Why Twitter matters for business

Catching up on some reading this weekend I read Rod Drury’s blogpost on xero.com (online accounting software company) about why Twitter matters for business. He does a good job I think of explaining the value of Twitter for anyone running a company.

He starts by showing how Twitter has grown over the past couple of years and how it’s moved beyond a place for talking about your breakfast then says:

Twitter hit critical mass and suddenly what Twitter was useful for flipped around.

See what people are saying about … YOUR COMPANY

Twitter has become a real time social graph on almost every business of significance.

Before Twitter, if you had a disgruntled customer, they were hidden in your call center queue. Now they have a voice than anyone can hear and even find some time well after the event.  And if you don’t join the conversation they still keep shouting.

So for the company Chairperson and Boards in general they have new risk surfaces they need to consider.

  1. What is being said online about your business?
  2. What are your risk minimisation strategies for dealing with social media?
  3. What additional resources are required to work with social media?

He adds that for Xero:

Our strategy is to engage.  That is a real commitment but we feel it’s an investment we need to make. As we are a new company and we are growing quickly we can keep on top of it.  Our market is a word of mouth ‘recommender’ model so we have to be on the ball.

But if you are a large company that has been around for a while how do you deal with it? I can understand this stuff is hard for larger organisations with a large customer base. They will likely have some dissatisfied users who have the potential to be very noisy.

I suggest being honest and put processes in place to gather the feedback so you can report on it.  I think customers do understand it can take a while to turn the ship around. If you provide a way for customers to engage and have the dialog they may understand and can at least take some satisfaction from venting.

The rest of Rod’s post is here.

Xero said recently is now has over 12,000 customers in 50 countries. I can see why. I started using Xero a few months ago and have to say it makes the task of keeping my accounts and sorting GST returns way easier.

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