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Real People Don’t Talk Like That

2May, 2014
Real People Don’t Talk Like That

Real People Don’t Talk Like That: How NOT to Pose as a Customer

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with having an employee pose as a customer to seed positive buzz about a product on your corporate Twitter account.

This “real” exchange between a “customer” and the Windows twitter account, however, is a good example of what not to do:

“@Windows: ‘I just spent over 2k on building a new pc… dont worry. I got windows for it. ;)’

Windows: ‘Wowzer! Did you get #Windows8?’

@Windows: Haha of course. After all, I do embrace innovation and change in this technology driven world.”

I don’t think anyone who read this was buying that this putative “windows user” wasn’t paid by Windows to plug the product. That first tweet is reasonably convincing enough, but they blew their cover in that second one. It sounds incredibly stilted and unsettlingly buzzword-heavy. Also, it doesn’t seem to fit with the first tweet, which features dubious punctuation and a lack of capitalization.

If you’re going to use this “sock puppet” method to feign positive customer encounters, it’s best to make the encounter look as real and as natural as possible. This could easily have passed for an actual customer who opted for Windows for their new PC, but that second tweet screams “This ‘person’ was paid to say this.’” For customers, that’s a major turnoff.

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