The Grand Experiment of 2010…

BP supposedly employed 76 social mediaites pre-crisis. I wanted some verification of this claim, so as any social media user would do, I took to Twitter. If BP actually had 76 employees in social media, a timely response via Twitter seemed reasonable. So I waited and waited some more… and nothing. Even after repeated attempts, my question fell on deaf ears. BP doesn’t understand social media; that is, BP isn’t using it to engage their users and answer their questions. This could be one reason why they’ve had a PR nightmare on their hands. I might appear to be on a tangent or a rant, but I’m actually taking this somewhere.

Let the grand experiment begin


Here we go… After BP’s overall fail, I wondered how many other large corporations tout Twitter friendliness, but aren’t actually “Twitter friendly.” Lo and behold, I found a list on Mashable with the 40 Best Twitter Brands. The article seemed a bit like digital networking and corporate back rubbing, so I stopped at number 15. I took matters into my own hands from there. It was time to find out which of the 15 were worthy of being a “best” Twitter brand.


Some ground rules


Of the selected 15 companies, I asked questions that could easily be answered with nil to minimal research on their end. Each question was geared to the party of interest. For instance, I asked Adam Denison from Chevrolet, “What’s your favorite year for Camaro?” and for Scott Monty of Ford, I similarly asked, “What’s your favorite year for Mustang?” To any car enthusiasts out there, you would agree that this is a simple question to answer. But the results might surprise. Of the 15 companies I posed questions to, only 5 responded. Of those that responded, here’s how it went…


Best in show


Honda had a strong showing. I asked about ASIMO and got a response from their account and ASIMO himself. Pretty cool. They answered my question in a reasonable timeframe, and gave me more information about ASIMO. Honda’s Twitter campaign gets an A.


Better than run of the mill


Carnival gets this category all to themselves. Their response didn’t seemed canned, and they got back to me within 30 minutes of the original question. Time is critical for Twitter to be effective. Carnival’s Twitter gets a B from me.


Run of the mill


This somewhat dubious honor falls on two of the respondents… Hertz and JetBlue.
Hertz sent a decent response, but that was only after I examined what they were actually saying. I realize 140 characters is a tough set of criteria, but if your message comes out confusing then you lose the value of Twitter in the long run.
JetBlue receives an average grade as well. They answered the question with no frills. Maybe I shouldn’t expect more, but I do. Nevertheless, I’m glad they responded.
Both Hertz and JetBlue receive Cs and extra medium shirts to boot.


Pick it up


Marriott, I realize Twitter might not be your thing, but it’s time to do something different. A can opener might as well have released their response. While I was glad to actually get some acknowledgment, a fake response doesn’t bode well for corporations. You have received a D, Marriott.


Get it together


What’s worse than a generic response? Not receiving a response at all. An F goes to all the companies who didn’t care about poor little me… They are the 10 companies below without a response date and time…


In conclusion


While I did this in the name of hack-science, weird fun, and bitter curiosity, I do not consider this scientific research. Think of these results as more of an indication of where the bar actually lies for large companies when it comes to Twitter. For those who fell short in the Grand Experiment, there is still time to change it around. That’s what’s so great about social media. You can turn it around with the right strategy in place. Whether you’re a big business or the corner store, always respond to customers. Need help getting started? Tweet me… I always get back.

If you feel liking trying this out on other companies, send me some screen-shots, a brief explanation, and what grade you think they deserve. I’ll post it for you. If you are one of the companies on the list that feel like you didn’t get a fair shake, let me know why, and I’ll see if I overlooked something.

