I’ve long been a believer, when it comes to social media, in only committing to what you know you can achieve. Yes, your brand should probably be in the space, but if you’re only going to get around to checking your Twitter account once a month, then you might as well not be there at all.
I’ve had personal experience of this as a consumer. Twitter has become an easy and efficient way to communicate with companies for customer service reasons. (And the companies should be happy – wouldn’t you want all communication to be forced down to 140 characters?) When it’s a good experience – they write back promptly, listen to what I have to say – it boosts my opinion of the brand. When the opposite happens – they have a Twitter account, but my request goes unheard – it makes me think, well, not-so-nice things about them. (I’m not going to name any specific brands here, but I have a few on my list. Ask me after a drink.)
And according to this article on Brafton News, I’m not the only one. They report that a study by Conversocial showed that pretty much half of respondents have an extremely negative view of a brand with unanswered questions on its Facebook page.
Now, this doesn’t mean your entire interaction with a customer has to occur in public. But always, always, answer people, even if it’s to say “We’d like to take this conversation offline – please call or email us at ___.” And if you don’t have the bandwidth to manage all your social media accounts, then kill one. Cut back. Just make it clear to followers that that’s what you’re doing, and why, and give them alternative ways to contact you.
Oh, and if you are staying on Twitter? Make sure to set up a search for your brand name as well. People aren’t necessarily going to tag you properly, and you might catch some feedback that way, too.