Social media engagement is a natural part of owning a business these days. Customers expect the ability to communicate with brands using social media profiles, and some will actually refuse to buy from a company that doesn’t have a presence online. They see it as a signal that the business doesn’t provide adequate customer service, and no one likes to call in if they don’t have to.
Twitter has become a powerhouse for engagement. The ability to leave quick comments, complaints and questions make it an effective means of interaction. Not to mention the unique algorithm and live search used by the site, which makes reputation management a breeze. Since so many Facebook profiles are private, Twitter gives a more open connection to customers and potential users.
So, how do you effectively manage business-customer relations using Twitter? Here are five tips that will let you make the most out of the tool.
1. Reputation Management
I already touched on this a little before, but reputation management should be a key focus of your social media use. By keeping an eye on certain hashtags and keywords, such as your business name, you can find out what people have been saying about your brand. By contacting those customers with a response, you will be both monitoring your reputation, and helping to enhance it by engaging those same customers. For example, let’s say a Twitter user complains about a shoddy experience, like a product breaking. You could contact them directly and apologize, offering to replace it for free.
On the other hand, you could also monitor competitors this way. When someone has a complaint about that company, you could extend a free product from your own business as compensation for their experience. This kind of gesture has a way of catching a ton of attention, and often goes viral.
Improve visibility by posting frequently on Twitter. However, you want to make sure that everything you post is high quality, and that most of it is entirely original. I usually recommend that businesses hire someone to handle all social media content instead of doing it themselves. By getting someone on board who really known the medium, you will be increasing your chances of retweets, follows and searches related to your brand. There are plenty of social media experts that will do wonders for your visibility this way. You should also make sure to do a certain number of retweets from content you find around Twitter. Don’t just select those coming from other businesses. Instead, find someone who is influential and has a large follow base. Retweeting individuals sends a better message. As for how many retweets you should do, my advice is one per every ten original posts.
3. Customer Service
Your biggest use for Twitter is going to be as a customer service platform. For some reason, businesses have put a lot of effort into having their customer service agents who cover email also covering Facebook accounts, but much fewer bother to have them keeping track of Twitter. This is a problem, because with Twitter you can actually search out mentions of your product. On Facebook, you are waiting for them to come to your page, and so can only engagement them once they have initiated conversation. You should make sure you have a team handling Twitter, and regularly looking for mentions of your brand, whatever the context.
4. Multi-Account Management
You will probably have more than one social media account for your needs. You can manage them all much more efficiently if you use a dashboard. This will let you add on several profiles, from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, ect, and manage them from a single place. That includes watching analytics, tracking keywords, seeing the influence of yourself and customers, scheduling posts and much more. Hootsuite is a really good option for most. They have a free (basic) package, a pro (small business) for $9.99 per month, and an enterprise option that you can get a quote for. But there are dozens of other dashboards out there, as well.
5. Establish Brand Personality
Finally, we have personality. Your brand should never lay flat, it should have a personality all its own. How do you establish this? Through a clever marketing campaign, and with a little help from Twitter. You can use the social media tool to establish a ‘voice’ that speaks the overall tone of your brand. For example, Old Spice now has a reputation for being larger than life and humorous. They were able to carry this on on to their social media interactions.
Do you have a tip for our readers on engaging customers via Twitter? Let us know in the comments.