Tweeting in Real-Time: How to Stand Out in the World’s Busiest Town Square

tweeting in real time

Since the first tweet on March 21, 2006, Twitter has not only changed the way the world communicates — frequently in concise bursts — it has also changed the way customers interact with businesses — individually and transparently. With a billion active accounts in sight, businesses in general, and the retail industry specifically, cannot afford to not have a presence on Twitter.

Social Media is about sociology and psychology more than technology. Ultimately, brands need to have a role in society. The best way to have a role in society is to understand how people are talking about things in real time and connect with them on a more personal level.

So what is real-time marketing? Real-time marketing is not just an Oreo dunking in the dark. Marketers are starting to develop a definition for “real-time marketing” as “creating dynamic personalized content across channels.” In a Shoutlet webinar with @melissahjohnson and @kksparks, they define it is as reacting in real-time, or in a timely manner with messaging that’s relevant to the needs and interests of your customer. #Realtimetwitter success starts with planned solid content and a listening strategy.

1. Act From A Solid Content Strategy


2. Create Your Listening Program
Use keywords, live events and influencers, and learn to listen. Kit Kat does a great job of this.
3. Determine Mix Of Real-time And Planned Content
The content recipe is planned content, curated content and real-time content.
4. Put Structure In Place To Respond
Have a full-time community manager that understands the audience. This can help streamline the approval process and keep a newsroom mentality for breaking tweets.
5. Think Beyond The Tweet
Use real-time campaigns. Honda has done a great job of this by sending vine videos to people who use their hashtag.
6. Choose The Right Tools
Choosing the right social media tools is just as important as your strategy. Hootsuite has become a standard and is not enough to truly see a return on investment for your company’s social media activities. You must research keywords, route comments, respond quickly and track success.

“Be respectful and honest. Own your mistakes. Think before you tweet. Be positive.”
Once you have developed your real-time plan, the next stage is to move onto a customer service program. When it comes to service, meet your customers where they are. According to Nielson’s 2012 State of the Media Report, 1 in 3 users now prefer to contact brands using social media rather than the phone, so embracing a social customer service strategy ensures your company keeps happy customers. Users want service where they are and the younger generation generally prefers social service.

social customer service

71% of people who experience social customer service are more likely to recommend that brand. For example, clearwire used their social customer service strategy to shift sentiment by having a standalone customer service account for negative comments. They also adhered to a 30 minute response time. This lead to:
• A dedicated social account for customer service
• Reduced negative comments on brand account
• Creation of multimedia resources to share around common problems
• People directed to the right places (online, email, phone number, etc.)
• Increased customer engagement which provided new insights.

Highlight successes and track volume, type of tweet, and response times. What type of posts are you seeing – product feedback, customer complaints, testimonials, etc.? Rank them by severity level and set the response time duration based on level of severity. Your daily tweets should vary on your content strategy. Create an internal social customer care guidebook. Be transparent and own your mistakes. People will appreciate your authenticity and have a higher respect for your brand.

The opportunity for brands to develop and implement a social customer service strategy could mean a big business impact: 71% of people who experience positive social care are likely to recommend that brand to others, compared to just 19% of customers that do not receive any response. Social media is an opportunity for companies to make a one-on-one connection with a customer in a unique way, and transparency is key to developing trust and future business.

Each customer interaction with your company is a reflection of your entire business – and social media is no different. #realtalk

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