Published on February 9th, 2009 | by Isaac Garcia
Your Brand on Twitter – Are You Listening?
Since our inception, because we are a web-based software company, we’ve always monitored our online brand and reputation. Some of it was deliberate as a result of specific PR efforts or advertising campaigns and some of it accidently resulting from blog posts, comment threads, getting Slash dotted or various events we attended. Over the years, we’ve tried various methods of monitoring and even researched some commercial applications. In the end, we found that the best method of monitoring is be personally engaged in the online conversations by blogging, actively commenting and posting our thoughts about the collaboration industry and events.
This past year, though, we’ve moved beyond “just blogs” or “rss feeds” and have experienced some unique and interesting events via the micro-blogging tool called Twitter.
We started using Twitter early last year (2008) as an experiment. It was more of a “lets see what this is about” kind of thing. But it was in a matter of days that we quickly realized some value from the experiment.
By using Twitter, we found (read) hundreds of ad-hoc, personal comments about Central Desktop. Many of the “Tweets” were from other Central Desktop customers posting a combination of praise, frustration, recommendations and questions about our services and products. Reading the plethora of posts about Central Desktop was both exciting and a little scary – as we were sometimes “concerned” about how to respond to some posts that were critical or could potentially “expose” a Central Desktop shortcoming.
What we’ve come to find is that Twitter gave us a voyeaur’s eyes and ears to understand, first hand, what people were saying about our company, our products and our people. It also gave us an opportunity to directly engage our customers and prospects “on the fly” and provide instant gratification (in some cases). The beauty of Twitter (I can’t believe I just wrote those four words) is that because of its compact and precise limitations (users can only post 140 character long “tweets”) – users tend to post their feelings impulsively and in real time. A user might post a quick praise: “Central Desktop Rocks!” or it could be a critical jab: “Central Desktop Sucks!” In each case, though, it offers our company an opportunity to say ‘Thanks’ or an opportunity for us to say “I’m sorry” and correct the situation. To ignore these conversations is to ignore the needs and voice of your customers.
Companies don’t always get instant opportunities to say thank you – and more importantly, companies don’t always get a second-chance to win someone back.
While we get a combination of praise and frustration (mostly praise, thank you!), we mostly read tweets from people asking questions about the product, tips on user adoption, etc..to which we are able to reply, immediately, with links to our Customer Network or Help Center when appropriate. The end goal of our response is to provide the highest level of customer service possible.
How Central Desktop Uses Twitter
Here is a list of ways that we use Twitter at Central Desktop:
* Customer Service
* Start “Customer Conversations”
* Share News & Events
* Sharing Links
* Share New Features
* Monitor Buzz
* Read News
* Make New Friends
* Discover Prospects
It seems like the benefits of using Twitter for our company increases on a daily basis. The word-of-mouth chattiness that the medium perpetuates can be a powerful feather in your marketing cap. We’ve even been able to attribute direct revenue as a result of Twitter conversations. In one recent example, one prospective client contacted us via Twitter to ask for additional information on how Central Desktop could be used as a SharePoint Alternative. We quickly responded with a link to our Customer Network featuring four case studies of customers that used Central Desktop as a SharePoint Alternative. The conversation continued via Twitter for about 3 weeks with various technical questions regarding email integration and user adoption until finally, we had answered all of his questions – via Twitter. The prospect ended up calling in to speak with one of our sales reps and purchased the Enterprise Edition of Central Desktop. It took 27 tweets and 1 phone call to close the deal.
The lesson? Listen to your customers. Be where your customers are. Engage with your customers on their terms – not yours.
Are you Twitter’ing for your company? You should be. Follow us on Twitter.
Central Desktop has many employees using Twitter, which includes the CEO.
CEO – Isaac Garcia
Business Analyst – Chris Goodrich
Social Media/Marketing– Grace Kang
Senior Systems Engineer – Alan Bryan
You can also follow the entire Central Desktop Team