As social media professionals, #CSUSocial engages with our online audience as often as possible. Whether that’s responding to a DMs or engaging with fans on Twitter, we try our best to be part of the conversation. After all, social media plays a critical role as a customer service tool for brands. For customers, it’s never been easier to praise or complain about a company. For brands, there has never been a better opportunity to be accessible, personable and improve satisfaction among customers. The stakes are high. Just one bad experience can cost you a loyal customer.
Reflecting on my personal experiences with brands on Twitter, I wondered, have they been listening to me? I wasn’t sure. So, I started paying attention. Let’s take a look at what happened when I tweeted 10 times to 10 brands over the past several months.
Tweet #1: I tried Yoplait Whips for the first time. And it was delicious, so I decided to let the world know.
Result: ✅ Yoplait liked my tweet. ✅ Yoplait replied to my tweet. I have warm fuzzy feelings for Yoplait because they made me feel like they care, and appreciate me as a customer. More importantly, they are doing it right by monitoring conversations about their brand.
Tweet #2: Like any social media pro will tell you, finding the right music is key when editing videos. #CSUSocial has a subscription to Artlist.io and I absolutely love the variety and quality of music found there. So, I tweeted about it to share this awesome resource with others.
Result: ✅ Artlist liked my tweet. ✅ Artlist replied to my tweet.
How did this make me feel? It’s clear that Artlist cares about their customers, and are doing a great job engaging with them online. This simple reply made me feel like they appreciate my business. Interactions like this make me want to keep sharing my positive experiences with Artlist with other video producers.
Tweet #3: To keep myself sane on my daily commute from Denver to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, I have found relaxing salvation in listing to e-books. I listened to the first book in the Outlander series and absolutely fell in love. I discovered that Outlander is available on Starz, but I still wanted my favorite streaming service to know that I had hopes that maybe someday Outlander would be available on Netflix. So I tweeted Netflix in the kindest way I knew how… and I also mentioned Starz.
Result: 🚫 Netflix did like my tweet. 🚫 Netflix did not reply to my tweet. 🚫 Starz did not like my tweet. 🚫 Starz did not reply to my tweet.
How did this make me feel? This was surprising to me, considering Netflix is generally known for its social media excellence. Yes, I realize both brands possibly get bombarded by fan tweets every day, but knowing they both have a good track history with customer engagement on Twitter, I did feel a bit surprised that my plea was ignored. This could have been a fun opportunity for either brand to toot their horns – Starz could have bragged about their exclusive rights to the show, and tempted me with a subscription by letting me know there are currently four seasons of Outlander I’m missing out on. Netflix could have taken this opportunity to tout some of the shows they do offer. But nope, radio silence.
Tweet #4: Ok, this is random. I love all things DIY and I’m constantly trying to learn new skills. I’ve always wanted to learn how to weld, so I decided to take a welding class at our local community college. Before we could get into the workshop, my class had to watch a hilarious safety video. Needless to say, I had to tweet about it.
Result: ✅ Front Range Community College did like my tweet. 🚫 Front Range Community College did not reply to my tweet.
How did this make me feel? I’m happy to see that FRCC is monitoring their tweets, but perhaps they could have taken this opportunity to sell me on additional weekend workshops they offer, maybe even a workshop in first aid? This could have been fun, considering careless welding students may need it 😳
Tweet #5: I am a season ticket holder to the Denver Center for Performing Arts and have been for several years. I have considered not renewing my subscription over the last couple of years, but Evan Hansen was on the 2018 – 2019 lineup and this musical was the one reason why I decided to renew my subscription. At this point, the idea of blogging about my experience with brands on Twitter was rolling through my head. Honestly, I don’t think I could have tee’d this tweet up any better for the Denver Center for Performing Arts.
Result: 🚫 The Denver Center for Performing Arts did not like my tweet. 🚫 The Denver Center for Performing Arts did not reply to my tweet.
How did this make me feel? Humm. I gave them a plug for their subscriptions, praised one of their shows, used a branded photo, tagged them and used the correct hashtags. But yet, this was a huge missed opportunity for the DCPA to have a meaningful engagement with a loyal fan on Twitter. Their lack of engagement felt like they didn’t care – about me, and my season subscription $.
— Jen Smith (@jensmith7) September 25, 2018
Tweet #6: I recently had an amazing experience. This fall, some of my old high school classmates and I created a video singing RENT’s “Seasons of Love” for our former choir teacher who is fighting cancer, and our video went viral. Good Morning America saw our video and invited us to come to New York City to appear on GMA Day, hosted by Sara Haines and Michael Strahan. Once we were in the studio, we learned we’d have two special guests for our live performance – we would be joined by Broadway legend and original RENT cast member, Anthony Rapp. Plus, we’d also be joined by actress Tracie Thoms, who played Joanne in RENT the movie. Obviously, I had to tweet about this amazing experience.
