Social Media: Twitter (again!)

A phone showing some tweetsThis will probably be the last post on the phenomenon of Twitter, at least for a while. Not long ago I touched on the idea that Twitter could be bad as well as good, and thought it might be wise to show some examples of when it’s gone wrong for companies.

Starting your own hash-tag can be an effective way of driving conversation around your brand, but if the public don’t feel satisfied with your company then they may well take the opportunity to let you know about it. Social Media is a two way street, so if you let something out into the internet, you need to be prepared for it to grow of its own accord.

McDonald’s, the fast-food chain, started a Twitter campaign called #McDStories. The responses varied from: “When u make something w/ pride, people can taste it, – McD potato supplier #McDStories.” to “I only eatMcDonald’swhen I am ill because it makes me feel sick anyway. #McDStories,”. It seems pretty clear which McDonald’s were hoping for, but the public aren’t guaranteed to do as the company wants.

Another twitter ‘horror story’ is what Qantas, the Australian airliner, faced when urging customers to give their idea of luxury using the hashtag #qantasluxury. The response was thousands of complaints complete with hashtag, such as “#qantasluxury is a QANTAS plane that actually flies.”.

Obviously many, if not most, Twitter campaigns meet with a lot more success and positivity than these two examples, and if you can get trending then it can really snowball and become something very significant. If you can get thousands of people reading the hashtagged posts, then it is a simple step to convey your brand to these followers.

Twitter is becoming more and more functional with big businesses, and it can do the same for smaller businesses too. It is the work of a moment for a customer to send a tweet to your business account, and when this is done it becomes public. If this is a positive message, then great because anyone looking can see what a great job you’re doing. If it is negative, then if you act quickly you can respond to the issues and future customers can see that you are a good business that is willing to have a dialogue.

Twitter seems like it is here to stay, and so it is imperative that you try to get it working in your favour. There is a global conversation going on, and if you want people to be discussing your brand in a positive light then Twitter is an excellent way to get this going, and to watch it unfold in real time. Say you’re a clothing store in Guildford and you launch a new dress. A good way of informing your clients of the new dress is through Twitter. If they are ‘following’ you, then you can let them all know simultaneously with a Tweet like: “Guildford Clothes Store selling beautiful new dress. Come and see it now! #LimitedStock.”

If a customer has a problem with you, they can talk to you quickly and easily with Twitter. How would your small business respond to “@GuildfordClothesStore I wanted to buy your new dress but it’s out of stock!”. If you can reply quickly, perhaps saying that you’ll get more in stock next week, then all the customers following you can see that you’re willing to listen and work with your clients. If you’re lucky, this can get re-tweeted and you’re reputation will be enhanced. Before you know it, Guildford Clothes Store will be the finest small clothes store in the whole of Surrey! Even quicker if your customers say things like “@GuildfordClothesStore I love your new range of trousers! They’re fantastic! #MyBirthdayIsSoon”. Positive word of mouth can really help your brand to spread, and Twitter is a great way of finding and promoting this.

If you need any help with any of this, make sure and let us know. We’re specialists in web design and everything that is included in this, such as the use of social media. You can use this contact form to get in touch with us quickly and easily or call us on 01483 500009.