Customer engagement is crucial to the growth of any business. Where there is a lack of the same, it’s very easy to lose customers. Social media and the internet has brought with it massive opportunities that can help businesses thrive by engaging with their customers. Here we look at how to engage customers on Twitter. As of February 2017, it is estimated that Twitter has 328 million active users on a monthly basis. With these statistics, it’s not enough for businesses to just tweet about themselves rather, they need to become more engaging with their customers. Effective use of Twitter can not only help your business generate leads but, create through leadership conversations around what your organisation does.

Having customers who fully like and trust your business can massively help bolster your business. Some countries are massively big on the use of Twitter than on any other social media platforms. Living in an era where everything is basically online, makes it crucial to find ways of engaging with your customers. Before engaging your customers online, it’s important to first build you brand. Twitter can fully be used to build your brand online. With 140 characters, you can be on your way to acquiring the right user base by engaging your Twitter community and strengthening your brand. Here are a few tips on how to engage customers on Twitter and you can build your brand online on Twitter to enhance effective customer engagement:

  • Choose one username that will stick and won’t keep changing
  • Content is king – have a proper strategy for the content you will share out on Twitter
  • Be keen on what you tweet, retweet or favourite on Twitter
  • Twitter should be part of your marketing strategy
  • Engage wisely with the @mentions on Twitter and who you follow as this is a great representation of what your brand wants to be associated with
  • Make tweeting a regular thing lest people forget you exist
  • Build Twitter list that is crucial in helping your brand and not for the sake of creating one

 

 

Twitter, if used effectively can be of immense value to your business. Having a social media team that will ensure maximum use of each platform that your business uses will greatly impact your business. However, your business needs to be careful on what trends to follow or jump on and how to engage customers on Twitter. Below are a few benefits of how Twitter can benefit your business:

  • Communication

Your business can use Twitter to communicate up to date information with your followers about releases or launches. It also enhances communication between your followers and your brand.

  • Lead generation

Twitter can be an effective way of getting leads for your company. People interested in your products or business, in general, can seek and get information. Additionally, tweeting about promotions or offers for your business can create interest among your followers which can lead to increased sales.

  • Customer support

Every business has customers who would rather tweet than call or visit the business premises. Twitter is one of the platforms that you can use to offer customer service to your clients.

  • Feedback

Twitter can be used to ask customers what they think of your brand or participate in online surveys to get feedback regarding your business. This helps businesses alike to improve and know what they can do to better their services.

  • Run targeted ads

Twitter’s geo-targeting tool can enable your business run ads that are targeted to the right audience. This will allow you share relevant content to the right audience based on their demographics and psychographics.

  • Building of relationships

Your business can build effective relationships and learn how to manage the same using Twitter. This, in turn, can lead to effective customer engagement.

  • Cost effective

Marketing requires a lot of money. Most startups or small businesses might not have enough resources to effectively carry out their marketing. Twitter can help businesses market their products to the right audience and still save lots of money while at it.

Twitter, unlike many other platforms, can enable you to have one-on-one conversations with your customers. Building relationships with your customers online is essential in creating trust and having them act as brand ambassadors for your business. Most people buy certain products from certain brands based on feedback they received pertaining those products from their customers. Still, however you choose to engage with your customers, you need to remember that social media never forgets. How you address your customers can either build your brand or destroy it. The right engagements with your customers create a lasting impression that can be retweeted or favourited. However, the wrong approach can cost your organisation plenty of money and resources in doing damage control.

So, the important question is, how to engage your customers on Twitter?

  1. Create your presence

Your followers want to know that they are following the right company. Your business should not have multiple names or accounts on Twitter. This can be confusing to your followers making it hard for them to know what account to follow. Ensure that your profile is well filled out and go an extra step to get it verified by Twitter. Use the same logos and information on your company website to carry the same message to your followers. Add your location and a link that redirects people to your website. Having a profile that represents your brand will make it easier for people to find you and connect with your brand easily.

  1. Create a strategy

One of the most common mistakes businesses make is the use of social platforms without a strategy. As said earlier, content is king. People will be able to interact with you if you share the right information with them. Coming up with relevant content needs a strategy and is something your business can’t hack without proper research. Establish what you want to share as a business and follow through with the plan. If possible, make a weekly, monthly or quarterly content calendar. Leave room for a few changes here and there so as not to be too rigid.

