Are you marketing to people on Twitter? You know, pitching your wares? Perhaps there's a better way…
In this article I'll present three ideas that will draw customers to you without that nasty marketing aftertaste.
One of the reasons social media is so valuable to businesses is that it offers a chance to show you're listening. As a result, you can gauge customer sentiment, turn prospects into clients and turn customers into brand evangelists.
Instead of looking for instant results in the form of sales, try looking for results on the other side of the spectrum, such as in customer retention and/or brand mentions.
These are the kinds of things that are easily measured and easily influenced. They're time-efficient, and they're the perfect use for that Twitter account you set up for your business.
How do you do it? You feed egos.
#1: Let Others Sell For You
Can you improve your sales numbers by throwing links out on Twitter? Sure, but I don't think it's the most efficient use of your marketing dollar. Marketing to people directly is not nearly as effective as letting your fans and customers market for you.
I much prefer to spend my social media dollars to bolster my community and create brand evangelists. They're the best marketers I could hope for.
#2: Put Out Fires And Spread The Good Word
Dealing with customer issues via email, help desks or on the phone can really sap a company's resources. Although these lines of communication will probably never go away, there are many cases in which you can put out the fire before it gets that far.
Unhappy customers will complain, and Twitter is one of their favorite places to do it.
However, the beauty of Twitter is that when they complain to the world, you can find, track and intercept that complaint before it spreads, often from the screen of a single employee.
Just think about the impact of a complaint on Twitter. One complaint reaches thousands, which then gets retweeted to tens of thousands, ad infinitum. If you can put out the fire before it gets to the second tier, then you've not only kept a dangerous message from spreading, but you've shown that you care. At that point, it's highly possible that the person complaining will tell his or her followers that you've responded, which in turn creates a message of goodwill.
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All you've done is reach out and respond to a complaint.
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#3: Responding Is Solving
People just want to know that you care. When I surveyed my Twitter followers for their expectations when dealing with companies on Twitter, they said that more than anything, it's the response that matters.
Even if you can't solve the problem immediately, the very act of responding and addressing the complaint proves that you care. That's all people want, to do business with a company that cares.
If you can go a step further by routing the complaint to the correct department, then that's a +1.
The trick for businesses using Twitter is not how you can get more followers so that you can sell more stuff, but how can you create more brand evangelists so that you can sell more stuff. That act of just being there, listening, engaging and hanging out will do far more than spamming your followers with links (if you have any followers left).
Trade Emotional Appeals for Empathy
Being successful on Twitter is nothing more than padding egos and making people feel good. Are you going to win every time? No, but you'll sure save your company a lot of disruption by tackling problems before they become wildfires.
Don't get me wrong… I'm not asking you to trivialize people and their problems. I'm simply advising you to focus on the empathy instead of emotional appeals.
At worst, you spend a few dollars to solve problems. At best, you create loyal fans who will spread your message for you.
Make people feel good, and they'll pay it forward on your behalf.
To get involved, the first step is to let people know you're out there. Next, set up groups and searches so that you can monitor the pulse of both your industry and your brand. Lastly, find someone who can spend the day hanging out with prospects, clients, and customers. Focus on reducing customer service costs, minimizing attrition and refunds, and turning complainers into evangelists.
It's not about you or your company, it's about making people feel like they matter. Do that and you'll win almost every time.
What do you think? Have you reached out to someone on Twitter? What do you really expect when you complain? Share the details with us below!
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