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Category: Welt | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , 42 comments »

42 Responses to “The Grand Experiment of 2010…”

  1. Scott Monty

    Interesting experiment. But for Ford, maybe you should have tried @Ford instead of just me, as we have a team of people staffing the corporate account. If you saw my tweet earlier in the day of November 19, you wouldn’t have been surprised of a lack of response:

    “Coming off a redeye to attend an all-day strategic planning session. Boy, am I ready for the weekend.” http://twitter.com/#!/ScottMonty/status/5656623464841216

    To expect a single individual to handle every single tweet that comes at them is a little misguided. I do the best that I can on any given day, but even then, I can’t always answer every single comment or mention. As I go back to look for your original tweet, I can’t find it because Twitter has so many @ replies to archive for me.

    Scott Monty
    Global Digital Communications
    Ford Motor Company

  2. Steve Martin

    Sorry about that Scott,

    I just read this… http://mashable.com/2009/01/21/best-twitter-brands/ and had a higher expectation. But your point is perfectly valid. I only chose your name because you are the face of Ford on social media according to @mashable and I can understand how busy it can get.

    Thanks for the feedback

    Steve

  3. DV

    This is really cool. I’m not on twitter, but I find it interesting to see how different companies have approached social media….and how they stack up.

    I’m iffy about Honda being #1. As I recall, AIM had bots that could correspond with you as well….and that was 10 years ago. I’m all about the human element I suppose.

  4. Steve Martin

    DV

    Thanks for reading…

    Honda’s could be a bot. A clever bot at that. It was convincing enough for me to be okay with it, should it actually be a bot. I’m a big fan of the human element as well though.

    I think for large companies that should ultimately be the goal. Nobody wants to speak in 1s and 0s.

    Steve

  5. Alicia Jones

    Hi DV & Steve,
    Thanks for including us in your experiment and post. I can assure you that neither @Alicia_at_Honda nor @ASIMO are “bot” responses. Engagement is the point of course. In fact, all of our Twitter handles including @Honda, are managed by actual team members here at American Honda Motor Co., Inc.’s headquarters in Torrance, California.

    Best wishes,
    Alicia

  6. Steve Martin

    There you have it DV.

    Alicia it’s refreshing to see the human element. It seems like Honda is tough to beat in social media.

    Thanks for being engaged with us.

    Steve

  7. Jayme Soulati

    OK, this is about the most amazing research I’ve ever seen by a blogger. It also lends itself to a white paper, published article (don’t tell them you already published…well that won’t work), speaking presentation, and new business fodder.

    I am in awe with your effort here and highly impressed.

    I’ve been saying for months that corporations don’t care about social; and for sure they’re not engaging on Twitter. I tried to engage an auto body shop and learned it was a “managed account” by the guy’s agency (but his avatar was front and center).

    Still tons of lessons to be learned by business on creating community and a loyal following as grassroots ambassadors.

  8. Chris Theisen

    nteresting topic and interesting way you went about it, although very flawed. I have tweeted with and met Adam Denison in person. Curious how you picked his name out as the face of Chevrolet social media, since you contacted Scott for Ford. Adam does alot with Chevrolet socially but there are numerous others who would have been a better fit to ask the question. While Adam is tied into Chevrolet you contacted him on his personal account. As Scott suggested trying to contact the business account (@chevrolet) would have been the obvious choice for comparison to the other companies. Im not positive but Im assuming the @GMblogs account is more geared toward posting of the blogs than interaction but am still surprised at no response. In Adam’s defense he could get numerous mentions a day and not even see yours or the content of your tweet made him not realize your question needed responding. As the Camaro was just re-released in 2009 your question seems like it came from a classic car enthusiast and perhaps Adam isn’t into classic cars so he didn’t respond. I appreciate your efforts and like the premise but be careful of calling out brands with a less than optimal approach to what you are trying to accomplish.

    Chris Theisen
    Director of Digital Communications
    Hare Chevrolet

  9. Steve Martin

    Chris,

    Thanks for checking out the blog.

