A few months ago at a conference, I tweeted several things that I was learning. (By the way, you can find me on twitter at @joerawlinson).
During the course of the day, I mentioned several products that the speakers were discussing.
I had no experience with these products nor did I necessarily need their services at the time.
Two companies followed up with me based on my tweets. They offer prime examples of how to follow up with your customers and prospects when they mention you on twitter.
Bad Example of Responding on Twitter
The first company didn’t reply to my tweet through twitter. They hunted me down, emailed me at both my personal and work email addresses. They followed that up with a sales person calling me at work to discuss their product.
I was completely turned off by this immediate attack by their sales force. I had not said anything about buying or wanting their product. Nevertheless, I was immediately in the cross hairs of their regional sales person.
This company failed because they didn’t respond on twitter. They used twitter to mine for sales leads and then released the hounds.
Good Example of Responding on Twitter
Contrast this first experience with my interactions with the good folks at ClueApp.com. I mentioned them too. How did I hear back from them? They responded to my tweet with a tweet of their own.
This is exactly the type of response that is expected on twitter.
Their response was casual and friendly:
I responded and we had a brief conversation — all through twitter:
There was no pushy sales person. No intrusive prying into all my Internet footprints to track me down and thrust a sales person upon me.
No, the folks at clueapp.com engaged in conversation through the very medium where I originally mentioned them.
I left that brief exchange with a very positive impression of the company and product even though I haven’t even tried the service yet.
When your customers mention you on twitter, you must respond as is typical with the medium: just respond to their tweet.
Take the conversation offline if you need to get more details or solve an immediate problem. However, only go offline if the customer agrees to it. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in the creepy situation I had with the first company.