James Mayes

Even the masters of the Internet struggle with Twitter

In Personal, Social Media, Twitter on May 27, 2010 at 3:54 pm

I bought a new camera recently. Online, as is often the case with commodity goods like this. I searched round a bit for bundles and competitive pricing and wasn’t particularly surprised to see Amazon come out on top. A few weeks into using my new toy, I find there’s an issue with the auto-focus.  These things happen, even with the best manufacturing processes – so I’ll just return it for a fix or replace.

I’ve got a few gripes about the way they handle returns, but that’s of no significant relevance here.  What IS important is that I thought I’d check out their Twitter presence, just to see if I could get a quick response through that medium. After all, they’ve still not responded to the email I sent them three days ago…

@amazon – Bio completed, url present, corporate logo in place. 21k followers, yep, I’m in the right place.  Then I looked at the Twitterstream.  Since the 1st February, there have been five tweets with a link of some kind Amazon wish to push. Every other tweet is a retweet of another Amazon channel.

I didn’t bother to try to engage via Twitter. It’s pretty clear that they don’t want to talk here.  I checked out a handful of Amazon’s other accounts, to see if this was an oddity, or standard practice. Of the five I checked, each one was pure and simple broadcast.

I have nothing against the use of broadcast channels – it’s part of our strategy at TweetJobs – but I do believe it remain just a part. Content and dialogue offer the real value in the experience. Walking through those Amazon accounts, I couldn’t find a single @mention or @reply. For a leading player in Internet consumer retail, that just seems horrific to me.

For the sake of balance, I should say I like Amazon. I’ve bought a fair bit from them in the past and will continue to do so in future. They let themselves down here though!

  1. Ha – the Google ad that appeared below your post was for Amazon – “amazing Christmas specials!” – so not only a twitter fail but ad relevance fail too!

    Interesting that so many large companies still don’t really get this social media thang, and like you I’m surprised at Amazon, a bona fide web business. At best, it’s a wasted opportunity.

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