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Keeping your ear to the ground on social media channels provides you and your company with a wealth of information: customer needs, questions, hot topics, interests, product ideas and beyond!

Some of the most important information you could also glean may come in a more subtle form.

  • What sort of lives do your customers lead?
  • What things are important to them?
  • What sort of hobbies do they enjoy?
  • What is their passion or their escape?

All of these things, and more, come into play when looking to surprise and delight your customers and community.

How we listen

We monitor our @buffer Twitter handle as well as our old @bufferapp handle. Many times, we also have articles pop up that people share that mention Buffer. In these cases we’ll reach out to the author and thank them in the comments or on Twitter as well.

Including your website in search terms and having alerts set up can also help snag mentions that don’t find their way to you more directly. 31% of brand mentions don’t contain the company’s handle.

Anytime you can “listen in” and surprise without revealing your plans, it’s a major win. We’ve had several cases where we track down a blog owner and send gifts to their office if the address is public. These are always a nice surprise!

buffer customer happiness quote 1

As we’ve been actively collecting addresses of our customers over the past year and a half for these efforts, we’re able to send more unexpected delight to those who are so kind again and again.

For example, we sent some of our most active participants from our weekly Twitter chat custom branded journals on the six-month anniversary of our chat. It was a great way to thank their ongoing support and none of them suspected a thing. 🙂

Tools we use:

  • Mention
  • Sparkcentral
  • Google Alerts
  • Trello (for tracking addresses)

Key Takeaway: People won’t always talk to you directly on social, and those other conversations are opportunities to surprise your audience!

Building one-on-one relationships

In today’s relationship-focused economy, the power of connecting with your customers carries well beyond a transaction. People will always remember how you made them feel.

At Buffer, a key part of this is sharing happiness with our customers and making them feel valued. We recognize what a gift it is to interact with people and we want each interaction to be memorable in a positive way.

One way we approach this is by reaching out to community members we “hear” on social media outlets who might need a smile, a “thank you,” or a “hug” – through a handwritten card!

buffer customer happiness card

Key Takeaway: Listen for opportunities to build one-on-one relationships with your customers. It can be as simple as an unexpected handwritten card!

Good fun

Though we are grateful for an array of Buffer swag that we’re able to send to our community, it’s sometimes the more out-of-the-box gifts that have the biggest impact.

Angela tweeted about one of our blog posts that featured an image of gummy bears in rows. She mentioned that she wanted some gummy bears after reading it, so we asked for her address to send some “stickers.” And of course, we added a bit more to the envelope. 🙂

buffer customer happiness gift

Key Takeaway: Sometimes surprises with the smallest investment make the biggest impact.

The cat’s meow

At Buffer, we have a love for all things fluffy and cute, so animals are an ever-present topic of conversation. This seems to be the case with many of our community members, too!

Our customer and friend, Rayne, and his cat, Sulu, are huge proponents of Buffer and share this with their own Twitter community!

Sulu using Buffer:

buffer customer happiness tweet

We happened to have Sulu and Rayne’s address on file from a past mailing, so after seeing this tweet, we figured another package might be in order.

We sent them a cat-themed Moleskine journal and were so delighted by Rayne’s tweets here showing Sulu’s joy!

Sulu and package:

buffer customer happiness pic

While we could have mailed a branded Buffer Moleskine, we felt this was a bit more personal and it sure looks like Sulu enjoyed it.

We also learned from our customer, Annie, that her dog, Lacey, had spent a few rough days at the vet and scared her poor owners a bit, so we took the opportunity to send a package to Lacey, care of Annie.

Lacey’s dog treats:

buffer customer happiness thank you

Key Takeaway: Sometimes it’s best to forego sending branded swag in favor of something more personal.

Building a “customer delight” kit

Let’s start your own “customer delight” kit!


  1. Social media monitoring tool/strategy.
  2. Cards and envelopes. These don’t need to be branded! It’s all about the heart.
  3. Pens and stamps.


  • Brand stickers. Check out Sticker Mule for reasonable, great-quality options.main
  • Branded swag. Look for things that reflect the personality and values of your company.
  • The options are endless! Gift cards, journals, mugs?

Branded/unbranded goodies:

customer happiness swag

Creating customer happiness

Small efforts with the best intentions can create lasting ripples of delight. Consider adding a few extra steps to your social listening strategy with a card or two! You might be surprised – and delighted – with the results.


For more lessons like this, enroll in Mention Academy today!

Nicole is a community champion at Buffer. When she’s not connecting with amazing community members, you can find her writing novels, reading or blogging about her urban homesteading adventures with 19 chickens, four ducks, two dogs and two horses.

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