Seriously, we need to talk.
For the past few days, the site's been going through another of its infamous "Twitter's down again, isn't it?" spells. These problems always lead to grumpiness from many of those using Twitter, and the inevitable "where else could we go?" discussion pops up. This time, many decided to launch a "Twit-Out" and avoid Twitter entirely on Tuesday.
And these constant problems are what we need to talk about. Many of us understand why Twitter is down. We get that the site is trying to meet demand and is having trouble scaling. But what many of us do NOT understand is why Twitter is keeping us in the dark about the process.
So here's my request to the good people at Twitter: Start actually using the service.
Think of how many Dell reps are on Twitter. You can't swing a bad pitch without hitting one. But where are the Twitter employees using the service as we do? What would happen if just 2 people from Twitter were on the site evangelizing and engaging Twitter users? GeekMommy said it best:
But I'm still of the opinion that they really need a community representative whose sole job is to interact with the Twitter community and make sure things like yesterday's outages and issues are understood.
Twitter is a great service & their people work hard - but it doesn't come across that way when there's nothing but static on the airwaves.
Here's a BIG secret for businesses that deal with negative comments by users/customers online; most of that negativity comes from the fact that we think that you aren't valuing or listening to what we have to say. Start actually engaging us, and the volume of negativity will go WAY down.
Just ask Dell.
So that's my advice to Twitter. Take a few bucks from those millions you've just raised on funding, and hire a community evangelist that will help bring the voice of the community back to Twitter, and vice-versa. Or if you don't want to do that, there are MANY Twitterers that would volunteer to be the voice of the community for you. Here's one.
So Twitter, don't be afraid to reach out to us. While we complain when you are down, we love the service and really want to see it do well. But we can't tell you that if you won't listen.
Twitter users, what say you? Would you feel better about the constant problems if Twitter was active in the space and giving us feedback and support? Or should we all shut up and take it, since it's a free service?
Mack Collier is a social-media strategist based in Alabama. He helps companies build programs and initiatives that let them better connect with their customers and advocates. His podcast, The Fan-Damn-Tastic Marketing Show, discusses ways that brands can turn customers into fans. His first book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies That Turn Customers Into Fans, was published in April 2013 by McGraw-Hill.
LinkedIn: Mack Collier