Herman Miller’s Twitter Fail. Why Engagement Matters

Yesterday, a friend of mine gave me an Aeron chair. He had an extra one and he saw that I needed one in my office. Promoted by the new addition to my office, I asked Herman Miller, the brand behind Aeron chairs if they had any recommendations for a table to match the Aeron. I was looking for something ergonomic. Their response was radio silence. No, their twitter feed didn’t go silent. It is still tweeting links from their blog, their press releases and retweeting their corporate messaging.

However, when it came to engagement, Herman Miller twitter account was deader than the chances of Dodgers going to the playoffs this year. I thought maybe they missed my tweet. It happens. However, when I looked around, they don’t really engage with anyone who @replies them. Oh well.

I think it is amazing that a company whose brand thrives on consumer loyalty hasn’t grasped the idea that Twitter is a tool of engagement, much like Facebook. And yet they continue to use it as a PR channel. This is a classic mistake many brands make. And the reason they do so is because they don’t have the conviction to embrace the change technology brings. Instead they play it safe and try and do things that are comfortable.

For all the hate I throw at Dell, at least their Dell twitter feed has a level of engagement and serves a purpose — brings customers to Dell website. There is Comcast, which set the world on fire with Comcast Cares. But my ideal Twitter user is Virgin America, which engages, responds and entertains those who follow the brand.

And as far as Herman Miller are concerned, I un-followed them. If they don’t want to engage, I don’t care either. We were going to buy some new chairs at GigaOM. I guess we will be calling on Steelcase. I hear they make some good stuff.

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