Social goes beyond a Facebook Like or a retweet. Just ask the folks over at General Electric. I've done a few presentations on Pinterest of late and almost always make an effort to point out what GE is doing in the space. They've done two things very well on Pinterest in my opinion. First, they started off using the site as a social listening and pure community management tool. What I assumed GE did was do a search for "GE" inside of Pinterest and see which pins were being done about them and commenting (hat tip to @ChadATL for making that discovery).

Eventually they moved into content creation and leveraging their rich history with Thomas Edison to provide inspiration. GE created custom images with Thomas Edison quotes on them to help inspire their audience (and drive re-pins of course). Using social smarts, GE made sure those custom quote pins had GE branding. That way, when they're repinned, there's still brand attribution (something not many brands have thought of yet).

On Dr. Suess's birthday, GE pinned some neat Dr Suess quotes in his honor. Finding the quote applicable to my Work Life Inspiration board, I repinned it. The next day, GE reached out to me via Twitter to thank me for repinning their work. Then they went an extra step with surprise and delight. Coming in from my first day back at work from vacation, I found a package on my desk with a book and card inside. To further show gratitude for one of their community members, they actually hand wrote me a note (in a Dr. Suess voice) and sent a copy of The Cat in the Hat for repinning their Dr. Suess quote.

We hear a lot about community building online but extending those relationships offline is just as important. Also, now that email and tweets are the standard in communication, GE's social team still recognized the power of a hand-written note.

Well done, GE. Keep up the good work.