Monitoring Twitter for mentions about your small business – good or bad – is one thing, but how to actually ‘join the conversation’?
If you’re into the whole social media thing, you can teach yourself how to use the service properly, and set up systems and policies to deal with unsatisfied customers (reach out for more information, offer a discount, or whatever).
The problem, according to TweetAngel, launching today, is that owners of small local businesses (think cafes, restaurants, mom-and-pop shops and whatnot) often lack not only the desire to learn but also the time to deal with that kind of thing.
Instead, a TweetAngel rep will monitor Twitter for them, and actually give them a phone call when someone dares say something negative on the social network.
Seriously. TweetAngel will pick up the phone, call a small business owner and say something like “Hi Gilbert, someone just said he got sick from eating rotten oysters at your fish restaurant on Twitter” and ask what should happen next. Gilbert will then dictate something like “tell that person we always serve fresh oysters but that we’ll make it up to him next time with some grilled salmon on the house”.
Depending on the package ordered by a small business owner, he or she can indeed dictate how to respond on Twitter, but they can also reply to complainers in person if desired. The service is currently available in the US only.
Small caveats: TweetAngel reps will only call within the working hours of 8am EST – to 8pm PST, and only monitor up to 30 negative tweets per month.
Pricing is pretty straightforward, and ranges from $9.99 to $29.95 per month.
For full disclosure, I should mention that TweetAngel springs from the arguably twisted mind of Roi Carthy, a Israeli VC friend who I’ve long worked with when I was still writing for TechCrunch (he’s a longtime contributor for all things Israel-related).
If it makes you feel any better, I think it’s a really awkward business idea and I honestly can’t see such a service getting traction with enough small business owners to make it economically viable. Sorry, Roi!
Then again, as pretty much everyone who knows me well enough will gladly tell you, I’ve been wrong before. Would love to hear what you have to say.