Russell Hall, AKA @ruscal_hall, takes a cursory glance at how larger businesses are starting to use Twitter.
Love it, hate it or just plain don’t get it, the ‘Twitter-verse’ is expanding and for the moment at least, looks like it’s here to stay. Whilst Google Wave is likely to cause some fairly large ripples on the social networking scene, for the moment Twitter is king.
Now I’m not one to spank on about its virtues or pitfalls at great length, as such discussions quite frankly bore me to tears. Having said that I have come across some interesting by-products of the using the tool in the last couple of weeks.
The marketing side of Twitter is something that continues to grow and be seen as a must-have addition to any company’s media arsenal. This does sit somewhat at ill ease with me, although of course I tweet links to new work and any recent stuff that I have been up to, an endless stream of self-promotion is a sure fire way to lose followers and not something I’d want to distract myself with during my working day.
Another minor annoyance is the auto-follow programs used by some to follow users based on keywords that you may happen to tweet. As a rule I will always block users that follow me via this method, but the way some corporations are using this technique as an alert system is interesting.
For example, I was recently having some major issues with one of my websites and the associated email accounts. My hosting people were blaming my Internet Service Provider, my ISP blaming my router etc, etc. After hours investigating and speaking to customer services people at all ends I still couldn’t find the cause of the issue.
Whilst trying to get to the bottom of the problem I sent a tweet to check if any of my followers with the same Internet Service Provider as me were also having issues getting on to my site.
Within two hours I had a tweet from my ISP’s Twitter account, and miraculously the problem was fixed. So after hours of frustration and fiddling with my office setup I’d got it sorted by posting one frustrated tweet.
The power of word of mouth has always been recognised by businesses, and this is one major reason why so many companies are jumping on the good ship Twitter.
I’d be interested to know if anyone else has experienced similar responses to their tweeting? I’m on the fence as to whether this is a good thing or a bit too Orwellian and would be interested to hear others views on this too.
a freelance graphic designer based in the West Midlands, working for a variety of clients on mainly print based projects. Find out more at www.russelljhall.com