The public nature of Twitter leaves many of us open to unique opportunities for engagement. But there’s a fine line between engaging a stranger and behaving in creepy, stalker-like ways.
Many of us use keyword searches or alerts to find out when potential customers are discussing the topics of our industry. This is a great tool that everyone should be using. It’s essentially an invite to discuss a topic or generate conversation about your niche.
How do we know that reaching out to someone and commenting on their post isn’t invasive? Let’s look at some examples.
Someone posts a negative comment about your competitor
Stalker Behavior: Agreeing with their negative comments and encouraging them to use your product/service.
Engagement: Acknowledging their frustration and wishing them success in resolving their issue.
Let’s say you work for Lexus and you see someone post a comment on Twitter complaining that their Audi A4 has to go into the dealership for repair work for the 3rd time in 2 months. If you approach them by saying how much better Lexus is or how Lexus offers better warranty service, how do you think that person will react? They’re going to think you’re a sleazy used car salesman – and we all know what that means! Instead, acknowledge their frustration and sympathize with the hassle of taking in their car again. Wish them luck and a speedy repair. This let’s them know you saw their post but that you’re not trying to over sell them. It instills a sense of respect. Chances are they will talk about this tweet response with many people and you just got yourself a brand advocate and free word-of-mouth advertising.
Someone shares a photo related to your industry
Stalker Behavior: Complaining that they aren’t using your product/service.
Engagement: Retweeting their photo.
This recently happened to me when I was building my new desk and office chair. I ordered the items from Amazon and had to put them together when they arrived. I tweeted a photo of all the parts laid out and captioned something like “Gotta love building furniture!” Two companies (one was a furniture store and one was a handy-man) retweeted my photo and wished me good luck in the process. This simple engagement had me looking at their company profiles and led me to one of their websites for more research. Imagine if instead, one company had said “Looks tough. If you had bought one of our desks, it would have been a lot easier to put together.” Too late – I already bought this one! Now I’d just be mad.
Someone posts about needing help with a related product
Stalker Behavior: Telling them that your company can fix it or do it for them.
Engagement: Providing a link to a tutorial to resolve their issue.
Let’s say you’re an iPhone repair company and someone posts that they dropped their iPhone in water. They’re panicking that they won’t be able to save it. If they need of help now, they don’t want to know that they can go to your website, put in a request, and wait for a response. Besides, how do they know they can trust your company? Instead, send them a link with a video tutorial that will immediately resolve their problem. In this example, send them a tutorial about how to dry out your iPhone. They can open the link immediately and solve their problem right now. You’ve just become a valuable asset to them! You could even follow up with a tweet the next day asking if their phone survived and offering any additional assistance at this time.
Someone asks for a product recommendation
Stalker Behavior: Touting how awesome your product is and how they can’t live without it.
Engagement: Suggesting they take a look at your website and providing them a link to your testimonials page.
Maybe you run a spa in your local city and you see someone is looking for a good spa with reasonable rates. Rather than flooding them with a sales pitch and offering them a discount if they choose you, let your customers speak for you! Respond to their tweet by inviting them to your website (link to your testimonials page) and wish them a wonderful spa day even if they don’t choose you. This demonstrates your respect for them while still showing you value your services and you won’t compromise for just another customer.
Someone posts about planning an upcoming event
Stalker Behavior: Telling them that your company is who they should use.
Engagement: Providing a resource for their planning.
Perhaps you see that someone posts about planning their best friend’s bachelorette party and you’re a party planner. Rather than spamming them with your services, send them a resource checklist of all the steps to plan a successful bachelorette party. By sending them this checklist, they can ensure that they cover all the details and chances are, if there are things they aren’t prepared to handle, you’re now their first resource for planning them.
Someone compliments you or your company
Stalker Behavior: Thanking them while bragging about how great you are and trying to up-sell them.
Engagement: Thanking them in a personal tone and retweeting their post.
We all love a good compliment from customers and we want to capitalize on it. But if they like you, don’t chase them away! Personalize your thank you to let them know you read their post and profile. If you’re a blogger and someone has complimented your latest blog posting, find out what they’re interested in (from their Twitter profile). Do they like sports? Do you a have a sports-themed posting from your archives or one coming up in the near future? Thank them for reading your post and suggest they read your sports related post. Find a way to connect with the person and create an opportunity to have them read more of your material, while providing them with additional insight and resources. It’s a win-win situation!
People love to be recognized and have their posts shared. But they don’t want to know that companies are eagerly chasing them down for the next sale. If you can find a way to share someone’s post and create a healthy engagement with them, you are setting yourself up for success! Remember to engage with potential customers the way you’d like to be treated.
Share this post if you want to help eliminate Twitter stalkers!