Mobile Showrooming in the Age of Information Transparency (Part 2 of 2)

By Dr. Todd Bacile | July 29, 2013

mobile showroomingSynopsis: showrooming is a new challenge that brick-and-mortar retailers are sizing up as a threat. However, this phenomenon must become an accepted part of retail business models in the era of empowered consumers and ubiquitous information. In this two-part post showrooming is juxtaposed to the power of firms versus consumers in the traditional business model and the modern day’s changing information economy. Click here to read Part one.

The Information Economy

Showrooming is one of many phenomenon to cause a seismic shift in the current information economy. Many people think of an economy as goods and services exchanged between firms and consumers. However, an economy also exists for the exchange of information. An information economy is transparent when all information is easily available on-demand.

Web 1.0 was a colossal shift in media, where additional information was available to the masses of consumers. However, in the Web 1.0 environment firms still had much control over the type of information made available online. Easy-to-use publishing tools and social networks had not yet evolved to allow consumers to easily share information. True information transparency was absent.

The shift to Web 2.0 (and Web 3.0) was a major move toward a transparent information economy. Suddenly, all information – any type of information – about even the most remote goods or services could be shared, tweeted, blogged, yelped, pinned, and published by consumers. The all-inclusive power firms had over available information was now supplanted by the power of connected consumers. In effect, consumers are now driving an information economy based on transparency.

The Political Economy of Information

The political economy of information is an early theory researchers discussed concerning the power of information. In this context, “political” is not related to governmental elections. Greek philosophers used the terms political and politics to mean the practice of influencing other people at the individual level. Stemming from this context is the use of the term “political” in social sciences, which represents the ability to influence the behavior of people in a social structure, such as consumers in a target market.

Traditional business models: The power of firms

These early definitions concerning the ability of one party to influence another party carried over well to a marketing and advertising context via mass media. In the early days of television and radio only the largest firms with available resources could afford broad marketing campaigns in these new media of the time. Like the old adage said,  “if it is on T.V. then it must be true,” was believed by many consumers to be a fact. That was power.

In a political economy of information, the group with more information has more power over a group with access to less information. In mass media, firms possessed and controlled more information over a less informed market of consumers. The balance of marketing power was heavily tilted toward companies.

Firms could control a message. Individual consumers could not add information to that message, except verbally in extremely small groups through word-of-mouth. Marketers were in control of information. That was the power possessed over a passive consumer audience. In an information economy, information is the power currency.

Modern day business models: The power of consumers

Showrooming, like connected consumers participating in social networks, is a major power shift from the boardrooms of firms to the mobile devices of consumers. A political economy of information still exists, only now it is consumers who often possess the power currency of more information (or are at least on par with firms). Any business models in use by firms in an attempt to stifle or control the power of connected consumers will be met with strong opposition.

In other words, firms clinging to a traditional business model mentality are failing to adapt to a new electronic business landscape. Such a failure to adapt new strategies will negatively affect the corporate bottom line.

Showrooming, online reviews, social media complaints, status updates, citizen influencers though PeerIndex and Klout, are a few examples of connected consumers creating and accessing more information about goods and services. Decades of firms using a power position to hold and control select information has come to an end in this new age of information transparency.

The Future of Marketing

To date, many firms are still struggling with their loss of power in a marketing and advertising context. Some of the strategies to respond to showroomers, such as price matching, support the philosophy of information transparency. However, a price war may not be the answer. Other strategies, such as information blackout, support a power-play attempt by firms to regain information control. Both types of strategies are not optimal.

One outlook from a noted expert reveals what firms must seek in new marketing strategies moving forward. Lin Humphrey is a mobile marketing researcher, marketing doctoral candidate at Texas Tech University, and was recently awarded the Mobile Marketing Academic of the Year by the Mobile Marketing Association. Speaking specifically about showrooming Lin stated via e-mail, “It’s shifted the power back to the consumer, which forces brands to be more competitive. Price guarantees, easy return policies, added values such as additional warranties at no cost are all things that retailers should be playing up (because the internet retailers are playing on price).”

The key is to offer value-added services. Price matching is a nice move by retailers, but a pure price war between brick and mortar retailers and internet retailers is a war to be won by online firms. As the digital information economy evolves, firms will need to implement strategies other than simple price matching tactics or an attempt to control information access. Create value-added services, value that consumers recognize, and market these added services. That is how to respond to showrooming.

