Recap of #140conf San Francisco

I attended the 140 Characters Conference (#140conf) last Thursday at the Moscone Center in San Francisco and left with some great insights about Twitter and the real-time web. Hosted by Jeff Pulver, the conference covered various topics ranging from Twitter etiquette to “Farming and the Real-Time Web” to legal issues regarding Twitter to music (which was my personal favorite) and more.

Key Takeaways:

1. Twitter is now a hugely important customer service vehicle for companies.

Twitter allows for fast and efficient communication with customers to address issues and concerns. Being accessible and responsive through Twitter allows companies to build trust with their customers. Mia Dand (HP) said that when she considers vendors, she will “test” their responsiveness via Twitter before doing any business with them. Guy Kawasaki tested Virgin America by tweeting on his flight from his seat that he wanted a drink, and they jokingly tweeted back at him to order it himself.

2. Twitter isn’t enough.

Companies must now be present and accessible on all social media channels. People differ regarding their preferred social medium whether it be Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc. Brands must understand the landscape of each and how people interact with each other within that community. Additionally, there needs to be collaboration across these channels that creates a greater and deeper impact, which is what Dean McBeth (Digital strategist at W+K) said was a key factor in the success of the Old Spice campaign.

3. Brands should use Twitter to connect with people, not to market to them.

Self-centered people aren't fun to talk to face-to-face, and the same goes for Twitter. This is especially true for the music industry. Rapper, “International Quincy," mentioned that people don’t want to constantly hear “buy my album,” they want to get to know the artist on a personal level and learn what inspires them. He went on to say, "Twitter can make people feel like a family member instead of a fan."

The tour is not over! Make sure to check out which cities the #140conf is scheduled for next.

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