I admit it – I was a skeptic. Like millions still out there, I thought Twitter was an absolute waste of time. I mean, who really has time to come up with 140-character blips about their day – and who really wants to read it? But I gave it a try, and now, I’m hooked.
Twitter works – for individuals, for non-profits, for retailers, for business-to-business – and it can work for you, too.
I could go on and on as to the reasons I believe Twitter works. But instead, I’d like to share three stories with you that had a large impact on me and my change of heart. And since it’s ethnic food day today at Oneupweb, I think it’s only appropriate to start with a story that involves food – Korean tacos, to be exact.
So according to the Los Angeles Times (and summarized by me, your host on this twitter-ific journey), Mark Manguera was enjoying some champagne and a carne asada taco at 4am and was struck by a brilliant idea. They should make tacos filled with Korean barbecue. So he went out, found a chef and truck, and started his small business. His marketing approach completely revolves around social media, and specifically, Twitter.
In fact, a constant Twitter-feed connects hungry individuals and sends out updates of where the Kogi Korean Taco Truck will park next. And it draws crowds of 300-800 people each time it parks – which is often several times a night.
Behold, the power of Twitter and Korean tacos. Now that’s yummy!
Twitter, a UPS Truck and Dog Tweets… I Mean Treats
Okay, on to the next story. This one just baffled me. I caught it as a blip in a magazine I was flipping through (and I’m sorry, I don’t remember which one it was! Don’t sue me!). Apparently a woman, we’ll call her Jane, had ordered a large item that was being shipped through UPS. While she normally has packages shipped to her office to guarantee arrival by a certain time, due to the size of this particular item that couldn’t happen.
So she waited in her apartment all day for the UPS truck. Apparently, Jane had a dog. I can only assume she lives in New York City or somewhere like that, because Jane was tweeting (writing 140-character or less posts on Twitter) about the fact that she couldn’t take her dog out to the go the bathroom, because she might miss the UPS truck. And then the power of Twitter’s social connections took hold. Apparently, Jane had met the CEO of Zappos a few weeks prior, and he was following her Tweets on Twitter.
He read one of the tweets about her predicament with UPS and her dog, and sent her a message that he was having dinner with a big decision maker (President or something) at UPS that very night. The CEO of Zappos told Jane he would have the UPS person call her, and he did! A new pickup date and time was scheduled, and when Jane’s UPS shipment arrived, it also contained flowers and chocolates for her, and treats for her dog.
What a tangled web we weave. And how interesting. Will the “I want it now” immediate fulfillment of needs continue to grow through social media?
Twitter Turns the Internet Back On
And my third story, which is a little closer to home. Oneupweb’s own CEO is also on Twitter. While at home, she believed she was having some problems with her home internet connection, and used her mobile to tweet about it. Within minutes, a Charter representative had responded to her tweet, had someone call her and the problem was fixed in less than an hour.
This goes to show that people are going to tweet about what’s going on in their lives, including their relationships with brands. A huge opportunity exists for brands to get involved in that conversation, and improve customer service.
Restaurants, mail delivery, service providers and a lot more can take advantage of Twitter. People are talking, and the time is now to get involved in the conversation. Go ahead and do a search for yourself using Twitter’s search engine. Type in a brand that you encounter throughout your day (or even your own company), and find out what’s being said about this brand in real-time. It may just open your eyes to the power of Twitter.
It did for me, and now, I don’t even mind being called a Twit.