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 Twitter Does Not Work For Businesses

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

By Marc Karasu

The only thing worse then bad customer service is no customer service.

Twitter seems to exacerbate this problem or at least companies are not really using Twitter correctly.

In recent months we are starting to see those ubiquitous little twitter icons on tv commercials and print ads the same way every ad in 2000 had the novelty of a “.com” url to go along with the company logo.

The difference is that a customer that actually does go to Twitter to find a company is more often then not going to be let down by the poor to nonexistent customer service they get from the company on twitter.

Of course there are exceptions to the rule like Zappos and a few others who have great traditional customer service. But the majority of companies with a Twitter account burp out a lame tweet or two every few hours and in many cases only once or twice a day. And the tweets themselves are skimpy. Usually a promotion or some pathetic twaste like “Thanks for the props. We love your comments”. Often these companies don’t even answer the customer tweets. This is the dirty secret.

They are trying to position themselves as consumer centric and while in reality they have just built a new room where the lights are on but no one is in the office.

Thanks for nothing, is what they are saying and what the customer is left thinking.

Is this what “Digital customer service” is in the twitter age?

Happily some more useful business applications like MeasuredUp.com, Yelp.com and Angies list exist that actually provide value to both the consumer and the company.

This is not to say Twitter is a bad service because it is not. And in full disclosure I manage MeasuredUp.com.

Its just that the companies that use Twitter appear lazy and often seem to be relegating their twitter accounts to the intern or junior marketer which means huge lapses in coverage when invariably the people managing the account leave for other jobs. Twitter is in fact littered with empty company accounts with old stale comments. In many cases there are several company accounts with similar twitter account names which is surely a sign that the company could not figure out the login info and had to open another new account.

Worse are the twitter accounts that seem to be run by either a third party or hack in the marketing department that simply churn out promotional white noise. This is not a help. It is in fact part of the twitter problem which is that seemingly half of all tweets are some schmo trying to sell you a get rich quick twitter scheme or a company heaving some crappy offer at you.

The bottom line is that companies today are not using many of the real online business tools that exist and are twasting everyones time with rinky dink attempts on Twitter that are so annoying it would be better if they had no account.

Clearly Twitter is trying to push itself as a business tool but if companies keep taking the low road they will over time ruin twitter and completely turn it into a noise machine.

If consumers care enough to hit the internet to find your company, then you should be smart enough to engage them meaningfully and convert them into sales. If you do not then expect your competitors that do figure it out to take you behind the wood shed.

 2010: The Year Social Marketing Gets Serious

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

By Laurie Sullivan from Mediapost

Marketers will need to start justifying social marketing plans with business cases, objectives and metrics, as the medium moves out of the test phase. In 2009, marketers could brag they had a Facebook fan page or Twitter account, but analysts predict that social media will become a strategic part of marketing efforts next year.

Forrester Research released a list Monday of social computing prediction for 2010. The report suggests that companies that create social councils — cross-functional teams aimed at sharing ideas about social media — will begin to get serious about budgets and structure for these groups. Expect the teams to become strategists. Efforts will likely include policies.

The report also suggests that an increasing number of marketers will adopt listening platforms to monitor social media, Twitter will become more profitable or get acquired, Facebook will take a hands-on approach to protecting members, and incompatible mobile devices in siloed application will shatter the social experience.

Forrester Analyst Augie Ray says in 2010, those who hold the purse strings for budgets will want to see results. “It’s the year social marketing gets serious,” he says.

But rather than knowing how to set up a fan page on Facebook or gain a following on Twitter, marketers must realize that it requires more than recognizing the importance of social media.

Read the rest of the article here:

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=119493

 Twitter Lawsuit, What Should Business Learn?

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Article from PC world about how companies should handle customer service issues and how suing could backfire and make the company look worse.

From Tech inciter. By David Coursey

Horizon Group Management has probably by now figured out that suing a tenant over an uncomplimentary tweet was probably not the best course. If the company had been worried that a tweet about a supposedly moldy apartment would damage its reputation, it has certainly magnified that effect probably millions of times.

Forgive me if, should I move to Chicago, I choose not to rent from a company that describes itself as a “sue first and ask questions later kind of an organization” as though it is a virtue. Moldy apartment or not.

What should businesses learn from this incident?

Read entire article.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/169324/Twitter_Lawsuit_What_Should_Business_Learn.html

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