Social media is a two-way street. No longer do you have a situation where it is the brand speaking to the people, instead both parties are equal and anyone’s opinion can now be broadcast to the world. Therefore, interesting comments, conversations and observations are happening every day and your brand isn’t just competing against similar companies, it’s competing against every person online.
Perhaps the best place to develop your company’s voice is through Twitter. Short, snappy and mostly public, it’s a great place to keep up and monitor conversations relating to your brand and sector. However, while setting yourself up on the site is the easy part, the difficulty is tapping into this reservoir of conversations and building up your brand.
Developing Your Brand’s Voice
Before you can expect followers to interact with you, you need to ensure that your brand has an identifiable voice and tone. It’s much easier to interact with a brand that has an identity than one that is completely neutral. Here’s what you should keep in mind.
Decide On Tone
As mentioned before, remember that you’re competing against everyone else that’s on Twitter. That means businesses, individuals, brands, media sources, groups, parody accounts, and everything else inbetween.
Developing a voice is important in this case so find the kind of tone that suits your brand. With a few exceptions, the majority of brands can take a humorous approach, but only when the situation allows it (e.g. Telling a joke can be good if it’s just a general tweet, but if you’re handling a consumer query or complaint, it’s better to adapt a more professional tone).
If you’re not tweeting often, you’re not giving people a reason to keep on the outlook for your content. If you’re finding it difficult to keep up tweeting, then set aside two or more timeslots for you to monitor, respond and post new tweets. If it’s a case that you won’t be around for these times, schedule your tweets and handle responses later that day.
Tweet Valuable Content
A piece of advice that is very much stating the obvious, but a lot of brands tend to ignore. When people are following you, you have to ask what would they like to read and how can you relate that to your brand. People follow accounts because they benefit from it in some way through funny, interesting or worthwhile content.
Good content to link to could include news, interesting articles and blog posts, offers, discounts, commentary on your sector, statistics you’ve uncovered and compelling images. So long as there’s relevance behind each tweet, then it’s a good way to get people intrigued and following you.
A good rule to follow is not to tweet about what you see, but what you find interesting. Feel free to add your opinion about the content you’re posting as reading that is more interesting than just tweeting a straightforward heading.
Don’t Make It About You
Tying into the last piece of advice, unless you’re a media site, don’t start tweeting content that relates solely to yourself. Constant promotion of your company doesn’t make for compelling content so keep it to a minimum. There will be times where you will have good news that you just want to share, and positive reviews that you want to retweet. It’s perfectly fine sharing them, but make sure that the content is impressive and again, keep it to a minimum.
Repetitively retweeting positive reviews could make you look like you’re trying too hard to look impressive and reliable which isn’t the best way to build up loyalty.
Anticipate What’s Coming Up
While you’re never going to predict what the trending topics are going to be, what you can predict are events or special occasions that are coming up in the future. A lot of them will have trending hashtags, which you can use to tweet and interact with before the event.
The caveat behind this is that in the case of an event, you will need to be there or be involved in some form. Don’t even think about highjacking a hashtag in the hope that your tweets will be seen by more people, instead tweet interesting content relating to it and what’s happening at it too. Stats and facts tend to go down well if you’re covering a conference so know what the theme is and work from there.
Interacting With Your Audience
Loyalty works both ways so it’s imperative that you factor in the needs and wishes of your followers when tweeting. Posting interesting content is one way of creating a conversation, but if your account needs a bigger push, there are other ways to improve interaction.
Monitor The Conversation
Just because they’re not mentioning your Twitter handle doesn’t mean that they’re not talking about you. The conversation is far greater than that so you want to monitor any conversations that are related to you and your sector. There are a variety of tools and apps that can help you with this so do a bit of research and find the tools that suit your brand the best.
Create A Special Offer Or Competition
Loyalty works both ways. Both parties must benefit from a relationship if it’s going to be strong, and in the case of the brand, you may have to work more to strengthen the bonds between you and your followers. One way is to reward your followers with a special offer or discount that will reward people for following you. This can be a time-sensitive offer (first five people to tweet back get the offer) or something a little more general, but ultimately, it’s something that’s only available to your Twitter followers.
Another method is to create a competition, which will require followers to work a bit harder to win a prize. Something that requires participation can have a stronger effect on followers and help develop loyalty towards your brand. Although the rules aren’t as strict as what you would find on Facebook, you should know what kind of competitions Twitter allows and its guidelines.
Another nice way of interacting with your users, questions are a great way of having people interact in real-life and the same is true on Twitter. Sometimes it can be worth taking an hour out of your time to think about potential questions to ask if thinking on your feet isn’t your thing.
Like the content you tweet, these need to be interesting questions and ones that people would actually want to respond to. Whether these questions relate to your brand or not is entirely up to you, but they don’t have to be serious questions, they can be fun or irrelevant if the situation allows it so don’t be afraid to mix it up a little.
Ask For Feedback
Everyone likes to be asked for their opinion and there’s nothing better than looking for feedback. This can relate to a particular part of your company or as a whole and it can be beneficial to both you and your customers to get views from the other side. This can help open your eyes to
The only thing to be aware of is that you may get very negative or critical responses, especially since it’s online, so be prepared to hear comments that you mightn’t want to hear in the first place.
Deal With Complaints Promptly
A brilliant way to create brand loyalty is to turn dissatisfied customers into happy users. When customers complain, it’s usually done towards a faceless entity, but a quick and personal response can quickly change that perception. This can be handy as if they are condemning you on Twitter, then a satisfactory response can lead to them tweeting again, this time praising you.
The important thing to remember is that it’s not always possible to resolve complaints online and not every complaint is worth responding to. The latter is something you should play by ear and look at the person making the complaint if you’re unsure. By analysing their tweet and profile, you can tell whether the complain they’re making is serious or if they’re just trying to troll you.