Utilizing Twitter to Counteract Negative Customer Reviews

One of the more challenging aspects of business management is counteracting negative customer reviews. Customer relationship management (CRM) is always a delicate balance of responding without seeming defensive.

And in this new world of instant messaging, mobile platforms, and social media, where news is spread virally, companies need to respond quickly and efficiently. Twitter, the micro-blogging social media platform, is a great tool for CRM.

Setting up an Effective Twitter Strategy

Social media is different than print or broadcast advertising, as the underlying fundamental principles are all about relationships, which fits smoothly into CRM fundamentals. We talk with other people in social media, not at them as in a magazine ad. Consequently, social medial such as Twitter is a more effective tool for building trust and credibility which fits in with your CRM strategy.

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Let a little bird help with business reputation management.

That said, Twitter can be used to also direct contacts back to ads, PR campaigns, or blogs to reinforce messages and ensure the maximum number of customers – and more importantly, potential customers – are reached. With tweets being so much faster than other traditional platforms, your counter measures will be heard sooner rather than later.

Here are important aspects of setting up an effective Twitter strategy:

Interact

Many companies use social media to only post information such as new product announcements or invitations to events. But since platforms like Twitter reinforce interactions among participants, it is a perfect way to implement CRM to build stronger customer relationships.

While sharing what you had for lunch may not be something you care to post, interacting with others is essential to success on Twitter. Re-tweet interesting photos or links with comments in front of the RT symbol. Ask questions about posts, such as “What new products are you releasing at the tradeshow you mentioned?”  You’ll be surprised how easy it is to get a dialogue going if you’re not perceived as a spammer.

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Being a good member of the community is key to social media success.

A good ratio is 80-90% interaction, with only 10-20% of your tweets talking about your products and services. If you are perceived as a good member of the Twitterverse, then when you need positive reviews, your fellow tweeters will be more than happy to help out.

Tweet with Frequency

We’re hearing marketing gurus say you don’t have to tweet everyday, and that is just plain wrong. An effective social media campaign requires that you tweet at least a dozen or so times per day. Software such as TweetDeck or HootSuite allows you to schedule messages so you can come into your office in the morning and in 10-15 minutes organize tweets that can go out throughout the day.

These don’t have to be original tweets. Re-tweeting, especially with a short comment in front such as “Ck this out” is considered good etiquette and is highly encouraged.

Frequency is important for counteracting negative customer reviews because Google will pick up Twitter posts in online searches. The more positive tweets you post, the lower those negative reviews will appear in page rankings.

Ask for Help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. While open requests to re-tweet a post are considered cheesy, the direct message option is a great way to privately get your network to support your efforts. Of course, as in any community, you have to reciprocate and support the other members of the Twitterverse!

It’s a good bet that with a consistent Twitter strategy your positive messages will get out. They may even go viral so that your online reputation is better than ever!

About the Author:

Sarah Boisvert writes on a variety of business topics, including social media, marketing, and sales. She has over 100,000 Twitter followers in her various accounts and considers herself a Twitterholic.