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Just a couple of years ago, many companies balked at the idea that Twitter could be useful for their business—“It’s just a bunch of people talking about what they ate for breakfast, right?” Today, social media marketing is the mainstream, and those who aren’t doing it are missing the train to better customer relationships and higher conversion rates.
But Twitter isn’t just about telling customers that you’re having a sale this Friday or informing them about your latest press release. Twitter is also a great tool for reputation management. Because Twitter allows you to deal directly with the public on a near-realtime basis. and it allows you to monitor all public tweets, it can be a great place to listen to the chatter surrounding your brand, address potential problems, and build positive relationships online.
For starters, here are some great ways you can use Twitter as part of your reputation management strategy and reap the benefits of increased positive sentiment about your brand.
Twitter is like a giant fire hose of consumer information. People tweet about all kinds of products and services. They tweet about the latest Sony TV they bought or the dress they just got at a steal from a Nordstrom’s sale. If you have any sizable customer base, and that base is fairly tech savvy, chances are that you are being mentioned on Twitter—and you may not even know it. Once you create an account, you can set up a keywords search for mentions of your company and product names. When you see users talking about you you’ll begin to understand how Twitter can be a useful reputation management tool.
2) Identify issues
One of the great weaknesses of Twitter is that people use it to complain about the products and services in their lives. But that also means that, as a reputation management specialist, you can use those complaints to your advantage. If many customers are complain about a new feature you just added to one of your products, you might reconsider that feature. If they’re having trouble loading your website, it’s time to walk down to IT and see what the problem might be.
3) Give thanks
You can also build positive sentiment on Twitter by thanking people who compliment your business and products. Just shoot them a quick “thanks for your kind words.” They’ll be impressed that you’re paying attention and feel personally closer to the brand. You just made a life-long customer.
4) Respond to problems
You’ll gain some great business insights if you monitor Twitter for complaints, but you’ll gain more customers if you actually respond to those complaints. If someone Tweets in frustration about one of your products, send a tweet and ask them how you can help. Point them toward resources and offer to fix the issue yourself. When you can do that, you’ll have changed that customer’s mind about your company and product.
5) Be a resource
Once customers understand that you are online and want to interact with them, you can become a great resource by fielding questions about your products and services. Give your audience the resources to solve their problems and give them tips and tricks to have a better experience with your product. They’ll thank you and recommend you to their friends.
This is similar to “monitor”; however, listening is like monitoring with your heart. Be open and welcoming to your customers. Don’t shrug them off when they ask what you think is a stupid question, but rather encourage them to talk about their problems and issues with you. Be sympathetic and give your brand a human ear.
7) Offer suggestions
When you notice a customer struggling, offer to help before they even ask. Your company has a lot of expertise and knowledge. Offering to help with their issues will go a long way to building trust with the customer and help them form a positive reputation of your company.