"Today, I had an amazing experience at...."
Discovering a tweet like the above referencing a review about you, your organization, or your brand is certainly better than:
"I'll never visit / do business with / interact with / buy from...."
Can you think for a moment about why, as a society, we take pictures? Not just to post them on Facebook, impress people with our Instagram filter abilities, or to bribe people later when caught doing their "Elaine from Seinfeld" at the company holiday party! We take pictures to:
1. Capture the moment, and
2. Share with others.
Despite their financial woes, Kodak came up with an unforgettable phrase years ago: "Kodak Moments." They wanted you to use Kodak films for Kodak cameras to capture that special moment and share with family and friends.
I'm a big believer that we're all products of the advice we take. An old mentor drove into me years ago to create "Kodak Moments" in my business! Amazing experiences that not only my customers, partners, employees, teammates - in essence, my portfolio of relationships - wanted to capture, but also to share with everyone they knew as they raved about their experience with me, my team, or our organization.
I believe the 2012 version of that "Kodak Moment" are "Tweetable Moments." Given the real-time nature of microblogging, customer experiences - good, bad, or ugly - are all fair game. And those who tweet their experiences don't just tell a few friends; now they tell 1,000 friends and their friends' networks, or more! Their raw comments are often passionate, unfiltered, and real-time. Do I agree with every rave or rant I see in my Twitter feed? No. Any comment may certainly be only one perspective on what really happened. Here is the thing - it doesn't matter. What matters is how organizations choose to engage and influence both that individual as well as the broader market's perception of the experience and what they choose to do differently because of the experience. Let's take a closer look at each:
1. Do organizations know? Twitter is the 21st century version of an organization's phone line. Can you imagine NOT picking up phone calls from customers? Yet, so many organizations still believe NOT responding to tweets, Quora questions, or Pinterest posts are OK. News Flash: when you don't reply you're sending two signals. The first one is that you don't care. Last time I checked, not a positive attribute.
2. Do organizations listen? Do they really listen or do they dismiss your comments? Do they assume that you're simply looking for something free, or are really concerned about the experience? Do they scan the entire social sphere for misinformation or competitively inaccurate information they can positively respond to, challenges they can resolve, or otherwise learn from every interaction - in short, listen louder?
3. Do organizations learn? What do they do with these Tweetable moments? Do they use them to celebrate "praiseworthy" efforts or train, develop, and coach the "blameworthy" ones? Do they alter their training & development or new hire on-boarding process, or their performance evaluation and compensation models? Do they create "self-service" websites because of the taxonomy clouds of the most search keywords? Do they celebrate consistency in the sentiments from the tweets in how individuals, teams, and the organizations behave when "corporate" isn't policing, governing, or babysitting?
As I wrote in Return on Impact (ASAE, 2012), social is more than doing; social is about thinking and leading differently in the age of connected relationships. How are you ensuring your organization knows, listens, and learns? What examples of "Tweetable experiences" can you share?