Does every business need Twitter?

by Matthijs van den Broek on June 17, 2011in the categories Conversations, Social Web1 Comment

Oh, yes. Now we have it. A lot of social media fetisjists will take the question if every business needs Twitter as a wonderful opportunity to tell you beautiful stories about Twitter’s rise of numbers and users, the way they’ve managed to get things done just by asking on Twitter, blablabla. Of course, being on Twitter could help you as a company. But for wat, exactly? How necessary is a Twitter-account for good customer service? Inbox did a survey, Christopher Elliott made a fine analysis on that piece of research and asked some good questions (source: via Twitter of course).

The conventional wisdom is that a company just NEEDS a Twitter account for good customer service, Elliott says. He’s probably right, if we don’t define good customer service just yet. Some companies, for instance, will find it a very hard job to do good customer service for their clients via Twitter. Think of banks, think of insurance companies, or every other company that has to work with highly confidential clientdata. They need other channels, like a callcenter.

The Inbox survey found nearly 60 percent of Twitter users said they would be more likely to follow a brand that answered them, and 64 percent said they would be more likely to make a purchase from that brand. So, a company that is conversational, or a company that has implemented a true listening culture (for example via Twitter) is doing a better job in breaking the walls between consumer and company. The Inbox-poll shows that customers go to Twitter with service-related questions. The top questions queries:

1. Product recommendations and advice
2. Tech support
3. Local suggestions
4. Entertainment
5. Sports
6. Health
7. Travel
8. Music
9. Careers
10. Fashion

Elliott has doubts about the need of a Twitter-account for every company. Here’s some food for thought (very interesting):
“Wouldn’t a Twitter account be a distraction, if not a drain on a company’s resources? And could you automatically assume that in the absence of a Twitter account, that it doesn’t care about customer service? [I’m not at all convinced that Twitter is necessary to provide good customer service, or that not having a Twitter account means you don’t care.”
What do you think? Does every business need Twitter? Is it a dissatisfying underestimating and not customer centered approach if you’re NOT on Twitter talking to your clients or fans?
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One Response to Does every business need Twitter?

  1. Gert Lambers says:

    Tend to agree that it is NOT absolutely necessary for every business to have a twitter account.
    I do think it is necessary to monitor as much as possible social media and that this is something every company should do.
    The results of this monitoring then could give you some insights if it could be useful to become active (as a company) on any of them. This way you can direct your customer service resources to the most efficient channels in your specific situation, with your specific clients. If Twitter then is not one of those most efficient channels, just focus on delivering great customer service through your other channels.
    All this has nothing to do, I think, with the fact that every company should put some effort in making good arrangements with their employees about what is allowed and what is not allowed on social media – actually making a social media policy and making employees aware of some of the risks of social media is a duty for every company.

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