Corporate Twitter usage for marketing

I’ve praised Twitter many times already, but we’re starting to see more companies use the service effectively for marketing and customer support.

Silicon Alley Insider posts a list of the top corporate Twitters worth following. At the top of their list are @comcastcares, @zappos, @jetblue, and @southwestair

While many bloggers have praised Comcast for its use of Twitter, I would just add that some caution is needed (especially in the case of Comcast).

It’s very easy to use a service like Summize to track mentions of your brand. But sending a Tweet about an issue or trying to help is only part of the solution.

Providing fast and actually useful customer support is extremely important. But just as with viral marketing, it is even more important to have a quality product or service behind that support.

Companies must start with the service itself and not just the customer support. The best support in the world will not change a crappy product (yes, Comcast you are the poster child for this).

It’s good to see companies moving in this direction and using emerging Internet services like Twitter for marketing. I just hope they keep focus on actually providing something consumers will want to purchase in the first place.

Tom currently works in developer relations for IBM Watson. A serial entrepreneur, he's been the founder of numerous startups including Investify and StatsMix, a Techstars alumni company. Tom lives outside Boulder, Colorado and in his free time he's an avid rock climber, skier, and trail runner.

5 comments On Corporate Twitter usage for marketing

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  • I basically agree and think it's a good sign they're using Twitter for
    proactive customer support. But what about all the other areas of
    customer support? Are they trying as hard there?

    I guess I'm just a bit cynical when so many are gushing over Comcast's
    use of Twitter, when most other aspects of their business are so bad.

  • In my current twitter-tirade against DirecTV, @comcastcares took advantage of my frustration and sent me a tweet about how I should drop them an email immediately. Good timing.

    I’ve blogged all about my DirecTV debacle and how Comcast responded in my blog:
    http://tinyurl.com/647kyk

  • My personal feeling on this is that this is a trend we're going to continue to see grow. I'd argue that Zappos, Jet Blue and Southwest are on the forefront of customer service trends, and other companies are going to be sure to follow.

    Just my $.02. You're right, a crappy product isn't offset by stellar customer service, but it certainly helps …

  • Agreed, although I think it’s quite poislbse that the more interesting cases will be at larger companies where someone has become the face of the company and then moves on, how are they replaced without that companies’ social efforts suffering?

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