This was part two of a two-part of a showrooming post. You can read part one here.  Comments are welcome!

Todd Bacile (@toddbacile) is a showroomer in his free time and a Marketing Professor at Loyola University New Orleans. He holds a PhD in Marketing from Florida State University. Social Media Marketing Magazine ranks him as one of the Top 100 Marketing Professors on Twitter. Questions and comments are welcome.

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Mobile Showrooming in the Age of Information Transparency (Part 1 of 2)

By Dr. Todd Bacile | July 25, 2013 | Showrooming Part 1 | Part 2

mobile showroomingSynopsis: showrooming is a new challenge that brick-and-mortar retailers are sizing up as a threat. However, this phenomenon must become an accepted part of retail business models in the era of empowered consumers and ubiquitous information. In this two-part post showrooming is juxtaposed to the power of firms versus consumers in the traditional business model and the modern day’s changing information economy.

Showrooming

Statistics show that close to 70% of consumers showroom in a retail store. Out of the consumers who do showroom, close to 25% will purchase the product from a different source if they save 5%-10%. Due to these facts showrooming is being met with combative strategies by firms.

To be clear, showrooming is the act of consumers visiting brick-and-mortar stores and scanning bar codes with a mobile device in an effort to find more information – and perhaps purchase – the product from a competing online retailer. I believe some anti-showroom strategies are shortsighted and I will support this position using a real-world example.

A Showrooming Example

Pre-purchase consumer activity

A friend of mine invited me along in his quest to buy a BBQ smoker at a brick-and-mortar retailer (he knew I was a BBQ guy). Based on the store’s inventory he focused on one smoker in particular. I am a showroomer, so we scanned the bar code. Surprisingly, there was not a product match found by Google. I then typed in the brand and model number, yet found no matches.

This wasn’t my first rodeo. I knew what was happening. Google is never stumped. Despite an inability to access to more online information sources, he made the purchase.

Post-purchase consumer activity

A few days later he was upset. It seems he did some in-depth research after the fact and found a virtually identical product under a different brand name and model number. The highly similar smoker was less expensive.

He told me he felt cheated. He felt duped. He felt as if the brand restricting his access to information cost him his hard earned money. “I’m never going back to that store,” he told me.

Anti-Showroom Strategies

Information blackout: control

Smartphone information blackoutFirms using the strategy above, referred to as information blackout, need to consider the ramifications. Preventing access to information by the retailer in my example is an attempt to control what is usually seen as freely accessible information. Brands accomplish this by blocking cell signals in a retail store or by using custom bar codes that will not link to other products; and therefore, will not produce price comparison results.

Clever, but somewhat of a ruse.

This strategy is akin to the brand saying, “We control our product inventory. And we want to control any comparable information online that is available to you. This is our product in our store – you have no right to find more information in real-time.”

This is clearly a misguided strategy, one that may be beneficial at the single transaction-level, yet harmful for a brand at the cumulative-level sought in long-term relationships.

Information transparency: price matching

smartphone world iconAnother anti-showroom strategy is to price match competitors. This strategy illustrates information transparency – such as a price for a product – is becoming an accepted norm in the modern business landscape.

This strategy is akin to the brand saying, “We don’t care if you view product information and prices from competitors. Go ahead. You won’t find a better deal.” Transparency at its finest.

Older business models devised around a firm controlling available information to a less-powerful consumer audience are being supplanted by new models featuring information transparency. Relying on an older, controlling business model in the age of consumer empowerment and always-on connectivity is a fast method to losing customers.

Click here to read Part Two of this post.

Todd Bacile (@toddbacile) is a showroomer in his free time and a Marketing Professor at Loyola University New Orleans. He holds a PhD in Marketing from Florida State University. Social Media Marketing Magazine ranks him as one of the Top 100 Marketing Professors on Twitter. Questions and comments are welcome.

QR Codes helping your job search

By Dr. Todd Bacile |  July 22, 2013

QR Code for Todd BacileMuch has been made about the benefits QR codes have for marketers, but these small 2-D bar codes can also be used during your search for a new job. Below is a brief recap of my use of a QR code during my last job search. My search was industry specific (Marketing Professor), yet the principles are relevant to any type of job involving innovation or creativity. On top of building the desired skills hiring managers are seeking, using a QR code will help to promote a job applicant.

How to create a QR code

Creating a QR code is quick, easy, and free. Many companies offer free or pay-to-use QR code generators on the internet. I use Vizibility and will discuss its template as an example.

