Dirk Riehle's Industry and Research Publications

A Twitter Best Practice

There are many best practices of using Twitter for organizations. Here is one; I may post others in loose order as I have good examples at hand.

I was attending IBM’s NPUC:09. Like many, my first reaction when I’m unhappy these days is to tweet about it.

dirkriehle: Almaden is a great location, on top of a hill, but cell coverage fails and visitor wireless does not sustain livestreaming the speaker #npuc

Note the use of the event tag #npuc. It was being monitored by an IBM PR person, who I had never met and who I didn’t know. She responded promptly:

saradelecta: @dirkriehle are you having trouble with your wireless access? i know cell coverage isn’t great. happens when u r on top of a mountain.

The very fact that somebody responded to my concern made me feel better about IBM and its Almaden Research Center. It put a human face on an otherwise abstract nuisance. (In a silly but human fashion I was blaming IBM for the lack of cell phone coverage even though they are hardly responsible for it.) So I responded:

dirkriehle: @saradelekta Wireless is OK though slow but don’t really need livestream next to life speaker 🙂 Real test will be conf call later on cell

Now I spilled my main concern that I might not be able to get on a conference call as I had planned. I had given them an opening for building a positive relationship and they reacted properly; the reaction was fast, professional, and helpful:

saradelecta: @dirkriehle heh! true, but it’s for the unlucky ones that can’t be here. if you need a landline, let me know. we can find ya one.

Now, that’s something. I might have asked for a landline myself, but the very fact that someone suggested it by themselves made me feel welcome and appreciated as a guest.

Turned out, I didn’t have to take them up on it. While my cell phone did indeed fail, I simply switched to Skype and thus handled the problem my way without incurring further work for IBM.

The net result was a constructive and positive interaction that raised my sympathy for IBM where I could easily have been left with the memory of a professional nuisance. I’d call that a win/win using Twitter.


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