Dear Mom, I Enlisted in the Twelpforce

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@TwelpforceThis week marked the official launch of Best Buy’s @Twelpforce, which allows customers to connect with regular employees for questions and support with products and services they are looking at, or have already bought.

TechCrunch has been very positive on the idea of connecting customers with employees, calling it, “a phenomenal way to engage with Twitter users and social media in general.”

I’ve had an opportunity to join in on the experience as a Geek Squad Agent, and it’s been eye-opening in just how powerful the idea is. I’ve seen hundreds of customer-employee interactions since the launch, and it’s wonderful to see how welcomed the responses are by the public.

I think the thing that makes this idea so unique is that it’s not just another contact point for a company public relations team. Instead, it’s made up of regular employees from around the world, 700+ at last count. The expectation for participation, according to the publicly-available website is that @Twelpforce members, “just have to be curious, proactive, and helpful- much of the same stuff you do everyday.”

I look forward to more @Twelpforce twittering in my future!

How Twitter Could Manage “Pro” Accounts

TwitterTwo themes I see in a number of recent Twitter stories talk about how the company needs to find a way to generate revenue, as well as how businesses can use Twitter to reach out to their customers. There’s already talk of Twitter creating “professional” accounts, but critics wonder what features they could offer for business clients.

After thinking about it, one of the first suggestion I have would be the creation of a Twitter account infrastructure to allow multiple sub-accounts. Often, the marketing teams of companies will have multiple employees all using the same account, which can create security and tracking issues. Twitter should allow the creation of sub-accounts, all with their own login requirements for each employee, that could post on behalf of the main account.

Another feature Twitter could offer would be extra security for professional accounts that tracks posting behaviors in order to detect and prevent hacks and hijacks. High-profile Twitter accounts are a prime target for bad guys to try and take over for their own use, so having a system that could detect logins and password changes from suspect sources would be a great benefit for the credibility of that account.

I’m sure there will be plenty of other features available, such as increased data tracking features (like number of views from non-follower sources), but the above are two that I could see to be key for the growing professional Twitter market.

Dancing with the Stars – Judges vs Twitter

After last night’s results, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dancing with the Stars producers start taking a closer look at marketing on Twitter.

Steve Wozniak and dance partner Karina Smirnoff received the lowest score recorded in six seasons of the show by the dance judges, yet still ended up in the top 3 couples thanks to huge viewer phone, text and web voting results.

Woz genuinely seemed surprised when the results were announced last night, “when that came, my world turned in an instant…I was crying. I still have tears a little.”

The tech media is pointing to not only tech news sites and blogs as the source of Woz’s popularity, but from the groundswell of support on the microblogging phenomenon of Twitter, with groups such as @votewoz and @geeksforwoz heading the charge.

Whether Woz will be able to continue to rely on his fans will be interesting to see, as next week will have a double elimination, sending two contestants home instead of one.