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John Lewis (Retail) Gets a Handle on Social Media with Twitter Mix-Up Win

bear_hare_john_lewis_christmas_advertIt seems that an animated tale about a hare buying presents for a bear isn’t the only heart warming story to revolve around the name John Lewis this week; as the retailer reaches out to the namesake who recently made headlines for a case of mistaken identity.

Recently it emerged online that an American academic named John Lewis had been bombarded with tweets intended for the store. Now he has become the latest in a long line of overnight internet celebrities for the charming manner in which he deals with every mistake.

Some are calling him the most patient man on the internet after he acknowledges each tweet with a polite and humorous response and always redirecting tweeters to the department store’s official profile. Now his efforts have been acknowledged by the retailer than shares his name.

After months of redirecting consumers to @johnlewisretail the store opted to give something back:

They tweeted "Hi @johnlewis - thanks so much for all your efforts directing people to us. We'd love to send you a gift. Please can you DM us your address?"

The response from John Lewis was typically wry, as he said: "@johnlewisretail That's very nice of you. Thanks for your tweet about my tweets. Love your name and your store."

The mix up has highlighted potential PR issues which could arise for brands on social media. Despite the thousands of pounds spent on marketing, advertising and PR, their hard work can be undone online since every single web user is a publisher in their own right.

Here however, like in the latest John Lewis Christmas Ad, the story has a happy ending.

Stuart Brandwood, SEO Executive at Hit Search Limited said: "Social media can sometimes throw up anomalies like this, and confusion reigns, but in the case of John Lewis and John Lewis both parties seem to get along brilliantly.

"It says a lot about John that he was so happy to field the cases of mistaken identity and we do expect a warm, human touch from John Lewis Partnership. The outcome we’ve seen isn’t really that surprising. It’s an example of how corporate social media can sit really comfortably alongside personal chatter.

"We just hope that other retailers don’t engineer similar 'heart warming' stories in order to gain public goodwill".


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