Apr 3, 2013

[Social Media] Lucy of Fully Booked

The social media sphere is filled with a wide variety of internet personalities. You have your Twitter celebrities that seem to exist solely on that one platform. You have the pro-bloggers whose words are treated like journalistic fact. And you have the hordes and hordes of company profiles that are still trying to figure out how to handle the medium. Some merely use it for broadcasting updates. Others have ventured into marrying their customer service to this platform. Others are just there, essentially twiddling their thumbs.

Fully Booked, a local bookstore chain, has taken things to the next level and are a prime candidate for a social media case study on how to use social media channels effectively. Being more than just brand, Fully Booked has given their social media presence not just a face, but a complete personality in the form of Lucy.

Lucy first appeared around July 2010 (as far as I can tell) when the image on the left was posted on their Facebook Page. More than just an avatar or mascot, Lucy was introduced as a full personality with an email address - lucy@fullybookedonline.com. So instead of just sending inquiries to a generic customer service address, it now felt like all inquiries were going to this avid little reader.

Over time, Lucy has grown from just a little icon to a strong virtual presence, especially on Twitter. She regularly engages followers in conversations about favorite books, plans for the holidays and all that good stuff. In addition, she also announces all social media contests and helps facilitate customer entries and the like.

What I like the most about Lucy is that she responds as a person and not as some random customer service representative following a script. When you send her a question, she replies in a quick and concise manner that does not feel like it's coming from a template. you can compare her to the likes of Globe Telecom, whose social media customer service approach tries too much to mirror traditional phone support to the point where it becomes ridiculous. Lucy is anything but that.

Plus Lucy is highly responsive to inquiries throughout the week. I don't think I've gone for more than a few hours before waiting for a reply - at least for Twitter messages posted during normal business hours. That kind of responsiveness implies at least a small team of social media managers working on the queue of inquiries, but if that's the case then they still consistently speak in one voice. If it is in fact just one person, well, that's all the more impressive!

And more than just responsive, Lucy gets a lot done! She doesn't just answer questions about when a new book is expected to arrive, she can effectively handle book reservations, have books transferred between branches and generally fix problems without the need to refer customers to other departments. And this is another key to her success - they made sure that Lucy actually has the tools to address customer concerns in a timely manner.

Ironically the one time that I did not get a response to a Lucy email involves me reaching out to them for this blog post. I was hoping to get more official information about their social media approach but I guess they don't want us looking behind the curtain just yet.

Still, Lucy remains to be one of the more charming personalities in the social media sphere and is a great help to bibliophiles in the Philippines. THIS is how more brands should manage their social media presence.

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