A little something to learn about social networking
I've been having an issue with #Microsoft Corp.'s #Outlook e-mail client.
Oops. Sorry 'bout the hash tags. I've been spending way too much time on Twitter, apparently.
At least twice, and as many as four times, a day, Outlook would encounter a run-time error and shut down. This is very annoying, since I spend as much time on my e-mail client as I do on Twitter. It's a wonder I get anything done.
Anyway, the upshot: Since I didn't want to shut down four times a day, I spent long periods of time with my e-mail client shut down. I would miss timely e-mail messages. I found this frustrating.
On several occasions, I posted frustrated tweets about how little I enjoyed using an e-mail client that crashed multiple times a day. These posts were thoroughly hash-tagged — #Outlook, #Microsoft, #IE. Someone at Microsoft *must* be following this, I figured. Perhaps I'll get some help.
And I did. From another Microsoft user. His solution wasn't quite was I was looking for, but that's not the point.
Today, no crashes at all. That's because I have been using Google's Chrome browser all day. Turns out, the run-time errors were connected to a DLL associated with Internet Explorer.  But that's not the point, either. Chrome is not always the better browser. Some things seem to work better in IE.
The point is, I have tweeted these problems numerous times, all with hash tags that someone at Microsoft should have been monitoring. Radio silence. No phone call, no e-mail, no tweet to suggest an answer. When my post today had hash-tagged not only Microsoft topics, but also #Google and #Chrome, a friend — I'll call him “Chris,” since that's his name — replied that his over/under for a message from Microsoft was one hour. I told him, in not so many words, he shouldn't hold his breath. Radio silence continues.
Microsoft could learn a thing or two from Porter Air, where a tweet about an out-of-service cappuccino machine or empty biscotti bin will get you service in minutes. In fact, there are numerous stories of near-instantaneous engagement with customers through Twitter. I would have thought Microsoft would be all over that.
To be fair, a lot of companies haven't grasped social media as a customer service tool. But they'd better. It's becoming the norm, and what customers expect. 
Maybe it needed a #FAIL hash tag to get someone's attention. 

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