What Customers Expect from Brands on Twitter
If you’re a brand and you’re not on Twitter, you’re doing something wrong. While Google is still the first stop for a quick company search, Twitter is quickly becoming the place to discover and interact with brands, both big and small. Angry at Comcast for a dropped call or billing error? Tweet them and you’ll likely get a more enjoyable response than sitting on the phone on hold for 25 minutes. Want to find out about the best new products from your favorite clothing retailer? Check out their Twitter for real-time updates or even special offers. As a brand, just being on Twitter isn’t enough. Both your customers and prospects have expectations of just how a company should behave. Let’s call it social brand etiquette. Here are the absolute basics.
News about your company
If you have news about your company or brand, great! Be sure to share it on social. Having it on your website isn’t enough. There are countless customers and prospects who may only see you via your social presence. Make sure they know what the latest happenings are and what your brand is up to. You might catch the eye of a casual Twitter user who wouldn’t ever come directly to your brand’s website.
Quality original content
This one is a no-brainer, and it’s undoubtedly part of any successful brand strategy on Twitter. If you have a company blog, white-paper, or infographic, don’t neglect to post it on Twitter, even if it seems like it may be more successful on a different social channel. It doesn’t hurt to put all of your quality content out there for customers to see. They will appreciate being well-informed about you and your product.
Quality curated content
We are big proponents of curation, and there are good reasons to back that up. By posting quality content created by others on your social channels, you are telling your customers and audience that you care about your industry and sharing relevant insights, even if they come from another individual or company. Sharing curated content alongside your own content builds trust, brand authority, and thought-leadership. Your Twitter will become a place your audience goes for quality information.
Twitter is a great outlet for basic customer service, and your customers like it that way. I know I, for one, would much rather Tweet a question to a brand, go on with my day, and get an answer back within a few hours, than sit on the phone listening to bad muzak for an undetermined amount of time. Be sure to monitor Twitter for mentions of your brand, and always respond. If you can answer a question or solve a problem on Twitter, do it. If the issue is too complicated to express in 140 characters, kindly thank them for reaching out and direct them to your email or a customer support email address.
Whether you are onboard with it or not, you will receive questions, feedback, and probably also complaints on Twitter. The sooner you can respond to all of those Tweets, even the negative ones, the better. Responding within 24 hours is ideal. Whenever I have tried contacting brands on Twitter, a timely and kind response has gone a long way in my respect for that brand and their customer service. It makes your customers feel like you are always there for them, accessible on one of their favorite social outlets.
Your brand voice
Last, but absolutely not least, your Twitter activity should always reflect your brand voice. Defining your brand voice is a whole other post, but once you’ve nailed down whether you are the authoritative professional type, the fun and playful type, or somewhere in between, make sure that your activity on Twitter reflects that style. If your voice is formal and professional, sharing silly viral videos might seem out of character. If your voice is light and silly, responding to customers with terse, short answers might be off-putting. Keep your voice consistent in your own Tweets, the content you share, and the way you respond to your customers.