!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Tony Hsieh's Thoughts on Using Twitter

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Tony Hsieh's Thoughts on Using Twitter

A couple of previous posts have discussed how Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, views exceptional customer service as the linchpin of his company's strategy for continuing success.

Hsieh is convinced that the key to exceptional service is hiring people with the right attitude and a willingness to embrace the culture at Zappos, a culture that is encapsulated in ten core values:
  • Deliver WOW through service

  • Embrace and drive change

  • Create fun and a little weirdness

  • Be adventurous, creative, and open-minded

  • Pursue growth and learning

  • Build open and honest relationships with communication

  • Build a positive team and family spirit

  • Do more with less

  • Be passionate and determined

  • Be humble
Hsieh's commitment to these values comes through in a blog post he wrote back in January dealing with his happy experience as a Twitter user. Since I'm still resisting spending time with Twitter, and worrying that I need to get on the bandwagon, naturally this post caught my eye.

As a company, Hsieh explains, Zappos "[uses] Twitter to build more personal connections with people." But that's not all, as far as he's concerned. He goes on to say that "Twitter has contributed to my own personal growth and made me a better person."

Hsieh mentions four aspects of this personal impact of Twitter:
  1. "Transparency & Values: Twitter constantly reminds me of who I want to be, and what I want Zappos to stand for."

    This is where Hsieh cites Zappos' core values as a constant guide not just for his company but also for his own life. He explains, "Whether I tweet about something personal or something related to Zappos, if I'm living my life through these 10 core values, it all goes towards building the Zappos brand while shaping me personally as well." He also mentions that "Because I knew that I was going to be tweeting regularly about whatever I was doing or thinking, I was more conscious of and made more of an effort to live up to our 10 core values."

  2. "Reframing Reality: Twitter encourages me to search for ways to view reality in a funnier and/or more positive way."

    Hsieh explains that "now anytime something that used to get me upset or frustrated happens, I try to find the humor in the situation and think about how the situation can be reframed. I've found that almost every 'bad' situation is actually an opportunity that can be entertaining to my followers on Twitter, which also forces myself to see things in a different light." You definitely want to read the example he cites of how he used Twitter when he managed to lock himself out on his hotel balcony while on a trip to Mexico.

  3. "Helping Others: Twitter makes me think about how to make a positive impact on other people's lives."

    Hsieh reports that nowadays most of his tweets "do at least one of the following: Cause my followers to smile with something funny. Inspire my followers (for example, with an inspirational quote). Enrich my followers' perspectives (such as with a link to an interesting article)." This certainly matches my own idea of what would interest me enough to become someone's follower on Twitter.

  4. "Gratitude: Twitter helps me notice and appreciate the little things in life."

    Hsieh says, "For me, because I try to tweet every day, I've found that I'm always looking for opportunities to have something to tweet about. So I end up noticing and appreciating things that I would normally not even give a second thought to." Again, the sample tweets he mentions are charming.
Since I'm already following Hsieh, in the sense that I always read anything I happen upon that quotes his thoughts about running a business, the day may just come when I add myself to his Twitter followers list.


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