    I picked Adam Denison as the face of Chevy because that is how Mashable casts him on the article I was responding to http://mashable.com/2009/01/21/best-twitter-brands/

    I’m certain that Adam receives many tweets a day just like all the other companies. Maybe some slip through the cracks…

    Steve

  10. Patrick Barbanes

    Nice work. Don’t know why it’s so hard for “marketers” to wrap their heads around “social.” It’s not rocket surgery. I tweeted once that I was in unfamiliar area of town, hungry, looking for a nice place to have lunch. I expected some of my followers in the area to tweet me back with recommendations. Some did, but surprisingly, so did one area restaurant. I don’t know if they were following me, or if some search-term-alert went off in their restaurant’s war room. But the tweet back was less than personal: LOGO – @restaurant name – “Pass by for your first visit and enjoy any of our sandwiches, salads, pastas or any item from the breakfast menu at any time!” And this was a small, local business. Ah, well. At least they responded. But they could have had me at hello.

  11. Steve Martin

    Patrick,

    Agreed… a simple gesture of authenticity goes a long way. Even opening the tweet with a “hey” or “hello” is all it takes.

    Thanks for reading Patrick! We really appreciate it.

    Steve

  12. L.Gerstner

    Hey,

    Ford and Chevy, I think it is interesting that you are going after the approach of the informal study that was done here. It appears that this blogger did nothing more than what a customer or consumer would do. He saw you listed as having an extraordinary handle on Social Media on a blog that he trusted, and he reacted by following up, to see what was so great about it.

    Anybody knows that the greatest flaw that Social Media offers to big companies is the fact that they absolutely have to be diligent and responsive, or they risk what happened here.

    Look, Chris and Scott, you guys got some good press, and then it turned out you weren’t as good as your press would indicate. Instead of making excuses, why not improve?

    Maybe you should call the blogger that wrote this, he might have some ideas…

  13. Christopher Barger

    Hi there. Just wanted to point out something in Adam Denison’s defense (disclosure: I’m social media at GM and Adam and I have worked together frequently)… You sent the ask out on 11/19;

    – GM had its IPO on 11/18 and we were all in the middle of that;
    – Chevrolet was in the middle of launching Volt (which put all hands at Chevrolet on deck whether Volt was “their” program or not), and Adam finished up the IPO stuff to go on the road with the Volt;
    – He’s also transitioning to a new job with OnStar effective yesterday (Dec 1), so that was another thing taking up his time.

    Did you reach out to @Chevrolet at all, or just directly to Adam? Also – things at organizations do change often and rapidly — especially in the social space — and using a Mashable article from January 2009 as a guide to who to contact in November 2010 might explain some of the lack of reaction from some other folks in your experiment as well… 22 months in the web is an eternity, as you know.

    Of course we should all work harder to try and be as responsive as possible, and we don’t always hit the mark. But as Scott pointed out, sometimes even when you’ve got the right person at a brand, they have other responsibilities going on and can’t be consistently person-ing Twitter or the web. In Adam’s case, there were three things going on… sure that is so with some of the others.

    That said, it’s always good to get a reminder about trying to be more responsive. Thanks for the experiment and for calling some of us out! :-)

  14. Steve Martin

    Christopher,

    You do make a valid point. The article is definitely dated. I was thinking that maybe the companies chosen had taken that long stay to improve upon their social media status. In fact, many of them did.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Steve

  15. Adam Denison

    Thanks to Chris and Christopher for weighing in. I second their points as well as that of Scott Monty.

    You’re right, though, I should’ve responded. Failing to do so was a mistake on my part.

    I remember seeing your tweet, but when I went to check out your profile I didn’t see much there to give me context behind it. Given that the @bearcatscm account was lightly populated, and has only a handful of followers I mistakenly thought it was spam (which I get a lot of). Perhaps you created the account just for this experiment though.

    By the way, my favorite Camaro has to be the fifth generation (2010 and 2011 model years), but I love the first generation too. Nothing wrong with a 1969 Camaro!

  16. Meg

    Hmm… I’m not sure I’d call this “amazing” and “awe-inspiring” as a previous commenter did, but it’s an interesting experiment I’ve seen several people perform with different brands.

