Social Media PR: Two Way Communication


Lots of company’s know that they need a social media accounts to push products, interact with customers and increase awareness.

The reason it’s called social media is because there should be interaction between the customer and the business. The social media platform that I am most referring is Twitter.

It is an easy way for customers to interact with the brand and feel a connection. However, sometimes there seems to be a disconnect and communication is only going one way, consumer to business.

I understand that there are businesses on Twitter that get thousands of mentions each day. However, to keep the customers happy you must please them by interacting with them.


One business that is really good at doing this is HubSpot. I am currently completing their marketing classes and they always talk about pleasing the consumer. HubSpot always encourages people to interact with them on Twitter.

After each lesson I tweet out thanks to HUbSpot and the individual who taught the lesson. Whenever I tweet the instructor the tweet is always favorited and then they follow me. Every time I mention @hubspot in my tweet they always favorite it.

It’s a simple click of a button for them to favorite my tweet, but it honestly makes me feel special and make me feel that they are listening to me. Whether they read the tweet or not I now have a favorable image of them. Isn’t that what PR is all about? Consequently, I have told a lot of students about HubSpot because of my experience.

Taco Bell has been trending on Twitter the last few days because of their new breakfast menu. When they announced this Monday morning on Twitter they said that they would be answering question for the next 30 minutes. I tweeted them right after I saw that, which was in the first ten minutes of them sending out the tweet.

I asked a question and never got a response. I know that a lot of people were probably asking questions, but I wanted them to respond to me because it would have been cool. I don’t have an unfavorable image of me, but if they would have responded my attitudes and perceptions would certainly be different.

J.P Morgan Fail:

However, don’t set yourself up for a disaster. J.P. Morgan announced a Q&A on Twitter this past Nov. after they were fined $920 million over its “London Whale” trading loss. They wanted people to ask questions so they could clear the air on Twitter. Their goal was to interact with customers and it was a complete fail.

Instead of receiving real questions about the allegations they received a whole bunch of hate texts.

Here are just a few:

Did you always want to be part of a vast, corrupt criminal enterprise or did you “break bad”?”

Did you have a specific number of people’s lives you needed to ruin before you considered your            business model a success?”

What section of the poor & disenfranchised have you yet to exploit for profit, & how are you                working to address that?”

Why aren’t you in jail for sending a literal ton of gold bullion to Iran in violation of sanctions?

Definitely not the interaction they were looking for.


Another good example of this was Sbarro. On Feb. 20 they announced that they would be closing 155 locations, most of them in mall food courts. Approximately 1,400 people will lose their jobs.

Former employees got on Twitter and started to complain that they lost their jobs and they had no prior warning.

Sbarro was on Twitter and responded to a lot of the complaints and told them to send a direct message on Twitter or call a Sbarro hotline.

Twink.I.E @MistaZero2Sixty I got laid off… Wtf. I just found out this morning that Sbarros closed all stores in San Antonio.

Sbarro’s response: @MistaZero2Sixty We are sorry your store closed, please DM us if you want to talk more.

Although I believe that they should have given their employees prior warning that the stores were closing, they did do a good job responding to the people on Twitter. The people were probably still mad that they lost their jobs, but at least they felt heard.

That is the whole point of the word social in social media. The consumer just wants to be heard. Responding to them on Twitter may not fix the problem, but at least they know that their voice was heard.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s