MARK4474- Tapping the groundswell with Twitter
In Chapter 10, we are shown how useful Twitter can be to an organization, as long as they understand what they are using it for in the first place.
I used to think Twitter was a useless application. At it’s inception, it was no better or different to Facebook (in my mind). However, I broke down at the end of my first year of college. I was bored on the bus and I downloaded the Twitter app before I got to school. Within weeks, I realized that my messages were reaching more people than Facebook ever could. That being said, I was always sending out useless information at the time. The best part was following various bands at the start. I was able to get tour information early as well as passwords for pre-sales, so I was usually the first to know about a show. It was awesome, and every company has the ability to create the same value for their customers, as long as they know how to interact with their audience.
There are any ways to interact on Twitter:
- Basic Tweet- where you have 140 characters available to send out your message.
- Mention- where you can include the Twitter account of anyone in your “tweet”
- Retweet- where you can repost someone else’s tweet
- Reply- where you can have conversations with any users (publicly)
- Direct Message- if you are following each other you can send messages privately
- Hashtags- probably the best way to spread your tweets by using # attached to keywords
Twitter has become more and more critical to companies in various industries over the year. The platform is compatible with many others like Facebook, Instagram, Vine, and many more. Twitter is valuable because a lot of its users belong to many groups within the Social Technographics Profile, meaning you have the ability to engage with them in many different ways (Li & Bernoff, 2008).
I’ll break it down into a few examples.
Air Canada (amongst other airlines): Air Canada utilizes Twitter in many ways, but the most evident would be in customer support. They give information on delayed flights, check-in procedures, as well as giving more information on who customers should be contacting in various situations/emergencies. I would say that Air Canada is most active in the customer support area on Twitter. However, Air Canada needs to learn when to pick their battles. On numerous occasions, they have gotten into arguments over their services with other Twitter users. They are sometimes addressing people that are only on Twitter to piss other people off, and Air Canada has usually made themselves look bad as a result of interacting with these people.
Homestay: Homestay is a relatively new service. I like to think of it as a cross between Couchsurfing and AirBnb. You pay to rent a room with someone, and they make sure they are around to plan meals with you and even take you around town. Homestay has a long way to go before I take it seriously, but I like what they are doing on Twitter. They create and share blogs on many destinations. In fact, I was reading a blog done by one of their founders on their travels, and then I saw the link to Homestay on their page. Homestay is creating value by providing a service, but they are providing personal information on destinations and inspiring others to travel there as well.
Bloggers and Writers: Many people that have made a career out of sharing their stories have found a lot of success in using Twitter and Instagram as their main platforms for sharing their experience. They do so by sharing their blogs, replying to questions, and creating engagement. One of the most common things seen would be someone posting a picture of a destination, and asking their followers where they think the picture is from. It’s a simple process that engages a bunch of people, which leads to more exposure of the writers blog or site.
Personally, I have filled my Twitter account by following people related to the travel industry, and it has slowly grown over the last few months. I take part in travel related questions, interact with other bloggers, and share my stories as well. I also make sure that people following me can see some personality as well, so I tend to send out a bunch of goofy tweets as well. The result, not only do I enjoy the process, but I have created value from using Twitter.
I have noticed people starting to add me to lists so they can categorize my tweets and find my content easier. 3 of the lists I am on are titles “Travel”. This means that people have probably made their way to reading my actual blog (linked through my profile), and now they can easily find my updates by checking on their Travel related list. One blogger has me listed on their “Awesome” list. I am not sure what this means, maybe sarcasm? Either way, Twitter has been the biggest referrer to my blog. I share my blogs on Facebook as well, yet Twitter refers more people. Meaning, strangers are just as likely (if not more), to read and share my blog.
Anyways, if you were in the travel industry, or even if you were just writing about travel for fun, you should seriously consider creating a Twitter account. I think Twitter gives you the best exposure. Remember, don’t be too serious.
Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2008). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business Press.
Categories: MARK4474- Social Media