I Love Interacting with Companies on Twitter

For the month of February, we have decided to share what it is we love. As cliché as it might be to profess our love for universal web standards or pixel perfect website deployments, we wish to instead focus on what it is that brings us joy every day in our lives at Galvin. Whether we design, develop, manage, sell, or write, we are always putting our passions forth to achieve success for not only our growing company, but our clients as well. Please feel free to join the discussion and share your love with us – the more, the better!

Since I created my Twitter account in May of 2008, I have gotten enjoyment from interacting with friends and coworkers, but an unexpected outcome has been the interaction I’ve had with companies as well.

Companies like Zappos (@zapposSupport) are known for their exceptional customer support, but through Twitter, the company is able to go out of their way to help customers find the exact items they want to purchase. @ATT has responded to my complaints and concerns regarding their services with an attentive staff of Twitter Tech Support. Likewise, @DrPepper asked me who I thought would win the Big Ten Championship football game, because they saw I mentioned drinking their soda and went to a Big Ten school.

While these companies are huge operations, they aren’t they only ones that can benefit from customer interaction. There are 100 million active Twitter users out there, and half of them log in each and every day. While your target market within this giant population will vary, one thing is consistent across the board: people appreciate being heard.

Start Showing Your Customers Love via Twitter

Create a Company Profile

A great way to get involved in the Twitter community is to create a profile for your company at twitter.com. This gives you a “single point of truth” for information about your company.  Having an account that represents the official point of view of your business can give consumers the ability to learn more about your services, vent their grievances, or praise you for a job well done.

Know Your Tools

Your user name, preceded by an @ symbol, serves as the “address” people can use to talk to you directly. These messages can be seen by clicking the ‘@ Connect’ button on Twitter.com. On the connect page, you will see options for ‘Interactions’,  which includes replies, mentions, followers and people sharing or “retweeting” your posts, and ‘Mentions’, which includes just replies and mentions. These mentions may be made by potential customers looking for information or could be recent customers expressing their feelings about their experience.

While both of these types of comments may warrant a response, they aren’t the only ways people can interact with you.

Listen with Advanced Search

Using the advanced search tools, you can search for your company name or industry and limit it to your local area. This tool is powerful, because even if people don’t know you have a presence on Twitter, you are still able to listen in on their experiences with your business.

Consider the following examples:

  • “Just had lunch @companyABC and the service was pretty good!”
  • “Just had lunch at companyABC and the service was pretty good!”

The first example is the type of mention that will show up on your @connect tab, but the second example requires searching. By directing a tweet at a company, the user expects satisfaction: “I’m telling you my problem; are you listening?”

On the other hand, when the user only mentions the company name, they are only informing their friends and those listening to them about the problem. This can still mean just as much to a company, even if they would not be able to find these nuggets of information without searching for it. However, companies should still address this need by utilizing the advanced search functionality.

Using Twitter’s search function, you can search for posts by topic or keyword. You can select from top tweets – those that have been heavily interacted on by multiple users – or all tweets about that topic. Looking at all tweets may be a little overwhelming, but some good information can be gleamed from them.

While listening to your customers is important, responding to them really makes the difference.

Twitter is the New Social Customer Service

Respond to Complaints

Seeing what people are saying is one thing, but responding is where the return value comes in for the consumer. It’s not all about offering coupons or specials; responding to a negative comment saying “We’ll try harder next time” or thanking tweeters for a positive comment can help repair relationships. And when relationships are healthy and strong, customers are likely to do business with you again.

Provide Valuable Customer Service

With the increased presence of business in social media, interacting with customers online can really help bolster business, encourage repeat customers, and prove to potential customers that you care about their opinion. Going the extra mile to interact with people online proves you’re a company that doesn’t just do the bare minimum when it comes to customer service.

Now start showing your customers some love!

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