Twenty minutes into Game 6 of the American League Championship Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, I called my mother, a die-hard Sox fan, and asked her what she thought of the game.
“I’m going out of my mind, Ari,” she said. “TBS is showing ‘The Steve Harvey Show.’ Where are the Sox?”
It was a good question, and one that is fair to presume was asked by millions of Turner Broadcasting Station viewers at 8:07 p.m. on Saturday, October 18, 2008 when the ALCS was not there.
“Mom,” I said, “I’m watching the #redsox Twitter feed,” referring to a group of dedicated Red Sox viewers around the country who simultaneously tweeted in real-time every minute or so about pitches, catches, slides, and balls. (They’re still tagging tweets today, even though the Sox aren’t playing.)
When TBS failed to show the game due to a power outage in Atlanta, the feed went crazy!
You can see an encapsulation of tweets tagged with #redsox and TBS in reverse chronological order here, courtesy of TweetScan.com, a Twitter monitoring service; something TBS failed to provide, outage or not.
I continued talking to my mother, saying I not only had TBS muted on the TV and was watching Twitter updates every half-second in one computer window, but I had a separate window opened to MLB.com, where several Twitter users referenced a way to watch the game live, albeit with hissing sound and a tape delay.
We all watched it.
And we watched other Twitter channels like @RedSoxCast for play-by-play updates.
At least we could SEE IT!
There is a valuable lesson here, and one that every company and every brand should pay attention to: Listen to your customers.
How hard could it be for any employee of TBS to monitor the Twittersphere 24/7?
Here’s a suggestion. Do what I do:
- Visit TweetBeep.com and create an account.
- Plug in certain keywords to receive by email throughout the day.
- Use relevant keywords, such as those in your corporate mission and vision, product brand names, competitors and their brand names, senior management names, and so forth. (You should run similar queries on anything indexed by Google. See Google Alerts.)
- Follow everything. You don’t have to read it all. But when something attracts your attention, try to engage your customer and participate.
But here’s the kicker: If you’re a company, you need to understand that your goal is not to sell products.
Take that mantra out of your head!
Your goal is to buy me and everyone else who is blogging about you, talking about you, tweeting about you, podcasting about you, virally marketing your name and your brand and your product whether good or bad.
Don’t merely send us an e-mail message, though that’s better than nothing. I mentioned several companies and brand names in this article: TBS, TweetScan, TweetBeep, the Red Sox, and the Rays. If they are watching, if they are listening, they will either respond below, send me a message on Twitter @ariherzog, or e-mail from the “Contact Me” page above.
Maybe you will follow my blog’s Twitter feed @ariwriterdotcom or subscribe to my blog’s RSS or email feeds linked at the top of this page above, just in case I write about you in the future and so you don’t need to weed through TweetBeep or Google Alert messages.
If you think I’m too small, not one of the big boys like the New York Times or the BBC (oops, there are two more names; imagine if I also linked to their sites?), just wait and think how many times someone runs a Google search and comes across me.
Should I add in that Google likes blogs and Twitter streams more than corporate websites, giving us higher rankings and greater above-the-fold results?
If you don’t respond in a timely manner, I assume either you’re either ignorant (like TBS was Saturday night) or you don’t care. I hope you’re ignorant. Let me help.
One more thing. Let’s talk about the return on investment, a subject that doesn’t exactly translate to social media and the social web, but let’s try.
Echoing Andy Sernovitz and the folks at the Blog Council who wrote yesterday their tips for measuring ROI for Twitter, here is what they wrote on a best practice to manage time on Twitter:
Share Resources (70 %) – Successful learning in the 21st Century is not what you know, but what you can share, so 70 % of my Twittertime is spent sharing others voices, opinions, and tools.
Collaborations (20 %) – 20% of my Tweets are directly responding, connecting, collaboration, and co-creating with like-minded Twitter colleagues. From these important tweets, lifelong professional and personal relationships have been forged.
Chit-Chat (10 %) 10% of my Twittertalk is “chit-chat-how’s-your-hat” stuff. It is in these “trivial” details shared about working out, favorite movies, politics, and life in general that I connect with others as a human being. These simple chit chats are what have allowed me to know that I am never alone, and there is support whenever, wherever, and however I need it!
To see past articles I’ve written about Twitter, click the appropriate tag below this story.
What am I missing? Thoughts?