Tweet, Tweet! Time for Twitter Talk: Part II
Category: Blog - May 20, 2008
In last week's post I breezed through the what/when/where/why of Twitter, a young social-networking/micro-blogging service with serious potential. So if Twitter is still young, and it could go one of several ways in the future, why should companies be paying attention?
Because Twitter could move into the mainstream in a similar fashion that Facebook and MySpace did several years ago. And, it's particularly on the radar screen of marketers because of its interconnectedness to mobile phones. Twitter is another tool in the social media marketing toolbox that when leveraged correctly can help companies successfully focus on following, or leading, those trends of engagement, community and openness mentioned in part I.
Numerous big brands have already bought in to the positive effect of Twitter - or at the very least experienced - as Google did recently, the PR implications of these quick one-line tweets. Comcast's customer service rep Frank Eliason received accolades within the social media community for showing up like "a virtual knight in shining armor" for his responsiveness to customer issues through Twitter. Social Media Insider points out, "The fact that Eliason's job even exists illustrates the serendipity required for most companies to get with the social networking program today." Southwest Airlines uses Twitter to report press happenings and direct folks to its blog. The CEO of Zappos uses it as a customer connection tool, soliciting feedback on ads and sharing links to products and promos. Jet Blue, Dell, Microsoft, the list continues.
Political contenders Hillary and Barack both sport Twitter accounts to create connection with constituents. It's not surprising that, Barack, pulling the support of a larger share of young adult voters, has significantly more "friends."
When it comes to effectively demonstrating engagement, information-sharing, community, authenticity and openness, Twitter can be one of many new communication touchpoints. But, even for those companies not ready to dive in, simply dabbling with Twitter monitoring (yes, Twitter search engines) can be a good first step. In a similar way that blog monitoring has become a critical component of online brand reputation management, keeping an eye on relevant customer conversations spread through this technology certainly would bring some level of value, especially in a world where conversations on social media entities are highly-visible within search engines.
Good article on how relief groups are using Twitter: