This was honestly one of the greatest things to happen so far in 2013. Rather than try to describe it, I'll just show you...
(please hit the "continue reading" button to see what I'm talking about. Trust me, it's worth it.)
Twitter has undoubtedly provided an unprecedented amount of power to both consumers and brands alike. As more brands become active on the various social networks, I have found that most of the direct interaction I receive when trying to communicate with a brand is through Twitter. When I have an issue with a product or service, usually the first thing I do is Google the brand's name along with 'twitter'. For example, recently, when I wanted to find out about a product that Best Buy Canada carries, I went to trusty Google and typed in "best buy canada twitter". I always put Canada in the search field to make sure I'm dealing with the Canadian representation.
With this search term, the first two results are, respectively, @BBYCANADAJOBS and @BBYCanadaDeals. Seeing as I'm not currently looking for employment with Best Buy Canada, I'm going to assume the second result is the one I want. (by the way, I never did get a response from their twitter account, despite trying to communicate with them twice over the course of two weeks.)
I think I know why I never got a response though. With over 11,000 followers, I'm sure they're on the receiving end of a whole bunch of chatter on a regular basis. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the chatter is made up of people checking in on Foursquare and mentioning the store, or from promotions and advertisements. It can be pretty easy for my simple request to get lost amongst all of this, especially if they employ a relatively small social media team. (Perhaps they should take some pointers from @TD_Canada, who has no less than nine individuals monitoring their social media accounts. The've even responded to a general mention of TD I once made.)
So, I have a suggestion. Twitter should introduce a Business/Location symbol that is directly associated with their ongoing promotions and can be used when checking into a place. Now I know I clearly haven't thought this through fully, but it's late and I thought it was a pretty decent idea.
Google Maps has business pages, and I would imagine the Twitter Location symbol would work in very much the same way. Individual locations, or the location as a whole can register as a Location on Twitter, and they would be given a unique name preceded by unique symbol - let's use the asterisk *. Best Buy Canada would now have a Location page on Twitter that looks like *BestBuyCanada. The main twitter account could respond on behalf of the location, but all the information would be retained on the Location page. Much like Facebook's now failed "Places" and the wildly popular FourSquare, you could look up information about a Location, or even check in to it by mentioning it.
"@mkshft: Just arrived at the downtown *BestBuyCanada to buy my copy of Gears of War 3! #GoW3"
Twitter could even incorporate limited time promotions, much the same way that the Canadian government does with the Do Not Call list. I can remove my name (opt out) from it, but any company I have done business with in the last 18 months may contact or market me. With Twitter Locations, we could make this much shorter, say 2 weeks. For two weeks after I visit a location, sponsored tweets from that company/location can show up in my timeline, unless I choose to opt out earlier.
So, what do you think? Is this just a half-baked idea, or could you actually see it working? Let me know in the comments.
- Personal Thoughts
- Social Media
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