So you created a Twitter profile, followed a bunch of famous people and sent out a few cautious tweets. Not a lot of people followed you back, and your tweets seemed to have gone into the ether. You even checked out my post titled “Six tips for Twitter users who have less than 25 followers” and are still at your wit’s end and ready to give up on Twitter. Do not fret! Nearly a half of Twitter users are considered passive or inactive. Here are five tips for passive Twitter users.
Twitter for Customer Service: How often have you had to stay on a toll-free line for endless minutes to get an answer to a simple question regarding a product or service that you purchased? Why not try Twitter as a channel for customer service? Since social media is a relatively new medium for customer service, a number of companies put extra focus on their response times to queries through channels such as Twitter. Escalations are also often more effective if some of the company’s executives have presence on social media. Keep things in context. For example, complaints about a flight delayed due to a snow storm may not evoke a response from the airline while a question about their loyalty program or baggage policy may. If you are unlucky, you could get a tweet back from the company suggesting that you call the toll-free number.
Twitter for feedback – Every once in a while, it’s great to show your appreciation. Just like individuals, brands and multinational corporations like comments and feedback about their products and services. Your feedback –positive or negative – helps companies improve their offerings and build up credibility among their consumer base. Technically, it is free publicity for them and the kind that most customers trust over paid commercials. When was the last time you booked a hotel room in a strange city without reading a few reviews? So the next time that you are at your favourite restaurant indulge in some food porn.
Twitter for broadcasting: I am going against the grain here. Social media is about engagement. There is a school of thought that broadcasters on social media are just noisemakers. I see Twitter a little differently. You can be a broadcaster of news, stories, images or videos like any other journalist. When you think about it, journalists don’t make news; they find it using various sources and report it. The difference is that they have a platform to get it out to captive subscribers. You now have a platform – Twitter. Until someone engages with your post, you will never know if anyone saw it or read it. But then again, do the journalists who report the news or write for a magazine know who is reading what they write?
Twitter for news – If you haven’t noticed, Twitter has become a major source for breaking news. Journalists follow it closely for the next scoop or trend. With hundreds of thousands of tweets per minute, catching the news about the topic of your interest may not be easy. That’s where the search box comes in handy. A quick search for “breaking news” will give you a list of news sources that you can choose from. If you are looking for a specific topic, you can use the hashtag (#) feature or use a tool like Buzzsumo to find the latest news and discussions on the topic of your interest.
Twitter for Instant Messaging –Direct Messaging (DM) on Twitter is often vilified as a tool for spammers. By default, you can only DM your followers. This means that you have direct access to each one of your followers. You can pick anyone of your followers to ask a question about a city, product, or technology. Do not try to sell, spam or stalk people who may not be inclined to respond. If your queries are genuine, you will most likely get a response. DMs are effectively private one-on-one communications. If you have a fair number of followers, DM can become a pretty powerful tool!
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