Should You Choose Facebook or Twitter for the Start of Your Social Presence?

When a business decides it’s time to keep up and get their brand on social, it is extremely overwhelming. There are many social network options, but most new-to-social businesses settle on Facebook or Twitter as their first online marketing platform.

Via Flickr by Jason Howie

Via Flickr by Jason Howie

Why is this? Well, Facebook and Twitter are warring clans for the dominion of social media. While Facebook is the innovator that amped social media into what it is today, Twitter was ahead of the curve in creating a new form of social networking. Since their rise to popularity, Twitter and Facebook have been borrowing site layouts, keywords, hashtags, content formatting, and algorithms from each other. Much like the rivalry between Microsoft and Apple, Facebook and Twitter are in a casual war.

So, when businesses are new to social, they gravitate towards one of the two giants. They have a tried and tested layout that attracts users from every demographic. No matter what your business is, you can find your audience in the folds of one of these platforms.

But which one do you choose? If you only have enough time or room in your budget for one, you have to look at who your target audience is.

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

For larger businesses that have a target audience that spans across the country, Twitter is your best bet. The audience of Twitter is vast and the platform makes it easy for your audience to interact with your brand. As long as you understand how to craft your messages, use hashtags, create a conversation, and how often to post, Twitter is going to be your best platform.

Via Flickr by Ricky-Lai

Via Flickr by Ricky-Lai

For the smaller or localized businesses, head to Facebook. The users want to interact on a more personal level with Facebook. They want to have conversations with their brand and stay up-to-date on what is going on. Local businesses thrive on Facebook because the people want to support their city and create relationships with owners. They also love bragging about that awesome boutique on Main Street or the greatest tacos ever at the 3rd Street Mexican restaurant. You are likely to get high interaction and more referrals on Facebook.

However, I highly recommend you get on both. My starting price for my social media services cover both Facebook and Twitter posts. This is because I believe businesses need to be on both and it does not take up a great deal of extra time to create different messaging for each platform. Your audience is not restricted to one platform. There will be some of your audience on Facebook but not on Twitter and vice versa. To stretch your reach as far as possible, starting on both Facebook and Twitter will give you excellent leverage.

Originally posted on LinkedIn

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Is Twitter a Better Job Tool than LinkedIn?

Everyone knows LinkedIn is the social media king when it comes to job search, candidate search, and promoting a company or business. But I learned something recently that shocked my knowledge and made me question my social media industry knowledge – Twitter might be a more effective job tool.

Via Pixabay by Nemo

Via Pixabay by Nemo

Some background: A couple of months ago I received a mysterious email from a local startup, asking if I could come in for an interview. I spoke with the woman on the phone, came to their office for an interview, and have been working with them as a brand consultant and social media manager ever since.

I assumed when I was headhunted that the startup found me on LinkedIn. After all, I just started publishing on the platform and it is THE career networking site. I was surprised to find out a few weeks later that she actually found me via Twitter. Amazed, I asked what she did. The startup searched for social media in combination with my area – Kansas City, MO. I was one of the names that came up and my Twitter profile and messaging was the most appealing to her out of all the candidates.

Not only did this interaction make me extremely proud of my profile engagement, but it also opened my eyes as a social media manager. Companies who go digital head straight to LinkedIn to create a company page, get their employees on the site, and headhunt for new opportunities. Individuals who want to network for career advancement and are actively looking for job opportunities get on LinkedIn, customize their profile, and start applying to job openings.

Via Pixabay by tiffanytlcbm

Via Pixabay by tiffanytlcbm

Here is the problem – LinkedIn is so business professional that it is stuffy. There is an unspoken code of ethics, as if the users are constantly in their job interview mode (you know, that mode you get in when you are great at everything and can adapt to whatever the job interviewer wants). LinkedIn is flooded with people vying for positions and trying to B2B market effectively. It can be hard to sort through the noise to find people, especially since LinkedIn’s search function and strange connection rules make it hard to reach people.

Yet Twitter is the opposite. Even if people are looking for job opportunities, they go on Twitter to share industry knowledge, talk about their real lives, and communicate with others in similar professions. Twitter users are more real. They are not actively trying to find jobs on the platform, but do hope someone loves their content enough to follow them.

That means Twitter users are on their A-game to be the best selves they can be. This is different from the fake job interview-self that is the greatest at everything. Twitter users vent when they are frustrated, brag when they overcome challenges, and share personal photos and stories of their life. If you want to get to the heart of who someone is – go to Twitter.

