Messaging Channels

How to Use Twitter for Business to Engage With Customers

Many businesses use Twitter to keep customers informed on trending events, news, and new products or services. But you might not be familiar with one of Twitter's lesser-known features: The ability to chat with customers via Twitter Direct Messages. Today, we'll share our top tips and use cases for leveraging Twitter Direct Messages to reach highly engaged customers and boost your brand image.

How to Use Twitter for Business

I. What Are Twitter Direct Messages (DMs)?

Direct Messages (DMs) let users engage in private conversations on Twitter. Users can send direct messages to a single follower or start a group conversation with multiple followers. 

Twitter users can also use Direct Messages to chat with business accounts. An individual can begin a conversation with your brand by clicking a Direct Message link in one of your tweets or opening the Direct Message view on their Twitter app. 

Twitter Direct Messages let businesses connect with followers on a more intimate level than Twitter mentions or generalized tweets. 

Direct Messages allow you to send custom content, including videos, images, and customizable buttons, to your Twitter followers. Businesses can use Twitter to promote new products or services, answer questions, and encourage an open communication line. 

Twitter DMs can also be a great lead generation tool, allowing you to start private conversations with individual business leads and grow your networking circle. 

II. Benefits of Twitter DMs for Business

As the fourth most popular social networking app in the U.S., Twitter is an integral part of any omnichannel marketing, support, and sales strategy. 

Some of the top benefits of Twitter DMs include: 

  • Highly Engaged Audience: Twitter users are considered early adopters who are consistent when it comes to staying at the cusp of new technology and information. 79% of people on Twitter like to discover what's new, and 53% of Twitter users are more likely to be the first to buy new products. 
  • Low Cost: Twitter DM is an OTT (over-the-top) messaging channel, which is an online instant messaging service that allows people to communicate in real-time, for free. OTT messaging apps have rapidly overtaken SMS for their cost, speed, and ability to chat with people worldwide. 
  • Message Deliverability: As an OTT messaging channel, all customers (or any user) need to ensure they receive a direct message via Twitter, is the app on their mobile device, and an active cellular/mobile data service or Wi-Fi connection.
  • User Accessibility: Because Twitter is an OTT messaging platform, messages are easily accessible over the Internet. Customers can send and receive DMs through any mobile or desktop device such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and even smartwatches.
  • Now your business can reach customers where you know they spend their time, and when they are. 
  • Global Reach: People around the world are continuously active on Twitter. Because Twitter is a channel designed for messaging and engaging in real-time, businesses and customers can rely on Twitter as their source for the most up-to-date information. 

Twitter is a great channel to help your business stay current and relevant while also allowing you to maintain your brand reputation and customer engagement. Using Twitter DMs provides the perfect global messaging gateway to help you manage your customer experience. 

III. Twitter for Business Use Cases

Organizations in many industries can benefit from adding Twitter as a direct communication channel. A few industries that receive the most engagement on Twitter include:

  • Entertainment
  • Media
  • Political Organizations 
  • Music
  • Fashion 

While industry reports show the top industries that see the benefits from Twitter for Business, using Twitter DMs is a relatively new practice with many business applications spanning various objectives. Regardless of the industry, businesses should leverage Twitter DMs as a messaging channel. There's no harm in testing and gaining insights and identifying specific tactics that have an impactful result for your sector.

Here are some of the most common use cases for sending direct messages to your Twitter followers or target audience:

  • Send Critical Updates & Alerts: Many people turn to Twitter for updates and real-time information before any other channel. Be the first to alert your customers of important updates, such as traffic conditions, threats, critical situations, or news. 
  • Promote New Products or Services: Have a new album or product line coming out? Use Direct Messages to announce new offerings and link your followers to the content they'll find most interesting.
  • Generate Business Leads: Use Twitter Direct Messages as a business outreach method to add a personalized element required to attract and connect with potential customers. 
  • Build a Recruiting Network: Twitter is not as saturated as LinkedIn when it comes to recruiting, making it the ideal platform for reaching out to potential job candidates. 

IV. Twitter Direct Message Features for Business

If your business is active on Twitter, you probably already know how to post tweets and use mentions and hashtags to reach customers publicly. But Twitter DMs offer some additional benefits that make customer interactions more personal: 

  • Custom Welcome Messages: Businesses can create a custom welcome message through a Twitter for Business API. Your premade message is automatically presented to a user when they compose a message to your brand for the first time. Welcome messages can include media, quick replies, links, and much more. 
  • Quick Reply Prompts: Create a handful of premade reply messages that customers can easily click to engage with your brand. It saves them time and encourages them to respond. 
  • Emojis & Media: Like other popular OTT messaging apps, Twitter lets you add emojis, photos, GIFs, videos, and other media to give your messages some flare. 

V. How to Use Twitter for Business: 5 Tips For Success When Direct Messaging Customers

  1. First, Complete Your Profile: Having an on-brand, fully finished, and polished Twitter profile is key to making an excellent first impression when a user decides to chat with you. Be sure you include a header image, profile photo, contact information, and a short and straightforward bio. 
  2. Verify Your Business Account: When using Twitter to send direct messages to customers, it's helpful to get your business account verified by Twitter, proving to customers that your messages are "official," and your business is legitimate. Verifying your account helps prevent brand identity theft and fake accounts that could potentially negatively misrepresent your brand. 
  3. Assign Roles: Twitter conversations move fast, and your followers will notice if you're not prompt or consistent when it comes to checking in and responding timely and professionally. Ensure you have a dedicated support representative or team of agents who can manage, answer, route the responses of any mentions or engagements with your brand as efficiently and effectively as possible. Having a team dedicated to your Twitter and even other messaging accounts will make it easier to facilitate the flow of inbound and outbound direct messages to the appropriate people with the most relevant responses. 
  4. Spend Time Crafting Your Welcome Message: Your welcome message is the first thing people see – it allows you to express your brand voice and set expectations. Ensure your welcome message accurately reflects your brand image, follows style guidelines, and is engaging enough to entice people to click or take action. 
  5. Set Up Quick Replies: Clicking a button is usually easier than typing out a full response. Give your audience several options for quick replies in their Twitter DM view. Providing an easy way to respond will help increase response rates and keep customers engaged with your chat communications.

VI. Send and Manage Twitter Direct Messages With CM.com

You have a few options to get started sending Twitter Direct Messages to your customers.

One way is through CM.com's business API that includes the Twitter for Business API, allowing businesses to access and manage Twitter DMs from their preferred platform or environment.

Another option is CM.com's Customer Contact platform. Customer Contact creates efficiency by unifying your mobile communication platforms into one streamlined and intuitive multi-channel messaging inbox. Customer Contact simplifies your customer care agents' lives – especially if you rely on multiple conversational platforms and messaging channels to handle your customer care and support requests. 

Along with Twitter for Business DMs, Customer Contact allows you to easily add any additional mobile communications and OTT mobile messaging channels. With Customer Contact, efficiently respond to conversations directly to each of your various messaging channels simultaneously, all through one unified dashboard.

  • Available messaging channels include WhatsApp Business, Apple Business Chat, Viber, Facebook Messenger, Twitter DM, Telegram, SMS, RCS, and more.
  • It's a one-stop-shop for your messaging channels, automation, chatbots, and intuitive customer support software — centralized and packaged neatly all in one single inbox
  • Access all messaging channels and engage in multiple conversations through a single view

Request your free demo of Customer Contact, or get started right away! 

Get Started With Customer Contact Today

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