Tweet your sustainability

Reading this article on brands that use Twitter to promote their products and launch an ongoing conversation with their customers, we got inspired to do a bit of research.

Charles Redell wonders if sustainable brands should tweet, on the basis of a study by Nielsen & Co. that concludes “the average time per person spent on soclail networking sites increased 67 percent from May 2008 to May 2009″.

David Raycroft, vice president of product strategy at San Francisco-based startup Milyoni, seems to agree: “If you are not engaging in these member communities, you’ve already lost control of the conversation,” .

The article mentions Ford tweets, a giant corporation that spends a great deal of time replying to other users’ comments about their cars and new releases:

@Dragonbelly1 Whoa, whoa, whoa. What you mean “don’t like Ford”? Are we really that bad? ;-) ^SM

You may also have heard of Zappo’s case. This shoes brand started tweeting collectively through more than 400 employees. With thousands of followers, this social media initiative helped the company increase their sales in a 20%.

Dell is a corporation learning from its mistakes. After Dell Hell, they seem to have understood the power of costumer influence, and besides creating Direct 2 Dell and Ideastorm, Dell now tweets. They let you know about offers and discounts and get to hear your opinions and ideas live.

Another brand that is listening to their clients’ ideas is Starbucks, though their story is much different. Here it’s a company that aimed at complying with different sustainability standards from the get-go and one that might be consider a clear example of enterprise 2.0. They use Twitter to boost the impact of My Starbucks Idea, a community where you can suggest your own idea to improve the coffee experience.

here’s a list of some of the ideas we launched in the past week – look for them at your local Starbucks! http://bit.ly/Haveu

And even Kogi Korean, a Korean-bbq-tacos truck company is using Twitter to let its followers know where they can buy cheap dishes in every corner of Los Angeles they stop by.

What about your brand? Are you already twitting?
It certainly is an opportunity to take the first steps towards becoming enterprise 2.0, and even to test the power of some of your sustainable development actions. But as they quote on the article by Redell, remember: “You can develop an audience through transparent communities, but you still have to have a good product.”

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