Twitter is a place where many brands interact effectively with consumers. While making relatable jokes and sending free stuff is all well and good, there’s a point where brands can get a little too friendly.
Ian Bogost, writing for The Atlantic, addressed a recent Twitter interaction with Comcast that went a little too far:
“It’s nice that Comcast is offering mobile phone service now,” I posted. “But until I can get Comcast delivery pizza I will remain empty inside.”
It wasn’t the best joke I’d made on the internet, but Comcast didn’t mind. The company saw my tweet and responded: “Hey Ian, you rang? DM us the address where you would like it delivered & we’ll make it happen.” I thought I was calling Comcast’s bluff by answering that I wanted gluten-free mushroom pizza, and that because I was a customer, the company should know my address. “Do your brand thang,” I quipped…
Then the pizzas arrived. Ten of them, from a local place that delivers gluten-free pies. I was surprised, which is exactly the outcome Comcast was after…
These new, personal bonds between companies and customers feel uncanny—the brands are not real human friends, exactly, but neither are they faceless corporations anymore.
But Bogost wasn’t buying it. His article points out the danger of a brand being too friendly. Customers don’t want brands to be distant and hard to reach, but they also don’t want you showing up at their house.
How then, can a brand be relatable without being scary? A good example of this is Denny’s – their Twitter content stands out because it is not the typical corporate Twitter account. Full of sarcasm, bad puns, and made-up dialogues, it seems more like the personal account of that one friend from college who’s really good at Twitter.
Another example is Wendy’s. Not because they’re particularly unique, although they do throw some shade at their competitors from time to time, but because they respond to almost every customer tweet. Using Twitter to resolve customer problems is a great way to ensure loyalty from consumers.
As you craft your brand’s Twitter presence, feel free to be friendly, personable, and quick to problem-solve. Just don’t show up on your customer’s doorstep with pizza.