This week we will look at how companies can use twitter to interact with the groundswell. First we well address the question: what is twitter? Twitter is a social media site where users have 140 characters or less to update what they are doing or to get a point across to people who have taken an interest in their twitter feed. Twitter has six different elements that makes it successful, they are: Followers, hash tags/searches, mentions/retweets, links, lists, and apps/tools. All of these elements help the users to create an interesting post without going over the 140-character limit. Bernoff and Li give examples of how twitter can help the company with the objectives and interacting with the customers.
- Listening: Bernoff and Li suggest that twitter really only works properly if the company is able to listen to what people are saying by checking hash tags and watching trends that could include anything to do with the business. After listening, they should adjust the business operations to fit what the consumers are saying. Brewster should use twitter to see how satisfied customers are with the products. If consumers are upset about missing menu items, they may tweet it. They also could use this to see where the majority of their customers that use twitter are located.
- Talking: This section suggests that if the company isn’t going to get involved with twitter and answer back to their customers, it is basically useless for them to have an account. This means more needs to be done than just posting links to blogs or journals. The company needs to post things such as daily specials, or coupons to give the customers discounts. Brewster’s is already doing an okay job with this. Their Oliver Square locations twitter account is active constantly notifying customers about what is happening in the restaurant daily (see photo below). They could improve by having all their locations twitter feeds updated on a daily basis.
- Energizing: To use twitter to energize the customers by making what they say heard. For twitter users this can include something as simple as retweeting your followers tweets and answering to them to show that what they say matters to the company. Brewster’s needs to use this to address more of what people are saying about them on twitter. All they have to do is type Brewster’s into the search menu and see who all has used the word Brewster’s in their posts. They can then rewtweet the good tweets, and respond to the bad ones.
- Supporting: This objective also involves responding to customer concerns, but more on the service side. This helps people to be able to avoid making phone calls to the companies, they can just tweet their problem and someone will respond to the tweet with a solution to their problem. Companies that do this successfully have a staff that is assigned to answer these tweets as a full or part time job.
- Embracing: This is the hardest of the objectives to do through Twitter because the posts need to be very short. Bernoff and Li suggest the best way to embrace the customers is to drive them to surveys through their tweets. This can help to drive people to company websites where more can be said than through twitter. Brewster’s should use more links in their posts to their website which is more informative about what is happening for daily specials and things they are doing to benefit the community.
Li, C. & Bernoff, J. (2011) Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing