There’s an entertaining article today over on the ClickZ network called “Participating in the Visible Backchannel” by Dave Evans. That fabulous phrase, “visible backchannel,” was coined by Ymena Magnum, product line manager of Cloud Computing at Sun.
In the article, Dave started by saying how important it was that a company’s marketing and operations are aligned - because the speed with which information spreads about brands is exponential. He referenced a brand survey conducted on Twitter by Peter Sorgenfrei and Warren Sukernek (a colleague of mine from the Marqui days, with whom I recently reconnected on Twitter), where Twitterers profiled their expectations about brands within Twitter.
Turns out I participated in the brand survey, the results of which were published last week. Here are the highlights (directly from Twittermaven):
- Not surprisingly, most users (89%) agree that brands should engage their customers on Twitter. The majority also have a better impression of brands that use Twitter for customer service (81%).
- Proper usage of Twitter however, is paramount as almost 90% of users would frown upon poor or inappropriate brand use of Twitter.
- The power of a relationship is extremely strong on Twitter. 60% of respondents would recommend a company based on their presence on Twitter and 80% of Twitter users will reward those brands they have key relationships by being more willing to purchase from them.
- Influencers: More than 60% of respondents have 100+ followers and almost 50% of respondents have posted more than 1000 Tweets since they signed up for the service.
So back to Dave’s article… in it he recounted several interactions with the Starbucks brand in real life and in the digital world (they’re blending more and more). Starbucks is on Twitter, and helped him with a problem he was encountering in the stores. (Head on over and read it, you’ll probably have experienced something similar to the stories he told.)
Anyway, he summed it up perfectly for me:
“As you consider the social Web and the impact it has on your brand, consider the survey’s audience: 60 percent are male and the largest age concentration (just over 41 percent) in the 35 to 44 age group. It’s a decidedly mainstream audience, meaning that channels like Twitter are not fringe or youth.
The social Web, and Twitter in particular, can provide valuable, actionable insight. Ignore at your own peril. Get involved, participate, and take the time to assess your organizations’ ability to consistently deliver an excellent experience — across the entire frontline — in service of the brand you’re building.”