I Crossing Twitter 101 April 09


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One cannot refute the success and adoption of Twitter. It has filled a basic human need to stay in contact with people that you are interested in, or who are interested in you...

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I Crossing Twitter 101 April 09

  1. 1. icrossing PoV: Written by: brad Harrington Chief Innovation Officer, iCrossing APril 2009
  2. 2. icrossing PoV: TWITTER APRIL 2009 One cannot refute the success and adoption of Twitter. It has filled a basic human need to stay in contact with people that you are interested in, or who are interested in you. And because it is limited to 140 characters it actually doesn’t take that much time to update, read and stay connected. The real value comes from the fact that the ordinary person can stay in contact with the extraordinary. This is the new world we live in. For brands it’s important to understand how and why to use Twitter. In many cases, when a company has an engaged and dynamic CEO, it allows others to peek into a world that they are interested in and assuming this interaction is positive in nature, there is probably no better way to build affinity for a brand than through the people who drive and embody that brand. © 2009 ICROssIng. ALL RIgHTs REsERVED. 2
  3. 3. icrossing PoV: TWITTER APRIL 2009 engAging WitH tWitter The original intent of Twitter, getting users to answer the question “what are you doing?” has been superseded by a community of creative users finding new uses for the service. As a result, Twitter has been turned into a highly-versatile form of communication that presents us a number of engagement opportunities: complementing existing content You can use Twitter to complement our existing content (such as blog posts or press releases) by creating a new distribution channel for them. Where possible, existing content can be translated into Twitter format by summarizing it and ensuring it meets the character parameters that Twitter requires (140 characters). It can then be delivered to subscribers through an RSS Feed (or “streams” as they are known in this format). This enables content to reach a new audience and/or be delivered in an alternative format. Promoting original content Provided you have compelling content to add, it is possible to make Twitter a source of original content. As Twitter tenure among its user base lengthens, you will find user behavior shifting toward a preference for content delivered in the Twitter format. However, content must be suitable for the audience and the platform. Drawing attention to a promotions or sponsorships Twitter can be used to support a specific marketing campaign or promotion. Fox TV was one of the first entertainment companies to promote one of their entertainment products through a micro-blog platform. They used Twitter to promote their new series “Drive” and had almost 1000 people following updates as the show ran last season. listening and responding to consumer conversations A growing number of companies are monitoring what is being said about their brands via Twitter as part of a comprehensive effort to monitor the social media space. Comcast, Dell, General Motors, Zappos and Kodak are among a handful of companies monitoring Twitter. Micro-blog conversation tracking tools such as Summize (Twitter’s own sentiment tracking tool) can present low-cost useful brand-monitoring opportunities, and also lead to legitimate direct engagement with consumers. When TechCrunch blogger Michael Arrington tweeted about his frustration with his Comcast internet service, a company executive contacted him within 20 minutes attempting to resolve the problem. If users are broadcasting brand-related commentary on Twitter, then an engagement plan should be created. If monitoring efforts turn up a substantial amount of commentary, it may be an indication that you need to devote official support resources to Twitter. While these users may only be a small percentage of the customer base, they may be a vocal and influential group. creating a new customer support channel Providing customers with support on Twitter could generate a substantial amount of good will and brand affinity. This often leads to customer service escalations and to reversals of opinion. There are numerous examples of perturbed Twitterers who enjoyed rapid remedy after Tweeting a complaint then becoming brand allies. © 2009 ICROssIng. ALL RIgHTs REsERVED. 3
  4. 4. icrossing PoV: TWITTER APRIL 2009 MAnAging tWitter risks Acquiring followers Corporations participating in Twitter tend to find it harder to acquire followers than personal accounts. This will vary dependent on the strategy adopted, but in general you will need to promote your feed to acquire followers. Just following users and hoping they follow you back is not the best method. You should consider adding a badge or a link to your blogs. Include the Twitter link in signatures, press releases and customer newsletters. Also perhaps add to event invites. Managing bloggers If your colleagues are interacting directly with consumers then you must ensure that they are aware of general principles of managing risks in social spaces. You should give your colleagues the freedom to interact with their audience directly, helping to promote the human side of the company. Protecting consumer information This is a relatively new concern as companies like Comcast provide actual customer support on Twitter. Company spokespeople on Twitter should insist that consumers do not publicly share private information, and use more secure methods of transmitting personal data, like phone numbers and account numbers, for the purpose of customer support. Micro-blogs give critics a forum Twitter participants can be influential within the community and negativity can spread. However, this does give us the means to study them and devise solutions to their problems. not listening to followers Failure to listen and reply to followers can breed negativity towards the brand’s presence on Twitter. Make sure you reply when possible and balance the level of listening you do as well as talking. It is definitely supposed to be an interactive program. Twitter will continue to evolve with experimentation and evolution, and undoubtedly interesting, proactive social campaigning will emerge and be extremely effective. The beauty of Twitter is its timeliness and in the socially- connected world we live in, where information is our currency, Twitter wins by the shear fact of its immediacy. It presents a new, unique opportunity to connect with users that all brands should seriously consider. @icrossing © 2009 ICROssIng. ALL RIgHTs REsERVED. 4