  1. Start the conversation

Your audience would love to engage with you. Your business needs to start the conversation. Once your content is well planned and you’ve identified key areas that your audience is interested in, create hashtags surrounding them. Hashtags can easily be found on Twitter which helps create viral engagement.  Whatever content you choose to share, make sure that it goes hand in hand with your brands’ message. Additionally, every time you share content, make sure you have put in place proper measures of tracking them. Being able to track your content helps your business get an understanding of what content your audience engaged with highly. You can then replicate the same for future engagements.

  1. Make Twitter part of your marketing strategy

There are various ways that you can utilise Twitter for your business to benefit fully. Adding Twitter to your strategy doesn’t necessarily mean changing your whole marketing plan. You can add a widget on your company’s website where your live tweets, retweets and responses show. You can also link it other sites like Facebook for maximum use.

  1. Define your brand’s voice

Even though your Twitter account is a representation of the brand, people want to know and feel that they are talking to a person when engaging with your brand. Make your voice easy and loveable. Don’t be too rigid or too professional – unless on matters that require a serious tone – when communicating with your audience. Give your tweets a human tone that can create emotions and drive the conversation.

  1. Know your customers

Every brand has a list of customers that will always retweet or favourite your businesses tweets. Identifying these customers and creating conversations with them can greatly help you drive the agenda of your business. In addition, you can add them to a list of your favourites and once in a while engage them. These customers can act as your brand ambassadors and help push your content to their networks and followers.

  1. Respond immediately

The lifespan of a tweet is said to be 18 minutes. Therefore, it’s really important to respond as soon as possible to any tweet your customer sends. Twitter, unlike other social media platforms, is fast. Any inquiries made by customers should, therefore, be responded to immediately. If you are short on resources, it’s advisable to list down on your profile your official working hours to mitigate any bad reputation that your business may suffer due to a late response.

  1. Reward your followers

Your loyal customers want to feel appreciated. Your business can do this by rewarding them. This can be through running competitions on Twitter where the winner gets a gift. This helps build the trust and makes the customers more loyal to your brand. Moreover, listing down customers who retweet and favourite your tweets more often and sending them a shout out helps create the engagement.

As you build your engagement, not all your customers will always be 100% happy. Some will use this as an opportunity to air out their frustrations with your organisation.

Things can quickly spiral out of control if such comments from customers with a negative experience don’t get handled well and in time. Statistics show that about 73% of businesses do not respond to customer clients on Twitter. What even makes it worse is that 88% of customers are less likely to buy from your business if their complaints on social aren’t addresses.

It’s therefore important to ensure that such are not ignored but are dealt with immediately. This you can do by:

  • Accept the issue and approach it with an attitude of helping
  • Reduce the intensity of the issue raised by giving your customer a listening ear. Don’t be defensive but provide solutions to your customer on what steps they can take if they aren’t pleased with your product or service.
  • Take the complaints discussion off Twitter – you can ask the customer to directly message you by sharing their contact details and ensure that your team immediately gets in touch with them.

Even with the above, your business is most certainly likely to encounter Twitter trolls. Twitter trolls are people who are mainly disgruntled with your business or product and will always, no matter what, express their discord about you in a bid to provoke you. Here are a few tips that your business can use to deal with Twitter trolls:

  • Don’t get down to their level
  • Ensure your business has an action plan when it comes to abuse on Twitter directed to your business or staff
  • Don’t get your brand involved in online back and forth with internet trolls
  • Be transparent in your responses
  • Acknowledge and apologise when your business is in the wrong – it shows you care about your customers

The Twitter for Business tool can be of immense value to your organisation if used and handled the right way. Don’t expect your community to pick or grow within a day. It takes some time to build trust more so if your business is just starting or kicking off. Finding a strategy that works for your business can help ease things. On the other hand, it’s important to monitor, measure and if needed adjust your engagements on Twitter. By monitoring and measuring, you are able to see what works for your audience and find better ways of improving to enhance your customer engagement. If you worked on your content plan and realised that it’s not working, don’t stick to it, adjust it.

Without proper tracking metrics put in place, it’s hard establishing what will work and what didn’t. Whether your business has a weekly or monthly strategy in place, if it’s not working, find ways of going back to the drawing board and coming up with something that will work. Have a proper understanding of your audience and what they need before you bombard them with content that isn’t relevant. Tweeting too often doesn’t mean your customer engagement will skyrocket. In other cases, it will even reduce your engagement. Ride on relevant trends or hashtags on Twitter and grow your business. If your business isn’t on Twitter yet, sign up now and build the necessary relationships and start enjoying the benefits and you will soon learn how to engage customers on Twitter.