Following the previous post where I started talking about the roles of social media, and Facebook in particular, it is now time to discuss its all-time rival: Twitter.
Twitter stands for quick, interested audience and real-time reactions
Twitter differs from Facebook in that it’s focused much more on interests than friendships. By this I mean that people can follow the updates of someone/a company they are interested in without being followed back. Also, Twitter is mostly based on text and links to articles or photos and the text is reduced to a maximum of 140 characters. But perhaps the most important is the use of hashtags, which groups together tweets with the same topic.
This is where companies can really benefit from Twitter as they can measure sentiment around the brand by the type of hashtags used in tweets related to it, but also identify more easily which tweets are saying something about the brand. Taking it a step further, companies can relate themselves to certain events or other brands by integrating hashtags in their own tweets. To give an example, a hotel in Edinburgh can tweet about the film festival and thus associate itself with the event and suggest to customers that they should stay there. Another very popular term in this case is real-time marketing, explained in more detail here. By using Twitter, companies can react much quicker to events in the real world than through any other social media channels, a famous and brilliant example being that of Oreos in the 2013 SuperBowl blackout.
Where there are ups…
Another aspect that is most relevant to consider is that if customers want to complain about something, they will most likely do it on Twitter. As I said above, sentiment is very easily shared to large audiences using hashtags. And it appears that companies are now taking it seriously and employing people specifically to deal with complaints on this channel. As Lisa Bachelor so nicely puts it in this article, in this day and age 140 characters are worth 1000 words.