So what do the FDA, HHS, Sprint and Dunkin Donuts have in common? They all operate in the world of immediacy — using Twitter to tackle pressing customer service and communications issues. A panel as diverse as they come at today’s TWTRCON DC nailed some key points that we think can be put to work in your business– on Twitter and beyond.
Personality still wins.
Andew P. Wilson, the Department of Health and Human Service’s Web content account manager, attributes much of his agency’s success on Twitter (@FluGov, @HHSgov) to his ability to be … well … Andrew P. Wilson. His supervisors gave him the flexibility to self-identify and, in turn, communicate personally via Twitter by responding, researching and adjusting agency messaging based on his experiences.
David Puner (@dunkindonuts), communications manager at Dunkin’ Brands, reiterated this point from another perspective, suggesting that your Twitter account should reflect your brand’s personality. In Dunkin Donuts’ case, “make the conversation fun, like the brand.”
Two way conversations are nothing without flexibility.
The HHS isn’t the only department actively engaging conversations on Twitter. Dan Luxenberg, social media lead at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ramped up the @FDArecalls account when the peanut butter salmonella situation was announced. Rather than continuing with an “announcement only” approach, they began listening and taking note of misinformation. Armed with this new data, the FDA began tweeting that jarred peanut butter was, in fact, safe to eat — and watched the news (ahem) spread.
Real-time response requires really good resources.
When Sprint realized that their staff of three corporate communications professionals couldn’t continue to answer all customer requests and issues on Twitter, they recruited six customer care representatives to work in the new channel. These were not just six randomly selected reps. They were chosen based on their interest for social media and passion for customer service. After all, said Sprint’s Richard Pesce, customer experience is the No. 1 driver of the conversation.
Image credit, ktsimage, via iStock