Twitter is an amazing social network, with close to 60 million tweets being sent each day… All the major companies are on Twitter, Celebs are on there too – and smaller businesses (if done correctly) can also harness twitter to improve sales and customer service.
But there are some things that the small business needs to be aware of, here are our top 5 common mistakes that the small business makes when attempting to use Twitter (in no particular order) …
Sign up and forget it.
This one is the most obvious, if we had a pound for every client we speak to who says “Oh yeah… we have a Twitter account but we don’t use it – it hasn’t been updated for 12 months or so…” – really? You went to the trouble of creating an account to just not bother? A stale Twitter account not only looks like you can’t be bothered it can also look like you are no longer trading… If you have a Twitter account then use it.
We don’t follow anyone who spams Twitter with blatent offers, and I am betting that most other people don’t follow these types of accounts either… Having a Twitter stream that is nothing but “todays special offer is…” is a sure fire way of ending up with zero followers and if you have no followers on Twitter you might as well close the account and go home. Mix things up a bit – some offers are fine, but try having some fun or interacting with your followers – how about a competition or a poll? Some funny pictures from your office goes down well – anything that makes your business seem human and interesting.
Tweets go out but they also come in…
Sometimes you will get a notification on Twitter that someone has mentioned you in a tweet, these are often good things but sometimes bad… Lets say a Twitter user is upset because their parcel from you was damaged in the post – you might get mentioned in a tweet like this “hey @yourbusiness – I got my order today and it was damaged #nothappy” – now the biggest mistake in this situation is to ignore it, don’t wait for them to phone you or email you with the details, twitter is a 2-way communication platform so people expect answers to their queries.
Turn negative into positive.
This follows on from the above really, if you get a customer with a complaint on Twitter then don’t try and resolve it off Twitter – don’t wait for them to phone or email or send them a Direct Message (which is a private 1 to 1 system on twitter) – resolve the problem in the open for all of Twitter to see. Let’s take the damaged parcel tweet from above as an example… You receive the tweet “hey @yourbusiness – I got my order today and it was damaged #nothappy” – at first it seems bad but let’s try and spin it by tweeting they guy back – “hi @twitter_user, we are sorry to hear that – can you send us the order details?”. Once you have the order details you can arrange a new product to be sent out to them or a credit on their account and then update them via Twitter (as well as email or phone) something like this “hi @twitter_user, we have arranged a new product to be sent 1st class #sorry #heavyhandedpostie” – the customer will be happy and other Twitter users can see that you care about customer service… Even another tweet in a couple of days like this – “hi @twitter_user, did you get your replacement product ok?” might get the response – “hi @yourbusiness, yes thanks it’s great – your customer service rocks! #topservice” – and there you have it… negative into positive.
Get the right people using your Twitter.
You might think that you can handle Twitter yourself (even though there aren’t enough hours in the day already) or you might delegate Twitter to the 50 year old guy in the office – now I don’t want to appear like I am saying that 50 year olds don’t get social networking, in fact a lot do and use Facebook & Twitter everyday *but* you need to make sure that the person responsible for your social activity “get’s it…” – you know the girl in the office that does the mundane stuff – you know, the one who spends her entire lunchtime on her phone? Well she is probably on Twitter (and Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat and WhatsApp) and she totally get’s Twitter – so why not give her the job? Just an idea… 🙂