Customer Experience News & Trends

Twitter and the customer experience: 7 best practices

Would anyone have guessed 10 years ago that a customer experience could be whittled down to 140 characters? Yet today, Twitter can be a powerful tool in creating bold customer relationships.

While Twitter is far from social media infancy, it’s still not as widely used as other channels for customer engagement. Many organizations still request Facebook likes more than they tweet.

But even if Twitter is a small part of your customer experience, you want to get it right.

Here are seven best practices for creating an effective Twitter customer experience:

1. Choose the right handle

This is where it’s important to talk your customers’ language, not yours. Use your 15 characters to create or rebuild a handle that makes sense to your customers and is easy to remember, spell and say.

For instance, if your company is named Axel Basis Corporation, but everyone calls you ABC, @ABCanswers is more effective than @AxelBasisCorp. Or, if you’ve been making the Professional Series Weedwacker for generations, and customers affectionately call it The Green Machine, your Twitter handle should be something like @GoGreenMachine.

2. Be transparent

You have 160 characters in your profile to make these things simple and clear:

  • who you are
  • what you do, and
  • what you can do for customers.

Don’t make it a stiff elevator speech, either. Add a human touch, even some humor. For instance, @GoGreenMachine might say, “Strongest in industry, family owned, killing weeds & taking names for 3 generations.”

3. Follow, be followed

Twitter isn’t meant just to bring customers to you. You have to find and follow them, interact and create conversations. Build an audience by following people you find interesting, industry leaders, influencers and even competitors.

Once you’re connected, try to start conversations once a day. Ask about industry trends and events, changes to your products, new research or white papers — and throw in some fun stuff such as a daily interesting fact from Today I Found Out or a pleasant distraction from National Geographic’s photo of the day.

Then build Twitter Lists of the people who interact the most with you so you can have conversations with those who are the most willing to engage.

4. Schedule

Twitter might be a social platform, but you don’t want to treat it any less serious than other components of you customer experience strategy.

To stay engaging, you need a steady stream of tweets. Too many, you’ll annoy customers. Too few, you’ll miss them. The ideal is four or five a day.

Fortunately, you can automate it with tools like Buffer.

5. Generate and be generous

No one has to tweet alone. Get everyone involved in providing content — from salespeople and service reps, to the CEO and marketers.

Equally important is sharing content from your followers. The more relevant information you share from other accounts, the more likely they’ll share your content, too.

6. Use hashtags wisely

Twitter helps you understand what your customers and followers are interested in through its hashtags. Watch the hashtags (#) your followers, competitors and relevant leaders use in their posts.

To find out what kind of hashtags your people use to search — and to be sure you’re using common hashtags — plug some in your search bar and watch the results. If you see it coming up a lot, use it in relevant content. If it’s hit or miss, try others.

7. Say thanks

A thank you costs just about nothing, but it’s as important in social media as it is in a personal conversation or telephone call. When people give you their time to interact, favorite a post or include you in their lists, say thanks. It builds goodwill and customer engagement.

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