How to Generate Revenue on Twitter Using Real-Time Listening

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1 How to Generate Revenue on Twitter Using Real-Time Listening A Report Presented by:

2 How to Generate Revenue on Twitter Using Real-Time Listening 2 A brand s responsiveness to consumers and its ability to participate in entertaining and useful dialogue on social media can shape its image, improve customer experience, and ultimately drive more revenue. But how much are brands really taking advantage of social media like Twitter? Are they listening for opportunities to satisfy current customers, to engage and delight prospective clientele? BKV Advertising and the 60 Second Marketer set out to find how organizations utilize social media to drive leads and sales and to discover which methods work best. Focusing on Twitter, we conducted a primary research study about brands and how they take advantage of consumer discussions online. While we recognize that many brands are using social media to provide better service to current customers, we narrowed this study s scope specifically to determine how brands are using Twitter to identify and engage new customers. Over the course of a month, we sent multiple tweets that targeted 72 brands all in the top 100 brands for Twitter-based customer service. All tweets indicated an interest in the brand s product or service and asked a question. We found that roughly 56% of these top brands who were effectively using Twitter for customer service were not leveraging the immediacy and power of Twitter to connect with new customers and make a sale! WE STARTED WITH A SIMPLE REQUEST FOR INFORMATION Over the course of several days, researchers at BKV published tweets to their personal accounts asking for product or service recommendations. tweet 1: Our designated Twitter users included each brand name specifically; however, the brands were not sent (see examples below). Tweets also included relevant product keywords and generic hashtags like #camera or #insurance. Our Twitter users then recorded the brand s response. 1

3 How to Generate Revenue on Twitter Using Real-Time Listening 3 tweet 2: Two days later, our Twitter users were at it again, going back out with another ask for information on the same topic. This time they and, again, noted responses. The tweets were designed to present a genuine need on the part of the person generating them. Whether this was a request for recommendations or an outright product comparison, they were all clear opportunities for brands to step in and make a sale. Some tweets even pitted companies against the competition, raising the stakes for those brands that ignored the tweets or didn t notice them altogether. Brand Responses to Targeted tweets 4% 56% 40% Organic Mention Response Tagged Handle Response No Response Out of 72 brands targeted, only 3 responded to organic mentions of their brand names (e.g., BKV Advertising ), and an additional 29 responded only to ), for which the brand receives a notification from Twitter. That means that roughly 56% of brands our users approached completely missed an opportunity to interact with a potential customer who was actively trying to engage with them. Even though the tweets made it clear that the users were actively shopping, results indicate that many brands missed out on an incredible opportunity to attract them!

4 How to Generate Revenue on Twitter Using Real-Time Listening 4 If brands are actively listening to the conversations happening on Twitter, they actually have the opportunity to influence a user s shopping behaviors and experience while it s happening and that s powerful. TIMING IS EVERYTHING According to a BKV survey, when users tweet at a brand using a customer service handle, they usually expect a response within one day. However, when a user is presenting a sales opportunity for a brand and its competitors, timing is far more sensitive. Typically, a user will tweet a question ( Which brand of running shoe should I get? ), complaint ( My crock pot just broke, and on Christmas Eve! Off to the store for a new one. ), or statement ( I m seriously craving a milkshake right about now. ) while the need is on his or her mind. This means that the sooner a brand can contribute to the conversation, the more likely the user is to participate with that brand. This is especially important when mobile use is considered. Twitter is a highly mobile platform with users who are more active on mobile devices than most other platforms. These users are three times as likely to access Twitter while shopping (either in a brick-and-mortar store or online) than those of any other platform. This means that if brands are actively listening to the conversations happening on Twitter, they actually have the opportunity to influence a user s shopping behaviors and experience while it s happening and that s powerful. Average response rate for BKV study (with direct mention): 40% Average response time for BKV study (with direct mention): 18 Minutes The brands who responded in our study appear very aware that timeliness is key. Of the brands who engaged after them, the average response time was a speedy 18 minutes!

5 How to Generate Revenue on Twitter Using Real-Time Listening 5 THREE BRANDS STAND OUT FOR ACTIVE TWITTER LISTENING While we were surprised by the limited number of brands actively looking for customers talking about their products and services on Twitter, there were quite a few companies who jumped into the conversation when their Twitter handle was mentioned. But three companies were doing more than just waiting for someone to directly engage them. These brands appear to have a strategy in place for listening and engaging with potential customers and providing useful information quickly and effectively. Household Brands Category: The top brand in this category and a standout in the study was Cuisinart. This brand not only responded to the first organic mentions of their name, but included links to relevant products. And they didn t waste time. The first response came in less than two hours after the initial tweet:

6 How to Generate Revenue on Twitter Using Real-Time Listening Banking/Financial Services Category: We reached out to virtually every major banking, credit card and financial service brand. While several responded to a direct mention, Ally Financial was the only bank that responded to the simple organic mention of their brand name. They responded on the next business day and later followed up with a link to their current savings account rates. Online Retailer Category: This category included sites specializing in sporting goods, jewelry, women s clothing and a couple of behemoth multi-category retailers. The winner here was Helzberg Diamonds which responded quickly to both the first and second tweets (from multiple Twitter users). The reply to one of our tweets (below) came in just 17 minutes!

