Attracting Customers and Fostering Brand Loyalty with Twitter
Of all the reasons business owners and brands should turn to Twitter for customer acquisition and service, the two most important are: efficiency and speed. Twitter is a fast and low-cost solution that should be embraced by enterprises that are interested in solving problems and giving prospects enticing content.
Today’s guest post by Natalie Smith.
The barriers to entry presented by Twitter are very reasonable. To call attention to a Twitter profile, a brand simply needs to dedicate time and effort to engagement. To use Twitter for branding, the most vital starting points are following mentions, creating conversations, and tracking analytics. Social media engagement on Twitter is very dynamic, and the following strategies are for brands that wish to establish a solid online reputation.
Using Twitter as a Customer Service Platform
Twitter has all the ingredients of a great customer service recipe. It can be used to solve problems, reinforce a positive image, get company staff involved, and reduce costs. To get started, a brand should actively monitor not only its profile but also any mentions of the business name, products or services – this is one way to anticipate problems. Third-party tools are useful for this purpose such as:
- and TweetDeck.
The next step is to address the problem in a customer-centric fashion.
Timely and Measured Responses
Customer issues can be identified through conversational tweets or direct messages. Once an issue is learned, time is of the essence, and the first step is to acknowledge the issue by directly replying to the tweet or using the traditional @reply method. The initial message should establish a human presence behind the Twitter profile, and it should be an offer to help. Arrogance should never be displayed in any tweet made to customers. Instead of prolonging a conversation through several tweets, it is preferable to invite the customer to contact via email, live chat or telephone channels. The key is to always come across as a brand that is friendly, warm and polite.
Although solving problems is the main purpose behind a brand presence on Twitter, the expectation of most customers is to establish a personal connection. The basis of a social media presence for brands is to appear as a warm and approachable collective, which means being able to come across as clever and entertaining. The key to a personal commitment on Twitter is to be proactive through establishing valuable relationships with customers. With that in mind, all customer greetings should be responded, all positive comments should be treated with gratitude, all questions should be answered, all birthdays must be remembered, new followers should be greeted, etc.
Branding and Engagement Through Content
Twitter has come to replace RSS readers in the sense that many users choose to directly visit accounts that they deem to be interesting. For a brand, this is an even better proposition than jockeying for position on someone’s feed. To achieve this privileged status and keep customers interested in coming back to check out a profile, a brand must have good content to offer, which should not be limited to a website operated by the brand. Pointing followers to content that the brand finds interesting and worthy of sharing can boost social value – tips, bits of wisdom and lighthearted jokes are also welcome. Above all, it is important to remember that Twitter is not an echo chamber; posting updates should be balanced with sharing and responses.
Enticing Prospects on Twitter
Many Internet searchers click on results that point to Twitter profiles or hashtags out of curiosity. For brands, this is an opportunity to hook prospects and convince them to become followers. It all starts with the aesthetic selection of an adequate Twitter cover picture, background and pinned tweet. Next, every update needs to be crafted with purpose –even though Twitter intends to extend its message limit to 10,000 characters, the traditional 140-character mark should be kept in mind. The message should always invite users to view content and become followers.
Being a Good Neighbor
Few Twitter users will benefit from not following others. A notable exception is former spy agency contractor, Edward Snowden, who chose to only follow the NSA when he decided to join Twitter. A brand that chooses to follow all customers will probably have a feed that would be too busy to effectively pay attention to, but doing this will turn the Notifications tab into a veritable customer service platform that can be managed via TweetDeck or similar social media suites. Following others means paying attention to their updates and getting to know their interests; responding to their updates and sharing their most interesting posts can go a long way in building customer loyalty.
When Happy Customers Turn Into Viral Stories
The pinnacle of the Twitter experience for any brand is to see happy customers post updates that end up achieving viral status. Positive sentiment is not a rare commodity on Twitter; major brands such as Lego and KLM have made Twitter history when they have shown customers that there are nice and thoughtful staff members behind the business facade.
A negative update by an unhappy customer can achieve viral status faster than a positive one. For this reason, it is imperative for brands to understand that Twitter is a very transparent customer service platform that can be viewed by millions at any given time. To this end, brands should place equal focus on avoiding negative sentiment as well as fostering positive feedback.
Guest Author Bio: As an aspiring writer and copywriter, Natalie Smith is keen on exploring themes related to Internet marketing, social media, customer service, as well as business in general. You can reach her @Natalie Smith.