After you register for a free account Vizibility automatically generates a QR code for you. Right click on the QR code image to save it. Then you can insert/place the code on anything you choose, such as a résumé or business card.

The online template lets you setup what people see when they scan your QR code. Below is snapshot of my QR code’s landing page as viewed through a smartphone (note: I’ve elongated the screen size in this image to accommodate for scrolling).

My QR Code Landing Page

The landing page enables a person to click-to-call, text, or email me (you know… because I wanted to make it easy for an employer to contact me for an interview). There is also a feature enabling a person to view not only my LinkedIn profile, but also any mutual LinkedIn contacts we each have. The power of your network, endorsements, and recommendations can be beneficial here!

As a digital marketing researcher, consultant, and instructor I want prospective employers to have easy access to my online activity. My QR landing page does that: a single click takes a person to my blog, Twitter account, web site, a myriad of other social sites, and Google results.You do Google yourself and try to manage the links that appear in a SERP, correct?

My QR Code In-Action

Marketing Professor Job Search

This past year I took part in an annual process nearly all colleges and universities participate in: the marketing professor job market. For higher quality schools a Ph.D. is required of a job applicant, which drastically shrinks the pool of available talent, yet creates intense competition among the small number of academics. I wanted to stand out.

Marketing professors typically have a focused research and teaching area. My area is digital marketing and I decided to highlight this fact not only with my experience, but also with a QR code. A code was prominently displayed at the top of my curriculum vita (a.k.a my résumé). Below is a cropped image of my CV’s first page.

cropped CV with QR code

Personal Branding with a QR Code

Did it work?

Statistics published in the field show that most applicants on the Marketing Professor job market receive about a 19% interview response rate based on the number of applications sent out to hiring schools. My response rate was 38% – double the average.

The strong response was most likely not all due to a QR code – I’m sure the Klout in the classroom media coverage and social influence buzz helped – but, my QR code helped build my personal brand image of a digital marketer and helped differentiate myself from the applicant pool.

In fact, I know that one interview I received was solely based on my QR code – even though the department head at the school never scanned it. He called me to set up an interview and stated, “Out of the over 100 hundred job applications I received, yours was the only one that included a QR code.” When I asked what he thought about it, his response was surprising. “To be honest I do not own a smartphone, so I could not scan it. But, you stood out from the pack.”

Bonus Information

When your QR code is scanned

There is one final benefit of QR codes I would like to discuss. When your QR code is scanned, your support software can notify you of the exact time and location where your code was scanned. From a marketing perspective this is a goldmine (knowing when consumers interact with your information). From a job search perspective this was beneficial, too: I applied to schools in several different cities and had some degree of information as far as which schools may be interested in my services. Below are screen shot images from my Vizibility account.

QR Code Metrics

When I was notified my code was scanned, the Vizibility software not only stated, for example, “Tuscaloosa, Alabama” as depicted above, but also showed a GPS map. Clicking on Tuscaloosa displayed the University of Alabama’s campus (one of the schools I applied to).

QR Code Scan Map

Have you ever sent out numerous job applications and waited to hear back? Sometimes you never hear anything. With a QR code being scanned, you can be given information that your application was received; and the prospective employer has interacted with your information. This is helpful for two reasons. First, for peace of mind! Second, you have a “heads up” to prepare for a possible interview with that specific employer.

Todd Bacile (@toddbacile) is a Marketing Professor at Loyola University New Orleans. Yes, using the QR code did help him land a great job.  Social Media Marketing Magazine ranks him as one of the Top 100 Marketing Professors on Twitter. Aside from marketing and technology discussions, Todd enjoys talking about BBQ, college football, and baseball trivia. All comments and questions are welcome!

Social Media Complaints and Dysfunctional Consumers

By Dr. Todd Bacile | July 17, 2013

Social Media ComplaintsSynopsis: consumers who are choosing to use social media to complain to brands about legitimate issues are being met in some instances by fellow consumers exhibiting dysfunctional behavior, such as casting insults to a complainant while defending a brand. This is creating new challenges for brands from a customer service perspective.

Social Media Complaints

Social media are conduits for consumers to share complaints and seek resolution with brands. Even a brand’s most desired customers may post a complaint to a brand’s Facebook page, Twitter feed, or Google+ page. This is positive for firms attempting to resolve complaints, as research shows consumers who receive a complaint resolution have a higher probability of repeat business versus consumers who do not receive a resolution. For the brands that ignore or delete  social media complaints, watch out for the fall out!