7 How to Generate Revenue on Twitter Using Real-Time Listening 6 AGGRESSIVE LISTENERS ARE THE CLEAR WINNERS ON TWITTER! One brand not included in the study has clearly figured out how to comb the Twitterverse for new customers. Two days after sending out the second tweet to jewelry stores, Unique Indie, a boutique site for jewelry and handbags, responded with their own product suggestions. We were impressed and in love not only with their salesmanship, but now their products! TAKING IT LOCAL AND GETTING IT RIGHT While not included in our study, we can t resist mentioning one company on Twitter that is doing social listening right. Dunkin Donuts, the national coffee and donut shop chain, has several dozen locations in the Phoenix, Arizona area that share a Twitter While no other branches of the chain appear to be practicing proactive social listening for new customer acquisition, Phoenix most certainly is. Every day, the account s managers send out multiple mobile coupons for a free cup of coffee to users in need. The tweets are always customized, addressing the issue plaguing each user and presenting a free cup of coffee as the solution to any problem he or she may have. The keywords are less obvious than one might think; many of the tweets mention caffeine and food items rather than just coffee. They are also geographically targeted to the Phoenix area; the coupon is only redeemable at the participating Phoenix locations, so any users outside that area would be unable to benefit from the offer. Additionally, you can see from the tweet that they responded within 13 minutes, ensuring that the user s need was still relevant. Dunkin Donuts in Phoenix are listening to needs of users in their geographical area and responding with a solution. They are positioning themselves as a friend and assistant of sorts, helping to strengthen and/ or develop brand loyalty, and they provide real value to potential customers.

8 How to Generate Revenue on Twitter Using Real-Time Listening 7 BEST PRACTICES FOR CONVERTING TWEETS TO SALES Ready to expand your use of Twitter and start generating sales? We recommend following a few best practices to maximize your social engagement efficiency. 1. Listen carefully. Monitor more than just Expand your keyword list and your listening to catch product or category shoppers who might not be thinking of your brand yet! If you are a brand with brick and mortar locations, focus on monitoring conversations around your surrounding areas in order to increase the relevancy of your outreach and drive in-store traffic. 2. Respond Quickly. Time is everything in the Twitterverse. Mobile Twitter users are 3 times more likely to use Twitter while shopping than mobile users of any other platform, meaning that your timeliness could see a very immediate ROI. But even if you re a few hours past the ideal response time, it s better to respond late than not at all; the user will appreciate it and maybe even remember you the next time he or she is in the market. 3. Answer the question. Provide links to product reviews, pricing, a form for a coupon or even a blog post that answers a question posed by the user. And don t just provide a link explain briefly why your recommendation is fitting and not just spam. Speaking of links, they are what will make your Twitter campaign tick. Use a link shortener to save character space (Bit.ly will let you create a shortened version of your company s URL). 4. Make sure the link s destination is a mobile-optimized page. Few things are as frustrating to the mobile consumer as clicking over to a promising site and finding it is unreadable because the site is only desktop-compatible. Provide a link, but make sure that the page it leads to is optimized for mobile browsers. 5. Make a Twitter-exclusive offer. Like Dunkin Donuts, find something to offer in these Twitter interactions that can be exclusive to the person you re talking to. It can be available to others on Twitter, but it shouldn t be the same coupon that goes out in circulars. Your Twitter audience values exclusivity, and they will appreciate something special, so indicate on your landing page that the offer is only available via Twitter. 6. Be genuine. Show the customer that you understand the context of his or her question - no canned responses! If a response seems canned or automated, a user sees it as worse than no response at all. So if you re going to respond to a user s tweet, make sure you address the user specifically as well as the context. 7. Show your brand personality. Don t hesitate to be lighthearted or fun if it s appropriate. It is after all, shopping! By following these 7 simple rules, you can find yourself with a larger Twitter audience, an opportunity to create preference for your brand and, most importantly, an opportunity to identify and talk with new customers, turning Twitter into a powerful new revenue stream for your brand!

9 How to Generate Revenue on Twitter Using Real-Time Listening 8 Established in 1981, BKV is a full-service direct and digital agency that helps marketers meet business goals with data-driven strategies that generate leads, convert those leads into sales and finally, into established and loyal relationships. The company uses a combination of traditional and digital media, along with direct marketing techniques and high-performance creative, to drive measurable response while growing clients brands and sales. With offices in Atlanta and Kansas City, BKV serves local, national and international clients and is a member of the ICOM Agency Network, a professional association of marketing and advertising agencies from all over the world. For more information, visit The 60 Second Marketer is an online magazine that provides tools, tips and tutorials for marketers around the globe. Members of the 60 Second Marketer community have access to live events, research papers, online directories and other tools to help them improve their marketing skills and grow their sales and revenues. Click to Share

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