I've been tweeting a few brands on Twitter recently. It's kind of cool, but the experience has been a bit of a mixed bag...
@Hudsons was helpful (although ultimately they could not accomodate me), @BigRockBrewery tried to help me find their Winter Spice on tap (unfortunately the bar had run out - not their fault) and @ChaptersIndigo ignored my question about syncing my Kobo eReader to the iPad app. In this case I eventually solved the problem on my own, but it's a little disconcerting when brands ignore Tweets directed at them...especially from customers who will buy many books in their lifetime. @haskaynecareers was also helpful, and remembered my request a month later- makes me proud to be an alumni!
In terms of the experience and my perceptions as a customer, if I ask you a question, I clearly expect a response, but the technology is new enough that I'm still impressed/surprised when I receive one. A helpful response is even better but simply being friendly is endearing even if you can't solve my problem. If you ignore me then I'm obviously not happy.
One other important insight...the one's that helped received positive word of mouth from me to my group of friends. People that tweet brands talk about it.
So some good, some bad, some ugly...make sure your community managers are empowered to help customers, folks. I should also mention that I've been using Rockmelt recently, and it's been an invaluable tool for integrating social streams into my workflow. I highly recommend it.
Posted from my iPad (please excuse any typos or funny autocorrections)