Social media complaint resolution is an extension of traditional service support now entering virtual social media pages owned by brands. A company’s social media page is a virtual service setting, where consumers have expectations of a brand’s attentiveness to comments and complaints. Companies are realizing social media complaints must be addressed. Timeliness is a factor, too, as many consumers believe a firm should respond to social media complaints within an hour.

However, the presence of dysfunctional consumers is creating new challenges for firms in social media complaint resolution.

Dysfunctional Consumers

Dysfunctional consumers are individuals who exhibit some form of misbehavior that negatively affects other consumers, employees, or a brand. Examples include people in a service setting acting rudely, using vulgar or abusive language, making unreasonable demands, or even illegal acts such as theft or physical assault. Basically, any violation of acceptable norms of behavior in a business setting. Why should brands care? Dysfunctional consumers negatively affect other consumers’ satisfaction with a brand, future purchase intent, and brand loyalty.

Dysfunctional consumers are entering social media complaint and resolution scenarios. Occasionally, a dysfunctional consumer may interject in another consumer’s complaint posted to a brand. A typical example is a response from a dysfunctional consumer that defends a brand while insulting or degrading the complainant. Below is an actual screenshot (redacted for anonymity) from my research:

Social media complaint with dysfunctional consumer response

I interviewed a social media marketing company’s executive manager. He was asked how he deals with situations where “Consumer A” complains to the brand and “Consumer B” insults “Consumer A” in the thread. “We represent the brand and only reply to the complainant. We don’t do anything with other people who comment or respond, even when they border on insults. Unless it’s extremely offensive, we let consumer interactions work itself out.”

Stimulated by his response, I proceeded to collect data from several brands’ Facebook wall posts over several weeks. Thousands of consumer posted wall posts were content analyzed. Hundreds of posts were categorized as complaints. Several complaints had dysfunctional consumer responses that insulted the complainant, while defending the brand. Guess how many times a brand addressed a dysfunctional consumer insulting the complaining consumer? Zero!

Dysfunction and Complaints: A New Challenge

Findings from my research suggest brands are mishandling these complaining interactions. Brands are adapting traditional in-person complaint resolution tactics as if a dyadic conversation is occurring. Within the traditional complaint dyad there is a brand communicating with a single complainant, while all other consumers are uninvolved. However, social media complaints are one-to-many (or many-to-many) conversations instead of the one-to-one dyad brands are familiar with.

When dysfunctional consumer responses enter a complaint thread, companies should not only respond to the complaint in a favorable manner, but also address the dysfunctional response (i.e. ‘We appreciate your comments, but please maintain a polite atmosphere on our Facebook page’). This is how traditional in-person service settings operate. Service managers in in-person settings have a responsibility to maintain a peaceful atmosphere by attending to consumer misbehavior. Social media should be no different as consumers consider these interactions to be virtual service encounters in a brand’s environment.

Todd Bacile (@toddbacile) is a Marketing Professor at Loyola University New Orleans. Social Media Marketing Magazine ranks him as one of the Top 100 Marketing Professors on Twitter. The content posted here is a small portion of larger social media complaint studies he is currently conducting. Questions or comments regarding social media complaints are welcome.

QR Codes: underwhelming or misused by brands?

By Dr. Todd Bacile | July 15, 2013

Todd Bacile QR CodeSome people are intrigued by new gadgets and emergent technologies such as QR codes. The students in my Electronic Marketing course last semester created an early buzz about these 2-D codes. That is, until they became underwhelmed by the lack of pizzazz QR codes have in direct marketing promotions. My students are not alone in this QR code opinion. In contrast to this underwhelming viewpoint, QR codes are very useful when one moves away from promotions to a supportive information context.

QR Codes in the beginning:

Interactivity expectations simply not met

Quick Response Codes began to appear in U.S. marketing promotions in the 2000s after being invented in 1994 by Denso Wave, a subsidiary of Toyota. These codes began to attract attention in marketing contexts with the boom of smartphone and mobile internet growth a few years later. Yet, compared to the amount of interactivity smartphone functionality had to offer, the lack of interactivity associated with QR codes created unfulfilled expectations for many people.

Getting people to scan the codes are one step, but what comes afterward makes or breaks the QR code experience. For most people, a link to a web site or email address is underwhelming based upon the expectations of interactive technology. It also does not foster functional usage by requiring people to download a QR code reader (I like NeoReader personally). To require a person to download software then scan the code requires time. In many instances, within a promotional direct marketing context, it is an overall underwhelming experience producing a negative disconfirmation of expectations.

