According to recent research by Chadwick Martin Bailey, a Boston-based market research consultancy, 50% of Twitter users are more likely to buy from brands they follow on the service. Despite this data, brands who would benefit greatly from this quick (and free) sales opportunity are still making very basic social media mistakes.
We at Fueled know how important it is for brands to use Twitter, Facebook, and other forms of social media for customer service, so we’ve compiled a list of things to remember before you start tweeting.
1. Respond. This is the number one responsibility of any company or brand. Twitter especially, was developed to encourage dialogue not monologue. Of course, dialogue implies prompt responses from both ends, so it’s imperative for you to constantly be on the ball. A large number of tweets are sent via mobile phones which means customers could, for example, be tweeting while shopping, asking for advice. Responding to a query two days later is could translate to many missed opportunities.
2. Be Valuable. Don’t just be another tweet that gets lost in your customer’s newsfeed. Provide your audience with something valuable that relates to the niche that you serve. For example, Whole Foods rarely has promotional tweets, choosing instead to tweet healthy recipes or nutritional advice. In the same vein, if you sell clothes, offer some of the latest fashion trends. Any business can provide something of value without necessarily selling anything. And with companies like Conversocial, Sprout Social, and TwentyFeet, doing this is easier than ever.
3. Delegate. Share social media tasks with a trained customer service team. Companies receive thousands of tweets a day and should have enough staff members to deal with the volume. They should also be equipped to properly deal with real customer service issues like complaints, refunds, and exchanges.
4. Directly Address. Speak to your customers. Starbucks is very popular on Twitter; they show they care by directly addressing and apologizing to disgruntled customers. By doing this, customers know they’re actually being listened to and that Starbucks is genuinely concerned about getting their issues resolved.
5. Don’t Clutter. Avoid going overboard with Twitter specific syntax like hashtags, @’s, or abbreviations. They make simple messages difficult (not to mention extremely annoying) to read.
6. Be Exclusive. Think about it: the main reason people follow celebrities and brands is because they want to be in the know, and they want to be in the know first. Make company announcements (don’t be afraid to be personal but do know your limits), share pictures, and talk about the people behind the brand.
7. Be Positive! Take your cue from McDonald’s, which emphasizes its positive and relatable brand image through its tweets. Not only do they tweet about their products and promotions, but they posts things unrelated to the company, such as wishing everyone a happy Thursday and retweeting uplifting messages like the trending hashtag #LittleThings.
The bottom line is that there are more people online now than ever before - which means that the Internet is already full of information nobody really wants to read. So in order to prevent becoming a part of that ever-growing category, brands should focus not on quantity, but on the quality of the online experience they provide.