois make it behind the wheel of the LFA? Lois started by building an authentic connection with Lexus and some of the people behind the brand using social media.
“I saw how lots of people connected with companies using Twitter and I really wanted to be connected with Lexus,”
says Lois. Her passion for Lexus extended beyond the brand, and over to the real people behind the company. Michael Ludwig, an online customer service specialist for Lexus (also a twitter follower of Lois) went as far as sending Lois an email thanking her for her brand advocacy and loyalty along with a personal invitation to an LFA viewing event closed to the public. “It was nice to meet some of the faces behind the brand that I have grown to love.” says Lois. Later that evening Jim from @LexusMagazine invited Lois to get behind the wheel of the LFA supercar. A dream came true for Lois!
Five years ago it would have not been possible to reach this level of intimacy with a company, much less be able to interact and engage with the real people behind a company. In today’s business world, more companies are starting to see the real value in the openness and transparency behind connecting to its customers and fans. Lexus is another example of companies pioneering the power behind social media.
Does social media work? Why not ask a company like Lexus, who is not only listening to what is happening in the social media space, but is also participating. Through this simple practice, and better than any Super Bowl commercial, they now have the best form of marketing…a word of mouth recommendation from a loyal customer. If you are still in doubt, don’t ask me, just ask the “IS Girl”.
About the Author: Leif E. Martinez
Named after Leif Ericson, Leif is the Founder and CEO of Jigsaw Social Media based out of Los Angeles, Ca. Leif has over ten years experience working in the IT industry and consulting. He brings his passion for technology and working with businesses to JSM. When he’s not discovering the latest social media tools and working on social media strategies, he can be found snowboarding in Mammoth, surfing in the Pacific or on the motocross track.