I’m a Twitter addict.
There, I said it (not that my wife didn’t already know).
Even before social media became a primary driving force for breaking news, I was a self-admitted media junkie who consumed as much (often sensationalized) information I could get my hands on. From Bloomberg and CNN to ESPN.com and Yahoo Finance, I would soak up as much news as I could. Then, I discovered Twitter and that changed everything!
Twitter became my one-stop source for world, financial, business and sports news – following the Twitter feeds of @CNN, @AJC, @ChicagoCubs, @VikingsFootball and @IlliniFootball just to name a few. Then I started following local restaurants to see their new specials and deals and fellow SEO professionals to get their take on the latest in search engine marketing news. To say the least, the 10 columns (that include certain hashtag searches for #SEO #Vikings #Cubs, etc.) on my Tweetdeck dashboard keep a steady influx of tweets coming my way throughout the day.
The Negatives of Twitter
Twitter is an excellent source for news if you’re following reputable sources, however there are some negatives of Twitter. A couple of months ago one of the downsides of Twitter showed its ugly face. During the weeks of speculation leading up to the purchase and departure of the Atlanta Thrashers NHL team to a group in Winnipeg, multiple fake Twitter accounts claiming to be associated with local media outlets reported phony news about secret meetings between the NHL, the Mayor of Atlanta and other Atlanta Spirit Group stakeholders about keeping the team in Atlanta. As a hockey fan who wanted the Thrashers to stay, these fake reports along with Twitter “trolls” from Winnipeg who taunted Thrashers fans during the weeks leading up to the team’s sale, exhausted my interest and made me sign off of Twitter for several days until real news broke on the situation.
The Positives of Twitter
There are definitely a lot of positives of Twitter. Twitter is quite useful for more than just news consumption. When used properly, Twitter is a powerful marketing tool for companies to keep potential and existing customers up to date on their products and offers and for general public relations. Aside from the marketing aspect, I’ve recently come to find that Twitter can be a consumer’s problem solver!
On a recent trip back from my native state of Illinois, my flight home was delayed several hours because Delta Airlines didn’t have a plane available. I have a more-than-painful travel history when it comes to flying and this certainly wasn’t the first time I’ve had problems with Delta, so like any good user of Twitter, I took my disgruntled thoughts to TwitterVerse.
Within minutes, Delta’s Twitter account for assistants (@DeltaAssist) was following me and replied to my tweet offering assistance if I sent my confirmation number to them via Direct Message. I, of course, obliged and after several direct message exchanges @DeltaAssist got my wife and I and our 10 month old (in arms) booked in the last two seats on another flight home. Because of this Twitter interaction, we made it home safely a full 2.5 hours before our originally scheduled flight!
More and more companies are establishing these types of assistance accounts to help put a focus on customer service. So the next time you’re dissatisfied, voice your opinion on Twitter by sending a Tweet at the company… and keep it classy!