June 22

How Jonathan Ross showed me the business value of social media

Marketing, Social Media


If you’re hesitant about using social media for business, don’t worry: I was too.

When I left Morgan Stanley to start my own business I knew it was important to embrace “Net Generation” tools, but social media felt like something I needed, rather than wanted to do.

When I quit my job I had less than a dozen connections on LinkedIn and had NEVER used Facebook or Twitter. (And Instagram didn’t exist back then!)

So exactly how did I make the journey from social media cynic to lead a digital marketing and social media agency?

Well believe it or not… I owe it all to Jonathan Ross. Here’s why…

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When I first joined Twitter I thought to follow best practice and lurk and learn for a while. Jonathan Ross (@Wossy) was one of the first people I followed because he frequently mentioned Twitter on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross and it was widely accepted that he, not a PR company, was tweeting.

What I found was that @Wossy had discovered (and was brilliantly exploiting) 3 great use cases for social media for business.

1. Customer Engagement

Reading @Wossy’s tweets I realised how brilliantly he was engaging with his clients (audience) and how great social media could be for business.

It was an open secret that Friday Night with… was filmed on Thursdays. Before each show @Wossy would tweet about the celebrities he was about to meet and share informal photos taken on the set. In other words: @Wossy was reminding his clients about his product (his show), keeping them updated on the latest features (this week’s guests), influencing them to buy (watch) and increasing his sales (audience ratings). Clever!

2. Customer Research

Once I’d noticed this, it was difficult not to notice @Wossy was also using Twitter for focus groups and research. Ahead of his Radio 2 shows @Wossy would tweet playlist themes and ask for suggestions, e.g. first single, desert island disc, favourite song from the 80s, etc. Followers would promptly send in their suggestions hoping for a mention on the next show.

What might have taken hours previously could now be created in minutes – with @Wossy knowing that his clients would approve of the service he would provide.

3. Customer Care

As with all great business, clients felt special – they were getting services they wanted and special insights, with loyalty rewards in the form of Radio 2 mentions, or in the case of the British Comedy Awards, private jokes that only they, as followers, would be privy too (@Wossy would tweet asking for sound bites that he’d have to mention during the Awards, later announcing on Twitter his choice and who suggested it). So not only clever, but great customer service, with high client retention and advocacy potential.

Quoting one of my coaching clients, “Once you put it like that, it’s obvious”! Smile

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What’s Next?

Book a FREE Law Firm Growth Strategy Call with me, and together we’ll identify ONE THING you could do immediately to boost your leads and revenue.

About the author 

Linda Cheung

Advising innovative companies on marketing and growth strategies. Founder at CubeSocial, Advisor at Oxford Innovation, Board member at Enterprise M3, Mentor at SETsquared.

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