QR codes currently:

Excellent supportive information

For as underwhelming as QR codes are in direct marketing promotions, these codes are very useful in a supportive context. Here is an example I experienced this week. My wife and I moved into a new house with appliances left by the former owner. We could not figure out a control setting on the refrigerator. I opened the fridge to locate a model number in the hopes of downloading  the manufacturer’s manual. A QR code greeted me upon opening the fridge’s door! I scanned the code and within 15 seconds I had the manual appearing on my phone’s screen. Below are screenshots of the QR landing page:

QR code Fridge image 1QR code Fridge image 2

The above example illustrates the benefits to a brand when using QR codes in a supportive information context instead of in a direct promotions context. An area that is overlooked by some marketers is the supportive services and information a brand offers to consumers. These supportive services have many monikers, such as underlying, secondary, supplementary, or none-core offerings. Yet, supportive services and information must be easily accessed by today’s savvy, always-connected consumers.

QR Codes and the balance of information:

Consumers need easy access to information

Interactive technologies and ubiquitous internet connectivity are changing what consumers expect out of brands. Jay Baer‘s book, Youtility, highlights this shift in information expectations. Years ago only the most powerful and resource-rich firms controlled marketing promotions via mass media. Available information given to consumers was decided upon by what suited a brand. Now, this balance of information-access power is shifting from brands to consumers. QR codes are a useful utility to quickly grant desired information to consumers in a specific situation or context.

As Baer points out in Youtility, brands are slowly beginning to realize the importance of information transparency. Making more information available electronically on-demand is executed by blog postings and corporate web pages, provided people can find the information. QR codes should be viewed as an additional resource that creates shortcut access to desired pieces of information.

What is your opinion on QR codes?

Todd Bacile (@toddbacile) is a Marketing Professor at Loyola University New Orleans. He teaches Electronic Marketing and Advanced Marketing Strategy. His e-marketing research has been published or is forthcoming in numerous academic research journals and national marketing conferences.  Social Media Marketing Magazine ranks him as one of the Top 100 Marketing Professors on Twitter.

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Facebook Ad Models: Comparing and Contrasting Differences

By Dr. Todd Bacile & Rickey Helsel | July 11, 2013

Facebook Ads

Typical Facebook click-through rates for Marketplace Ads (.0005), Page Post Ads (.00075), and Promoted Posts (.01-.02) are not the only differences a marketer should be aware of within the world of Facebook advertising. Each ad type possesses unique features for certain devices or target audiences. Becoming familiar with different ad models may help match the correct ad type to a brand’s advertising goals. (NOTE: these CTRs are not Facebook’s “official”, but are derived from various consultants and news sources.)

There are three different Facebook ad models discussed in this post: Marketplace Ads, Page Post Ads, and Promoted Posts. Several other types of Facebook ads exist, but as the social giant reduces its ad models, such as Sponsored Stories (CTR .0007) and Sponsored Results ads, it makes sense to focus on a few of the popular types. Some ads never display on consumers’ smartphone screens. Some ads only display to a brand’s followers and friends of followers, while other ads must be used to target consumers without a relationship to a brand. How can a brand understand these differences?

Facebook Marketplace Ads

Location

Marketplace Ads are placed on the right side of a browser window for desktop or laptop devices. However, Marketplace Ads do not appear on mobile devices, as the left-to-right scrolling is minimized by removing content that would normally appear to the right.

Target Audience

Marketplace Ads can be targeted to any user on Facebook, regardless if a person follows your brand, is a friend of a person who follows your brand, or does not have any connection to your brand. The target audience is important to consider, as some types of Facebook ads reach certain audiences based on the connection to a brand.

Facebook Page Post Ads

Location

Page Post Ads are recent posts made from a brand’s Facebook page. Similar to Sponsored Stories, Page Posts Ads are located either in the right sidebar area or within the news feed. Page Posts Ads are viewable on smaller, mobile devices.

Target Audience

Page Posts Ads have targeting options similar to Marketplace Ads. Any user on Facebook can be reached with a Page Post Ad, whether or not the brand has a connection to a follower.

