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Having fun, writing about the stuff I like

Perfect Tweeting

Oscar Foulkes June 30, 2011 Web Tools 1 comment

I’ve become a little bit addicted to Quora, which in their words is “a continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it. The most important thing is to have each question page become the best possible resource for someone who wants to know about the question.”

You absolutely have to visit Quora – the richness of the answers, often with mind-boggling detail, is nothing short of amazing. By way of example, check out this answer relating to the business model of one of my most-admired online retailers,

I was drawn to answering a question this morning, about the “perfect tweet”. The answer is admittedly not as rich as the others on the site (you can read it here), but it has spurred me into action on a mini-post about Twitter that I’ve been wanting to do.

One of the people I follow on Twitter is Michael Jordaan (FNB’s CEO), whose praises I’ve been meaning to sing for some time. For starters, his own tweets are pertinent to the world of business, and therefore relevant to his industry. This, in itself, sets him apart in the world of corporate tweeters.

He clearly follows the Twitterstream for references to FNB, so he is alive to the conversation that is happening about his business/brand. Complaints are efficiently passed to someone within the organisation who can fix the problem. I have personal experience of this. It works well.

He is also a good re-tweeter (like forwarding an email message you’ve received), usually adding a pithy comment. To a tweet asking whether FNB had contributed any money to the ANC Youth League conference, he answered simply, “Nope”.

Earlier today, in answer to this tweet
“@Mohomed: the woman in this fnb mobi ad lithpth when she thayth thell phone”, he answered: “Thorry.”

For me, apart from the fact that Michael Jordaan is an additional customer service department for FNB, he is a case study in using Twitter in a manner that builds the business.

I’ve given two examples of how online resources change the way we communicate with the world and seek answers to important questions. Online also has huge implications for the names we give our products and businesses.

You see, if your name is not unique, you’re playing the cyber version of Where’s Wally. Apart from the need for your customers to find you online, you also want to be able to see when they are talking about you. Unless you’re Apple, generic words don’t cut it.

Michael Jordaan can track FNB on Twitter because FNB is not a generic acronym (it can also refer to a US sport team). For the same reason, it’s useful that his surname is Jordaan rather than Jordan.

Should businesses and their CEOs be on Twitter? You’re welcome to post the question on Quora, but the answer easily fits into a tweet: “Absolutely, yes!”

1 comment

Oscar Foulkes - July 9, 2011

I have subsequently come across this blog post about the US Navy’s management of social media:

A few key points:
Free your local offices. The Navy doesn’t rely on one node to control social media — it counts on all levels to be involved. Werner encouraged brands with local offices to take the handcuffs off and let them engage in similar ways.

You can’t control the ocean of conversation, but you can navigate it. Werner said the Navy realizes it can’t control opinions or conversations, but it is figuring out how to create immediate and long-term effects by “riding” the wave of conversation and adding its voice.

Social media are more forgiving. Werner found through his experience that the audience in social media is much more willing to learn, listen and forgive than that of traditional media — if you’re committed to being credible, authentic and transparent.

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