Love it or don’t see the point of it, Twitter is here to stay. If you’re already tapping into the vast opportunities social media presents your online store ecommerce venture, then chances are you’ll know a good chunk of your customer base are already tweeting and retweeting on a regular basis. But how your customers use it and how you as a business use it are different sides of the same coin – so take note of our top tips for using Twitter for business:
- Customer care. Online chats are great for real time customer service, but not every customer has the time or opportunity to sit in front of a screen, especially if it doesn’t require an urgent answer. Encourage them to pop their queries on Twitter, and answer promptly.
- Customer research. If you’re about to launch a new product or service – or just thinking about it – then Twitter is a cost-effective and comprehensive way to reach your core market and simply ask them what they think. Whether part of an in-depth research project, or just a quick way to find out what your customers are thinking, Twitter works.
- Customer sales. Salespeople make the best deals when they have insights into potential customers, enabling them to find common ground, build trust and seal a deal. Twitter profile data is a great way to gather these insights, so don’t waste it – use it.
- Customer messaging. Formal? Casual? Witty? Serious? How you word your customer communications is crucial. So test versions on Twitter – release them in batches, monitor the response, and find out which one generates the best return.
- Customer trends. Twitter has a very useful column that shows you what is ‘trending’ at any given time. That is, what everyone is talking about. Best of all, these trends can be viewed on national, regional and local levels. So if you’re targeting a new market in a new area, trends can help you establish what your potential customers are interested in, and what you can use as a hook.
- Customer retention. Often, unhappy customers won’t pick up the phone or write an email to vent to you. They’ll vent to everyone else instead – and their comments have the potential to reach an awful lot of people. It’s worth your while to regularly monitor Twitter for comments about your business. You can respond to complaints quickly, soothe ruffled feathers, and be seen to care by the social networks. Don’t forget your happy customers either – be sure to thank those who have taken the time to compliment your business!
- Press power. Instead of bombarding journalists’ inboxes with press releases and emails, use journalisttweets.com to find out which journalists are on Twitter. Then, just as you would with customers, start to build a relationship. As soon as you become a presence in their social networking, instead of an anonymous name in an inbox, you’ll be halfway to securing the media coverage you need to grow your business.
Have you been using Twitter for a while? Or have you just started? Let us know your thoughts and experiences!