For brands, Twitter interaction proves profitable

Having a social media strategy is crucial to many organizations’ online success. Instead of providing routine responses to customer inquiries, data suggest investing further. Here’s how.

Responding to tweets in real time has become an increasingly important responsibility for social media managers.

Is it paying off? Twitter data say “yes.”

As consumers continue to rely on social media platforms to interact with brands and express their views about products and services, brand managers must remain consistent.

Twitter data show that millions of people tweet at businesses and brands. To better understand those interactions—and their impact on possible relationships—Twitter looked into the potential revenue that arose from brand managers’ helping or responding to customers via tweets.

If you’re uncertain about your organization’s stake in social media, consider the insights from Twitter’s recent study:

A brand’s online interaction boosts consumers’ spending.

When it comes to customer satisfaction, showing a little acknowledgement can go a long way.

From the study:

[Brand managers] create a massive opportunity for themselves when they acknowledge customer service-related Tweets from consumers. When a customer Tweets at a business and receives a response, they are willing to spend [up to] 20 percent more on an average priced item from that business in the future.

Acknowledging consumers’ requests increases your likability and persuades consumers to show that they’re worth your investment.

Move quickly to generate the greatest amount of revenue.

Data show it pays to be quick when responding to consumers on Twitter.

Study data show:

When an airline responded to a customer’s tweet in less than six minutes, the customer was willing to pay almost $20 more for that airline in the future. Similarly, in the tele-communications industry, customers are willing to pay $17 more per month for a phone plan if they receive a reply within four minutes.

To prevent disappointing consumers with a tardy response, set their expectations from the initial point of contact. If trouble-shooting their problem will take longer than 20 minutes, politely ask them to be patient.

Here’s more:

If you need to discuss a private topic with a person who mentions your business in a Tweet, reply with a direct message link so you can invite customers into private conversations. Make sure to acknowledge the person appropriately by being personal, friendly and human.

OK to Post’s Daniel Kushner says responding quickly establishes you as a brand manager who “cares.”

He adds via Social Fish:

Customers have come to expect quick customer service, via whichever channel they choose to contact you. When people reach out to you on social media and receive satisfying and fast responses, their feelings of connection to your company are heightened, and they’re far more likely to make purchases from you and even recommend you to their friends.

If you share, they share.

Customers who feel satisfied with a brand manager’s interaction on Twitter are more likely to share their experience.

From the study:

Customers are roughly 45 percent more likely to share their experiences—both online as well as offline—after receiving a response from a business on Twitter. They are 30 percent more likely to recommend the business, and respond an entire point higher on customer satisfaction surveys.

Kushner thinks it’s wise to show consumers that you’re grateful for their praise. Use satisfied customers’ posts as an opportunity to boast about the value you provide.

He adds:

A brand that’s active and engaging on social media keeps its name in the forefront of its audience members’ thoughts. Make sure that your online community understands how much you appreciate them and how diligently you work on delighting them. When a new potential customer lands on your social media presence, he or she is much more likely to engage with you if he or she sees that you’re active and helpful.

Although Twitter’s Wayne Huang advises prioritizing responses to dissatisfied customers, you should strike a balance between acknowledging praise and reacting to backlash.

He adds:

Consider prioritizing responses to negative Tweets over positive Tweets, but don’t ignore customer praise. Any response helps increase willingness to pay, so respond to every tweet that you can. By responding quickly to negative Tweets, you can maximize your potential for impact.

Find what works for your brand by polling your audience, interacting more regularly with your devoted fans and tinkering with your general customer service approach.

How do you use Twitter to interact with consumers, Ragan readers?

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