I invited Danny Gallagher to contribute a post today about social media and business reputation.
Social media and the business world have become just as intertwined as having a website or a phone number. It not only helps a business establish their online reputation, but it also makes it easier for businesses to reach and communicate with their customers.
However, it can also present a serious downside if it’s not used properly. Reputation.com founder Michael Fertik once said in a New York Times article, “The Internet has become the go-to resource to destroy someone’s life online, which in turn means their offline life gets turned upside too.”
Here are some ways to make sure that your Twitter account is working for your business rather than against it.
1. Make time to regularly post to your Twitter account
It’s easy to let your Twitter account go unused if you don’t make time to post tweets and interact with your followers. That’s why it’s important to set aside some time in your daily schedule to maintain and update your account to show your customers and followers that someone is still steering the ship.
2. Use Twitter to interact with your customers
The key to achieving good customer service in any business is to make yourself as accessible as possible to your customer base. Twitter can make it much easier for your customers to reach your business and answer their questions and concerns.
It’s not a complete replacement for your traditional customer service process, but it can enhance the customer service strategies you already have in place.
3. Update your customers
Another way Twitter can enhance how your business interacts with your customers is how it can update them on the latest news about your business. Twitter collects all the accounts a person follows and compiles their tweets, retweets, and responses in real time.
Sending out updates on your business can help keep some of your core customers in the loop in addition to traditional means of communications such as websites and mailing lists, depending on your business’s traditional means of communication.
4. Attract new customers
Twitter loves to suggest accounts to possible interested followers, and if you can utilize your Twitter account to its fullest, you can attract new followers through these means, which can eventually lead to new customers.
The key is to make your Twitter account do more than just advertise your business. It needs to be more focused, personal, and communicative. Simply talking about your business can label your Twitter account as spam and can lead to block requests, which can mean a drop in your online reputation.
It’s not a hard problem to avoid. You should treat your customers on Twitter the same way you would treat them in person.
5. Learn the Twitter lingo
The real key to using Twitter is learning how other users interact with each other. Twitter is one of the simpler means of online social media. Since it limits updates to a fixed number of characters, it forces you to learn how to communicate online.
You shouldn’t try to use a lot of these special characters and phrases unless you’re comfortable with them. It’s better to know how your customers use them so you can respond accordingly.
Twitter is just like any other form of social media. It can help or hinder your business depending on how you use it. However, the positive benefits definitely outweigh the negative if you use it correctly – and you’ll never benefit from it if you don’t try to use it at all.
Danny Gallagher is a freelance writer, blogger, and reporter who fully realizes the importance of maintaining a positive online reputation.