Twitter Tweeting Brands Coke, Ford, Mattel, Dell, stephen colbert

The debate this month asks readers to weigh in on this question, “How will Twitter affect brands?”

They go on to say,

Twitter–it’s everywhere, all the time. As the branding industry continues to harness the power of the internet, social networking, Web 2.0 and online branding, the latest phenomenon to arrive on the scene is Twitter–that up-to-the-second, ‘I’m eating a ham sandwich’ digital stream of consciousness that allows everyone to know what anyone participating is doing.

But really, does Twitter matter to brands? Should brands simply ignore Twitter and regulate it to the trash bin of technological fads? Or should brands embrace Twitter because it offers an unprecedented level of interaction with consumers and an opportunity to build brand loyalty and recognition–and if so, how?

To one extent, I find this to be a very timely and valid question for brands. As Twitter continues to grow at breakneck speed, more and more brands are being thrown into the conversation (regardless of whether or not the brands themselves are participating in that conversation). From that perspective, my best piece of advice is this: Start listening and decide the best course of action for your brand. But to shrug off Twitter as a passing fad could prove to be a costly misstep for your brand.

On the other hand, as I continue to think about this question, the more I start to think that this is the wrong question. Yes Twitter has been attracting a lot of attention lately and yes there are a lot of celebs on Twitter. But what’s more important than Twitter’s affects on brands is Twitter’s affect on consumers.

How Will Twitter Affect Consumers?

That’s the question I’m asking you. Are Twitter and other social media outlets having an affect on consumers?

My answer would be yes. So far it would appear that Twitter and other micro-channels of social media are creating a new breed of consumers that expect to be heard, listened, and responded to, whenever and wherever they are communicating. A recent example of these consumers in action can be seen in the uprising against the Tropicana packaging redesign, which was quickly restored to it’s original carton design. And let’s not forget the headache moms gave Motrin.

Even beyond these big examples, there are micro-interactions that happen everyday in real-time. All you have to do is watch @Comcastcares or anyone from Zappos or anyone from Dell to see these micro-examples in action.


So how will Twitter affect consumers?

Share your thoughts below or comment on Twitter with a link to this post. (All tweets linking to posts are being pulled into the comments section.)

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