Result: ✅ Anthony Rapp liked my tweet. ✅ Sara Haines liked my tweet. 🚫 Michael Strahan and GMA did not.
How did this make me feel? Two people/brands out of the four engaged with me. That’s not too bad. The excitement of having two celebrities engage with me on Twitter was good enough to make me feel heard. Celebrities should know too, that it’s good for business to interact with fans. This simple interaction showed me that Sara Haines and Anthony Rapp truly care about their fans, taking 5-seconds to interact with me on Twitter made me feel important. It’s ok Michael Strahan, I’m not mad at you. You were very kind to me in person, and real-life experiences count for something, too 👌
“We’re all a part of Mama Lu’s class now.” – @michaelstrahan
— Jen Smith (@jensmith7) October 23, 2018
Tweet #7: Not only did I tweet about Animoto, I actually and gave them the biggest endorsement of all by writing a blog about why #CSUSocial uses Animoto.
Result: 🚫 Animoto did not like my tweet. 🚫 Animoto did not comment on my tweet. 🚫 Animoto probably didn’t read my blog ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
How did this make me feel? This was another colossal missed opportunity and a textbook example of why it’s important to monitor your brand in the social sphere. The fact that my tweet was ignored by Animoto was disappointing. Does that sound catty? Sadly, I’m not alone. 67% of global consumers interacting with a brand for customer service on social media expect a response within 24 hours. 32% expect a response within 30 minutes, and 42% expect a response within 60 minutes. Millennials have even higher expectations (25% expect companies to respond in as little as 10 minutes) and some of us may hold it against companies who don’t comply.
— Jen Smith (@jensmith7) November 27, 2018
Tweet #8: I tweeted a pic while on vacation at a RIU property in Cabo.
Result: ✅ RIU did like my tweet. 🚫 RIU did not comment on my tweet.
How did this make me feel? For what it was, I felt that a “like” was an appropriate response from RIU for this simple tweet. This single RIU Twitter account is the main source for several RIU properties, so it made me feel happy to see that they are watching. But perhaps this might have been a good opportunity for them to let me know about their other relaxing activities… maybe they could have even sold me on a spa experience.
— Jen Smith (@jensmith7) December 3, 2018
Tweet #9: After having a Christmas package go missing, I panicked a bit when I learned that the shipping snafu was actually because of my error. I accidentally gave Peepers the wrong street number when filling out my shipping address. After calling and speaking to a customer representative, they responded with excellent customer service. So, of course, I had to share my experience on Twitter.
Result: ✅ Peepers did like my tweet. 🚫 Peepers did not comment on my tweet.
How did this make me feel? Interacting with people on Twitter is always a good opportunity to build brand loyalty. So while Peepers passed the test by liking my tweet, they missed an opportunity to strengthen customer loyalty by saying something more about their commitment to customer service. Nevertheless, I love Peepers.
Shoutout to @Peepers_Readers for their exceptional customer service. My holiday order got lost in the mail (due to my error) but I spoke to customer service & they offered a new shipment at no extra cost. Thank you Peepers! Also, yes, I'm old and use readers occasionally. pic.twitter.com/MiYKNDXfEb
— Jen Smith (@jensmith7) January 14, 2019
Tweet #10: January 23 was National Pie Day. I decided to celebrate by trying my first Australian savory pie from a local restaurant near campus.
Result: ✅ The Waltzing Kangaroo did like my tweet. 🚫 The Waltzing Kangaroo did not comment on my tweet.
How did this make me feel? I see this as another missed opportunity for this brand. Yes, the Waltzing Kangaroo is a small restaurant here in Fort Collins, CO., and probably have a lot on their plates (literally), but that is exactly why they should engage more with tweets like this. This could have been a prime opportunity for them to RT me, inviting others to come and enjoy a different kind of pie on National Pie Day. Looking back, they did not tweet about National Pie Day at all, which is also a mistake to not jump into a national conversation when it fits your brand so perfectly.
— Jen Smith (@jensmith7) January 23, 2019
What did we learn by seeing these examples? Well, for one, it’s always a good idea for brands to respond. And respond quickly. Even professional social media communicators like me can be sensitive. Positive experiences with brands make customers want to tell their friends and family about their experience. It makes customers want to use their services in the future. And it makes customers want to interact with them again online. Being ignored does the opposite.
Stay tuned… next month’s blog will cover more on this topic, including some best practices and tips for engaging with your audience on social media.