(From Ben: Another guest blog today – this time from Dale Blasingame, Champion AC‘s social media coordinator. Enjoy!)
I make no bones about it: I love Twitter – especially when businesses (and customers) use it correctly. Small businesses & Twitter can really compliment each other since business owners can directly interact with their customers. When that happens, it’s an incredibly efficient customer service tool.
The key, during both good and bad experiences, is interaction. Since I started working for Champion AC, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some really cool people via Twitter: people who have become customers like Michelle Poteet and Ed Garcia, people who will likely never become customers, businesses and groups like Solar San Antonio. The positive experiences have far outweighed the negative.
But that doesn’t mean that everything is a walk in the park.
There are several reasons you don’t see many service industries on Twitter. When is the only time you really think about air conditioning (or plumbing, etc.)? When yours is broken. It’s not sexy (in a non-sexual connotation) to talk about air conditioning. I understand that. Twitter is fueled by water-cooler material, not a tidbit about an energy-efficient AC unit. Yesterday was a perfect example of that. Twitter was non-stop with rumors and speculation about Tony Parker and Eva Longoria, and the tweets weren’t about which AC unit they have in their home.
So what does that mean? It’s an uphill battle to gain followers, for one, which is something I imagine many small businesses go through. Luckily I work for someone more concerned with quality than quantity. Not everyone is so lucky. If the only concern with social media is ROI, that’s going to be a problem. Small businesses need to think about Twitter as a long-term, customer service investment of their time.
Saying all that, I like to focus on the positive aspects of Twitter. You know, the things that make me smile and come back. Things like Donna Tuttle’s puns, Dawn Cole’s way with words, Sammis & Ochoa’s daily inspirational quotes, and Brett Baker’s takes on Twitter etiquette. If we eventually talk about air-conditioning or energy efficiency, that’s great. If not, at least we got to talk. That’s what it’s all about, right?
(Want to talk on Twitter? Let Dale know what you think. We’re @ChampionAC.)
Ben is a retired Combat Controller with the United States Air Force. He started Champion AC in 2007. Ben is originally from the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He is happily married and an avid fan of the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Saints.