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Tweeting With The Best of Them

Posted by 40deuce on 9:07 PM in , , , , , , ,

Twitter is on the lips of every company right now. A lot of companies already have a presence on the micro-blogging site. Of course some have a larger presence than others. This week I want to take a look at a few companies that I think are doing well by integrating Twitter into their overall company communications.

The idea for the post came around because I've recently been hearing a lot on a Twitter campaign being run by Best Buy, a North American electronics company, called "Twelpforce" (more on this in a min). I also knew that the company had a large presence on the site with other Twitter profiles because I've been in contact with and following @KeithBurtis, who used to be a head part of the team that lead Best Buy's social media efforts. Keith no longer works there, but kindly enough, when I asked him for a little more info, he pointed me to @KellyGroehler, who sent me a ton of great info. So I decided to not delve too much into all the Best Buy twitter accounts today, and instead do a whole post on them next week. I will however use their "Twepforce" in this post.

So without further adieu, here's a couple of examples of companies that I think are doing a great job of using this new medium to their advantage:

Of course, I'll start with Best Buy's Twelpforce. This was a great and interesting idea. Best Buy has set up a single account where customers can ask questions to Best Buy ranging from help on making product decisions, tips, to technical support and all sorts of things in-between. This is where it gets interesting. While a lot of companies may have one to a few people monitoring their companies Twitter account who could probiby answer those questions adequatly, Best Buy has inlisted their entire staff. That's right, your question could be answered by any employee at Best Buy that feels they have an answer for you.

Best Buy's Twelpforce is done on an employee volunteer basis. Any employee of Best Buy that wants to help can be part of the Twelpforce. All they need to do is sign up using both their Twitter and Best Buy logins, and from there they can monitor the Twelpforce stream to see questions customers ask. If they think they have an answer, they simply reply from their account and use the hashtag #twelpforce and the Twelpforce page will agrigate their messages and display them on the main page. The best part is that they are told not to be pushy and try to sell things, but to rather just be real, friendly and helpful. Click here to see a short page that briefly explains the program to their employees (I also recommend clicking on the "tips and expectations" link on that page as well).

I think this is a great way to use the Twitter platform. It's on a voluntary basis, but if someone has any questions about electronics, they now possibly have the chance to get advice from over 15000 experts. Also, because it's voluntary (as well as linked into the employee's work login) you;d think that the employees wouldn't take advantage and say things they shouldn't. The company has even made commercials that never even mentions their main store website, it only directs them to the Twelpforce. Check them out:

One of the first companies to take a major advantage of Twitter was Zappos is an online retailer that started off with only shoes, but has since expanded into clothing. The company has always been known as a leader in customer service. They have an upbeat staff that really does love to interact with people and be friendly and helpful. In return, the company treats it's employees equaly well. Check out this profile done on the company:

As you can see from the video, employees seem to like working at Zappos and talking to customers. That's why CEO Tony decided to let them interact with customers even more by getting them on Twitter. Before Twitter even became mainstream the company had a Twitter microsite built which agrigated all of their employees on Twitter as well as anyone mentioning Zappos across Twitter so all could interact at Here the company could engage their public through it's individual employees about both company and non-company related things. I think this really gave the company a personal warm and welcome feel, which is what the public is looking for these days. The company is so into engaging people through Twitter that they even have a page that ranks which of their employees can get the most followers.

One thing a lot of companies are doing is running basic, but well done Twitter campaigns. One of my favorites to follow is Marvel (yes, the comic book people).

I was a comic book fan when I was kid, and although I don't read them anymore I'm still kind of interested. Marvel's Twitter account regularly updates with cool things going on at the company, updates about their movies and, my favorite, gives exclusive content to people following. I enjoy companies that do thing like this, because I wouldn't really ever surf over to the Marvel website to read about anything, but if something floats down my Twitter stream that sounds interesting, I'll click the link and see something from Marvel.

Like I said, lots of companies are doing things like that, I just chose Marvel as an example because I noticed them while I was checking Twitter while writing this.

Leave a comment and let me know of other companies that are doing well with Twitter, or even what some of your favorite companies are doing on Twitter.
If you want to see what some other companies are doing with Twitter here's a list I found with a lot (but mostly American) companies.

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