A blog entry by Helen Alfvegren, web communicator with a passion for social media
During a recent breakfast seminar, Hampus Brynolf, senior consultant at Intellecta, presented statistics on Swedish Twitter usage for the first time. Sweden counts about 91 316 registered accounts, but only 11 215 active daily users.
Hampus pointed out something vital: “You should be where your customers are. On Facebook. But remember that the influencers are on Twitter.” Even if the number of new accounts is decreasing, Twitter’s influence is actually increasing.
Don’t think of Twitter as just a platform. What’s written (or tweeted) there will also be published on websites, blogs, Facebook and even quoted in newspapers. These influencers will most likely talk about your company or brand, whether you are present and active in the conversation or not. If they aren’t talking about you, you should wonder why.
And so, here are three tips for companies active on Twitter:
1. Use Twitter in your private life too!
If you work with Twitter, you should understand how it works and the best way to learn the ins and outs of this network is to use it yourself, personally.
If your company decides to be present on Twitter, come up with a strategy for it and appoint someone that is passionate about communication and building relationship to manage it.
2. Listen to your customers
Open yourself up for dialogue and don’t be afraid to contact those that have mentioned your company directly. Chances are they are waiting for an answer from you! Remember that if you want to send a direct message, you need to follow that user, and they need to follow you.
Inform your customers that you exist on Twitter. Embed your Twitter feed on your homepage and encourage your visitors to follow you. Use other social media channels, emails, or newsletters to do this.
Be personal but professional. Share industry news and links. Come up with competitions and special offers specifically for your Twitter followers, thus building exciting partnerships.
You will probably need to use an external Twitter platform or client to manage your account. TweetDeck or Seesmic are great options. Use their search functionality to look up certain keywords related to your company or product. This will allow you to listen in on Twitter conversations easily and effectively.
3. Follow other companies and see how they do it
Follow people in other industries, follow your customers, and follow those that inspire others in some way.
Here are some companies I feel have done a great job on Twitter:
Binero: they probably have Sweden’s most responsive customer service on Twitter and they share valuable links and information. They are involved in interesting partnerships and publish helpful instruction videos on their blog.
Ängavallen: this hotel and conference center in Skåne successfully started up their social media engagement with the help of Good Old. Have a look and see how well they connect Twitter, Facebook and Flickr together.
Daglivs: the supermarket chain is known for its low prices and weekly offers, but they have an uncanny ability to understand their customers. When I mentioned that my Medinilla Magnifica wasn’t doing so well, I received immediate help from their floral department. On top of that, they even started selling Kling Ice Cream after requesting it.