Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Review of Twittamentary


Social Media Club Los Angeles screened the film: Twittamentary, a documentary about Twitter, directed by Tan Siok Siok (@sioksiok). You can view it here for $3.99 (money raised goes to invisiblepeople.tv) and you can organize a screening for a club or meetup. The film is an excellent overview of the different ways that people use Twitter and shows that Twitter is just a tool that facilitates human connections. From a citizen journalist to Domino’s Pizza to a homeless woman, twitter is used in vastly different ways and it goes to show that your success with social media tools directly correlates to how well you use them to communicate with other people. There are many stories in the film and I have chosen three to highlight.

Janis Krums (@jkrums) was the first person to tweet a picture of the plane crash on the Hudson River. We now live in a world where there will always be someone at the scene of breaking news with a smart phone (citizen journalists) before a TV crew (professional journalists). Citizen journalists are slowly being embraced by traditional media. The only downfall to this type of information is when it is not vetted before being broadcast. There are times when mis-information gets shared and goes viral. However, in this age of media cynicism, many people would rather see pictures and read stories from “regular” people instead of traditional news organizations. This may be because the traditional news organizations are answering to corporate sponsored agendas instead of the noble cause of reporting the news. Off the topic of Twitter, but related to social media, that is why you are reading this blog and why blogging is such an important part of your marketing strategy.

There have been countless examples of companies using Twitter to respond to customer service questions or complaints, but there are millions more examples of companies who ignore these opportunities. In the film, Ramon De Leon (@Ramon_DeLeon) responds to a complaint about a delivery order from one of his Domino’s Pizza restaurants. He was one of the first people to use Twitter in this way and he has gone on to become a global keynote speaker because he had the vision to use a tool at his disposal to really connect and engage with his customers in a way that almost no one else was at that time. During the networking portion of this event, I met a Corporate Social Intelligence Strategist who explained the process by which a company would monitor what is being said online, but be able to weigh the risk vs. reward of responding to each item. As somewhat of a “purist” I always thought that a company would want to engage with every single customer that took the time to mention their brand, but I guess some would suggest that not all tweets (or tweeters) are created equally. I would love to hear what you think about this strategy.

Speaking of not being treated equally, the homeless population in the United States is often invisible in the sense that most people don’t understand the issue until they have taken the time to get to know someone who is struggling with it. Mark Horvath (@hardlynormal) was featured in the documentary and participates in the Social Media Club of Los Angeles. Mark started invisiblepeople.tv to raise awareness of homelessness and was able to connect Tan Siok Siok with Anne Marie Walsh (@padschicago), a homeless woman using Twitter to connect with people and make life on the streets more bearable. If you are homeless, you are most likely alone, even if you have managed to identify resources where you can exist with other homeless people. Anne Marie was able to connect with people on Twitter in an attempt to feel less lonely while she was on the streets. Although we hope that we don’t find ourselves in this situation, it really is the best example of how to use Twitter. To use it to communicate with other people is the best way to use it and that is the summary of Twittamentary. Twitter is just a tool and you will get what you give.

Check it out here and let me know if you learned anything about Twitter that you didn’t know already.