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Green Tomato Cars: A Smart Use of Twitter

| Friday October 16th, 2009 | 6 Comments

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Green Tomato eco cab service londonTwitter is being used for all sorts of interesting purposes these days, from collaborative book writing to street food vendors fighting for mind (and stomach) share.

Now it can be used to hail a taxi.

You send a direct tweet to greentomatocars, and they tweet you back with a confirmation. While it may sound gimmicky, in a world where many people use their mobile phone for everything but phone calls and practically live on Twitter, it’s a wise move. Businesses that make a point to go where their customers are most comfortable interacting stand to benefit greatly.

Green Tomato Cars doesn’t just use its Twitter account just for bookings; the company is active on the site, sharing articles of interest, company news, and tweeting green-minded people traveling in London. Doing so, it strikes a smart balance of promoting its services and adding value to the conversation.

Green Tomato Cars is a London-based company that prides itself on being a sustainable company, from its Prius cars (with plug-in “Super Prius” being tested soon) to offsetting two times the emissions the cars and its office operations produce. In a world where it’s now commonplace for companies to offset their emissions, going far beyond that–to create a positive rather then neutralized impact–is both good for the environment and for Green Tomato as a word-of-mouth building marketing hook. It’s something I’ve not heard of any other company doing.

To compete with the conventional taxi services in London, Green Tomato Cars doesn’t add any premiums to fares. Plus, its drivers are required to have the same level of licensing and vetting–needed to navigate the city’s complex roads–as those who pilot the city’s Black Cabs. And on top of that, Green Tomato drivers actually have awareness and interest in the environmental aspects of the service, and are versed in quality customer service.

All things considered, driving in a Green Tomato seems an obvious choice.

Readers: Have you used Green Tomato? How was your experience? What other ways are you seeing businesses effectively and interestingly using Twitter and other social media tools for their business?

Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. He creates interest in, conversations around, and business for green (and greening) companies, via social media.


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  • Francis Kamau

    Well, I like the whole idea of being green. First these Green Tomato guys are people oriented, they understand the future of Twitter, because the way things are, many products and services will be sold through Twitter. Twitter is turning out to be a marketplace where they are buyers and sellers. Secondly, their customer service from what you saying is world class. I like the whole idea of empowering the drivers on customer service issues. The Green Tomato is truly a company of the future.

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  • Damir

    Very forward thinking. Should be a great inspiration to other companies as well…

  • http://www.twitter.com/greentomatocars Jonny

    Thanks for the follows and the support. One important detail though, please note your #twook must be sent by DM (ie d greentomatocars – NOT @greentomatocars), as we only monitor DMs for this purpose. I hope that’s ok and please let us know if you have any comments, questions or suggestions.
    Thanks, Jonny, MD greentomatocars

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  • Paul S

    Got it, will edit the piece to reflect that. Looking forward to using your service when I’m in London! I had a BBC person on Twitter say they were going to go try it out, after I put this piece out.

  • http://www.minicabs4less.co.uk Y You

    The idea is/was great. It was copied by tens of other companies. I saw a report on CNN appreciating the idea & the service. I was admittedly watching their progress enviably but with alot of positive wishes for them. Prices need to be reconsidered on an envirnmental basis as well, while drivers are ought to be compensated more fairly. The fleet is smaller than what the market can accomodate & the promised hybrid MPVs should be introduced sooner. This inspirational idea is not that welcomed by follow black/hackney services that are world famous for their pollution beside their Knowledge. The whole spectrum of the London taxi/cab ( minicab ) services was shifted into a greener wavelengnth by their inspirational tomatoes. http://www.minicabs4less.co.uk.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=795984143 Caglar Keskin

    Tomatoes are one of the most common vegetables all over the world. They are quickly growing plants and are favorite among most amateur gardeners so as me.
    I will start to grow tomatoes in my farm and now learning watever i can about them, thanks for information. I also
    found another good site about tomatoes and so many other methods of agriculturing, i recommend you to take a look.

    http://agricultureguide.org/