A Tweet in Time Saves Nine (with Apologies to Ben Franklin)


As indicated in my initial post, I want to continue to learn more about today’s “emerging” media. One in particular that is “emerging” as a force to be reckoned with is Twitter. This force has already shown that it can be used for good (Haiti relief) or evil (Life and Times of Speidi). My interest in twitter lies in the possibilities of a business using tweets to promote and implement superior customer service.
Such proactive use of twitter is highlighted in the following article:


Amazingly enough, this article appeared on the Boston Globe online a year and a half ago (July 7, 2008). The article speaks to how companies are using members on their teams to trach negative postings online, and respond. The article mentions Comcast and Southwest (who even has a Chief Twitter Officer). among others.
As someone who has spent their career seeking ways to best hear and respond to their customers, I feel that these emerging media tools in the hands of consumers and responsive companies can lead to the beginning of a beautiful friendship.  Even in those rare cases where this power is misused merely for the attention of the user, or because vengence has become more important that resolution (you know, those posts on Wikipedia that somehow always return….), twitter is a tool that can potentially help stem the blood flow and prevent an uncomfortable wave from becoming a tsunami. Because by all accounts, proactive reaction to negative posts can save the sort of trauma down the road that puts companies into total reactive PR mode.
It’s possibilities like these that make the new technology so compelling… I welcome your thoughts. I can’t understand, yet, why this technology is not used even more on by business than it currently is. But it is my goal to find out….

For more uses of twitter and some of the tools available, check this presentation:

I’m thinking twitterscoop looks interesting. I think I’ll check it out.


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2 Responses to “A Tweet in Time Saves Nine (with Apologies to Ben Franklin)”

  1. jacobashby Says:


    I always thought of Twitter for promotional use. However, using it to promote customer service seems like an amazing concept. It is quick response because consumers can pretty much post instantly on Twitter today. This allows them to tell about good customer service and bad. That is the only issue with it. As long as your customer service is good sounds like a great use for Twitter.


    • mtietbohl Says:

      Hi Jacob,

      Thank you for your comment. Some of the productive uses of Twitter are really fascinating. In our paper last week, I discussed how IBM makes extensive use of Twitter (and other social media) for not just customer service, but also for alerts and sharing information with members of development work teams and also investors. In fact, IBM has over 1000 people employed finding ways to better deploy social media, including Twitter.

      Regards, Mark

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