Via Pixabay by Unsplash

Via Pixabay by Unsplash

That is what the startup I joined decided to do. Without even realizing I was being headhunted, I was appealing enough for that company that they considered me the perfect fit and solution to their problems. On LinkedIn, I am too focused on bragging about myself to do much else.

Remember this when you get on social media. People can find you anywhere online. Reserving one part of your personality for LinkedIn while putting another side on Twitter does not separate the two versions of yourself. Whatever you put online reveals who you are. This same rule goes for brands. People can easily find you on multiple platforms and will compare that messaging you send out. Even though each platform has a slightly different audience and messaging construction, you cannot treat them as separate worlds that will never touch. Be authentic on every platform and you will see your goals achieved.

How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms for Your Business

So you realize that you need to be social. But where do you start?

It can be overwhelming. There are numerous platforms and every social media advice website will tell you something different. Here is what it comes down to – you need to evaluate your brand message and your marketing goals and find platforms that match the “persona” of your business.

“But how do I know which platforms match my business?” Luckily, I am here as a social media expert to break it down the main platforms for you.

Via Flickr by marcopako

Via Flickr by marcopako

Facebook. Many say Facebook marketing is as dead as paper marketing, which, if you follow my posts, you know is not the case. It is good to have some Facebook presence no matter what your business is (however retail, restaurants, and local businesses do the best). It’s a numbers game – there are over 1.2 billion active users as of January 2014. You can’t ignore that big of platform. Granted, Facebook’s algorithms make it hard for your messages to reach that platform, but if you do a little bit of research you can greatly use organic reach Facebook to your advantage.

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Twitter. With the right hashtags, you can do anything on Twitter. Yet the best businesses on Twitter are the opposite of the best businesses on Facebook. This is because retail, restaurants, and local businesses have a dedicated customer base while other businesses have more casual relationships with the audience. This is where Twitter comes in. Twitter allows you to connect with other businesses, prospective customers, and industry enthusiasts who will promote you for free – as long as you use the right hashtags. I insist the majority of my clients get both a Twitter and Facebook. They are the two powerhouse platforms you can’t ignore.

Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

LinkedIn. LinkedIn is THE platform for B2B marketing. Yet LinkedIn can be tricky. You need to have one employee be the “face” of the company, meaning they create, manage, discuss, and make connections on the company’s behalf. It can be tricky to outsource your LinkedIn marketing. Usually it is best to do in house after researching the best way to use LinkedIn as a connector tool, not as a spam marketing robot.

Via Flickr Zack D. Smith

Via Flickr Zack D. Smith

Google+. I admit, I have a love-hate relationship with Google+. There is a lot to be desired and I don’t see its use as a social media platform – outside of its affiliation with Google. With Google’s search engine rules, having a Google+ page is practically a must. With a Google+ page, you get higher search engine rankings and more credibility in Google’s (AKA – Internet God’s) eyes. If you rely on high search engine rankings for your business, get a Google+ page.

Via Flickr marioanima

Via Flickr marioanima

YouTube. YouTube is more of a supplemental platform for your marketing plan. Only certain brands are good for YouTube. If you have the opportunity to make instructional videos, product reviews/highlights, or “commercials” online with your product or service, then YouTube is a great platform for you. Just make sure your videos are professional and high quality!

alicegop

Pinterest. Pinterest is a great platform if your business is highly visual. If you have high quality product photos or offer services that are eye-catching, get your boards started! The pinning platform is best for craft, home decor, home improvement, wedding, food-related, and retail businesses.

Via Flickr Play Among Friends

Via Flickr Play Among Friends

Instagram. Like Pinterest, Instagram is great for highly visual businesses. The difference in Instagram – you need to be very interactive as well. On Pinterest, you can get away with throwing up content without a whole lot of interaction. On Instagram, you have to be involved. You have to know the best filters, know the hashtags, and know your audience as well as constantly communicating with your audience.

Via Flickr by manoftaste.de

Via Flickr by manoftaste.de

Blog. Bottom line – blogs are important for pretty much every business. Blogs are your opportunity to showcase your knowledge about your industry. The golden rule is to never write an entire blog post as self-promotion. You should always blog to give away “free samples” of information to your audience so they want more.

Originally posted on LinkedIn

More Characters on Twitter?! New Retweet with Comment Feature

Twitter announced this week that they are testing out a new feature for the platform – Retweet with Comment. This new feature gives you more characters on Twitter to use at your disposal – providing you are adding commentary to a post you are retweeting.

