Twitter for Customer Service? Fortune Puts it to the Test

The answer to a customer service question should always be accurate, as simple as possible while still covering the problem completely and it should arrive in a timely manner.

For most companies, this means running customer service phone lines or responding to email, but some intrepid explorers are giving Twitter a whirl. It’s a logical step, seeing as how people love to use Twitter to complain about companies, so why not use the same method to turn the consumer around?

The folks at Fortune decided it was time to put this new option to the test, so they took their problems to eight companies known to have customer service agents manning Twitter. They dealt with banks, airlines, shopping sites and even got technical assistance for their cable TV. In each case, they delivered the question by Twitter, Phone and through the company website.

Facebook Won’t Go Steady With Only One Phone

The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is really heating up. Today, it’s all about Mark Zuckerberg and his plans for mobile phone domination.

For a long time, it’s been rumored that Zuckerberg was backing a Facebook-branded cell phone, but the man says it’s not going to happen. Instead of going steady with only one manufacturer, Facebook is going to play the field, working to develop increased social networking capabilities in all the top brands.

Sticking with the software side of the business seems like a pretty smart move. Facebook may technically be a “tech” company, but electronics is a little out of their line. By spreading the love around, Facebook will further cement their social media domination and that’s gotta be a bigger money maker for them than a warehouse full of phones with a big blue F on the case.

Behavorial Advertising Takes Another Hit from Washington

This morning, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) was named chairman of a new Judiciary subcommittee for Privacy, Technology and the Law. The list of activities that the committee will oversee is a long one and it includes the collection of information for behavioral advertising and privacy in social networks.

Says Franken:

“The boom of new technologies over the last several years has made it easier to keep in touch with family, organize a community and start a business. It has also put an unprecedented amount of personal information into the hands of large companies that are unknown and unaccountable to the American public. As chairman of this new subcommittee, I will try to make sure that we can reap the rewards of new technology while also protecting Americans’ right to privacy.”

Twitter Makes (More) Money

Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo said that the service is “already making money.” But as the reporter for The Wall Street Journal pointed out, he didn’t specify whether that was income or profit.

Let’s go with profit, as Twitter is now poised to raise the cost of their Promoted Trends from $70,000 to $80,000 a day to a potential $120,000 a day. Since the ad space routine sells out, it sounds like a case of what the market will bear. Now all Twitter has to do is find a way to personalize the delivery so they can sell more than one trend slot a month.

More Men Than Women Use Location-Based Services

In a short period of time, location-based applications have become common place to the point where most of us don’t even think about it when a search engine suggests a store in your neighborhood when all you typed was pizza. Location sharing sites such as Foursquare and Gowalla, however, still make some of us think twice. Some of us being, those who have been known to wear a skirt.

According to a study reported on by eMarketer, 77% of women said that when it came to using location-based services, they were concerned about stalking. Surprisingly 60% of the men shared their fear but it didn’t stop them being the most active location-based service users.

As you can see from the chart, 70% of the men 18-34 use a location-based service compared to 64% of the women.

Facebook Pages Upgrade is a Boon for Marketers

Facebook is making a big push over the next few weeks to get all fan pages over to their new layout. You can choose to do it now or wait for it to be forced upon you in March, but don’t wait. This upgrade is huge for marketers. Here’s why.

Many businesses have Facebook Fan Pages which is great if you have lots of followers coming to you. But when you went outside of your page and left comments on others, those comments linked up to your profile not your page. Until now.

The new page update has a very powerful toggle in the right sidebar that allows you to surf Facebook as your personal profile or as your page.  That means that, like blog commenting, you can now leave comments all over Facebook that lead back to your business (page) instead of back to you.

Oops! Mobile Users Don’t Mean to Click

Oops, I did it again, and again and again. Me and forty-seven percent of mobile application users who responded to a recent Harris Interactive survey click on mobile ads more often by mistake than we do on purpose.

That’s a lot of wasted coin-for-click and as Mobile Marketer points out in their review of the situation, it’s got to stop.

With the high incidence of accidental clicks, advertisers cannot continue to use traditional online ad units and measurement models – namely banners and click-through rates – as a way to deploy and measure the success of mobile campaigns.

We all know that each medium demands its own specialized form of advertising, and with it, system of measurement, but we continue to treat mobile as if it were just a tiny version of the internet. It’s not. People do things on their phones that they don’t do online and vice versa.