    But as Scott and Christopher have pointed out, to really test the strength of brands, reaching out directly to the brand accounts themselves across the board would have made the entire data set more accurate.

    As it was, you mixed brands with brand-associated personalities, and asked a different type of question to each one (some conversational, some informational, some with service questions, etc.), which further dilutes the data set.

    The commenter above says you did what any customer would do, and I think that’s fairly unlikely — you did what a marketer would do. :) If I was with one of these brands, it would take about a second and a half to click through and see that you were doing a little brand-poking test, or RTing your corporate account, or asking others to RT your corporate account.

    There are entire accounts on Twitter set up to try and get a response from celebrities on Twitter — all their @s are to “famous people” or brands they want stuff from. They and as a marketer, if I’m going to spend my time responding to someone, it will likely be an actual person with actual needs related to me or my product… not a vaguely spammy entity spitting out queries. :)

    Just my two cents. :) If you really want to do a test (and you kinda showed your hand with the term “bitter curiosity” about how empirical and objective this one might be ;) , tackle it with a bit of consistency… and then your conclusions will provide some real learning for both the brands and your fellow marketers.

  17. Chris Theisen

    @Steve I just read the article for the first time and Mashable casts Adam as the point person for certain vehicles not the face of Chevy. A quick look at his profile prior to sending the tweet would see his new bio states he is on the Volt PR team and now as Christopher stated is with On Star. To Scott Monty’s point and to yours about slipping through the cracks; depending on how one accesses Twitter they may not see every tweet (even ones that mention them specifically) due to the Twitter API not pulling EVERY tweet. If Adam were to use Hootsuite for instance he may miss someone even when they mention his name. Just using the Mashable article as your only point of reference and research was lazy on your part at best. To call this a Smackdown blog and that you are calling out these brands you should be called out for your less than thorough vetting of them prior to publically bashing them.

    @L. Gerstner not sure if you were talking to me or Christopher Barger. It appears it was me since you commented before Christopher. I work for a dealership and have no ties to GM or Chevrolet national in the social space. These are my own views and I have received no mention in that Mashable article. I am commenting as someone with understanding of the situation as I run our social accounts as the main part of my job. A true sense of the entire situation and the factors at hand needed to be presented so I spoke as someone with knowledge of how these things work but not as someone who works at GM or Chevy.

  18. Steve Martin

    Meg,

    As mentioned previously, Mashable’s article portrays Adam and Scott as the face of Twitter, which is the only reason I chose them. As you know, I’m a blogger. I thought this would be an interesting way to see how companies interact with their consumers. I tried to keep things as fair as possible to test Mashable’s report.

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

    Steve

  19. Steve Martin

    Chris,

    Mashable was my only point of reference because I was challenging their article. Thanks for commenting again.

    Steve

  20. Meg

    Hi Steve! Thanks for your thanks. :)

    But it’s not up to brands to measure up to a Mashable report — it’s up to brands to measure up to their own goals and promises. If anything, testing what Mashable reports will only serve to make Mashable accountable. :) And two years later, I think the statute of limitations on that one is long expired, especially in the technology industry.

    Your best bet is to find an article that wasn’t written two years ago, or do some research on brand websites to find how THEY are representing themselves, social media-wise. Then test their ability to respond in the context of what they’ve stated as their goals.

    Research needs to be at the heart of any testing methodology, or the results you get offer little in the way of learning.

    Thanks for responding!

  21. Steve Martin

    Meg,

    Technology does change rapidly. It appears that Mashable’s report is still consistent in its findings for some of the companies, even two years later. For the next round we will definitely take some of your suggestions into consideration.
    Thanks again.

    Steve

  22. Dr. Spaceman

    Meg,

    He’s a blogger, who responded like a customer. You’ve got to be kidding me! He read a blog, and tried them out. You and the rest of them (Adam not included, because he responded like someone who isn’t threatened by some criticism) need to get a grip, and just do better next time.

