Listening to every Tweet up in the Clouds

Filed in by Angela Bartels | October 9, 2009 8:13 am

I attended the 140 | Twitter Conference in LA[1] a couple of weeks ago, hosted by the Parnassus Group. The purpose was to bring the Twitter community together – novice and experienced – to discuss how they are using Twitter, what it means for your brand, best practices and tools and what we believe the future of Twitter will be.


There were many high profile individuals there that avidly use Twitter including – Levar Burton[3], Tony Hawk[4], Tyrese Gibson[5], Dr. Drew[6], Guy Kawasaki[7] among others. Biz Stone[8], co-founder of Twitter[9] and motivational speaker, Tony Robbins[10], did the Keynotes. And yes, we had a guest appearance from Pee Wee Herman[11] himself and witnessed his first Tweet.

Twitter has opened a whole new avenue of communication between businesses and their clients. The Rackspace Cloud has been an early adopter of Twitter and we continue to utilize this platform to listen to what our customers are saying as well as share useful information with our followers.

Many large companies are utilizing Twitter – Best Buy[12], Starbucks[13], Southwest Airlines[14]. Unlike these companies, you cannot walk into your nearest Rackspace office and speak to a rep in person (although if you were in San Antonio, you could). Rackspace, from the beginning, wanted to change the “accepted” way customer service was being done in this industry. We have made ourselves easily and always accessible – and the experience should always be fanatical. We have long-term personal relationships with our customers and we don’t even meet most of them in person! Twitter has allowed us to engage with customers at an exponential level.

When using @rackcloud[15], here are a few rules of thumb we follow:

· Be Real We are a unique group of individuals with lots of different interests, talents, and quirks. We are not afraid to show them.

· Be Transparent – Do not be afraid to engage customers directly, honestly, and openly.

· Engage – We believe Twitter is a 2-way communication channel, not a one way.

· Highlight customers, and their experiences– This is really what it’s about.

· Share valuable information – Not just about us but industry related information that’s useful & helpful.

As we grow, more and more clients are talking about us on Twitter – mostly brand and product related but there are times when a customer tweets about a technical issue. We offer 24/7 live chat, phone and email support and it is very important that customers utilize these channels of communication for both security purposes and to ensure a timely response for their particular support needs.

The most important key elements are #1 Set Expectations – While Twitter is a great tool to listen to clients, it is not a substitute for a technical support channel, #2 Always publicly respond– We are listening and it’s important that the community knows we are listening and genuinely care.

You may have read the recent post from Chris Brogan[16] – it’s a great justification that what we do works.

  1. 140 | Twitter Conference in LA:
  2. [Image]:
  3. Levar Burton:
  4. Tony Hawk:
  5. Tyrese Gibson:
  6. Dr. Drew:
  7. Guy Kawasaki:
  8. Biz Stone:
  9. Twitter:
  10. Tony Robbins:
  11. Pee Wee Herman:
  12. Best Buy:
  13. Starbucks:
  14. Southwest Airlines:
  15. @rackcloud:
  16. post from Chris Brogan:

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