Essentially, Retweet with Comment allows you to preserve the original Tweet in a Twitter Card. For those who don’t know, a Twitter Card is a feature that allows posts on Twitter to be media-rich. If someone uses a Twitter Card, they will link to a website in a post and Twitter will show a preview of the post or the main image below the Tweet.

Via Tech Crunch

If the feature is released to all users, you can choose to Retweet with Comment, keep the full original Tweet in a media preview (or Twitter Card) and then add your own comments with the RT. The benefit – you get a full 140 characters to express your thoughts.

The goal behind this feature is to start meaningful conversations on Twitter. Users currently can have one-on-one conversations by replying to each other. Anyone who wants to join in can view the full conversation, but rarely does this happen unless you are participating in a Twitter Chat. Likewise, many users need the full 140 character to express their thoughts or explain their link. This leaves users who want to RT their content and add their commentary very little room to do so.

Via Tech Crunch

There have been so many times where I want to add commentary to a RT only to cut down my thoughts, remove my hashtags, or alter the user’s content I am RT. I hate doing all of those things. With this new feature, I can preserve the entire original Tweet without feeling guilty about altering their voice or style and still say everything I want to say. More people can view the conversation easily and join in.

The 140 character limit is what makes Twitter special and causes people to get more creative with their posts. But often it is a limitation. With more features like this, Twitter can evolve into a more thoughtful conversational host.

Image Credit: Tech Crunch Original Article

Why You Need to Outsource Your Social Media Marketing

Back when email was on the rise and everyone was head-over-heels in love with this quick new form of communication (after you waited for AOL to log you in using dial-up for about half an hour), many businesses scoffed. “We don’t need this email. It’s a fad that will pass. Customers would rather call us on the telephone!”

Those businesses learned very quickly they do need email to reach a large portion of their customer base and those who did not perished. History repeats itself and this time social media marketing is the new “fad” businesses are reluctant to pick up.

Via Flickr by tashmahal

Via Flickr by tashmahal

Some businesses outright refuse to add social media accounts for their businesses. Others hastily create accounts and pages and often do them wrong (such as creating a Group instead of a Page on Facebook).

There are also many businesses that realize they do need to have a social media presence, but try to do it in-house to save money. Here is where the majority of businesses go wrong. It may seem easy to create a business profile and update it every now and then. You do it every day on your own Twitter and Facebook accounts, why should your business be any different?

You feel confident at first, filling out some basic About Us information and sharing your first post. You might think it’s a good idea to link your Facebook and Twitter posts to save time. You might decide to update once a week or every few weeks with text updates on sales or sharing funny cat videos you find online. When you don’t have time to post, you let your employees take over. People start liking and commenting, which you love looking at. Every now and then a customer might complain in a post on your page that is promptly deleted so your business doesn’t look bad.

It seems things are running smoothly on the social media front. However, your business is not growing at all. Your time on social media seems like a waste and you don’t know how other businesses are accomplished on these platforms. This is because you don’t understand everything you did wrong like I just did.

Nicole Yeary2

Via Flickr Nicole Yeary

As a social media marketer for a huge variety of different business industries, both big and small, I can look at your profiles for five minutes and understand all the mistaken steps you took. I will start brewing ideas on how to fix them and optimize your account.

Many customers prefer to communicate through social media and get updates from their business on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and more. When you ignore these platforms or use them incorrectly, you come across as inauthentic, inconsistent, and uncaring about customer needs. Hiring a professional social media marketer allows your business to become a likeable brand on the internet. Your customers will turn to you for their questions, concerns, and investment in your industry.

Professional social media marketers have studied the nuances of every platform extensively. They know the exact formula for posting on each platform and the language preferred by those users. They understand how each social media site is different in expanding a business’ reach, what kinds of posts get the most engagement, and how to create and time messaging. They can also analyze your account and audience to find out when your customers are online and most likely to see your messages.

Social media experts will interact with your audience as a business and customer service representative to increase your customer loyalty. Marketers will learn everything about your business to create a brand personality for your social media presence that is likeable and engaging. They will collaborate with you to get the most out of your website, blog, special offers, sales, events, and more. On top of that, social media marketers are constantly analyzing your platforms to see where improvements can be made.

Via Flickr ChrisL_AK

Via Flickr ChrisL_AK

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? For social media marketers, it is another day at the office. For you, it takes a lot of research and all of your free time, if not more.

This work is not as expensive as you might think. No matter how big or small your advertising budget is, you can find ways to afford social media marketing. At the very least, you can shell out a one-time expense to get consultation on the basics of social media marketing.