    Quit making excuses for a customer service failure. If they didn’t want criticism, and “poor methodology”, then these brands need to get off the Internet.

    Relax, no one wants your job!

  23. Steve Martin

    It seems that things are getting a little heated on here, so I’m going to clarify a couple of things. I think you can learn something from how Adam Denison responded to this criticism…

    He basically said he didn’t catch the tweet. He gave a reason why, then answered my initial question.

    It’s really that simple.

    Meg,

    You seem very concerned about the date the article was written. If these guys were as good as Mashable said nearly two years ago, then why is it so bad to see where they stand today?

    Everybody gets accolades and I wanted to know whether they were true or not. The criticisms you are leveraging against me are unfounded. I’m a customer and I wanted to know whether what Mashable was saying was worthy or not. I was doing what any good customer would do.

    Steve

  24. L.Gerstner

    C. Theisen,

    OK. Doesn’t change anything on my end. I still think it is relatively “bush league” to go after the way he went about it, instead of the results. If you want to dismiss what he discovered, great!

    But it seemed to be an informal look at the concept of “engagement”. If he probed deeper, what would he find? That big companies are using Social Media as another opportunity to make a sales pitch, instead of developing a relationship with consumers that are open to it? Would he find that many of these companies are ill-equipped to put their “butts on the windward edge”, and take whatever blows their way?

    I am looking forward to what this guy does next, if only for the reactions from guys who think he is the villain, instead of the victim of their poor process…

  25. Meg

    Whoa — I think I kept my tone pretty civil, so I’d appreciate the same thing in return. I didn’t accuse you of anything, Steve. I asked questions about your methodology. As a marketer, that’s gotta be a pretty common experience for you, no?

    (And it’s okay, guys — Steve can handle my questions just like brands can handle his in this post.)

    I don’t work for any of these brands, and I’m not interested in working for any of these brands. I’m a writer. This entire conversation has zero impact on my “job”, and I’m not defending what brands do or don’t do. The only ones I’ve ever even purchased anything from are Hertz and JetBlue.

    The fact is — and I hope we’re sticking with facts — the results of an “experiment” accrue value according to the integrity of the process. That’s science, not marketing.

    And turning things into false oppositions (villains, victims, etc.) doesn’t help you or the brands you’re talking to do anything better.

  26. Dr. Spaceman

    Meg,

    Did you say this?:

    “The commenter above says you did what any customer would do, and I think that’s fairly unlikely — you did what a marketer would do. If I was with one of these brands, it would take about a second and a half to click through and see that you were doing a little brand-poking test, or RTing your corporate account, or asking others to RT your corporate account.”

    Seems like an accusation to me. And this seems like a defense of the brands:

    “They and as a marketer, if I’m going to spend my time responding to someone, it will likely be an actual person with actual needs related to me or my product… not a vaguely spammy entity spitting out queries.”

    Why did you respond for the Brands, if people that agree with Steve can’t respond to you?

    I think Steve has been civil, cause he seems to work for this company, but I don’t have to be. You impugned his knowledge of how brands work, you were critical of his methodology, even though he stated that it was a hash, and you were wrong here-
    “But it’s not up to brands to measure up to a Mashable report — it’s up to brands to measure up to their own goals and promises.”

    It is the job of the brand, when they open a channel on the internet, to expect that someone might address them through it. They don’t get to decide “how that person does it”, they only decide how they respond. That’s how it works.

    There was no “false opposition” on Lou’s part. The blogger got on Twitter, in the normal way, went through the process, and got a bad result. He offered no villainy, only observation from inside the process. He was clearly left hanging.

    The only true and valid criticism you made was that this didn’t meet the standard of an “experiment”, but as he mentioned in the body of the blog, he never intended to. He was just curious to see what would happen.

