Twitter as a Customer Service Tool?

Okay, so I know you’ve heard and read about how social media can be used in a variety of ways to help your brand.  The question arises more often than not when it comes to business professionals asking how Twitter can be integrated into their marketing communications program.

The answer is not always simple as I usually respond by asking numerous questions to help analyze how social media in general can benefit each individual brand.  In the case of Twitter, it can be used in several different ways. Some brands use it to disseminate news to their target market, while others use it to boost brand awareness.  Some use Twitter to provide helpful tips, while other brands use it as one big mash-up.

One recent example of how brands are using Twitter arose when I was talking with one of my team members in our weekly creative brainstorming meetings.  He was telling me about his recent experience with the computer manufacturing giant, Hewlett-Packard.  My team member purchased a laptop and was frustrated because his order was taking longer to arrive than what HP promised.  He then posted a tweet on his personal Twitter account expressing his dissatisfaction with HP. Just a day later, a representative from HP, who identifies himself as an HP social media ambassador, replied with his e-mail address and offered to see how he could be of assistance.

After doing some more digging on how HP uses Twitter, I must admit that I was pretty impressed. They have a variety of Twitter accounts for many different things. There’s @hpnews that is used to release company news, @hpsupport that provides support for customers, @hpacademy for students, as well as several others.

Twitter is a powerful tool for customer service as you can search for keywords relevant to your company to discover what your publics are saying about you.  Once you find them, engage in a conversation and offer to be of assistance or provide them with the information needed to get them down the right path. Many times, they may be asking a general question that you could answer to help secure a sale. Using Twitter as a customer service tool is extremely effective and can enable you to reach a large number of prospects and clients. It’s important to remember, however, it is just a tool. Twitter has limitations and it’s important to know the extent of what you can say (as in under 140 characters).

My point is, approach social media (or any marketing tool for that matter) with an open mind.  Do some research to see what is already being done by competitors and think about how you can leverage the media outlet in question to see how you can stand apart from the rest.  Be innovate in your approach.  Creativity is the limit! If you do not know where to begin, SRJ Marketing Communications ( can help you get started. Anything is what you make of it, and in the case of HP, they are leveraging social media as a customer service tool.

How do you think your brand could leverage Twitter? Check out my personal Twitter account (@stevenjolly) to see how I use it. Oh, and while you’re at it, follow SRJ Marketing Communications (@srjmarketing) as well.