I have base prices for my services and different package options for all kinds of businesses. However, I can also take any monthly budget you set and tell you exactly what I can do for you with that amount. I also offer consultation on the basics of marketing tailored for your business needs and goals. You can view my social media marketing service options on my website. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments or to email me at h.s.hobbs@gmail.com!

Originally posted on LinkedIn

 

6 Ways to Get the Party Started on Twitter

Twitter can seem overwhelming at first, especially since almost everyone on Twitter has hundreds of followers and you have zero to start with. It is easy to get started on Twitter once you understand the basics of how to communicate effectively.

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Make a Plan

You need to decide what your goal will be for your Twitter account. Once you have that purpose lined out, you can start to craft your Tweets the right way. Otherwise, you will be sending out random marketing Tweets that people will ignore or Tweets about what you had for lunch. You also need to figure out your target audience and craft your Tweets specifically for them.

Be Human

The first way to be human is to make your profile human. Make your profile picture one of your face, smiling. You should also choose a cover photo either related to your business or something that defines you as a person. Once your profile is human, make sure your Tweets sound human. You only have 140 characters, but make sure every single one matches your personality and the way you speak.

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Stay Polite and Informed

Always respond to anyone who Tweets to you and share their content. Also, don’t be afraid to ask Twitter experts questions. Everyone needs advice from their fellow users now and then (even me!). Making continuous rookie mistakes on Twitter irritates some users, so it is better to learn from them. Reading what other people Tweet will help you figure out the language and format you need to use. Lastly, make sure your Tweets are about other people or things. Only 20% of your Tweets should be about yourself.

Follow Worthwhile Users

Don’t follow just anyone! Make sure you want to see the content of every user you follow. Start with influencers in your niche and other people you respect. Also follow people you know in real life. From there, Twitter will recommend other similar users to follow.

Tweet Valuable Content

Make sure every Tweet you send out is valuable. Share articles that provide new information or a twist on your industry. Valuable content also includes conversations with others on Twitter. They will find value in the time you took to respond to them.

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Patience is a Virtue

It takes time to grow a following on Twitter and see more interaction and results. Take a deep breath, keep using Twitter correctly, and you will see how influential your Twitter can be.

Tagged on Twitter – Liebster Award!

I know, I am completely cheating. This is not a Twitter marketing advice post, but when you get tagged with the honor of a Liebster Award, how can you turn down a post all about it? Besides, I learned I was tagged on Twitter, so it kind of makes it a Twitter Tuesday post. Right? Right.

A Liebster Award is given by bloggers to bloggers they follow or admire. It shows a blogger how much you appreciate their hard work and content and gives that blogger a chance to pass the love onto others in the community. I was nominated by Jess Wooldridge at 913 to 619. You should absolutely check out her excellent blog and follow her on Twitter for great links and discussion on social media marketing.

LiebsterAward

Rules

  1. You must link back to the person(s) who nominated you
  2. You must answer the questions given to you
  3. You must pick other bloggers to be nominated for the award
  4. You must create 10 questions for your nominees
  5. You must notify the nominees
  6. You must provide 11 random facts about yourself

My Answers

  1. Why did you get into blogging?
    I have always tried to start a blog to no avail. When I started to learn more about social media marketing, I learned A LOT about what I was going wrong blogging. I decided to use my knowledge to help others in a strictly social media marketing blog. And here we are!
  2. Coffee or Tea?
    Coffee all the way. At home, I add French Vanilla creamer. When I work at Starbucks, it is either a Cinnamon Dulce Latte or (if it’s the season!) a Pumpkin Spice Latte. When I am working all day, I get a green tea at Starbucks later.
  3. If you found $100 would you spend it or save it?
    Spend it! I am dying for a little shopping spree.
  4. What’s your favorite blog you follow?
    It is a tie between Erica Rocco’s blog and Jessica Wooldridge’s blog. Proof that both WordPress and Blogger are excellent platforms!
  5. If you could change anything about your blog, what would it be?
    I would make it a WordPress.org blog instead. To be honest, I just could not figure out how to set it up. WordPress.com was a whole lot easier. Yet when I work on other client’s WordPress.org blogs, there are so many more amazing SEO options that I wish I had.
  6. What’s your favorite social media site?
    Why would you ask a social media marketer that question?! For personal use, it is a three-way tie between Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr. For clients, Pinterest. For my own self-marketing, Twitter.
  7. What’s your dream job?
    Being a novelist. Close to my job now but a lot more creative and fun! However, I wouldn’t get to interact with all my lovely social media gurus on Twitter as often!
  8. What’s the best hashtag you’ve ever seen?
    That is way, way too hard. Probably some fun one-hit-wonder hashtag from years ago.
  9. Where would you travel on your dream vaca?
    Hawaii with my husband! I went on my own, but I really want him to go with me.
  10. Share a random fact about yourself
    On top of the eleven random facts I have to do at the bottom? Here is one: I am not good at finding fun random things about myself.

