Over the past 5 years social networking has been gradually working its way from being the pet project of full time internet users; to changing the way people interact with themselves or more importantly: Corporate America. Sites like Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, etc. have all gained the attention of Corporate America due to the high potential of ad revenue that each site possesses. With each site having more than a million members interacting with each other, (and subsequently the website) daily users are constantly interacting with banner ads, flash movies, quizzes and polls that seek to get their attention and influence their shopping habits in specific ways. Recently however, there has been an evolution in the online social networking process. What if businesses could not only inform users of their products; but also offer support at the lightning fast pace that internet users have grown accustomed to? Enter Twitter.
Founded in 2006, Twitters intent was to capture the rapid fire, text messaging style of conversation that showed popularity with cell phone and Instant Message applications. This would allow users to quickly ‘Tweet’ throughout the day, letting other users see what they were up to or communicate quickly through the website. It wasn’t long before companies realized that Twitter might be an interesting way to augment and improve the support services they already offered clients. Companies like Comcast & DISH have found that by monitoring Tweets (for keywords regarding problems in service, outages, customer service reps, etc.) they are able to respond to issues at an almost proactive pace; something that has many a consumer smiling, considering the age old experience of lengthy wait times and 800 numbers.
It is encouraging to see that Social Networking technology is evolving to not just be a way to find out what your co-workers favorite movies are; but to change the way that Corporate America can interact with the Web 2.0 generation.