Senior Director of Twitter Asia-Pacific, Arvinder Gujral, explained via some valuable insights on how brands can grow and gain from social media much beyond just promotions for free. Surprisingly, he claimed that Twitter was never invented for the kind of customer engagement it is used today - it was always designed and invited as a social media platform where people would share their own thoughts and updates. Some would be funny; some would have their life, political social or even personal observations, thoughts, and feelings or seek opinions. However, increasingly there’s a trend for customers to seek grievances via Twitter instead of official protocols, and give unbiased reviews, do self-promotions without being asked for and act as convenient one-stop solution to see customer feedback for start-ups. Here’s why:
Twitter is Public and Open, unlike Facebook
Unlike Facebook, Twitter is a much more open platform – and it’s like that for a purpose. You’re supposed to get followers and gain popularity with strangers, fans or friends, not just stay within the protected control circle of your close friends and networking acquaintances. You’d generally follow Mia Khalifa or Amitabh Bacchan on Twitter without worrying your mom is going to see it – but Facebook acts as a mandatory public diary for the world to witness, even if you tweak your privacy settings to extra secure. This means bigger audience that’s not hesitant to talk to brands.
The Timeline is Instantaneous
Now when someone tweets to a brand or a CEO of a business on Twitter, the negative criticism, feedback or insult is visible to everyone from the globe. Brands naturally want to do damage control and prevent this being visible to everybody, so they take action more quickly. Thus Twitter encourages users to give more detailed feedback more quickly while also encouraging brands to act on it quicker.
Twitter is free
Unlike other forms of promotions or dedicated spaces to reach out to celebrities, Twitter is absolutely free. Twitter has never encouraged any celebrity to join their network; the celebrity chooses to do so on their own accord. From POTUS to Narendra Modi, from Tiger Woods to NASA Rover, you now have the possibility of Tweeting directly to anyone on their network, and instantly. This sort of unpaid admission ensures customers feel more secure that brands share the same pedestrian as them, not a high leverage to push their marketing on customers’ faces like traditional ads.
Big Data is Priceless
When we talk of Big Data, or cumulative details of users over certain topics, Twitter is a brilliant platform. Twitter claims to broadcast more than 2 billion tweets every single day. Now these can be categorized (and are) by Twitter which companies can buy off to understand their markets better. This is live data, unbiased since it’s written by users or observers who aren’t paid to write. This can help companies grow and check progress/feedback in real time.
Innovative Upcoming Features Make the Process Even More Refined
Twitter will soon, according to Arvinder, have several features that make the process of interacting with brands and establishments regarding complains much more streamlined. For example if you tweet a grievance to a company, they will have the option to click with just one link to a direct message instead of public tweeting. You also get to rate the conversation on a happiness scale once it’s over. These moves will reduce friction in the sphere.
Do you use Twitter for customer engagement or have interacted with brands via Twitter for conflict resolution? Let us know in the comments on our official Facebook page Entrepreneur India