We’re often asked what Twitter is all about. In fact, the most common response when we ask if they use Twitter is, “I don’t want people to know what kind of sandwich I’m eating for lunch.” It’s true that many people use Twitter to tell about the mundane minutia of their lives, but we would never recommend using your Twitter account for that (especially not your business’s Twitter account). So here are the reasons your business should be tweeting and more importantly, how to accomplish a good Twitter presence.
1. Engaging your current customers: Reaching out to your customers has never been easier on Twitter. Ask for reviews and feedback on new products, conduct polls to see what your customers believe your store/service is lacking. Take these ideas to heart. If you’re considering carrying a new line of products, for instance, let your customers vote on which line it should be (see tweet below from Charleston Naturally, who does just that). Usually, the answers to challenges you face in your brick-and-mortar or eCommerce store can be fixed by simply asking your customers how you can improve their experience. This kind of content makes people feel good about your company and thus, more likely to share information with friends. It’s a win-win.
2. Customer service: Similarly, you want to make sure you can address issues your customers are having right away. By conducting a quick search on Twitter for your company’s name, you can make sure no one is bad-mouthing you. If they are, respond positively. If someone is disappointed in your product, apologize and offer a discount on their next purchase or a free return. If someone is upset about your someone in your staff, apologize and promise to do better next time. Most of the time, people just want to hear that the company cares. Often times they have no expectation that the company will see their tweet and respond, so it’s great to catch them off-guard with kindness.
3. Generating new leads/sales: Twitter is a great place to find new leads. Go to search.twitter.com and type in keywords associated with your business. It will likely bring up people who are looking for a company to buy from/do business with. You can then send them a tweet letting them know that you’re the best company for the job… just make sure that you don’t spam your followers’ feeds with self-serving tweets.
4. Interacting with your industry’s community: Twitter has the unique opportunity to find people in your field and contribute to the conversation. These industry leaders are bound to have a few good ideas–ones that you can agree/disagree with or expand upon. Think of it like a table at a coffee shop and your fellow industry leaders are seated around it. It’s a great place to reach out to like-minded people and get references, recommendations and ideas.
5. Branding your company: If you want to have a great presence on Twitter, you can’t just schedule updates to go out every day via your third-party API. You have to roll up your sleeves and dig in. People want companies to be real–they want them to apologize, to be funny, to educate. These are all things that you can do on Twitter that will make your company look awesome and gain people’s trust. Whoever controls your company’s Twitter needs to really have a grasp on what your company is all about. To become the authority, people have to want to read and share your tweets. Make them personable, engaging and honest.