CEO Guide to Microblogging

How Companies Use Twitter to Bolster Their Brands

BusinessWeek

A growing number of companies are keeping track of what’s said about their brands on Twitter. Comcast (CMCSA), Dell (DELL), General Motors (GM), H&R Block (HRB), Kodak (EK), and Whole Foods Market (WFMI) are among a handful of companies haunting Twitter to do everything from burnish brands to provide customer service. The attention to Twitter reflects the power of new social media tools in letting consumers shape public discussion over brands. "The real control of the brand has moved into the customer’s hands, and technology has enabled that," says Lane Becker, president of Get Satisfaction, a Web site that draws together customers and companies to answer each other’s questions and give feedback on products and services.

Begun in 2006, Twitter is a pioneer of microblogging, a way for users to keep others informed of their current status by way of text messaging, instant messaging, e-mail, or the Web. Other services that have followed suit include Jaiku, Pownce, FriendFeed, and Plurk. At this stage, many brands are sticking to Twitter, which has amassed a larger number of users. While Twitter doesn’t release exact numbers, estimates range from 1 million to 3 million users.

 

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