Fifty-seven percent of consumers reward brands that match their interests through increased spending, according to a new study by Edelman Earned Brand.
Their report of over 14,000 shoppers highlighted the growing expectancy upon businesses to interact meaningfully with their customer base.
That expectancy has been driven by the emergence of social media. While in the past brands could shy away from commentation, the likes of Facebook and Twitter have changed all that. In 2017, people buy from businesses that think like them.
With six thousand tweets sent every second, however, it’s easy for your company’s message to get lost in the crowd. Thankfully, there is one avenue on Twitter that’s giving businesses a louder voice.
Introducing the Twitter Chat
A Twitter chat is a natural conversation thread on Twitter that develops around one hashtag. It allows brands to set up or follow a pre-arranged discussion and participate in areas they feel like they can give their expertise.
From a business point of view, Twitter chats give companies the opportunity to engage with a wide and relevant audience. Although the payoff isn’t instant (or guaranteed), the theory is that by creating value before you need it, you end up developing a client base that’s loyal to your brand.
The Right and Wrong Way
There are two ways of going about relationship building through Twitter chats – the right way, and the wrong way. Do engage naturally by posing and answering relevant questions. Don’t try to loosely link the conversation to your product or services. The latter can end up doing more damage to your brand than good.
Why Should My Business Get Involved With Twitter Chats?
If there’s one thing we’re all short on, it’s time. As a result, it’s harder than ever to convince someone to read your blog, let alone buy one of your products.
The only way to overcome this problem is to nurture goodwill towards your brand before you get anything in return. In simple terms, it’s a case of you scratching their back so that they’ll scratch yours.
Committing to a weekly Twitter chat can seem daunting, so you need to feel the time invested is worthwhile. To help convince you, we’ve listed three additional reasons to take part in Twitter chats, below:
To Give Your Business a Face
A large percentage of those that take part in Twitter chats are individuals. Each person brings to the table their own opinion and personality within the discussions.
From a company point of view, this gives you an excellent opportunity to help humanize your brand. Developing a company tone of voice that’s in line with your ethos will help your customers to feel more connected to your business. That connection will help breed loyalty – a goal for any company.
One issue you may face, however, is that people like to debate with people – not company logos. A Twitter profile picture with a smiling face is always going to be more relatable than a snazzy design.
Some high-profile brands, such as Ford, have found a way around this issue by using a public-facing staff profile to represent the company during Twitter chats.
Another popular alternative is to ask staff taking part in any debate to sign their name at the end of each post. This helps to make the conversation less awkward, particularly if there are any follow-on questions or comments.
If neither of those options appeals, at least try to include the Twitter handle of the person responsible for managing your account in your Twitter bio. This way, other users will always know whom to address when taking part in a Twitter chat with your brand.
To Establish Yourselves as a Thought Leader
Twitter chats and thought leadership are a dream duo. Like bread and butter, they both complement one another.
Keeping with the sandwich analogy, let’s start off with the bread. Nearly all brands take part in Twitter chats that they’re comfortable in. You wouldn’t hear Subway, for example, chirping up about the latest fashion trends. This ensures that the information the brand provides during a Twitter chat is of real benefit to the receiver.
Helping potential customers accomplish their goals by sharing knowledge helps to establish a brand as a thought leader – the butter. If done correctly, the butter comes naturally after the bread.
The goal of such an exercise is to make your brand an instant go-to business. When a customer asks, “who do I know that can help me buy such and such a product or service?”, you want your business to always spring to mind first.
To Increase Your Number of Followers
Growing your audience organically through Twitter chats may take time, but the results you’ll gain by taking this approach make it worth the wait.
For starters, you’ll be gaining followers that want to engage with your brand. Their participation in existing Twitter chats already makes it clear that they’ll be there to retweet, like and reply to your tweets. They’re not the type to watch on from afar.
Having an audience that shares your brand’s interests also means that the content you provide them with is far more likely to produce results. Whether that’s sharing your posts or buying your products, if you regularly engage with your followers, the positive effects are likely to be long-term.
Don’t be shy – we’ve all got opinions, and in a world of social commentary, your customers want to hear yours.
By regularly involving your brand in online discussions with like-minded communities, you’ll slowly see your customer base start to expand. The more you give back to those that follow you, the more you’re likely to get back in return.[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]