Tweeting back and forth with a Verizon Wireless customer support representative last night, I learned data-only monthly plans for the Blackberry are only eligible for hearing-impaired customers.
I could have googled the information or called the company’s hotline but I turned to Twitter and received an answer quickly.
Greg Verdino understands the necessity and impact of companies responding to (prospective) customers quickly, effectively, and efficiently using internet technologies.
In chapter 6 of microMARKETING: Get Big Results by Thinking and Acting Small, he recollects a scheduled JetBlue flight from Orlando to New York — that a JetBlue telephone rep said was canceled but an Orbitz notification said was on-time. With a computer handy, he tweeted a message about the airline and received a response from @JetBlue’s new media director within minutes that his flight would take-off as scheduled.
Granted, I knew Verizon Wireless tweeted as @VZWsupport and Greg knew about @JetBlue, but I’m willing to bet if we didn’t know the companies were on Twitter and tweeted a question with the company name, someone would have seen it and replied. Organizations ranging from Comcast and Dell to the Los Angeles Times frequently do this under the buzzword of reputation management.
In microMarketing, Greg writes about these small conversations and how business is changing.
…there is no denying Twitter’s pivotal role in the emergence of a real-time web. The service established a standard for immediacy, simplicity, and portability by eliminating the barriers to microcontent creation with its mobile-friendly 140-character size limit. It has provided companies with new sources of revenue, permitted entirely new business models, and even enabled traditional organizations to evolve into real-time micronews agencies.
….The shift from prime time to real time literally changes everything. And the imperative for companies to conduct business in the now pervades all digital media and marketing.
There is a time and place for things to do tomorrow and the next day, but companies, from the media to banks to airlines and everyone in between, are quickly recognizing people are talking — and talking about them right here and right now. By waiting to respond, if they see the activity in the first place, they risk losing that prospective customer to a competitor.
If someone’s talking about you on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, or any other social networking site and you’re ignorant or delinquent in response, do you want that stigma of non-response or late response attached to you?
Why I wrote the above
Receiving an email message two weeks ago from Alexandra Kirsch — someone I never heard of — she quickly explained she was working with Aaron Strout (someone I have met) and Greg Verdino (someone I’ve communicated with here and there) and she explained she wanted me to review a chapter of a book.
In essence, the chapter-by-chapter review process is a way for us to offer experts in each area the opportunity to review chapters that correlate directly with their area(s) of expertise and interest. We’re also taking this approach to avoid having several bloggers reviewing the book in a general way all at once. We know that is no fun for you. Hopefully this approach gives you a little exclusive room to flex your expertise. Of course links will be included to all of the blogs participating in the chapter-by-chapter review process. So hopefully it is a win for all involved.
Because of your experience with social media and writing that covers the idea of building relationships on the Internet, Chapter 6, “From Prime Time to Real Time: Making a Real Difference by Doing Business at the Speed of Now,” seemed like it would resonate well with your audience.
Alexandra’s email was clever, unique, and got my attention. I could tell she was writing to me, knowing full well who I was and didn’t want to waste my time. Danny Brown, another chapter reviewer, agrees as he shares why her marketing pitch is successful.
If you’d like to buy Greg’s book, you can buy it on Amazon, but I’d prefer you respect your local independent bookstore and purchase it through IndieBound. (Both links are affiliate links, FYI, so if you buy through either link, I’ll get a few cents as a commission.)
Got a question or thought that this inspires?
Is Alexandra right that this review has resonated with you?
Is Greg right that marketing in the real-time web is crucial? Click over to his blog post and you can peruse blog posts from other chapter reviewers.
Do you like to learn tips like this?