If 2007 was the year of Facebook and Social Networking. Then 2008 is shaping up to be the year of what has been dubbed "microblogging". BusinessWeek have just published a special report, entitled the CEO Guide to Microblogging which makes interesting reading,
This special report includes several features on how microblogging tools such as Twitter, Pownce, and Jaiku are being used. The article looks at how well known American companies such as, JetBlue, Dell, and GM are taking advantage of the power of these new breed of "social connection" tools. Whether a company is listening for customer feedback, answering questions, or otherwise helping the customer meet their needs. Big companies are finding the customer at the point of need.
Here’s a quick synopsis of the BusinessWeek Special Report:
- How Companies Use Twitter to Bolster Their Brands provides a few examples of how companies are reacting and engaging with consumers. JetBlue reacted with stunning speed to a Tweet about one of their terminals. GM corporate communications helped a customer in need when buying a Saturn car. Southwest Airlines empathised with a customer who lost his luggage.
- Brands That Tweet – Comcast, Kodak, Newell Rubbermaid, Whole Foods Market, and Zappos are other prominent examples of brands that are listening and speaking on Twitter, extending their customer service presence.
- CEOs’ Take on Twitter – Twitteriing CEO profiles: how 18 leaders and entrepreneurs are using Twitter for work and play.
- Engaging with customers with the use of Twitter – a look at how companies are conversing and sharing directly with their customers. The customer has the microphone and is in the driver’s seat – companies are getting onboard for the ride… and the conversation.
- AMC’s MadMen: Running Amok on Twitter reports on the apparent “Fan Fiction” characters from the popular AMC TV show who have been Twittering in character since mid-August. (Our post on this trend).
Web 2.0 technologies coupled with a focus on listening, are helping businesses to reach out to a previously underserved segment of its potential customer base. The report also provides general tips and examples that will be familiar for those who have already adopted 140 character exchanges of links, information, and socialisation into their daily routines. What’s significant is that businesses not already visiting these online gathering areas will find it increasingly harder to ignore the unfolding opportunities.