How Toyota Used a Twitter Chat to Connect With Its Fans

Toyota USA President Jim Lentz took an hour out from his busy schedule at the Detroit Auto Show this week to conduct a live Twitter Chat about the company’s introduction of an extended line of new Prius models. You can see the results online.

As with most Twitter Chats, participants need to be able to multitask and handle  multiple streams of information simultaneously. For example, you’ll see five people ask questions before you see a response, then a couple more questions, then a couple more answers to some of the first few questions asked.

But Lentz handled it well, managing to type 31 answers or comments in the 60-minute chat. That included the fact that there are no plans for a 3rd row of seats in the new Prius v and that Toyota still is planning a hybrid for each vehicle line within the next decade. Participants also learned in response to one question that he drives a silver Lexus RX Hybrid. Those were among the toughest questions he had to face, so it wasn’t a difficult session for Lentz.

Will other companies take advantage of Twitter this way? Will they offer top executives in live chats? Let us know your opinion.