Is Twitter For You?

This week I will talk about the benefits Twitter has to companies. It’s a social media tool that I am very familiar with and feel strongly about. I will first be going through an example from the book called “The Groundswell” where they show a fantastic example of how McDonalds utilizes Twitter, followed by highlighting where I feel companies should focus their attentions on getting started using Twitter, and concluding with how a company in the Financial Industry could capitalize on tapping the Groundswell in using Twitter.

This story I am referring to about McDonald’s comes from a loyal customer. This loyal customer is a mom with young kids. She is an active Twitter user with more than 3500 followers. She is accustomed to tweeting daily about her experiences being a mom in a humorous way. On this day she found sometime to spoil her son to a Happy Meal from McDonald’s. It particularly important to this child as each Happy Meal comes with a toy. He gets to enjoy his Happy Meal alongside a new superhero toy. The only problem this time was McDonalds ran out of superhero toys and replaced this toy with a young girls toy. When this young child brought it to the attention of his mother he was not happy about this and started to cry. Since she is an active Twitter user and its right up her ally in an everyday mom related moment, she spoke out to McDonalds via Twitter. Although we can assume that this may not have been a big issue to McDonalds, the way McDonalds handled the situation spoke volumes on how they used Twitter effectively. They had one of their employees who monitors and responds to customers who tweet about the company answer back to the mom. This member exchanged contact information and in turn wrote a letter of apology to the mom and young child, followed by a desert coupon, as well as the superhero toy of his choice! The mom ended up blogging about her positive story with McDonald’s and ended up getting thousands of positive comments on a photo of her child. It’s hard to measure the amount of ROI that this brought to McDonald’s however I can only assume this didn’t cost the company a whole lot and the amount of positive image brought to McDonalds was well worth it.

I found a picture of the young boy:

DSC_0369

Source: Hey, McDonald’s: I’m lovin’ it – All Things Fadra [Web log post]. (n.d.).

Here is the toy McDonalds sent the young boy to add to his collection:

 DSC_0344

Source: Hey, McDonald’s: I’m lovin’ it – All Things Fadra [Web log post]. (n.d.).

Where I think companies should focus their attentions in using Twitter:

Lock up your handle: If you don’t use your company name when tweeting you confuse your audience. Make sure you find a way to get your company name as your twitter account. If you don’t lock it up someone else will use your company name and that can be even worse. They can tweet using your company name in anyways they please.

Listen First: Most likely your company is already being discussed about on Twitter. It’s imperative that you find out what people are saying about your products and services.

Be ready to support people: One you have a Twitter account your users expect to get support from you. These customers are usually angry customers and don’t really care about your products. It’s important to diffuse the situation if possible and pass them along with information or to your support team.

Follow others: Following people on twitter is free and you don’t necessarily have to be up to date with what they tweet, however it can mean more to them that you follow them. I can relate to this when Joe Nichols a famous singer followed me on twitter. I told my friend and right there get people talking about your product and services.

Be ready for a crisis: When problems occur in your company people will be looking at Twitter to see what’s going on and what your company is doing about it. Make sure you have appropriate measure to turn your account into an information channel.

Respond, retweet, and link: Although your company will want to broadcast whats new and what you are doing, make sure you engage with your audience by responding to their tweets, retweet positive conversations about your company and add links to where they can find more about your company.

Staff it: Make sure someone or multiple people are delegated to using the company’s Twitter account.  Whether that be marketers, PR members, or support staff someone has to do it. You could even build it into certain job description so people can build Twitter in their daily activities (Li, Bernoff, 2010).

Check with legal and regulatory staff: One must remember Twitter is public and everyone has access to viewing your tweets. Make sure you are not tweeting inappropriately, this could include customer data and sensitive confidential documents.

Having a gathered a following, don’t waste it: Utilize the group of followers you have gained. Whether that is to engage your audience, listen to your audience or talk with your audience. It’s up to you to create a plan that would allow your company to take advantage of Twitter as a business tool. (Li, Bernoff, 2010).

How a company in the financial industry toke advantage of Twitter as a business tool:

RBC TWITTER

Source: RBC – Twitter People Search. (n.d.).

As you can see from the illustration above, RBC is a bank in the financial industry that takes advantage of Twitter users. They have set up a bunch of different twitter accounts set up to aid their customers and to those interested in their products and services. The main RBC account is to keep their customers updated on what they are doing daily. Ask RBC account is meant to be the account customers can seek advice and support in relations to using RBC as a provider. It’s important to also note that all these accounts have verified check marks which mean that these accounts belong to the real RBC company and are not made up from a random individual.  Having multiple company accounts make it easy for the end users to engage with the appropriate account in contacting the right individuals.

References:

Hey, McDonald’s: I’m lovin’ it – All Things Fadra [Web log post]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://allthingsfadra.com/2010/08/hey-mcdonalds-im-lovin-it-2/

Kaplan, A., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the World, Unite! The Challenges and Opportunities of Social Media. Business Horizons, 53(1), 59-68.

RBC- Twitter People Search. (n.d.) retreieved from: https://twitter.com/search?q=RBC&src=typd&mode=users

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