Twitter, the most popular micro-blog service, allows users to create 140 or less character messages called Tweets. Twitter users can respond to another user, sent a direct message, or retweet. A rich source of primary data, over 1,000 academic papers have utilized Twitter from its 2006 inception through 2011 (Williams, Terras, & Warwick, 2013).
I collected available Twitter posts from February 1, 2014 to April 26, 2015 that contained #gmrecall. On the sidebar, you can view a widget with current tweets using #gmrecall. Most of the posts fall into on of the following categories:
- Tweeting or Retweeting of link to an article related to the recall
- Expressing disapproval of GM
- Sharing recall stories (e.g., posting a picture of recall notice, discussing wait time, etc.)
- Posting customer service questions and complaints
- Criticizing the government bailout (a small but noticeable subset)
- Harnessing #gmrecall to promote unrelated links
- Dealers reminding owners to schedule repair appointment
- Lawyers looking for possible class-action lawsuit participants
- Predicting Bara, the first female CEO of GM, was hired to take the fall
- Like me, a few used #gmrecall to request participation in research or media
The gallery of selected Twitter posts provides examples of tweets for these categories.
The #gmrecall was used most frequently in March and April 2014, particularly during Congressional testimony where some observers were live tweeting. Two accounts were established to criticize GM:Criminal Motors and GM Nightmare.
General Motors also used Twitter and Facebook to address customer concerns according to the New York Times story, “G.M. uses social media to manage customers and its reputation.” Mary Bara also addressed the GM recall on her twitter account.
The approximately 600-page PDF file with all of the posts to Twitter is too large to upload. If you are interested in viewing it, please contact me by leaving a comment.
Williams, S. A., Terras, M. M., & Warwick, C. (2013). What do people study when they study Twitter? Classifying Twitter related academic papers. Journal of Documentation, 69(3), 384-410. doi: doi:10.1108/JD-03-2012-0027