A new study from UK market research firm BDRC Group suggests that UK brands are failing to make optimal use of Twitter to improve their performance (some of them even dismally so).
In an era where every fragment of business performance is tracked and analysed, you could be forgiven for thinking that a brand’s performance on a network with a 15 million-strong userbase would come in for serious scrutiny. But BDRC’s new “Twystery” service, which tracks brands’ social media performance, suggests that this is far from the case too much of the time. And surprisingly, it’s the telecoms sector, which one would imagine being social media savvy, that emerges as the worst laggard.
Scored out of 100, the top performers (measured in terms of responses to tweeted queries from ordinary Twitter users) were financial services with a score of 78 per cent and supermarkets with a score of 72 per cent. Way, way below them came telecoms companies, with a score of 51 per cent. Their average response time was a staggering 11 hours 6 minutes, nearly twice the overall average.
The low score for the latter was weighted chiefly by two giants in the telecoms sector – BT and EE – which only responded to 63 per cent and 73 per cent of the tweets they received. EE also emerged with the dubious honour of claiming the gong for the worst response time of the lot at 19 hours 4 minutes.
Writing in The Guardian, BDRC director, Tim Barber, states: “What’s disappointing is that some of the UK’s biggest companies and brands are missing out on the opportunity to have a real dialogue with their customers.”
Here’s what he recommends to CEOs who want to improve their Twitter strategy
- Engage: if a customer has a query, you have to respond. Pronto.
- Even if it’s a complaint, seize the tweet as an opportunity to start a dialogue. And remember, the customer will be listening (as will everyone else).
- Take care over the content of your tweet. No bad grammar or slapdash punctuation. Even with 140 characters, you can still look business-like.
- Think of your brand and get the balance between formal and casual in line with it.
- Answer the query. But if you can’t do so immediately, say so and follow up as soon as possible.