You are busy. Very, very, VERY busy. You deserve a pat on the back for posting on Facebook at least 3-5 times a week and you keep your Google+ page updated and you actually, really enjoy getting lost in Pinterest. But Twitter? You don’t have time for that! And who cares about Twitter anymore anyway? Isn’t that going away soon?
Well, unless you have been travelling very far abroad to an island nation without any Wi-Fi access or maybe to Mars, you probably noticed that we just survived a Presidential election like no other. And a HUGE part of that campaign took place on Twitter. Even now that the election is over, our PEOTUS is still burning up that Android keyboard with his Tweets; existential Tweets, insulting Tweets, re-Tweets. As it stands now, it appears very likely that we all will be keeping track of what’s really going on in the White House via Twitter.
That being said, why should you care? Celebrities and politicians can have
millions of followers who hang on every single one of each of their 140 characters. You may be thinking, my small business only has 250 followers so why does it matter if I even HAVE a Twitter account?
As of the third quarter of 2016, Twitter averaged 317 million active monthly users, according to Statista. Statista has a great chart, showing, that with a few exceptions, Twitters user numbers have steadily grown every single month since its inception. There are nearly as many reasons that people use Twitter as there are people using Twitter. Do you really want to miss out on these potential customers?
As the imminent demise of Twitter seems to have been grossly exaggerated at this moment, why not take advantage of this FREE and wonderful CUSTOMER SERVICE TOOL?
How Twitter Can Help Your Business
Customer Service Tool
If you can dedicate the needed time and attention to your business’s Twitter account, you can put it to work as an excellent customer service tool. Think about big brands that you personally use; Verizon, DirecTV, Ford, etc. If you have an issue with one of their products, you can call an 800 number and work your way through an automated phone tree, where you will likely be prompted to leave a message and you may or may not ever get a call back. You can go on to their website and try to chat with a customer service representative (which does work well, depending on the company) OR you can connect in real time with the brand in question on Twitter.
I recently did this with Petco.com. I didn’t receive a coupon I was supposed to get after making an in-store purchase. I went on Twitter and @mentioned @Petco. I Tweeted that I didn’t receive the coupon. Within 10 minutes, I received a direct Tweet from Petco, inquiring as to how they could help me. They referred my complaint on to their customer service department and with extremely minimal effort on my end, I received an email with the coupon early the next day. Incidentally, this was all over the course of a weekend, a Saturday evening to a Sunday morning.
Companies do not want to be on the receiving end of bad publicity, especially on social media. Hence Petco’s quick response and their moving my complaint off the Twitter feed to a private message. My Petco experience does tell us that Petco staffs someone, probably 24/7, to monitor their Twitter feed. But that doesn’t mean you can’t tap into this great direct communication tool during your own business hours!
An extremely useful tool to help you with customer service on Twitter is the Twitter Dashboard. The Dashboard has been around for only a few months and many folks aren’t even aware of this handy app. This useful tool allows you to view only your Tweets, Tweets about you or your timeline easily. This app is great for customer service because you may also easily view any direct messages you receive and check your alerts and receive notice when you get them. You may also edit your Twitter account’s settings to indicate that your account is a support account. You can also specify the best times to reach you. No only does this help your customers know when to contact you, but it also leaves you off the hook if you aren’t monitoring your account all the time. You can also set up any direct messages you receive, letting the sender know that you will get back to them.
These features make the Twitter Dashboard an extremely useful tool and help make monitoring your Twitter account a breeze.
#Hashtags and Twitter Trends
If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of what is hot in the world today, checking in on what is trending on Twitter via #hashtags or @mentions is a great way to know exactly what the Twitter-verse is all atwitter about. You may tailor your trends experience with, go figure, Tailored Trends. This snapshot is based on an algorithm that considers your location and who you follow. You will be fed the top trending subjects per your account. This can be extremely useful for your business account. Tailored Trends allow you to quickly see what is going on in your industry so that you can jump on whatever bandwagon is taking off.
With a great, FREE customer service tool like Twitter available to your business, why not use it? It’s a good idea to set your expectations as to how much you can accomplish with Twitter. Advertising on Twitter may not be the best way to spend your online marketing dollars and posting several times an hour probably isn’t in the cards for you either. Setting up your dashboard, bookmarking and downloading the Twitter App on your computer and phone and also being available to your current and potential customers on Twitter is a great way to stay in touch with those 314 million potentially satisfied customers. Let all those positive @mentions roll on in!