Social Media Strategies: Engage your consumers in a virtual town hall meeting

On Twitter, interaction is immediate. It is happening in real-time and companies can implement and process changes right away. Companies can respond to feedback, whether good or bad, and provide a swift conclusion that makes everyone happy.

Last week, I was invited to the White House to attend the first Twitter Town Hall meeting. For this event, individuals on Twitter were encouraged to send President Obama their questions using the hashtag #AskObama. Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, posed questions to the president, which he answered in front of an audience that was watching and interacting on the internet. There will be more of these Presidential Twitter Town Halls because it is an easy and effective way for the president to reach more people.  

Everyone wants their voices to be heard. This style of “meeting” on Twitter is a chance for politicians and companies to have discussions and really engage. By interacting with their customers, it gives companies credibility in the eyes of the consumer and shows that the company is customer-focused and willing to listen to the demands and ideas of their customers. This builds a brand and in turn creates a larger customer base.

For example, I am a part of a group that meets on Monday evenings on Twitter. We use the hashtag #beerclub for discussion. Sometimes the brewery of the beer we are discussing takes part in the discussion. This is a great opportunity for the consumers to learn from the brewery and for the brewery to participate in a dialogue with its customers and get some immediate feedback. The beer club has also joined forces at times with local stores that have a presence on Twitter. This is mutually beneficial in that the beer club gains extra knowledge and the store gains extra customers.

These town hall meeting-like concepts happen all of the time because they work. It is an efficient and effective way to gauge customer feedback, interest and ideas. All a company needs is a hashtag.

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