Twitter 201: Pet Peeves & Customer Service - Social Media Marketing
Twitter has been around since March 2006 so I think most of us have the Twitter 101 down, which is why we’re going to do a Twitter 201. Now that the social media network has about 500 million users, I think we can move away from the basics a little bit into how to use Twitter more efficiently and to better serve your business to attract customers. I’m going to share some of my Twitter pet peeves and some examples of how and how not to use Twitter for customer service. DISCLAIMER: these are MY pet peeves not necessarily those of Soul NYC and my examples will be mostly fashion related because, well, I am an avid shopper and makeup girl. Lesson 1: Pet Peeves
Lesson 2: Twitter as Customer Service or Not
- Auto Direct Messages (DM): I don’t think I should even have to say this, but it’s still happening, EVERY DAY. Most of the time, if I get an auto DM I am about 90% tempted to unfollow, but I’ll give you the 10% benefit of the doubt because clearly I liked your content to begin with. So get rid of the auto DM. I promise you’ll be okay without it. Probably better off.
- Being a brand/place/business who only retweets mentions and does nothing else. TALK AND LISTEN is the name of the game. Along the same lines, don’t just schedule posts and never interact.
- Silly grammar mistakes: at the risk of sounding like a stickler for grammar, if you are representing a business you have to know your vs. you’re, they’re vs. their vs. there, its vs. it’s, and general good spelling and grammar. I’m not saying you can’t ever make a mistake because I know I make them often, but there are some that we should all know not to make.
Call me a member of the generation of immediate gratification if you want, but during my 3 years as a very active tweeter, I’ve really come to expect that when I tweet a brand, place, or business, if it is related to the business I should get a response. Now, I’m not saying you should respond within seconds but probably within a day, if not sooner (depends on the issue at hand). Even if the query is a negative one, I say respond publicly and show others that you can turn a negative into a positive. Those people with whom you interact are bound to appreciate your responses and probably become brand ambassadors. Below are some examples and how I think they would be better handled. Disagree? Let me know in the comment section below!
1. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best, this is a TERRIBLE! I bought several lip color pencils from the company, only to find out I couldn’t really use them so I tweeted them. What happened? TOTAL RADIO SILENCE TO DATE! So you think, what about the website? NADA! Not on the FAQs, not on product information, nowhere. Alas, I was forced to resort to Google, which I guess isn’t that bad and the solution turns out to be pretty easy (buy a jumbo pencil sharpener even though it’s a plastic pencil), but that also tells me it was a simple tweet away from me being a happier customer.
LESSON: if you get a simple brand query, ANSWER IT! Also, better late than never. Even though I now know the answer, I’d still appreciate one from the company itself.
2. On the same scale, I give this situation a 4. Scenario: the previous night some friends and I were at Lavo NYC at around 11pm having some pizza and cocktails. As the tweet says, our tables were cleared faster than we could eat our food and swallow our drinks. At one point a plate was taken while I was still finishing eating. One of my friends then tweeted the message to the left in reference to the incident and then semi jokingly I sent a reply including the Lavo’s handle. Now, I give the community manager some credit for responding quickly, but that’s it. You ask my reasoning? Instead of asking about the incident, which I could have easily put into less than 140 characters, the Lavo NYC community manager asked to be followed so that we could DM. I indulged because, hey, maybe she wanted to talk via DM. But, NO! I then received a DM to email so the story could be “relayed to management.” Call me lazy if you want, but I didn’t feel like writing an email about it. At this point it was late Friday afternoon and I was over the issue. However, I think this whole scenario could have played out differently in several ways. For one, we could have had a simple twitter conversation about the incident and I would have totally given her a 10. Other people on Twitter could have then seen how the community manager turned a negative into a positive and I would have been content, it wasn’t that big of a deal anyways. I would have even given her a 7 if we had the convo via DM. I would have given them a props tweet for addressing the issue, but she didn’t really address the issue and wanted me to take several different steps that I didn’t want; THUS THE 4.
LESSONS: Take a comment and respond. No matter if it’s negative or positive, help your customer become your ambassador. More importantly, address your customer where your customer prefers. So if your customer tweets, tweet them back. If your customer DMs, DM them back. You get the point! Don’t make your customer go through 3 different ways of communication for just one issue.
3. The examples here all deserve a 10, in my opinion. If you know Twitter and fashion, you know Bergdorf Goodman, or @Bergdorfs, is one of the pioneers in social media and probably a must follow for how to do social media for business.
So, why 10s? All queries are responded to in a very timely fashion (read: within the hour, if not sooner). Furthermore, she doesn’t just provide simple answers, but goes above and beyond to provide direct numbers and associates’ names when applicable.
Some other great examples of social media as great customer service include Jet Blue as told by Ted Rubin and Morton’s Steakhouse as told by Peter Shankman.
LESSONS: Going above and beyond will surely guarantee that your brand/business/place will be noticed in its social media efforts and your customer will thank you.
Got any other worthy examples? Share them with us here, on twitter, or on Facebook. Think differently? Share your thoughts with us too!
Andrea Bonilla is a copywriter and community manager, with over 2 years of experience, working behind the scenes to help clients build their audience via social media and engage them on a regular basis, and bringing you the latest in social media and inbound marketing news and tips!