I had always justified my absence on Twitter as I had assumed that it was a place for celebrities to take a dig at each other and the rest of the world relishing in the babble. This is evident from a survey conducted in 2009 in the United Sates christening 40% of the content as pointless babble.
However, there are people smarter than me in this world who looked at Twitter as a pool of potential customers with 317 million monthly active users.
And since they are intelligent, they certainly knew how to make tweets that trend. Such witty tweets coupled with the statistics that followers are 72% more likely to buy from you further cements the point of using Twitter as a tool for customer engagement.
This social media platform was majorly conceptualized for individuals to share opinions and thoughts. It has evolved into a springboard for brands to increase their awareness and to engage effectively with their customers.
Why Twitter and not Facebook?
The choice of the medium certainly depends on the communication objective and brand image. However, there are some unique advantages to using Twitter. Twitter offers a real-time search option by use of tags and thus, helps in identifying the audience better. A conversational style makes the brand look more humane and less of a preacher or a pushy salesman which is always more engaging for the customers. The ads are minimal and this makes the experience for the customer with the brand more organic and more real.
Another advantage is that all tweets and tags are public which on one hand make the brand quite vulnerable to negative publicity but can also give the brand the opportunity to develop brand trust amongst its customers. The success of a campaign can be easily analyzed by tracking followers, retweets and impressions.
Most importantly, it is to the point, in line with what a mature audience needs.
A number of brands have leveraged this social media platform for customer engagement. So, how does one go about it?
Burger King initiated one of the most innovative campaigns for commemorating Peace Day in 2015. In this campaign, it invited its competitor McDonalds to collaborate, create and sell a burger, McWhooper.
The posts were re-tweeted more than 4000 times!
Though McDonald politely refused, other burger players like Giraffas, Kystal, Denny’s and Wayback Burgers chimed in and leveraged the publicity.
Always include a picture and say more than what you could do in 140 words. It has been found that engagement is 200% higher for tweets that have image links. We can always spruce up the post by adding relevant text and links.
Keep your followers engaged!
A single tweet may die down. It is best if one engages its followers in more than just a single tweet. The tweets work best if they are related and are woven into a story.
In order to commemorate its 100 years, Oreo created 100 posts, one for each day in their campaign “Daily Twists”. It created a post everyday based on the trending topic and created customer engagement for 100 days!
People are 21% more likely to respond when they are asked a question! Though making a point by a witty remark may appeal more to marketers on a social platform like Twitter, it has been found that customer engagements are far more effective when some action is explicitly asked of the follower. The #SaluteSelfie campaign by Reliance Group offered free Twitter in the week leading to the 69th Independence Day. It invited followers to click a selfie while saluting heroes of the Indian Armed Forces. Responses from celebrities further led to the popularity of the handle in its first week of joining.
People trust people more. So, identify your domain and find your influencers and experts and ensure regular interactions with them. They can be journalists, bloggers, writers etc. who are up for retweeting your posts!
Leverage on the trending topics to promote one’s service or product.
Excedrin, pain-relief tablets uses the much-talked about presidential debates before the US elections to promote their product and hence, were able to leverage the popularity of the topic.
Strike up conversations!
Twitter is a lot about conversations. Brands must acknowledge comments, compliments and complaints on its posts and strike up conversations with its followers. Most brand handles actively and promptly reply to their customers and hence, give the brand a personality.
This can be one of the coolest way of lead generation. One way to make your presence felt in the Twitter space is by setting up ads on Twitter. An easy pull strategy. The other way is intercept conversations. For example, if a user tweets “Planning a Goa trip”, a hotel booking site can simply post, “You can look for a stay @abc.com”. It does so by simply tracking a word, say,” Goa” in the tweets and joins in conversations by offering related services.
So, the Twitter handle and its tweets are in place!
Indian brands have used Twitter as a launch pad for their brands. Maggi India asked its subscribers to tweet what they got back with Maggi noodles back with hashtag #WelcomeBackMAGGI.
More than 65% of the 1.3 billion Indian population is below the age of 35. To complement, the internet penetration is at 26%! The reach of these social media platforms is undoubtedly increasing fast. It is expected that the Indian Twitter users will reach 34 million in numbers by 2019. Additionally, Twitter now allows users to create hashtags in all Devanagari script based languages including Hindi, Sanskrit, Nepali, Bengali, Assamese, Punjabi, Gujarati, Oriya, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada making it appealing to a wider and diverse potential user base of India and hence, useful for local and regional brands as well.
Brands must leverage this opportunity to reach out to their potential customer through social media platforms. After all, a stitch in time saves nine! And I have stitched now!