This week's post comes from Elisa Peimer, one of Oren Hope's founding partners.
I’ll be the first to admit that I just didn’t get Twitter. What good was posting a little blurb about yourself and what you’re doing that was no more than 140 characters? Quite honestly, I thought, who cares?
But I got sucked into marketing peer pressure and joined up. I found a couple of friends and colleagues and started following them. The first couple of days I spent thinking “what am I going to post on Twitter?” like it was some kind of school assignment. But as I eased into it, I’ve found that I’ve started using it like a tap on the shoulder, a simple “here’s what’s going on,” without having to write a whole blog entry about it. It’s allowed me to keep our company, our blog, and myself at the top of people’s minds. And I actually think that’s the biggest benefit of Twitter. We all know how bombarded we all are with messages and information. Twitter is a simple, quick, and relatively unobtrusive way to keep yourself in the mix.
Some companies have been able to use Twitter in really inventive ways. When I first joined up, my friend @sharongoldman, a marketing/writing colleague, suggested I check out the Twitter feed of Tony, the CEO of Zappos. Zappos, the online shoe store? Why would I care what he had to say? It turns out Tony has over a half million people following his Twitter feed. His tweets have a good combination of information about his company, interspersed with general comments about his life. It puts a real face on the head of Zappos, and makes you feel like you know him. Which, in turn, makes you more likely to check out his company. It’s marketing, but it’s not done in a dry, “marketing” kind of way. It’s personal and social. And fun to read.
Another fascinating Twitter story is what happened to @davepeck when he was trying to fly out of Austin after SXSW on Jet Blue. The flight was delayed and @davepeck twittered his frustration about it in the airport. @jetblue got back to him to try to help — through Twitter! When wi-fi issues and technical problems ensued with Jet Blue, @southwestair stepped in — again through Twitter — and tried to get him on one of their flights. And everyone who subscribed to all these Twitter feeds was seeing the whole conversation. Jet Blue came out a little the worse for wear, but quickly made amends via a follow-up email, and Southwest Airlines looked like a hero for trying to come to the rescue. All in real time, and all completely public. And all in under 140 characters.
And just so you know, before I started typing this post, I twittered about it at @elisapeimer.