3 Great Examples of using Twitter for Customer Service

I haven’t posted for a while due to training and other commitments but have been using a few examples in my sessions worth sharing.

Southern Electric @southernelec

Southern Electric's Twitter Account

One of the biggies for me with social media is that people are more likely to connect with people on social media, rather than faceless corporations and brands. This is particularly true in customer service.

The twitter team at Southern Electric uses the platform effectively for customer service, each day “opening for business” with a tweet and then tweeting replies to customer enquiries. Each team member signs their tweet with their first name and if the answer is complex or needs privacy, then the team answers via DM.

What I really rate about this account though is the simple but effective use of the twitter background. In this picture, team members are identified by photos, there are also details of how to further connect with Southern Electric and opening times for the twitter account.

Although Southern Electric’s follow numbers and tweets aren’t huge as the moment, I get the feeling they have the foundations of an effective twitter strategy for customer service.

Royal Mail @royalmail

Royal Mail on Twitter

I’ve been using Royal Mail’s twitter account as a good practice example in training since coming across it at a conference last autumn.

I’ve always felt that my postie represents the brand values and behaviours that the Royal Mail seeks to stands for. He is totally committed to the task of getting my mail to me, delivering in all weathers and is truly concerned that I get the packages he’s had to leave with neighbours when I’m out. The challenge for Royal Mail is how do you translate those brand values and behaviours to other parts of the business, including social media?

Rather than letting young interns, who allegedly know about social media, loose on the twitter account, the Royal Mail decided that the people who know customer service the best, are its customer service experts. Gaining customer service experience and knowing how to deal with people takes time, while learning twitter less so.

While the tweets aren’t attributed to people, the style is warm and friendly and consistent whoever is handling the enquiry. Like the Southern Electric account the “counter” opens and closes each day with a tweet.

Best Buy’s Twelpforce @ twelpforce

Twelpforce on twitter

So your technology store is busy some times, but there’s a lot of downtime for your sales staff. Why not turn them into customer service champions on twitter?

That’s exactly what Best Buy did and it still has to be one of the most effective and creative example of using twitter for customer service and enquiries. Over 3000 of its employees manage the account offering support and advice on tech and electric appliances.

Check out more on twelpforce here.

Have you seen any great examples of customer service on Twitter? Let me know either via comments on @simonbadman

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5 Articles on Brand and Pinterest Good Practice

Boden on Pinterest

So what are the brands to watch on Pinterest, those being creative, pinning effectively and making the most of word-of-pin marketing opportunities?

Here are 5 articles which explore brand good practice on Pinterest:

Have you seen any brands using Pinterest effectively? Let me know via the comments below.


5 articles on how brands can use Pinterest

Pinterest

Pinterest is gaining a lot of attention from writers working out how brands can make the most of this fast-growing social media network. Here are five articles that I’ve found useful:

Have you found an article on Pinterest and how brands can use it that should be added to the list? Let me know or provide details in the comments below.

Pinterest – should brands pin-it to win-it?

Pinterest

At the end of 2011 a new social media network was grabbing headlines. In a very short space of time Pinterest  had over 11 million members and had broken into Hitwise’s top ten social media sites.

The proposition Pinterest offers is simple and addictive. Find images you like (either from the web or via upload) and post them to “boards” you create in your profile. You can also repin and/or like other images (pins) that other users have posted. Whether you are pinning inspirational interior design ideas or coveted classic cars, Pinterest has many like-minded members also pinning and repinning images to their boards. You can also choose to follow a person, or just their individual boards.

Any Pinterest for Brands? 

So it’s good fun, but does it have anything to offer for brands?

Boden on Pinterest

Well, there’s a great article from Mashable last week, showing how brands are already using the new platform. Many brands as diverse as Boden and Trinity House have started pinning. So should your brand follow these Pinterest pioneers?

Here are some fundamental questions and initial thoughts on Pinterest:

  • Why would we get involved in another social media platform, especially such a newbie?
    The tremendous speed in which Pinterest has grown, the Hitwise usage stats and the fact that some social media jobs are already asking for Pinterest skills and expertise, suggest that it’s not going to disappear overnight. Also don’t forget the adage that you don’t own your brand any more, especially in social media, this is also true with Pinterest. Pinners are no doubt posting photos of your products and commenting on Pinterest, even if you don’t yet have a presence on the network.
  • What content do we have that’s visual and worth sharing?
    Every organisation usually has visual content worth sharing, sometimes its a matter of thinking outside of the box. Mashable is a great example, with its boards ranging from their amazing infographics to photos of new technology. They also repin cool gadgets they find pinned by other users and elsewhere and from the web.
  • Will the content lead to greater awareness, brand advocacy, sales etc?
    Brand awareness and advocacy “yes” as its already happening. Increased sales, well that’s still the big question, but the signs are good with users already linking to products in their boards for wish and wedding lists and Pinterest already providing a “gift” tab with price-range search functionality.

While Pinterest is still in its early days, it’s interesting to see the potential that brands could have in having a presence on this network. Try a search for many brands and you’ll no doubt find that the pinning of its products has already started, it’s now time for the brand to start pinning themselves.