What the People Who Tweet About Your Business Are Actually Paying Attention To

A few weeks ago, we noticed that someone was live-tweeting during her hair appointment at Ouidad, a New York-based salon that caters to curly hair.  (Ouidad is also our client.)

The tweeter in question was glowyjoeybunny, AKA Joey Alycia, who had answered Ouidad’s open call for hair models.  In addition to being a curly girl, Joey is also a technophile.  She blogs at Pink Sith, alongside her blog partner & site founder, Elvira.

During her visit, Joey tweeted about Ouidad’s great taste in music, how amazing her cut was turning out and what a wonderful experience she was having.  Afterward, she blogged enthusiastically (and unprompted) about her visit, proving that the “glowy” in her Twitter handle isn’t just superlative.

Impressed by Joey’s social media savvy, we asked her a few questions about Twitter, blogging and the way she interacts with businesses on Twitter.  Here’s what she had to say.

CC: How does your live experience change when you’re tweeting during an event (like your Ouidad visit)?

JA: I’ve found that when I’m live tweeting during an event, I’m more attentive to the details of the event.  This sounds counterintuitive, because one would assume that if I’m staring at my Blackberry and tweeting, I’m not paying attention – that simply is not true.  I become more attuned to details I feel my followers on Twitter would be interested in.

Also, from a marketing standpoint, I focus more on what is good and what isn’t good about the experience as a whole, because I am a fan of promoting businesses for good practices / criticizing businesses for bad practices.

For example, during my Ouidad visit I was tweeting about how pleasant the music was, and taking pictures of how nice the salon looked, etc. Had I not been on Twitter, I would have just been sitting there reading a magazine while my hair was being cut.  I would have been more worried about killing time and being bored than about what was actually going on.

CC: What types of experiences or insights prompt you to tweet about them?

JA: I will tweet about experiences that are really interesting and beneficial that I feel deserve to be mentioned, and I will tweet about experiences that are more negative and I feel deserve criticism.

For example, I was at a press event this past week where I could tell they had not planned for a large crowd because they did not have enough gift bags for the attendees.  I felt that if they wanted a positive review of the night and of the products being promoted that night, they should have had enough materials to provide to everyone.  I tweeted about that and received a very prompt and apologetic message from the event planners.

CC: You obviously enjoyed your Ouidad experience.  How did sharing it with your readers enrich the event?

JA: I absolutely loved my Ouidad experience!  I wanted to share it with my readers and my Tweeps (my followers) because I know that many people are hesitant to be a hair model because they fear that their hair would be ruined.  I wanted to promote the salon because I had such a wonderful time there, and I wanted to let other women know that being a hair model is a great experience.

Tweeting and blogging about the experience allowed me to focus on the details of my experience, and really allowed me to fully enjoy the luxurious (and free!) treatment I was receiving.  Like I said, had I not gone to the session knowing I was going to write about it, I would not have paid an ounce of attention to what was going on.

CC: Do companies often contact you based on your positive (or negative) online comments about their brands?

JA: Yes, companies often do contact either me or my partner on the blog about our reviews.  We appreciate having our efforts acknowledged, and we are also more loyal to companies who thank us for our reviews.  It feels good to know our hard work is being recognized!

CC: Which kind of feedback do you find more valuable: @ replies on Twitter or blog comments?

JA: I find both types of feedback more valuable.  I appreciate @ replies from companies, especially.  Companies tend to not comment on the blog as much as regular consumers / blog followers do.  I love blog comments from other women because they usually offer suggestions about products to review or application tips, which I love reading and find to be very helpful.

So… What’s the lesson here?

Brands: encourage your customers to talk, tweet and blog honestly about you.

If they love what you’re doing, they’ll share that love with their own audiences (creating new potential customers in the process).  And if they have a complaint, addressing it directly helps you simultaneously improve your business while demonstrating your respect for your customers firsthand.

Not bad for only 140 characters, right?