October 6, 2011 – One of the beautiful things about Twitter is that it’s instant. You tweet, it goes out, and you’re set! This has allowed for great changes in the way we exchange information, from live tweet-streams at important events (like Tuesday’s Apple iPhone announcement) to celebrity gossip – it’s all on Twitter.
As a business owner, you need to keep up with your Twitter interactions to see what customers are saying about your products or services. If a client tweets a complaint about your company, you need to respond ASAP. In fact, there are studies to back up this principle.
Maritz Research reviewed the client-company interactions of frequent Twitter users 18 years and older. These users issued a customer complaint to a company and at least half of those users said they expected a response from the company. Unfortunately, only about 33% of the total users ever received a follow-up.
Of those that DID get a response, 83% said they loved that the company acknowledged their complaint personally, and 75% were satisfied to some degree with the response.
Age matters when it comes to Twitter response expectations. It seems that more than 90% of the older Twitter users (meaning those older than 45 years) would be very pleased if they were given a direct response by a company in regards to a tweeted complaint. The younger generation seemed a bit indifferent as to whether or not they got a response, with only about 80% saying they’d be impressed.
Gender plays a role as well – women are more likely to both tweet complaints and expect their tweets to be responded to. And what about the 66% of complaint tweets that went unanswered in the study? Roughly 86% of these users said that they would have appreciated some sort of follow up from the company.
So what can you as a business owner do about this? If you’re not already offering customer support on Twitter, now’s the time to start! Here are 4 pointers for business owners using Twitter:
- Keep a regular schedule to check your Twitter stream to see what’s being said about and to your company.
- Don’t let direct tweets or mentions go unanswered for too long.
- Post engaging content to increase sharing and re-tweets.
- Don’t bury your complaints – even “bad” press is good press if you resolve the matter in a positive way!
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