The Problem with TwelpForce, @Best Buy and Twelping

I like to watch how other companies, such as Best Buy, use social media to get their messages across. It helps me do my job as the Director of Social Media. I get ideas from them, inspiration and even if the ideas are of what NOT to do, it helps me not make the same mistakes.

Being that I don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk of full social media interactions, this often crosses over into my personal life. I am not very good at leaving my job at the office. This also, teaches me what NOT to do at times. Best Buy, despite a major TV advertising campaign pushing for customers to ask them questions on Twitter:

Best Buy Blunders on Twitter with Major Social Media Error


They say they have embraced Social Media and they are trying.  I see that. I only say this professionally, as a message to Best Buy on how they should improve their social media outreach on Twitter.  I have experienced this personally, as a loyal, yet unhappy BestBuy customer.  From July 30th until September 27th,  I was feeling very unhappy with Best Buy.

Like many Twitter users, I tweeted about Best Buy:

Please note that the Tweets are sent directly to @BestBuy because I want their attention, so I am going to do more than just type them out, I am going to ensure that they see me.  I don’t recall actually seeing the TwelpForce ads at that time, so I was not looking for TwelpForce, plus TwelpForce is NOT the Brand Name, yet, it is still BestBuy.

My initial Tweets went out on 7/30 at 7:30ish pm EST. Since I didn’t get a direct and immediate result like I wanted  … you know a “hi @FauxClaud; what can we do to help you?”, I kept checking and by the AM, I was feeling really disappointed in the lack of personal response.

No Response from @Best Buy


Notice, I was now reaching out to other Best Buy Twitter Accounts. There are, actually, quite a few:

There is a whole bunch more  of Best Buy Twitter accounts here, so obviously they are TRYING to embrace this medium.  I have gone through the first five pages and it’s completely fractured and all over the place, so it looks obvious to me that while Best Buy employees and stores  seem to have embraced Twitter and are using it on their own, the concept of the TwelpForce had merit and value as unifying the Best Buy Brand voice.

I Tweet @BestBuy Directly

Still, this is pre-TwelpForce for me, so I’m still feeling ignored by @BestBuy , so I try to talk to them directly again even giving the hot deals account a way to avoid looking quite so spammy. They would blast about 12 tweets in a row and that just looks bad in my opinion.


Tweeting from the Best Buy store:

They still ignore me. I continued to Tweet from my local BestBuy Store as I gave up my computer for its repair, even though I knew then that it, through no fault of my own, that I would require a new machine.

tweeting-from-the-best-buy-storeBecause it has to go back to HP for repair as it is covered  under their manufacture’s warrantee.  They will not even try to see that it is a major system failure and a bigger problem than a not yet 6 month old computer should have.  I am out of my most needed tool for at least two weeks. Nope, I am not happy at all.


Taking pictures and still hoping, but still not one responds to me. Not a direct message. Not one attempt to reach out to me an obviously unhappy, yet still loyal customer.  Alas, I have no other recourse, since no one came to my aide, and I am stuck going through the proper channels that my Geek Squad person says I must.

After over 6 weeks of my “new” computer being “repaired” and a phone call to Best Buy Corporate headquarters, I finally got results and I was issued a replacement computer.

While THAT could have gone better, I was in my local store again working out the exchange.  As I am waiting, I look down and happen to see the credit card swiper machine say:

“Tweet us if you need us”

I  had a good chuckle based on the irony of the situation, so I Tweeted about it:


My sarcasm comes out when I am frustrated. I felt very frustrated in the store that day:

bestbuy-bad-tweetsThis frustration was further compounded BY BEING IGNORED!   I continued to feel frustrated with my computer situation and various mistakes and issues with Best Buy ( though I do say to anyone: call the Corporate Offices; they will make things happen!), but the lack of Twitter response when they advertise as a force on Twitter, really got my goat.  I told the store about it and I told my Customer Care person about it. I was told that they are really into Social Media and making connections, etc.

I said Best Buy has Failed my Twitter Test.

My whole experience got me really curious, so I started searching for what other people were saying about Best Buy on Twitter. It’s not all good stuff and this is just in the past 20 hours or so:

Tweets-complaining-about-bestbuy unhappy-bestbuy-tweeters

What does TwelpForce Do?

So I figured I would ask TwelpForce what they are doing:


I got more than a few answers, but some were doubles. I am NOT sure how exactly, BestBuy is working this thing. It seems that Tweets are sent out as official Twelps and then from personal Twitter accounts.


That’s great Michael, but  can some of those 1,800 Twelpers keep an eye out for Best Buy discussions? I think it might be a good idea!  After all, what is the name of the store?

Is Best Buy now called Twelp Buy?

Nooooooooo. It’s still BestBuy and ignoring that is not such a good idea.

I held my tongue.


I am not sure still, even after rereading it a few times what this tweet means:


Why would you monitor “best buy” but NOT watch @BestBuy. Plus are your really watching Best Buy because you didn’t talk to me! And then WHO is running  @BestBuy??

The Problem with TwelpForce, @Best Buy and Twelping


Right.. just as I had experienced, it deos not look like anyone is watching and dealing with the customer service needs for customers talking about BestBuy.

So while various social media arenas pat BestBuy on the back for fully integrating social media and such, consider me not impressed and consider this lesson for us all to learn:

  • No matter how big a company
  • No matter how much money you pump into advertising
  • No matter how many employees are innovative and excited about technology
  • No matter now many success you have ( 10,000 Twelps and counting)
  • No matter what cool name you call yourself..

If you are already well branded, then you need to monitor that brand!

So my message to @TwelpForce, to Mike Sanders and to Gina, the Best Buy Social Media Strategist is that you need to not forget the original brand. Best Buys customers don’t all watch TV, pay attention to commercials, or remember how to spell Twelp when they need it. They reach out to the brand and that brand is Best Buy. If you don’t bother watching what they say when they are having problems, then you are letting them down.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 and is filed under Social Media in Marketing.

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