Engage on Social Media

A lot of companies have a presence in the blogosphere, on Twitter, Facebook, or one of the other social media sites. This is a step in the right direction and any site that does have such a presence should be rewarded for it. However, when companies treat their social presence as just another marketing channel, they often miss the point and lose out on a possible opportunity to engage customers.

I won’t reference companies that do it poorly, but I will reference a company that does it well. Comcast has a very strong presence on Twitter. The person behind their presence on Twitter is one guy, Frank Eliason. I’ve exchanged emails with Frank before and he is a personable guy. Even though he is usually “strictly business” on the company’s Twitter account, Frank is by no means a robot and will interact with customers and be personable at least several times a day. Zappos has a pretty sophisticated Twitter site and has also embraced the medium well.

As someone who has worked with companies developing a presence on Twitter and other social media sites, I will say that some of the questions you’ll end up seeing are odd. However, there is nothing wrong with that. Tell customers about some weird things that your company does or about the way the CEO of the company does this or that. It lets customers see a different side of your company.

The companies that just use Twitter to post links to blog posts, promotions, etc. are missing the point. Twitter is a place to get to know your customers better and to interact with them in a different way.

You absolutely want to use it to reserve customer service issues and let customers know about updates and promotions, but you also want to take advantage of it to let customers know that there are people behind your marketing department and that your company has a personality. There aren’t that many places to do that in the corporate world and a presence on a site like Twitter or on your corporate blog is a perfect place to do that.

To everyone in the United States, have a Happy Thanksgiving! Eat a lot and be safe! If you aren’t in the United States, have a great Thursday.

2 Responses to “Engage on Social Media”

  1. Larry Streeter said:

    Dec 01, 08 at 10:16 am

    Couldn’t agree more!

    Based on the activity we were seeing on Twitter, we have dedicated several of our top customer service reps to monitor the site on a daily basis.

    If you’re not plugged in to Twitter, you’ll never know what your customers may be saying behind your back!

  2. Service Untitled said:

    Dec 03, 08 at 8:33 pm


    That is an excellent way to do it. I’m glad it is successful for you.