Sunday, March 29, 2009

SES: Twitter as a Tool for Social Media – Guy Kawasaki's SES Keynote Address

Just two posts down, I said Twitter was for Twits.

Like I always say, if you are going to be wrong, do it big. In front of a lot of people.

So, yeah. I was wrong. The first session I attended on day one of SES was Guy Kawasaki’s keynote address on how he uses Twitter. Suffice to say, I didn’t understand the sheer power of Twitter until then. I sat, slack-jawed, listening to how Guy uses Twitter as a business application knowing I’d completely missed the boat.

A small side-note: Guy proceeded to inform the audience about how he often spams his followers. This caused much consternation and talk throughout the rest of the conference, because spam is not what these Geekies are about. However, like Guy said at the time, if you don’t like it, you can stop following him. Seems simple enough to me.

So back to our regularly scheduled Twitter post. The value of Twitter is that Tweets can be easily harvested. I did not realize that Twitter has a search feature that you can set to pick out only the Tweets that interest you. Here is a good example of how this works and why you would want to use this feature.

Comcast regularly monitors tweets looking for disgruntled customers. Once a disgruntled Tweet is spotted, a Comcast person responds immediately asking what the problem is, how can we fix it, and what can we do to make you happy again?

Let’s examine what is happening here. A disgruntled Tweet goes out. Everybody sees this. Immediately, the large company responds back. Again, everybody sees this. The disgruntled party has immediate attention to his problem. Everybody sees this. Further, the Tweets are then reTweeted (passed on) by those who know that others may have the same issue or simply pointing out what Comcast has done to make one customer happy. MANY see this.

Comcast does something else. They set their Tweet searches to include complaints about dish companies. As soon as one is spotted, they return the Tweet and ask if Comcast offered a 10% discount, would the disgruntled customer be willing to try Comcast service? Again, multitudes see this. New business is gained directly and indirectly.

This is one example of how many businesses are using Twitter for business. If you aren’t using it yet, I would say that based upon what I heard this week, the number one activity you should undertake to stay current in today’s Social Media explosion for business is GET ON TWITTER.

Because I am not an active Twitter user (yet!), I’ve included some good articles here that should help you get on board with Twitter if you aren’t already:

Eight Ways Twitter Will Change Your Life
How Twitter is a Communications Game Changer
50 Ideas for Using Twitter for Business

Keep me posted on how you do and I will do the same.

Jennifer Bunker

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