My Questions

  1. How did you get into your current occupation?
  2. What do you love most about your job?
  3. What do you hate most about your job?
  4. If there was one thing you could change about your life, what would it be and why?
  5. What is your favorite smell in the world?
  6. Where is your favorite place you traveled to?
  7. What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done?
  8. What is your favorite all-time movie?
  9. If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
  10. The old fashioned desert island question – what are the three items you would take with you and why? Don’t choose survival items like water or lighter or inflatable raft. Pretend you have everything you need to survive.

unnamed

And I Choose…

  • Jess Leeman at All Things Social Media to get her back on the blogging track! I have missed her social media posts.
  • Alicia Rades at The Writing Realm because she gives excellent freelance writing advice and has published blog posts about client management just because I asked for her opinion! She is awesome. You can see an author interview she did with me about my wedding planning eBook on her website here.
  • Purely Social. They are an amazing social media resource and I want to know about the insanely smart writers behind their blog.
  • Sally Ulianich at Sally U: Business, Marketing, Tech, and Social Media. I love reading her posts and want to know more about her!
  • Erica Rocco at Simply Erica R even though she was already tagged once!
  • Jessica Wooldridge at 913 to 619 because I want to see how she answers my questions (you can just comment your answers if you don’t want to write another blog post!)

So get blogging and don’t forget to Tweet me @HS_Writing when you finish your blog post! Oh, I almost forgot…

11 Random Facts About Myself

Blah this one is hard. But here it is:

  1. I am really bad at coming up with questions to ask other bloggers.
  2. I am terrified of snakes, but live in an area where I see two or three in my backyard often.
  3. I am so in love with dogs that I can’t watch commercials, cartoons, or movies with hurt or dead doggies. It breaks my heart. My own dog Charley is my child.
  4. Fall is my absolute favorite time of year.
  5. I can bake but not cook very well.
  6. I have been writing since I was 4 and wrote a story about a big fish I caught with my dad. I wonder if there is any symbolism there 😉
  7. I used to write Harry Potter fan fiction about the Marauder Era. Even though I don’t advertise I did that, I deeply think it helped my writing improve and recommend it to young aspiring writers.
  8. I collect pennies in a plastic “bottle” of Coke that goes up to my hip. I have been collecting my whole life and only have two inches filled. But one day it will be full!
  9. I still buy Lego sets and build them.
  10. My husband and I are very geeky and had a partly Star Wars themed wedding. Our cake toppers were Princess Leia and Han Solo action figured we got from Comic Con. Instead of a Dollar Dance, Darth Vader kidnapped me and help me for ransom. We also entered the reception hall to the Cantina Band song playing.
  11. My freelance writing specialty topics include social media marketing, digital and print marketing, infertility/fertility, weddings, dental offices, and more. Yes, they are a weird spread.

Understanding the New Twitter Layout and Using It to Your Advantage

Twitter has secretly been planning many new and exciting changes to their layout and usability for all Twitter users. Unlike Facebook updates, which tend to go very badly and cause people to “leave Facebook forever”, Twitter did a great job introducing changes to the public and getting its users on board. Just last night I stayed up ultra late to switch to the new layout and create a new profile banner (speaking of, let me know what you think of my Twitter banner!). Here are the key changes you need to know about and how to use them to your marketing advantage.

Profile and Cover Image

small twitter profile

twitter profile

Twitter has updated the user profiles to look more like, well, Facebook’s design. The profile has a cover photo/banner at the top, and the profile picture laid over the banner. Underneath the profile picture is your same old description, location, website address, and photos and videos. On the far right, visitors receive a recommended list of who to follow and what is trending so users don’t miss out on these common Twitter features. The home page is pretty much the same, except your banner is visible above your profile picture in the top left corner.

How to Use It: Make sure you upload a profile picture that is a photo and not a logo (except for rare exceptions). Also make sure you cover photo is relevant, creative, and accurately represents your brand. Abide by Twitter’s optimal cover photo size by making your banner 1500 px wide and 500 px high. I recommend changing your picture often to keep visitors interested and coming back.

