Monday, January 09, 2017

Do you have two Twitter accounts? If you're a business, you should.

After tweeting to a brand recently, I went and looked at their Twitter feed. They sell microwavable popcorn. So they had marketing tweets about movies and popcorn, but then there were a lot of tweets that looked like this:

On the web, Twitter will hide all tweets that start with @ - you can find them under "Tweets & Replies" - but in the app, they're all just displayed right away.  It's clear that they're using a cut-and-paste (not that there's anything wrong with that) and that they are proactively and quickly addressing concerned customers.  (Yay!)

But... This brand was trying to foster the idea of watching movies and popping popcorn, curling up with a buttery treat, but in the meantime, it was cluttering up its own feed with what I can only assume were people complaining that they burned their popcorn.

What this brand needs to do:
They need to separate their Brand (Marketing) Voice from their Customer Service Voice.  You can find plenty of examples of companies that currently do this.  Hilton (@HiltonHelp) and Comcast (@ComcastCares) come to mind. The company I work for uses our stock ticker + "Assist" but most of the ones I've see online use "Cares".

They continue to promote @PopcornCompany on their products and they continue to use @PopcornCompany to tweet about watching movies and watching tasty popcorn and whatever else will inspire people to buy more popcorn.  But when someone tweets with a problem, the response should come from a different Twitter handle: @PopcornCompanyCares.  There's a couple of reasons:

  1. You separate your marketing (we're awesome) from customer service (this guy doesn't think we're awesome, let's see if we can make him happy again)
  2. (Optionally) You can continue the conversation online -- maybe you don't need to switch to email just yet. Though there may be lots of valid reasons why you would, especially if you've outsourced your social media or have a hard and fast line between marketing and customer service.
  3. The longer Twitter handle @PopcornCompanyCares immediately signals that you do care and that the customer has reached Customer Service even if they haven't encountered this naming scheme yet from other companies.
  4. The longer Twitter handle @PopcornCompanyCares also reduces the length of complaints by a few characters, causing customers to be more concise and less colorful in their dissatisfaction. (Sorry, it's true.)
If this sounds like your company, quick, go register that second Twitter account ASAP.

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