Last month Twitter released one of its shiny new objects – Twitter Lists. Many were quick to pounce on the new tool, exploring its potential. Mashable featured several informative posts on the topic, including:
- How To Use Twitter Lists (a basic introduction) by Josh Catone,(@catone)
- Twitter Lists – FAQs & Strategies, (valuable supplement to or in lieu of Catone’s “How To” post) by Liz Pullen, (@nwjerseyliz)
- Ten Ways You Can Use Twitter Lists, (a starting point for the endless possibilities) by Sarah Evans, (@PRsarahevans)
I’ve been brainstorming how Twitter Lists might be leveraged in the corporate arena. While Sarah Evans touched on some ideas for business uses in her post, it was Seth Miller, Digital Marketing Director for Turner Broadcasting System, (@mostlymuppet ) who got me thinking. Presenting a case study at BlogWell, Seth shared (and I tweeted) that:
Seth got me thinking. There are no rules on how to use lists other than the limits Twitter has set on them right now (no more than 20 lists and no more than 500 people per list). So I started wondering about the untapped potential within this new tool. What TBS is doing for fans of their entertainment offerings, retail and service companies could do for fans of their brand, only in a different way. Brand Evangelists Lists: From a consumer perspective, I’ve found the greatest value from Twitter in achieving results in situations that I wouldn’t have otherwise achieved results prior to Twitter. Sales pitches and advertisement-like tweets have no value to me (and, in fact, turn me off from a brand). The real marketing value on Twitter is in customer service. In his post Why Customer Service is the New Marketing, Alex Hawkinson highlights the fact that excellent customer service can convert lukewarm and disgruntled customers into advocates — BRAND EVANGELISTS. I’ve experienced this myself with Best Buy, Hyatt and Sprint. Best Buy and Hyatt turned a middle-of-the-road customer into an enthusiastic brand evangelist through engagement on Twitter. By listening to me, responding in real time and addressing my issues to satisfying resolution, these companies made me feel valued and important to them.With the rise of social media, the voice of the customer drives the brand reputation more than ever. So how can companies utilize Twitter Lists to contribute to this customer service-focused approach to marketing? Create “Brand Evangelists” lists. If I were running a business that would benefit from customer service outreach on Twitter, I would create such a list. It would go a little something like this:
- Create a Twitter list for satisfied customers. (I like the name “Brand Evangelists” – from a consumer perspective, I’d be happy to be on such a list.)
- Track customer service interactions on Twitter.
- Identify the interactions that result in satisfied customers.
- Tweet satisfied customers upon completion of interactions asking if they would like to be added to the company’s “Brand Evangelist” list.
- For those who say yes, add them to the list.
Why this is a good idea?
- It makes the customer feel additionally valued, on top of the good customer service experience, solidifying the customer’s conversion from disgruntled to evangelist.
- It further extends the focus on the customer in this social media tool, representing a company who wants to go the extra mile in recognizing its customers.
- It’s additional positive PR. Twitter searches for a company doing this will produce these tweets, spreading the word about what the company is doing.
- As the trend catches on, customers who are already brand evangelists without any such interactions may seek to connect with the brands to which they are loyal, wanting to be on those companies’ lists.
- As lists are becoming more popular, there seems to be an emerging trend that being “listed” makes Twitter users feel good. Lists, like followers, are another metric that people look at to measure a person’s popularity or value. (In social media, where relationship-building is the focus, I don’t ascribe to numbers as measurements of value. But the perception of the masses is indeed a factor that contributes to the reasons why this is a good idea for business.)
So there you have it. My brainstorm. For the companies to which I have already pledged my allegiance as a brand evangelist, I hope you take my idea and run with it…and I’d like to be on your lists. What do you think? How might companies use Twitter lists to add value to their online presence? This is just one brainstorm. The possibilities are endless.
“Twitter Lists – Good for Business” also posted at Web 2.H.