Is ‘Tweeting’ for the Birds?


twitter-imageWith all the buzz surrounding Twitter these days – namely the showdown between Ashton Kutcher and CNN – it’s hard not to think about how this new microblogging craze can impact your business.

But, like MySpace, Facebook and other social networking platforms before it, there’s a general feeling of caution for companies contemplating whether or not it’s in their best interest. And rightly so. Handled properly and with care, Twitter can do your organization a world of good. Used irresponsibly – well, there’s no telling how much damage you could do.

Still, if you’re on the fence about opening the Twitter gates, we suggest reading this article on ChiefMarketer.com. It contains some useful information and anecdotes about how and how not to use Twitter. Our favorite comes from the latter end of that spectrum, and it goes a little something like this:

“The infamous cautionary tale referred of ‘Cisco Fatty’ saw a new Cisco hire terminated before he showed up for work because of his tweet about the new ‘fat paycheck’ he’d be getting even though he was less than enthusiastic about the job. Cisco’s response? ‘Who is the hiring manager? I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work.’

“There’s no such thing as anonymity today. People and brands must conduct themselves in the online social world with the expectation that their words will live indefinitely. Think of it as mixed company at a cocktail party—you never know who’s listening and who knows whom. So behave yourself.”

Of course, there are innumerable (and immeasurable, at this point in the game) ways that Twitter can position your brand in a positive context, depending on how you look at it. Take Southwest Airlines, for instance, which kept an eye on tweets about its competitors and suggested solutions where it could: “Southwest Airlines recently used Twitter to surgically poach a traveler from a competitor by listening to the tweets of a disgruntled JetBlue traveler and offering to lend a hand with a convenient flight.”

Brilliant! Because customers complaints have become increasingly viral over the years, competitors can get a leg up by paying attention to what customers really want – when they’re not getting it from the competition – giving you an invaluable opportunity to convert a new customer.

And that’s essentially what Twitter’s all about, when applied to business – listening to and communicating with those interested in your brand. Consider it the next level of inbound marketing, a concept we blogged about a few months ago.

Where will it go? It’s hard to tell so early in the game – but the beauty in that is that we’re the ones who will shape its future by laying the groundwork now.

So we want to know – how are you using Twitter? To offer special deals to your customers? To keep up with competitors? As an interactive arm of a new campaign? Something completely unheard of?

Let’s discuss!

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4 Responses to “Is ‘Tweeting’ for the Birds?”


  1. 1 Steve Kay April 27, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Just another way to connect with people. whether it is for biz or personal reasons. And leave the older generation behind.

    Someday they may wake up and say – what the heck happened?!


  1. 1 Pages tagged "brilliant" Trackback on April 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm
  2. 2 An Expert Assessment of Social Media Marketing « Hiring The Internet Trackback on May 11, 2009 at 2:38 pm
  3. 3 The Good & Bad of the ‘Twitter Effect’ « Hiring The Internet Trackback on August 3, 2009 at 12:05 pm

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