Facebook Promoted Posts

Location

After creating a new post, a brand may elect to promote this post to an audience. Promoted Posts more effective than other types discussed in this post when evaluating CTR. The reason is location: only ads appear in the right panel of Facebook, not posts. This means that a brand’s promoted post will only appear in the news feeds of its audience – where Facebook users’ eyes are trained to look – especially important for mobile users.

Target Audience

Facebook Promoted Posts are like the now discontinued Sponsored Stories in that brands have the ability to target users that like the brands page along with the friends of those users. Subjectively, this method of posting should be given special consideration when targeting mobile users. Think about the last time you used Facebook on your laptop – there are so many distractions! Mobile users are given posts as wide as their devices, with only about three posts fitting on the screen. A 33% chance of catching the user’s eye (not accounting for the navigation and post bars) is much greater than that of a user on a computer.

Todd Bacile (@toddbacile) is a Marketing Professor at Loyola University New Orleans. He teaches Electronic Marketing and Advanced Marketing Strategy. His e-marketing research has been published or is forthcoming in numerous academic research journals and national marketing conferences.  Social Media Marketing Magazine ranks him as one of the Top 100 Marketing Professors on Twitter. Rickey Helsel (@rickeyhelsel) is a rising new media star, with experience in mobile application development, social media advertising, electronic marketing business plan development, numerous programming languages, and management information systems. Find out more about him at RickeyHelsel.com.

Twitter: how I use it to communicate

July 9, 2013 | By Dr. Todd Bacile

Note: this information was inspired by Jeremiah Owyang’s Twitter usage guidelines. You can follow him at @jowyang.

I typically try to add some form of value to those people and organizations who graciously decide to follow me on Twitter. This doesn’t mean that personal interests are completely abandoned (i.e. you will see me tweet about college football from time-to-time). But, you will not see me using Twitter as a one-way promotional tool akin to mass media. In general, the ways I try to add value to the Twitter community are as follows:

Twitter as a news filter

Every morning I wake up early and start mining Twitter or Google News for interesting technology stories that are relevant in a marketing context. Topics that peak my interest are shared on my feed for others. You can use me as a marketing technology news filter.

Twitter as a teaching tool

Teaching Electronic Marketing at a university obviously means I lecture about Twitter in a marketing context. People learn by “doing”, so I interact with my students on Twitter. This helps students to begin to understand the public nature of Twitter – and social media in general – which may be beneficial or disastrous to a career.

Network with other professionals in the marketing field

Engaging with other social media and mobile marketing professionals helps keep me up-to-date with emerging trends and tools, while also helping to build a circle of professionals who I know and trust to some degree. The social and mobile media landscape is littered with people who may or may not be “experts”. You never know when you will need a cutting edge consultant, so I try to keep these people within reach.

Network with other academics in the education field

If you consider the entire landscape of business professors, there are only a small percentage that teach and/or research technology-related concepts in marketing. Twitter is an ideal platform to find and converse with this select group. We exchange teaching tips and bounce research ideas off one another. A perfect example are those educators listed on Social Media Marketing Magazine’s Top 100 Marketing Professors on Twitter.

Twitter as a listening tool

Twitter is a goldmine of real people expressing opinions, likes, and dislikes in real-time about anything from an automobile to a can of soup. Listening, assessing, and analyzing conversations and sentiment can produce interesting market research.

Twitter chats

There are a few Tweet chats I take part in. When this occurs I usually try to follow proper etiquette by Tweeting to my followers I am “entering a chat, sorry for numerous tweets over the next few minutes”.

As a consumer

I am a marketer, but I also purchase and use products and services, which makes me a consumer, too. I like to reach out to brands on Twitter as a consumer for both positive and negative experiences I have had with a company.

To answer questions

Helping people is something I enjoy. If I happen to find a question posted via Twitter in a topic area I am somewhat knowledgeable in I will try to offer answers or advice to those searching for assistance.

Lastly, to discuss any fun or interesting topics

Baseball trivia, college football, great coffee, BBQ tips, and fantastic food are a few of the non-work topics I may choose to discuss. Live tweeting sporting events such as the Michigan vs. Ohio State football game (#UMvsOSU) or TV shows (#TheWalkingDead) can extend the entertainment value produced by these events and shows by linking up with other like-minded individuals.

How do you use twitter?

Todd Bacile holds a Ph.D. in marketing and will teach Electronic Marketing at Loyola University New Orleans this fall. Previously, he taught E-Marketing courses at Florida State University. He is one of the Top 100 Marketing Professors on Twitter. You can contact him on Twitter @toddbacile