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Brands can use social media to earn trust

June 24, 2010

Remember when 1-800 numbers were a craze? On a Kit Kat package, was this message:

Questions? Comments? Call 1-800-Kit-Kat4.

(Note: no one called. No one cared. This wasn’t a connection, this was semi-ridiculous).

Fast forward to Twitter, and an article like this.

“(Reuters) – Brands that use microblogging sites like Twitter to provide real-time responses to the public are winning a higher degree of trust from consumers, according to a study by a leading public relations firm”

This is the first paragraph:

“Some 75 percent of people surveyed said they view companies that microblog — sending short, frequent messages on sites like Twitter or status updates on social networks like Facebook — as more deserving of their trust than those that do not, according to a survey by Fleishman-Hillard, conducted with market research firm Harris Interactive.”

So, there’s more going on here than just Twitter, right?

It’s the expectation of response that’s changing. In a post called “Twitter: a cultural shift?“, I wondered about exceptions:

“But bigger than this is the notion that real-time conversations can start without being actively sought. And this is the change in the web. The ability to comment on things not specifically meant for us. And then get in accidental conversations, where the catalyst wasn’t really the post, but the tool. That is what Twitter has brought us. A shift in the way we think of discourse online.”

(emphasis not in original)

The point is that Twitter changed Facebook and Linkedin. And it might just have changed the manner in which we interact with brands. We never did call their 1-800. We never really went to their online brochures (aka websites). Not because they weren’t good tools, but more likely because they weren’t used right. It’s almost impossible to set up a Twitter feed and use it wrong. If people comment about a brand, it’s simply a matter of hitting respond. And since brands have never really been that responsive, the shift makes the ones who play different.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 27, 2010 2:56 am

    I couldn’t agree more. Social Media is the new 800 numbers.

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