A Likeable Surprise: 40 People Offered $500 and the Chance to Give

As part of Internet Week New York, Likeable Media launched its inaugural Likeable U: Class of 2011 conference on Wednesday. Likeable CEO Dave Kerpen took the stage to introduce Restaurant.com CEO Cary Chessick and the much anticipated “Surprise and Delight: How a Little Surprise Can Create a Lot of Delight” presentation. After handing out $25 gift certificates for Restaurant.com, Cary shared a personal story about his start in the dot com business and how he came to launch Restaurant.com.

According to the site, Restaurant.com’s goal is to connect people with an affordable dining experience in the style of a “community matchmaker.” Chessick described his passion for face-to-face meetings and giving people the opportunity to enjoy a meal together. He stated, “There’s just something unique about the dining experience.”


The Impact of Giving

Although Chessick discussed his business and professional experiences, the point he drove home centered on the impact of giving and the potential to create delight with small surprises.  Beginning his presentation with the gift certificates was a clear demonstration of his theory, because as he spoke attendees filled their Twitter streams with posts of gratitude and happilyincluded the promotional hashtag.


When Chessick finished telling his personal story, he and Kerpen made the big announcement. They proceeded to explain that Chessick would be giving $20,000 out to the audience. A woman suddenly emerged, her arms filled with white envelopes stuffed with cash, $500 in each envelope!  And thus #TweetItForward was born, as a “celebration of the gift of giving.” Forty people were given the opportunity to continue the giving. The mission of the program is to perpetuate simple acts of giving and kindness.


TweetItForward.org: Mission Statement

“A simple act of giving can transform a life, and by sharing these stories of transformation it gives people the opportunity to connect, share and spread the gift of giving.  You can follow the movement, and share your own experiences of giving by using the hashtag #tweetitforward.” –TweetItForward.org

Get involved! Share your story by using the hashtag #TweetItForward


What Can Community Managers Learn from Chessick?

He shared a list of items he wanted attendees to consider and remember—some were focused on philanthropy and many could apply to business. Below are three of his quotes and tips for applying it in community management.


“Say thanks to someone everyday

We often spend a lot of time and effort generating lists of new people to connect with, and while community recruitment is important it is also important to appreciate the existing community members.  Once a day, take a moment to send a “thank you” tweet or Facebook post to a loyal/longtime community member. Even better, create special ways, branded ways, to show your advocates gratitude through promotions or gifts.


“Social O2O (online to offline) is powerful

Discovering and cultivating valuable online relationships are apart of our daily activities, but remember to find or create opportunities to bring those relationships offline. Organize a community event to strengthen and grow those relationships in person. Put faces to those Twitter handles!


“Be an active listener and find something interesting in everyone

As community managers, you spend a large portion of time listening to the community questions, concerns and appreciation. Take it a step further and spend time reading the blogs of loyal fans and learn more about the people behind the posts. Through exploring you may learn about deeper connections and relevant interests applicable to future engagement plans.


What are some ways that you have “surprised and delighted” your community?

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