Part 2 of 3: Using Twitter to Connect With Your Customers
Twitter has been called the cocktail party of social media. It allows quick, short conversations with hundreds or thousands of followers at once and those followers can quickly retweet and repeat what you just said. Twitter is also very confusing to many people but with a few easy steps you can build a customer relationship that will serve your business well.
- Recognize limitations – Twitter is limited to 140 characters. Choose your words carefully because every one of them has meaning on Twitter. Be concise and effective or Twitter will let you know that you are saying too much.
- Follow those with similar interests – Follow other trucks and locations that are friendly to trucks. Twitter makes it easy to build relationships with these people and you never know when you might need to connect with them face to face.
- Retweet but not everything – Twitter allows you to forward information through retweets but just like people don’t like those chain emails to be forwarded they don’t like mindless retweets. Only retweet something that is relevant to most of your followers and certainly don’t retweet something that was time sensitive and the time has passed. Few things on Twitter will get you unfollowed faster than too many retweets or sending on old information.
- Communicate with others. As has been said, Twitter is a cocktail party, talk to other people. Comment on their tweets, build relationships with your customers and they will bring more customers.
- Know the Twitter signs – Twitter has its own coding to help keep things concise. A @ sign before a name tags that name and your tweet will show on that person’s page. RT next to a tweet means the tweet has been Retweeted or forwarded. The # sign signifies a hashtag which are the keywords of Twitter and are preceded by the #sign. Use this sign in front of words that people may search on like #foodtruck or #Dallas or #greatfoodtruckrace. This allows non-followers to see you post and hopefully follow you in the future.
- Link to Facebook – By linking your Twitter and Facebook accounts you update two platforms at the same time, its saves you time.
- Use the Direct Message feature – Direct Message is like sending an email to someone, only they can see it. But do not use this to send marketing promotions, that is considered spam and will get you unfollowed quickly. People who unfollow you usually leave with bad feelings and you also lose a customer.
- Shorten your links – From time you time, you will want to share a website on Twitter. Often the url will make your Tweet longer than 140 characters and you will need to shorten it. There are several websites that shorten urls. I prefer TinyUrl.com, but they all work the same way and take your long address and shorten it to approximately ten characters. You then take that new line of characters and paste that in to your tweet so that your followers can receive the entire Tweet.
- Post relevant information – Tweet about things that are interesting to the majority of your followers. Since this is a business account, don’t tweet about your personal life.
- Respond to compliments and complaints – People who use Twitter are very quick to use it to give positive and negative reviews. For positive tweets, you want to say thanks but for negative tweets you want to ask the sender to Direct Message or ask them contact you by other means as quickly as possible so that you can understand the full story. How you respond to the situation often makes a difference to the hundreds of followers that may have seen the negative comment.
Twitter can be confusing at first but after a little practice it becomes second nature to write in 140 characters and make your point. With a little effort Twitter is an enormous asset to your business and an effective way to communicate with and build relationships with your customers.
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