#TwitterBigStick is a hashtag that escalates bad service and bad behaviour by organizations. Thousands have used it to give instant feedback on poor experiences and neglect. It give ordinary people a voice and an instantaneous way of channelling feedback constructively. Ignoring #TwitterBigStick can lead to a severe reputation battering, often in a few hours of retweeting.
#TwitterBigStick is a crowd-sourced initiative that is run and governed by the crowd. It tries to stay entirely neutral and has no vested interests whatsoever. There is no attempt to profit from this endeavor, and there should be none in future. It has been initiated for the general good, because ordinary people are fed up of neglect and of being taken for granted as customers and users. Tweets and retweets are entirely voluntary, and people join in when they feel they want to. There is no central plan here – it’s just a hashtag.
#TwitterBigStick has a more pleasant twin: #TwitterThumbsUp. It tags praise and commendations for organizations and individuals doing the right things, and doing them well.
#TwitterBigStick is trying to keep this feedback clean and genuine. As with any crowd-sourced initiative, abuses will no doubt occur. It is for the collective to decide what is credible and what is not, and what complaints to support by replying, mentioning or retweeting. There is no central authority of any sort.
#TwitterBigStick is being supported daily by leading social media influencers and journalists (as well as some CEOs!).
#TwitterBigStick is currently aimed at organizations with a brand to manage and a reputation to protect. It puts the spotlight on any failures in their service delivery and corporate behavior, as highlighted by their customers and users.
#TwitterBigStick has been discussed in the media in several countries, including the BBC World Service, the UK Guardian and Ventures Africa.
#TwitterBigStick is being used in Rwanda and Seychelles as well.
Many organizations have responded positively to online complaints and have engaged with the idea, seeing it as a valuable real-time feedback tool. Despite their positive engagement, they too will stay on the radar.
To date, organizations that have responded with promises to address issues include:
The United Nations
British High Commission Kenya
Wells Fargo Kenya
Nation Media Group
The Mortgage Company
Standard Chartered Bank