Companies Go Twittering

I use Twitter, but I don’t quite know what to make of it. Some companies are using it to monitor what’s being said about them. From BusinessWeek:

It’s not just audience size that draws brands. People who use the site are likely to hold sway over others. A single Twitter message—known informally as a tweet—sent in frustration over a product or a service’s performance can be read by hundreds or thousands of people. Similarly, positive interaction with a representative of the manufacturer or service provider can help change an influencer’s perspective for the better.
JetBlue, Comcast, and H&R Block are among the companies that recognize Twitter’s potential in providing customer service. For companies, tools such as Tweetscan or Twitter’s own search tool, formerly known as Summize, make it easy to unearth a company’s name mentioned in tweets. “Why wouldn’t you want to be able to take care of that person at the moment when it’s most important?” says JetBlue’s Johnston. The services are free, helping keep costs low.

It is a little bizarre to interact with brands via Twitter. I made an offhand, though positive, comment about Comcast and got a response Tweet from someone at Comcast within a half-hour.
I do think it’s kind of a sign of the times that companies take a “squeaky wheel gets the grease” approach to customer service, but I guess that’s what the world has come to. So get on Twitter, bitch, and get your problems fixed. That’s one way to use it.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.

  • Joe in ATL

    I’m an infrequent Twitter user, dipping my toe in the water. I’m concerned that of the 5 followers I have, 3 I never heard of and I presume them to be commercial. Granted, I can easily block them, but it seems that marketers are watching and waiting what to do with Twitter (like everyone else). I have a low tech phone and haven’t bothered to find out my texting plan, but I certainly don’t want to get tweeted with “Last Minute Fare Blowouts” or “Heard You Were Nearby – Happy Hour Extended Till 8!”
    In National Lampoon years ago there was a comic that predicted computers would be able to emulate the handwriting of people we know in order to get us to open mail. In it, a crying girl says to her friend, “It’s a note from Doug. He wants to get back together. And, he wants me to try this new cola.”
    We’re pretty close now. But it won’t be mail – who reads mail anymore?

  • http://david-damore.blogspot.com/ David Damore

    Twitter is a powerful tool that most people can actually enjoy using if they give it a fair chance. In the time I’ve been using it creativity, IDEAS and relationships have grown and prospered.
    Post your Twitter name here so people can check out your posts. If they like them they will subscribe. Content and value are KING. Create compelling content.
    Ad Pulp,
    What is your Twitter name?
    Tried this, http://twitter.com/adpulp, found it was not recently updated. Is there another SN you are using? Didn’t see it in the post.
    David
    @Admore on Twitter

  • http://www.adpulp.com Danny G

    We use our names on Twitter:
    @DanGoldgeier (that’s me)
    @davidburn
    @shartley

  • http://adpulp.com David Burn

    I’m a bit more bullish on Twitter’s value to brands. As far as social media tools, I’d rather connect with someone or something (as the case may be) on Twitter over Facebook or LinkedIn, for instance. And it’s high time firms put forward a real life face/voice. Calling an 800 # and getting a computer sucks. Twitter is offering companies a new route for deeper, real time engagement.