Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Social Media - Who gives a Tweet!

For those that follow this blog, you may have noticed the recent addition of both a Digg and a StumbleUpon button. As someone with next to no programming experience, these additions represent nearly two days of experimenting with my blog's XML code; so if you ever feel like pressing either, that would be greatly appreciated! During my attempts to install the code, Press Release PR owner Danny Brown recommended through Twitter that I examine the Add This application; a fantastically simple tool which places a single universal share button onto a webpage. Unfortunately, by this point I had written so many of my own 'experimental' changes into the page's XML that each of my efforts to install the button onto my individual blog posts failed. I relayed my failings back to Brown via Twitter; but then a funny thing happened....

Shortly after my post, someone contacted me, offering to help me to install the application. Quite frankly, I was amazed. Although I have read several reports detailing proactive organisational efforts to address product issues, this was my first experience thereof. The individual, known as
Thorpus, left a simple message; "Feel free to drop me a line and I'd be happy to help with your AddThis problems". Simple, right? Maybe, yet this is precisely the type of value that the connected consumer is increasingly demanding. Unfortunately, many organisations still fail to recognise that actions such as those taken by Thorpus really do influence consumer perceptions thereof.

There is no excuse for failing to recognise consumer concerns within the social media; particularly when tools such as Twitter actively facilitate the identification thereof. By simply acknowledging the concerns of the consumer and asking 'how can we improve?', the organisation paints itself as human; it demonstrates a desire to delight the customer.

All I can say is thank you Thorpus.

What are your experiences? Has an organisation approached you to address your concerns through the social media? As always, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Show the Rogue some Stumble love


  1. Excellent points, Chris. This post explains in a nutshell why social media has so much to offer businesses. There is instant feedback, contact and more available in your chosen media stream.

    All that's needed is education. We have the tools - let's use them.

  2. It's such an easy step for an organisation to take; especially with tools such as Twitter Search. The returns can be fantastic though. As you suggest, we simply need to reeducate the organisation to recognise the value of offering two-way communications to the customer. I have contacted Thorpus in an attempt to hear his thoughts on such organisational action; hopefully he will be able to comment.

    As always, thanks for the input, Danny.

  3. yah, thorpus rocks.

    great blog post by the way! ^__^

  4. Hey Chris, my name is Justin Thorp (aka thorpus). I'm the Community Manager at Clearspring (the parent company of AddThis).

    Its an absolute pleasure of mine to help you however I can.

    I think any company that wants to be viable today needs to be in amidst their community. That means knowing what folks are saying and being able to respond to concerns quickly.

  5. Firstly, thanks for the contribution Jeff! It's always nice to hear that my content connects with people!

    Secondly, thank you Justin for your comments. I think that it is absolutely incredible that Clearspring are so understanding of their user communities. Clearsprings represents a fantastic casestudy for how organisations should act. If only more organisations were able to recognise the potential value of the social media as a tool for listening and conversing with customers, they would invariably develop an enhanced insight into the cognitive behaviour of users. This is definately a topic that businesses need to address.

    Thank you both for taking the time to comment.