Now, I discussed this with my coworkers in the marketing and events department here at NAPCO Media, all of us squarely in the ~millennial~ camp, and I was solidly in the minority. “You’re putting something about their company out into the public sphere, they have the right and an obligation to respond,” one of the events managers pointed out. My other colleagues agreed.
Okay, true. But there should probably be a right and obligation to not go all Big Brother on a customer who hasn’t asked to engage with you, right? As marketing and branding people, we always need to protect the brand’s image, but the customer’s reaction is important too. And I still can’t stop thinking: If I wanted your response, I’d @ you.
Just to get a final unbiased opinion, I took to Twitter itself. Now, my personal account is pretty much where I just geek out with friends about anime and post pictures of my cat, so that’s the kind of audience we’re dealing with. (Read: Often the kind of audience these brands are dealing with.)
I set up a simple poll that lasted one hour. Just to clarify, I made no comments as to my own opinion. Here are the results:
I even got a few replies that people have taken to intentionally spelling a company’s name wrong, or including a slash or other special character between letters (ie, U/ber) just to avoid the unwanted attention.
So, what do you think? Is all that engagement worth the possible negative reactions? Is it actually a great idea to respond to indirects on Twitter? Or is it just the internet version of the pushy salesperson?