I had seen a tweet just 30 minutes before it was to begin which reminded me of one I had seen the day before. The subject was “Social Media and Customer Service – Working Together for a Better Bottom Line”. Amber Cleveland and her blog @Amber Cleveland WordPress explains a bit more.
The invitation was this:
“Join the social media tweetchat at 1pm ET, Wednesday, March 9th. The hashtag for this conversation is #SMChat”
And the questions which were going to be asked:
- What is the best practice to develop customer service policy that includes social media?
- How do you train your team to provide customer service using social media?
- How do you take your customer service to the next level using social media?
- What are the competitive advantages that can be gained by providing customer service via social media?
So, I ignored the kids here at home (was 7pm start for me here) and cranked up my Hootsuite, added a feed filtering on the hashtag and immediately saw the first people “introducing” themselves to the gathering crowd. People like @SourcePOV, @SMSJoe, @thehealthmaven, @blogbrevity and more sent their “hellos” all followed by the #smchat tagline so everyone could follow. Who are these people and what kind of funny event will this be? I had heard of twitter chats before, or better I had read people reports (like this) of their fun on a twitter chat but I really could not image what would follow.
Just after the hour started @ambercleveland posted the first question to the Twittersphere and the race began. It started a bit slow around the first question and I hesitated from my comfortable, observer role before making my first tweet with the said identifier. But once I did and the first RT (retweet) of my comment appeared a few seconds later I felt more at ease. The second question came and the chatter or better twittering increased in speed and I began wishing I could type faster. Adding ‘@’ and ‘#’ within my lines is not a regular exercise and I felt really slow, but that did not matter. Even when the second question was well underway others were still joining and commenting on the first. This did not seem to bother anyone.
By the time the third question came and went I saw a tweet I had to also RT
I have no idea who @eamcc but I could imagine they were sitting there with a cup of tea untouched for the entire hour. I tweeted about 24 times that hour, more than I have in most DAYS. I learned a few things during this exercise.
- I don’t type fast enough
- A good twitter tool is a must
- Don’t worry that the stream doesn’t read like a book. I am back at it a day later to capture some of the raisins.
- Be polite to the others but also be challenging. This really gets the conversation going.
- Use retweeting or direct messaging to add importance or get a sidebar going.
- Things may be crazy fast, reading, replying, retweeting but the tea can be remade.
- New contacts will be made and who knows in the heat of it where that will lead to.
Will I do this again? You betcha I will.
Updated: added the transcript now that I know how. And now I know who is behind @eamcc.