Using Social Media for Stealing Your Competitors’ Customers

Technology like Twitter has brought customer service into a new age. Now I can tweet about a brand and usually get customer service faster than if I were to call them. Everyone has tweeted at @ComcastCares at least once. Their example made Twitter-based customer support a common place within most companies.

Well, what can be used for serving your customers, can be user for stealing your competitors. Just do a search in Twitter or setup a Google Alerts for your company’s competitors and you’ll find a litany of voices sharing their disappointments. Your competitor’s customers are sharing their disappointments hoping someone will care.

This is an opportunity. You can care. Care about your competitors customers and offer them a discount to come use your service. I did this all day long when I was at AddThis and competing with ShareThis. Actually won a few BIG customers this way.

Last night, Lauren needed the car to run some errands before a party that I was going to meet her at later in the evening. I had bought a membership to the smart car sharing service car2go and saw this as an opportunity to try it for the first time. I tried to unlock the car with my membership card and got an error. Called their customer service line and they said my car was defective. So, now what am going to do? This is how I was getting to the party. Ended up taking the bus to a spot where a friend could pick me up.

While waiting for the bus, I took the opportunity to express my disappointment with car2go on Twitter. Instantly, I got a tweet from Uber reminding me that they had cars on the road that’d love to pick me up. If Uber wasn’t considerably more expensive then I probably would have taken them up on the offer. I guess I was just impressed that someone from Uber was that on top of their Twitter accounts.

Why doesn’t every company do this? Watch your competitors’ users tweets and then offer them a discount or special offer to switch. Out care your competition.

(Photo by cote)

The New TweetDeck Let’s Me Use Facebook Without Being on Facebook

It’s true.  I’m kind of in love with TweetDeck.  It’s a Twitter client that lets me see everything that’s going on in my world with all of my friends.

Well they just did something which took the usefulness of the product to a whole new level.  They integrated Facebook statuses, to which I can dedicate a whole column of my TweetDeck. It’s pretty AWESOME.

I wish Facebook would let TweetDeck pull down more then just the status updates because then I could really abandon going to but this is good for now.

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So… Where’s the innovation?

This morning I was thinking about how recently I’ve been having trouble finding things to write about, in my blog. I’m glad I’m not a professional writer because I can imagine sometimes you’re forced to write about the stupidest stuff just so you have something to write about.

I read just about every popular technology blog that I can get my hands on. I have to say that in the last 3-4 months I don’t feel like I’ve seen anything that’s been that innovative. There hasn’t been that much which has just blown me away.

When is the last time we had a new game changing technology?

Who’s going to be the next company which is going to come up with something that’s going to light a new spark in people? You saw that spark when the Apple iPhone and Facebook Platform opened for development by third parties.

But what’s next? Single sign on with Facebook Connect, the latest Twitter app, and the thirty sixth texas hold-em game or location based social network for the iPhone can only be so interesting.

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A State Dept. Diplomat Starts Using Twitter

This is SOOO cool. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Colleen Graffy has recently started using Twitter.  Right now she’s tweeting while on her trip through Iceland, Croatia and Armenia.

Despite what you see and hear on TV, there are actually good people doing good things in the government.   Something like what Colleen Graffy is doing on Twitter has the potential to bring so much interest and excitement to the State Department and public diplomacy that they would have NEVER seen otherwise.

People don’t want to be all up in the State Dept’s business.  We don’t have time for that or at least I know that I don’t.  Twitter allows for that comfortable level of ambient intimacy.

I challenge other government agencies to follow suit and start using Twitter as a tool for building community around their actions and ideas.

(Via Dipnote)

Dell, Twitter, and Some Sound Advice About Communications Strategy in a Web 2.0 Era

My friend Shel Israel is working on his book Twitterville and recently posted his notes about his conversations with the team at Dell that uses Twitter.

The last 3 paragraphs of his notes are just jam packed with some killer truth.  I wanted to especially share those with you.

It is our strategy not to speak with one voice. A blogger who influenced me once wrote that he just can’t have an intelligent conversation with a Coke Bottle. People do not wish to speak with brands. They wish to speak with people. And at any big company, different people have different passions and knowledge sets.

Twitterville is wonderful for getting the message in from these 100 people Tweeting than our getting messages out through the 21 Twitter accounts. Twitterville is great because people tell you when you screwed up as quickly and as often as they tell you when one of your representatives was wonderful.

During tough economic times, it is even more valuable. You don’t need expensive focus groups anymore.Twitter is part of a social media strategy that allows us to bring customers into our company and walk down the hallways with them talking about things we share in common and very often those are Dell things.”