    Just to make sure that I am not being “uncivil”, is it ok if I call you a “hypocrite”?

    How about an “apologist”?

  27. Steve Martin

    Okay, reel it in… Let’s do keep this civil. Meg is just giving her opinion. I appreciate the backup everyone, but everyone does have the right to respond on the internet.

    Meg,

    No offense intended. I really do appreciate you chiming in and adding to the energy of the blog. Hope you check back in to see if there’s anything else you disagree with in the future.

    Steve

  28. Leigh Durst

    Recent report from RightNow says this:

    58% of respondents expect a response to a comment on a social networking site like Facebook or Twitter.

    42% of these people expect a response within a day.

    Only 22% get any response at all.

    Obviously companies have far to go here. I wrote a post on Marketing Profs about Amazon’s poor use of social media to respond to point-of-need mentions recently. They are not alone.

    However, to credit Ford and Chevy here – just look at the awesome response from people who care! They’re human like anyone else and they’re trying to do the right thing. You’ve got NOTHING from other brands. :-) That’s where I’d probe further, and maybe make some noise (like I did with Amazon). I’d also add responses to your chart, since you did get one — though not perhaps “in channel.” It’s important to note that off channel responses are also somewhat common due to SM monitoring.

    I like the experiment here… However, I would challenge some of your assumptions and expectations a little. Beyond what I’ve already mentioned, I believe people’s expectations for response may be very different when inquiring with a central brand account (E.g. @chevy) than they would be for an inquiry to an individual working for a brand. Something to consider.

    @Scott, @Adam @Alicia @Chris – Kudos to you. You are an asset to the brands you serve. ;-)

    - Leigh

  29. Social Observer

    All,

    I’ve just recently begun following this blog, and I’m very intrigued by the results and reactions here. For the record, I also am not an employee of any of the involved companies.

    The point of this test, as I saw it, was simply to see how various corporations would handle social media interactions on a particular day. That’s it. Meg, I don’t mean to gang up on you, but I think your focus on the scientific value of the admittedly “hack science” experiment really misses the mark. I believe the intention here was to take a snapshot, not conduct a medical study.
    This lessons I took from this study are twofold:

    1) Although it would be nice, customers often do not approach us in the avenues we suggest or build for them. The @address may be wrong, the question may be worded poorly or seem silly, and unfortunately spam is an obstacle we all must face. The company that “wins” in social medial though, is the company that is prepared to meet and greet the customer regardless of the customer’s disposition or method of arrival.

    2) It’s never too late for a company to turn a “problem” around, and good handlers of social media can act swiftly. As a company owner, I love the way Adam handled his situation. Although the first tweet to him slipped through the cracks, that’s life. No person or system is perfect. Instead of arguing or making excuses like some others did, he addressed the issue, took responsibility (even if he might not have truly believed he was responsible), and moved on. Well done, Adam.

    Steve — keep up the interesting work. Regardless of who is “right” here…I’ve enjoyed the dialogue!

  30. Steve Martin

    Leigh,

    GM’s response to this was great… If you check out our Twitter conversations (@weltbrand) with GM today, they have been incredibly professional about the whole situation and have taken the criticism well. Instead of focusing on reasons why they didn’t respond, they took the high road and owned it as an area to improve upon. I think there can be some real lessons learned from that as far as brands are concerned with social media.

    I’d like to read your Amazon post, can you link?

    Thanks

    Steve

  31. Steve Martin

    Social Observer,

    Thanks for checking out the blog. It’s always great having new readers. Couldn’t agree more with your second point.

    Stay tuned, more stories to come.

    Steve

  32. Doug Haslam

    The problem I see with this is that it is damning (and praising) a few companies with a very small sample.

    It wouldn’t be too hard, and would take a little time, to look publicly at Twitter responses to various everyday individuals, and get at least a more representative (if not statistically valid) sample of what a companies’ average response time is.

