Over the last several days there have been some good articles outlining how people have been using Twitter for good.
CNN did a story on Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker, explaining how he used Twitter to find out who needed help in the recent snow storms.
From the article:
“I … have a great Twitter feed, residents who are letting me know what’s happening, letting me know if they need help,” Booker said Tuesday evening. “We’ve gotten diapers to people. Delivered food,” he said. “One pregnant woman who was going into labor — at least thought she was. We were able to get there before the ambulances could. We actually got an ambulance unstuck.”
Another that came out recently was from The New York Times and outlined how many were using Twitter to get help and buy airplane tickets when all the phone lines were jammed. From the article:
“Danielle Heming spent five hours Wednesday waiting for a flight from Fort Myers, Fla., back home to New York. Finally, it was canceled. Facing overwhelmed JetBlue ticketing agents, busy signals on the phone and the possibility that she might not get a seat until New Year’s Day, she remembered that a friend had rebooked her flight almost immediately by sending a Twitter message to the airline.
She got out her iPhone, did a few searches and sent a few messages. Within an hour, she had a seat on another airline and a refund from JetBlue. “It was a much, much better way to deal with this situation,” said Ms. Heming, 30, a student at New York University. “It was just the perfect example of this crazy, fast-forward techno world.”
I just wanted to make a few quick observations from this:
1. For an organization, Twitter is only useful if someone is actually paying attention behind the account. In this post, I wrote about how it might be hurting your organization if you’re not paying attention and what you can do about it.
2. Many larger organizations actually have dedicated people behind their Twitter account. This means that you can get help, or at the very least sympathy, relatively quickly. I remember one time I tweeted about a bad experience I had at Home Depot. Within minutes, I received a Twitter reply asking if the issue had been resolved and if there was anything that could be done. Let me just say that I was very impressed.
3. Twitter is often better than using email for a few reasons. For one, have you ever actually tried to email a company after having a bad experience? It’s usually pretty hard to find an email or contact page. It’s pretty easy to find an organization’s Twitter page, though. On Google, just type “(name of the company) on Twitter.” So typing in “The Home Depot on Twitter” will immediately bring up the search result for their page.
Secondly, the customer service rep that receives those emails is probably receiving quite a few of those. Compared to email, not that many people are using Twitter, which means your complaint or need will actually be heard and followed up with.