As well as beginning 2018 by announcing positive results, Twitter has never been so important in terms of customer relations. Thanks to its conversational, public and immediate nature, customers love this means of contacting companies. The public nature of Twitter means that companies have to react quickly, lest their brand image be damaged. Many businesses have already felt the negative viral effects of their lack of response on this channel. Meanwhile, other companies have taken negative tweets as an opportunity to react and demonstrate the effectiveness of their customer service.
Twitter and customer relations
Twitter is now a major customer relations channel. Over the last 2 years, the number of tweets linked to customer relations has increased by 250%.
It is important to remind that Twitter users can express themselves publicly about their experience with a certain brand, whether this company has an account on this social network or not. Twitter presence is therefore essential, so that you can respond to customer enquiries. According to a study, 78% of users think that Twitter can show that brands care about their customers’ issues. Of the users having had a positive exchange with a brand, 68% are certain that they would buy its products or services again in the future.
In the event of negative feedback, the brand’s response is crucial. It can transform a negative experience into complete customer satisfaction. A common case is a customer tweeting a company to cancel a contract. This is an excellent opportunity for the company to start a conversation with the customer, discuss the causes behind his or her decision and offer a solution. A company with a Twitter presence can adopt this strategy, while others without a Twitter account will not see the message and will simply receive the customer’s cancellation request, without knowing the tweet existed.
74% of customers who have expressed an issue to a brand on Twitter have found a solution to their problem. This figure shows that, in general, companies are aware of the importance of this social network.
Use of Twitter around the world
The site currently has 330 million users. With 67.52 million users, the USA is the biggest market. Outside the USA, the top 3 markets are Brazil (27.7 million), Japan (25.9 million) and Mexico (23.5 million).
The mobile, instant nature of Twitter makes it one of the most active social networks: every second, around 8,000 tweets are sent all over the world.
In some countries, however, Twitter has not caught on as much. In India, Germany and Nigeria, for example, the social network is used by around just 1% of internet users. This figure can be explained by cultural factors: for example, in Germany, the importance of privacy and the character limit on tweets, which is not ideal for long German words, might explain Twitter’s unpopularity.
Why is a Twitter presence so important?
Companies from these markets might think there is no need to be on Twitter. Although its potential is not as high as on other markets in terms of marketing and communication, Twitter remains a key channel for all companies.
Even if Twitter is not widely used in your market, it is still likely that users are tweeting about your business. Even with a smaller base of users, the customers that are on Twitter are susceptible to sharing their experience with the brand. You might also want to think about your overseas customers, who may be more used to using Twitter as a customer relations channel.
Don’t forget: those who have had a negative experience of a brand are 50% more likely to talk about it on social media than those who have had a positive experience. Often, customers do not talk about a brand on Twitter until they have a negative experience of it and decide to share it on the site.
Depending on a user’s influence, just one tweet about a negative experience left without a response can do real damage to a brand’s image. The highly public nature of Twitter can make some posts go viral, thus quickly destroying the image of an unresponsive company.
How do I monitor tweets about my company?
Depending on your markets and their use of Twitter, you may not necessarily need to develop an in-depth Twitter communication plan. But, given the aforementioned risks, it is essential to monitor this channel and show reactivity when faced with customers’ issues.
Beyond just creating an account for your company, you must monitor tweets about your business in the right way, so that you can respond quickly and effectively. Relying on an interaction management solution can enable you to detect tweets about you and respond. Twitter will be treated as just another channel and can be processed by your customer relations teams in the same way as other channels.
Even if a company is present on the site, users often talk about it without using its Twitter handle, which makes it harder to detect tweets about your brand. A study has shown that 30% of tweets that mention a company do not contain its @ handle. This makes it crucial to use the right solutions to find tweets about your brand.
A simple search for the name of the company can detect this kind of tweet. If your company’s name contains commonly used words, there are more advanced solutions available, which can signal tweets that are really about your company. This might include hashtags, keywords linked to your activities, or targeting certain regions.
As well as dealing with customers’ issues, keeping an eye on tweets about your brand brings about other benefits for your company:
- Find out about recurring problems with your products or services: if several users signal a problem or talk to each other about it, you can respond to them and implement the measures needed to correct the issue.
- Engage in conversation with your customers: Twitter encourages conversation, whether positive or negative, and brings you closer to your customers. Answering tweets and talking to your customers can be an excellent way of getting to know their expectations, thus increasing customer satisfaction.
- Highlight positive feedback: many tweets are about a positive experience. This kind of message is highly valuable for your company and can be highlighted to demonstrate the quality of your customer service. A study by Mention revealed that 60% of tweets that mention a company are not retweeted, which shows that many brands are missing this golden opportunity.
As we have seen, heading to Twitter to have queries answered has become the norm for customers. Given the number of users active and the huge volume of tweets daily, all companies are affected and need to adopt the right solutions to, at the very least, be alerted when customers are talking about them. With this approach, businesses can ensure an excellent brand image, while identifying recurring problems, getting to know their customers, and, with a bit of luck, creating that “wow” effect.
Originally published Mar 01, 2018, updated Sep 23, 2021