    Another factor, perhaps not applicable to these companies (I don’t know, and I do understand you waited days fro some of these responses), but some astute companies post the hours they monitor their Twitter (and Facebook) channels- not a bad idea for setting expectations.

    I also second some of the notions above, such as the fact that this was clearly a marketing experiment (from my friend Meg) to those who looked deeply enough, and that the individuals targeted might not have been the best official brand representatives from whom to expect response.

    Great discussion here in the comments though (aside from the anonymous heckling/trolling)

  33. Leigh Durst

    Hi Steve,

    Here’s the link. It’s premium content so you have to sign up for the newsletter to get it… but if you don’t like what they offer, you may unsubscribe. :-)

    http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2010/4049/why-amazon-doesnt-understand-social-commerce

    Best,
    Leigh

  34. Steve Martin

    Doug,

    I don’t believe there was any damning of companies in this. I approached the companies through my consumer account. Everyone is focused on whether this was scientific or not. It’s not. Look at what Leigh shared. Consumers have high expectations and so do I. I just wanted to send them a few comments and see if they could respond. I took the findings and shared them.

    Steve

  35. Doug Haslam

    Please excuse my hyperbole. And perception counts– I’m not sure you were perceived as a marketer, but if one person saw it that way, others may have

  36. Dell

    Nice work Steve! I really like your work. Keep it up! Thanks for making my time behind a desk less boring…

  37. Steve Martin

    Thanks for reading Dell.

    Steve

  38. Danny Brown

    Hi Steve,

    Just wanted to say thanks for trying to keep the comments civil. Not a lot of bloggers do this, and it’s good to see you asking everyone to respect opinions.

    With regards the post and experiment, I think it’s fair to acknowledge that tweets will be missed, especially when your following is above a certain level. I know I have filters and groups in place for certain people and keywords, and the rest of my stream I’ll sweep to see if something pops up I should answer.

    So while it might be disappointing that some responded “better” than others, I also think it’s more to do with the fact that tweets were simply missed, as opposed to pure ignorance.

    Besides, everyone knows you base experiments on what ReadWriteWeb says as opposed to Mashable ;-)

    Have a great weekend, and thanks again for keeping it civil in here. Funny how it’s usually the ones with a fictional name that decry others the most…

  39. Steve Martin

    Hey Danny,

    Tweets do get missed. Regardless of the systems in place, human error will always be a factor. I just wanted to give a snapshot of indication. I think if anything can be learned from this, it’s that there is a right way and a wrong way for brands to respond to negative criticism on the web. To mitigate the negative effects, it seems owning errors is the best path.

    Thanks for joining us. You have some valid points here. Maybe Mashable was my biggest error, next time I’ll have to base it on ReadWriteWeb. :)

    Steve

  40. Dr. Spaceman

    Danny,

    I am Dr. Leo Spaceman-PhD Botany,Metallurgy

    Why would you think I am “fictional”?

    Spaceman is pronounced Spa-Chee-Man, it is Czech…

  41. Vadim Lavrusik

    Hi Steve,

    For transparency and accuracy of your “report,” it might be worth letting your audience know that the Top 40 Brands list from Mashable was compiled more than a year ago. The premise of this rests on a list that is outdated.

    Cheers,

    Vadim Lavrusik
    Mashable.com

  42. Steve Martin

    Vadim,

    The “report” was transparent. I described the methodology in full length, admitted the faults of the research, and in the comments I addressed the date of the article. As you know, a year plus is an eon in the digital community. But don’t you think that if these companies were really the 40 best, they would have used that time to further their cases?

    I admitted in the article that this wasn’t the most accurate study, but just a blogger’s snapshot in time.

    I think the real issue with transparency and accuracy is that Mashable never told why the 40 best Twitter brands even made the list. I would be interested in seeing the criteria for choosing the 40 companies.

    I’d like to discuss this. Let me know if you have time.

    Thanks.
    Steve


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