Filtered Tweets

twitter banner blog

Underneath the cover photo is a navigation that allows visitors to view your Tweets, browse your photos and videos (redundant but useful I suppose), see who you follow, see who follows you, what Tweets you have favorited, and more. The feed below these options will reflect the visitor’s choice. This allows visitors to choose exactly which content of yours they want to see.

How to Use It: This was an option on the old layout, but it was on the top left corner. This design makes it more aesthetically pleasing and easier to access. One way you can use this to your advantage is to add photos that are bold and eye catching to important posts. Since users can now filter Tweets that are only photo and video related, you can get more engagement out of your Tweets by adding relevant and exciting photos to important Tweets.

Follower and Following Lists

followers

More with making things cleaner, Twitter has made viewing who you follow and who follows you easier to sort through. All of these users on Twitter are graphically organized with their banner and profile picture along with their description. This block format, reminiscent of Pinterest, allows users to easily sort through and digest options.

How to Use It: Start finding new people to follow and grow your own following!

Pinned Tweets

pinned tweet

The Pinned Tweet feature allows you to choose one Tweet to feature at the top of your profile. The only rule is it cannot be a Retweet.

How to Use It: Run specials, promotions, or exclusive content in a Tweet then pin it to the top of your profile. For example, if you are offering a free whitepaper, pin it to your profile! It can also be a highlight of what your Twitter “brand character” is all about so visitors get a clear sense of who you are. There is a bit of pressure choosing the featured Pinned Tweet. I am still trying to decide the best Tweet to pin on mine!

Best Tweets

best tweet

Twitter’s new profile also allows visitors to view the “best Tweets” you have produced. These are the ones that have experienced the highest engagement on Twitter.

How to Use It: Look through the Tweets that are featured and find a common theme in all of them. Start using that technique in all future Tweets to increase engagement overall.

Mobile Photo Improvements

twitter photos

Now Twitter’s mobile platform is more photo-friendly with the ability to tag up to ten people in a photo and to share multiple photos in one Tweet.

How to Use It: Brands can now fully engage with their audience by using this multiple photo and high tag option. You can post multiple photos that tell a story or send a message about your brand and tag relevant users in each photo for optimal sharing.

What do you think of the new layout? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!

How to Use Twitter for Customer Service Without Tarnishing Your Brand Reputation

The Twitter platform is a very useful communication tool for your business. Companies use Twitter to get new customers and connect with the old ones. However, not many companies consider the importance of Twitter for customer service. Many people want to communicate on Twitter and sometimes it is to question or complain about your product or service. Some companies ignore customer requests on Twitter to avoid drawing negative attention to their brand. This is the wrong step to take. Instead, here are some ways to manage customer service on Twitter while still making your brand look awesome.

Via Flickr DigitalRalph

Via Flickr DigitalRalph

Respond Quickly

Try to respond within 24 hours. The less time you take to respond, the better. This is the same rule that goes for any customer service interaction, but many companies take days to make contact after an initial communication request from the customer. Your customer have chosen to communicate via Twitter because they thought they would get a faster response on that platform. Show them how attentive you are to their problem by quickly responding.

Via Flickr Warren Sukernek

Via Flickr Warren Sukernek

Use Empathy and Acknowledgement

Don’t be a Twitter robot! Make sure you tell them you are sorry about their problem or understanding their frustration. Acknowledge the problem before trying to solve it for them as well. When you take these steps, you are showing that you care about their customer and their experience with your brand. You are also indicating you did read their entire problem and did your research about how to fix it.

Via Flickr Book Work Laser & Design

Via Flickr Book Work Laser & Design

Don’t Redirect Them

People are choosing to communicate with your company on Twitter because that is their preferred method of communication. Asking them to visit the store, call, email, or get on another social media platform is inconvenient for them. They want their problem solved now and through the initial way of communicating. Answer their question or complaint entirely on Twitter. This can be tricky since you only have 140 characters, but brevity is your friend here.

Via Flickr Trey Pennington

Via Flickr Trey Pennington

Try to Resolve the Issue in One Tweet

I know you think I am crazy. But if your company can solve any issue in under 140 characters, your customers will have an amazing impression of your customer service. When you read about their problem entirely, do your research before responding, and give a perfect solution in few characters, you are taking up very little of your customer’s time and resolving their issue with ease. Evidence of your excellent customer service stays on Twitter as well, showing others how easy it is to communicate with you therefore giving them confidence in your brand.