Home > Social Intelligence, Social Media, Strategy > Customer /Reader Engagement – Twitter

Customer /Reader Engagement – Twitter

What is the essence of Social Media Communications ?  There is a wide gap in the understanding about the use of these channels for communication, such as Email, Twitter, RSS or even a properly constructed (from a communications work flow viewpoint) website. Communications in whatever form needs to be carried out respectfully and inclusively, rather than the norm, which is to use these subscribed people as the equivalent of Email fodder –  no wonder it has been said that over 90% of people opt-out .. me included.

Why is it so hard,all forms of communications are a conversation, and to foster and nurture that connection the tone has to be informative, respectful  and inclusive. There very few organisations that do it well. So for the understanding of the majority of Corporate and other “bricks and mortar” organisations .. including News Corporation and many other old media icons –  please take note.

“Communications with direct stakeholders as well as the wider community, which includes your customers –  via Website, Email, Twitter and even Facebook should not be seen as a cost of doing business …. it is your business …. if you are not here to communicate in a transparent fashion to build the relationship, then what in heavens name are you here for ? “  If you do not nurture the relationship with a view to engaging with your “subscribers”, your stakeholders, you will end up out of business.

Stop for heavens sake playing lip service to the idea of “Social Media” it so pains me to see otherwise credible companies, doing it so badly.

Let’s go back to basis … and start with Twitter

According to Twitter … Twitter allows you to answer the question, “What are you doing”

However Twitter is also a incredibly powerful tool which is capable of reaching out to thousands, even millions of people near instantly.

For me, the primary function of Twitter is to establish and build a relationship with your subscribers, your customers, your stakeholders, those people who have decided to engage with you.  This is by and large for the larger population, an emotional connection, where the unfollow button is a click away, mind you even that, because of the near instantaneous nature of Twitter, is a response ( a poll if you like) to what you have done –  in this case – the next problem is trying to re-engage – which may then be impossible.

It is used (badly) by many Governments, corporations (old media who should know better), organisations and politicians ( the ultimate self interest group ). However when properly used, it can engage with its readers with relevant content which will build up credibility with the readers for the Twitter content provider, grow relationships, engender interest, gauge or influence opinions, increase excitement concerning a new product launch (news or website product or service), a special event, an election.

Twitter because of its format, does have a multitude (limited only by our imagination) of uses, for example the latest trouble in Egypt, to provide immediate news on the street, as well the first pictures from the downed Flight 1549, which crashed into the Hudson were taken and then uploaded to Twitpic and sent out using Twitter, it is a  immediate communication tool.

My personal view, is that so far, it is the ultimate way to facilitate social interaction –  to understand the views of their engaged (somewhat) readers, allows feedback, basic polling, product ideas .. and opinion,  the ultimate way to draw on the social intelligence. A way to answer or ask the question that is your hearts desire, all within 140 characters.

Use it responsibly to covey snapshots of relevant information. If you include a well worded intro or description, they may engage, (even going viral, by multiple re-tweets) but that is the essence of the difference between Email and twitter, the engagement or commitment of the reader.

Next time …. we will look at Email ….

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