As someone who works in social media, this is the question I get the most often.
“I don’t really understand Twitter. How does it work?”
I’ve slowly come to understand that people aren’t really asking me how Twitter works. Explanations involving character limits and hashtags rarely get me anywhere. What people are really asking me is how do I make twitter work for me?
No one wants to spend the time learning a new platform (despite my insistence there isn’t much to learn) if it’s going to make their lives harder. Most people feel like they make all the connections and share everything they would want to share via Facebook so what’s the point of having a twitter account.
Two words: Customer. Service.
Let me share a little story. I had an electric toothbrush. I have had this electric toothbrush for close to a decade. When it (finally) died, I tweeted the manufacturer.
I’m a big believer in positive feedback, especially when the product far exceeds my expectations.
They tweeted me back.
I emailed them my contact information and, not one week later, they sent me a brand new $60 toothbrush!
Sit with that for a moment. One tweet of 140 characters or less replaced my toothbrush.
The entire exchange (including the photo) took maybe five minutes of my life. Less time then it would have taken me to drive to the dang store and buy a new toothbrush.
THAT my friends is why everyone should have a Twitter account. Whenever I have a problem with a product or a company, Twitter is ALWAYS the first place I turn. I almost always get my question answered promptly and a solution within days.
Often, I’m not even expecting it. Once I tweeted that my Kohls bucks had expired on an already bad day. I didn’t even tag Kohls but they tweeted me back immediately and gave me new bucks!
Think about it. Twitter is a customer service call with hundreds of people watching. (Click to tweet.) Companies are highly motivated to make you happy.
So, go ahead. Sign up. There are a million other reasons to love Twitter (awards shows, conferences, tweet ups) but if nothing else, next time you have a customer service nightmare (or triumph) you’ll know where to go.