Companies can make Twitter a part of their business practice

We look at social media as a system. From the business perspective, it is really the relationship between customers, and you can always get smarter about customer relationships. Social media creates a massive disruption in the world of customer relationships, and marketers need to pay heed.

We’ve spent most of the past 24 months working with customers on their social media projects, and there has been a learning curve; everyone is experimenting. There are a few big keys to success, and the first one is monitoring.

I want to make sure that there is a conversation happening about my brand and that I can be a part of that conversation with my customers. Twitter is very important, because it is a place where people are talking about your brand and using your name. Twitter is something that was disruptive about two years ago, but it became a platform and not just a Web site. That means you can make Twitter a part of your business process. For instance, if you go to a company’s Web site and you go to its Twitter landing page, you can see customers talking about the brand and asking questions.

What we are saying to our customers is that there is a way to have that Twitter interaction in your CRM system that gets it to the relevant people. If there are questions, you should have sales people or customer service people answering those questions. It should not be a bother; it’s completing what you already have in place as a business.

The trick is how you connect to this world. Social media has different ways to behave and different ways to answer, so you need to really keep employees on the same page. You want all of your channels to be in sync and employees to answer the same questions with the same answers. So it is very important when you connect to this new world that you keep what is in place consistent.

This article originally ran as part of the February 1, 2010 Technique, “Social media can assist your CRM efforts.” To read the entire feature, click here.

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