Monday, January 28, 2013
Do you remember every business that has a stand in your local food market? How about every conversation you had at a networking meeting? What about all of the restaurants on the last street you drove on?
The law of diminishing returns is one brands know very well. You have to work for your customers’ attention, and you have to work even harder to retain it. Retention is a key differentiator that can be built using social media.
"Most big brands are still using Twitter as a publishing channel rather than an engagement channel," says Saif Ajani, Sling Digital’s co-founder. Do you hear that? It’s the buzzer sound when you get a question wrong on a game show. Most brands are still using Twitter as a broadcast-only and one-way channel for brand awareness and communications! Utilizing new technology tools, like Twitter, the same way you use a medium like television or print only proves your brand's own ineptness. You should be using services like Twitter the same way you do a telephone or email – personal communication, personal relationships, and responding to individual queries about issues in near-real time.
ExactTarget started its Twitter chat in December of 2010. Once #NexusCafe, it’s now called #ETcafe. Each week on Thursday from 11:00 – 12:00 pm EST, ExactTarget has but one pure intention with the chat: bring people together so that peers can meet, engage in topical industry conversation, and add trusted minds that they organically call on for ideas and inspiration. It is very important to ExactTarget that we rotate through different topics and featured guests each week. Ongoing learning is really important…especially because the interactive marketing industry changes so frequently.
I asked Amanda Berkey, Manager, Global User Communities at ExactTarget: "What is the single biggest factor brands should be taking into consideration when using Twitter to communication with clients?"
Her answer? “We started #ETcafe with the concept that interactive marketers can meet for a virtual coffee chat on Twitter to discuss a topic with people who understand and have relevant feedback. Brands who do Twitter chats should focus on education and peer-to-peer relationships rather than selling their products. People will want to contribute and engage with the chat if they know they can make a new connection which can progress their career, but they don't want to sift through sales pitches.”
Here are some other tips to help brands can engage with their customers on Twitter:
- Twitter is 400% more effective at engaging consumers than Facebook
- Weekends and non-busy hours are the best time to reach your customers with tweets
- KISS – Keep It Short, Silly: keep your messaging concise and short so sharing is easier
- Links and images work: tracking the metrics are easier and users have shown to enjoy engaging more around both
- Sometimes the best way to get a RT is to RT a customer/client. You’re showing that what they provide is valuable information, and you are strengthening that bond.
- Giveaways and contests: meaningful reasons to do either can quickly and substantially increase brand awareness
ExactTarget does not utilize Twitter as a broadcast channel. It is 100% an engagement channel, and we put significant resources into all of our social channels, Twitter included. Consider joining us this week for our #ETCAFE chat to see how we engage folks through Twitter. Tweet you there!