Tag Archives: tweet

The Wisdom of Engagement

Foursquare and Yelp Logos

Two "Big Hitters" for Retail

I just came across a couple of quotes that rather succinctly state the issue anyone using Social Media for marketing needs to keep in mind with respect to engagement with their customers. I think it comes from some of the activity surrounding a virtual Enterprise 2.0 Conference event. I picked them up in my tweet stream. I wasn’t able to attend, but found them because I have a continuing search on the hashtag #e2conf, which keeps me in the loop.

These two quotes appear to be traceable to Sameer Patel, a man I admire for his business savvy and knowledge of social media engagement. I have been using the tag line “People are talking. Are you listening?” His quotes are a bit longer than my tag line, but I think they state the issue rather well:

Part of the problem is trying to “control the message”. The conversation will happen with or without you.

This is one of the things that I’m trying to get across to some of the small businesses (I’m beginning with restaurants) I’ve been working with. The other line is even more important:

Your brand perception is now in the hands of strangers. Isn’t it time you got to know them?

This is so important for small retail establishments to understand. With the advent of services like Foursquare and Yelp, the conversations about their businesses are already taking place. They need to, at the very least, claim their venues in each of these and get involved in the conversation. If a customer has a bad experience, don’t you want to know about it? Don’t you want to have the opportunity to make it right . . . publicly?

It’s true and it’s only going to get “worse”. People ARE talking. Shouldn’t you at least be listening? Better yet, why not engage with them. I’m convinced the process will strengthen your relationships with your customers and do wonders to make you more accessible and easy to do business with.


Discounting Twitter

A little while ago I was at a meeting with reps from an advertising agency that specializes in creating web presence for organizations. They’re pretty well known and have won a webby for one of their campaigns. My organization has never advertised by itself, though it has benefited marginally from ads by parent organizations (and there have been a few . . . organizations, that is).

I was impressed with the web savvy and the general tenor of the presentation these guys gave. Equally, I was happy with the direction our executives went in when discussing this stuff and their overall approach to moving in this direction. There was, however, one item that came up which disturbed me somewhat, and that was a discussion of Twitter in which they were summarily dismissive . . . which I think is a big mistake.

Now I’ll grant this – a business such as ours is not interested in tweets like “Just finished my croissant with black currant jelly. Starbucks is so yesterday”, or “Just finished walking the dog. Back with large bag of poop. Weather looks to be quite comfortable today”. Neither do we care about monetizing Twitter or some similar product. It’s not what we do. However, and this is true whether Twitter finds a way to monetize themselves of whether they just flat out go out of business, the concept of micro-blogging is NOT going to go away. It has too damn many use cases to be ignored.

One example I can think of off the top of my head (and I believe NASA is using this very model to prepare orbiters for missions) is for a geographically dispersed team to stay in contact with each other with respect to the completion of critical items that impact downstream activities. I have experienced numerous situations where the lack of communication regarding the completion of a step in a complicated series has resulted in the loss of a day or half day in the completion of the project. This is not trivial.

At any rate, I really think there are lots of use cases for Twitter within the enterprise. Dismissing it out-of-hand is foolish and short-sighted in my opinion.


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