Some of our friends know that I worked at a French restaurant for 9 years. I appreciate service. Yesterday we met with Jenn from The Drake Hotel to give her our take on twitter and our thoughts on how they could use it. Here's the follow-up email I sent Jenn today, which is based on the notes I made in preparation. Read more...
It was really nice meeting you yesterday. Thanks for having us over and being so generous, we appreciate it a lot. I noticed you didn't get a chance to jot down much of what we were talking about, so here's a recap. The main point is to separate Listen from Talk - Service from Content - In from Out.
Find your obsession, pursue your obsession, only talk about your obsession, become the expert on your obsession. Be selfless, be generous and be supportive to the communities that you belong to. Focus this support on those who excel at what you value. Your obsession will lead you out of the walls of your brand. But people will always remember who pointed them in the right direction. A wall therefore becomes a door (if you get what I mean).
You can find great ways to promote yourself by referencing things outside of your brand. If you have an artist showing work, publish a link to someone who is obsessed with that artist's medium or subject matter. It could look something like "I'm glad @artist is showing tonight at 8pm. @obsessedexpert's piece on "X" is a critical read."
You don't have to be the center of attention all the time. Why would you want to be?
Empower your Twitter account. Don't assign this tool to interns or bureaucrats; only people who can make things happen. Your twitter account just became a technological concierge. Minimize your response time, respond to every question. DM if possible, only publish public replies if the question is asked consistently (sorta like an FAQ).
Let's admit that shit happens. A failed customer should be able to say: "I had a legitimate problem, and I contacted them (via twitter, or however), and my problem was resolved immediately, without red tape or hassles." Use experiences like that as evidence for your stakeholders.
Give things away. All the time. It's a busy saturday night. The message goes out:
"first person in line right now that tweets back to me gets line bypas."
"first person to respond gets a free drink."
"first person that tweets back gets a free pedicure from our resident drag queen - right here right now."
And finally, try not to solicit people on behalf of your employer unless you are contacted first. That type of stuff doesn't work anymore.
BUT - never be afraid to make a mistake :)
I think that was about it. If there's anything we can do for you, don't hesitate to ask. Helping good people is what we're all about.
What did you think of the advice that I gave Jenn? You can share your thoughts with me whenever you get a chance.