Today’s blogpost is gonna be short and sweet. Well, I thought it would be short and sweet when I started writing.

It has to do with brand communication on Twitter, and some of my personal experiences and pet peeves.

It makes sense that every business big and small has an online presence on social media.

We are at a point where some people don’t even call or email their friends anymore. They communicate through Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Snapchat.

And now we communicate with companies the same way.

Sometimes instead of calling a customer service line or sending an email through the company’s website we will send them a tweet or post to their wall.

I have done it.

And it is through these interactions with companies that we can see which ones have the better customer service skills.

For example, I recently saw a sponsored post on Facebook from Target advertising a sale on DVDs. For some reason I ended up in the comments section where people were posting their concerns about the availability of certain titles online and in stores.

Target would respond back to concerns with the exact same response to every single person, no matter what the concern was. And that response always directed them to a link on their website where they could send an email about their problem.

That is shitty service if you ask me.

Some of the questions being asked could have easily been answered right in the comments. In fact, there were other people answering the questions even after Target responded. And sometimes the answer did not favor Target at all and instead sent customers to other competitors.

There is also the example of Wendy’s roasting people on Twitter.

At first glance this seems like some great customer service. Wendy’s is firing personal responses to people based on fast food tweets. It entertains people and gets people to like them!

But scroll through their Twitter feed and you will not see responses to people that have actual concerns. They would rather make jokes than take care of the people actually eating there.

I tweeted a concern to Wendy’s on February 23rd that has still gone unanswered. So I had to go the old fashioned route and send an email.

Now it is worth noting that there are quite a number of companies that excel at communication on social media.

And here is one example from today…

I tweeted a question about SIM cards with the intention of just having anyone answer it. Even if I got an answer from some random Joe that made sense I would have been happy.

Less than a minute later AT&T responded with a tweet that provided a link that specifically answered my question. The answer to my question was a little in depth depending on the specific situation so they had to link to a page instead of answering in the tweet. They even called me by my first name in the tweet.

But here is the important part.

They linked to the exact section of their website that answered my specific question. They did not link to the front page of their customer service section and tell me I can find the answers there, which I have seen companies do. I did not have to search for anything after I clicked the link.

I know an argument can be made that we shouldn’t rely on social media to communicate our questions and concerns with companies.

And I agree to a point.

I have often found it is faster and easier just to call an 800 number or send an email. I could have easily Googled the question that I posted today and found the answer with a little bit of browsing around.

But if your company is going to have a social media presence, you better be prepared to use that as another channel for actual communication with your customers.