To Tweet or Not to Tweet?

(Image via mediabistro.com)

In today’s social media saturated world, you would be hard pressed to find somebody who does not have a Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or at the very least a Myspace. At the most basic level social media has completely revolutionized the way that people communicate and share their lives online. Social media platforms have similarly  changed the way that companies and celebrities interact with the public.

Twitter specifically has given fans the ultimate tool to directly communicate and sometimes even interact with their favorite celebrities.  Through Twitter you can tell Coldplay how amazing their Grammy performance was, commiserate with Kim Kardashian about her most recent break up, or tell Lil’ Wayne what you thought of his latest album. Twitter has also  helped companies, organizations and groups become more reachable by providing a channel for customers to give feedback on a product, complain about a bad experience, or applaud a recent purchase.  Establishing online communication via Twitter  has become essential for businesses and celebrities because it helps create brand loyalty.

I recently spoke with a friend who contacted a travel agency to request the online special that had been advertised though he had already purchased his travel package.  After he was denied the online rate, he took to his Twitter and complained that the special was misleading and how disappointed he was with their customer service.  Within minutes, he receieved a call from the agency’s director of hospitality who offered him an extra night free of charge for his hassle. While not every complaint is acknowledged this promptly, or as generously, this is a perfect example of how Twitter can help a business interact with its customers and establish brand loyalty at the same time.

Twitter is also useful for celebrities, who can announce apperances, special events, concert dates, important notices, and also personal messages to fans. Pop icon  Lady Gaga has a Twitter following of almost 20 million and she uses her account to communicate and receive feedback from her loyal followers. Twitter gives celebrities the opportunity to keep fans more involved in what they are doing, and when they are doing it.  Just as companies can create brand loyalty through customer communication, so too can celebrities create a loyal Twitter base through fan interaction.

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