The Do’s And Don’ts Of Listening To Customers On Twitter

There’s an old saying that the customer is always right. While that might be up for debate, there is no denying the value in listening to what your customers have to say.

One of the best ways to keep track of conversations about your business is using Twitter. If you already use Twitter to post valuable content and engage with customers regularly, congratulations! You’re doing a great job.

The bad news is this might not be enough. If you have more than 1,000 customers, it can be nearly impossible to keep track of everything being said about your business. That is where social media management tools like Hootsuite and TweetDeck come in handy.


If you’re wondering how the heck to use these tools to monitor conversations about your business on Twitter, check out the Do’s and Don’ts of social media management tools like Hootsuite.

DO Search for Key Terms

Hootsuite and TweetDeck allow you to search for tweets containing specific words or phrases. For example, if your business sells pizza, you might conduct a search for pepperoni, deep dish, and thin crust. You should also think about keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing on social media by searching for terms like cheeseburgers or tacos (sorry if I’m making you hungry).

The beauty of this feature is that it allows you to jump in on conversations that you otherwise would not have been notified of, thereby increasing awareness of your brand and enabling you to see the entire conversation about your business, rather than just what people choose to tag you in.

DO Be Timely

Show your customers that you care about what they are saying by joining conversations as soon as possible to maximize engagement. Just think about your own life. If someone started a conversation with you, would you wait a few days to respond? No, and the same applies to Twitter.

DO Create Lists

Lists on Twitter enable you to segment your audience based on their interests and conversations. For example, if you have a diverse product line, you may want to create a list for each product and then categorize customers that tweet a lot about a particular product or maybe even categorize customers based on geographical location.

The luxury of these lists is that they allow you to see tweets only from the people you have added to each list, giving you yet another way to monitor and engage with customers talking about your business.

DON’T Automate Responses

Please, do not give the same generic response to each customer, inviting them to visit a “Contact Us” form. This defeats the whole purpose of using tools like Hootsuite and TweetDeck. Set aside some time throughout the day when you can check Twitter and provide timely, helpful feedback to customers and engage with them by following the conversation about your business.

DON’T Become Hostile

Being able to see a larger conversation about your business through searches on Hootsuite is great, but sometimes people choose not to tag you in a tweet for the simple fact that they intend to say something negative about you and are afraid of you seeing it.

If you encounter criticism, address it head on so that customers can see you are both engaging and realistic. You will make mistakes, but honestly acknowledging those shortcomings and fixing the situation is a great way to demonstrate excellent customer service you want to be known for.

DON’T Be Inconsistent

Twitter doesn’t lend itself well to procrastination. Conversations take place in real-time, which means you need to be prepared to listen to what your customers are saying all the time. The workday might end at five, but you can be sure the conversation on Twitter won’t.

Now this doesn’t mean that Twitter has to control your life. Develop a schedule of when to check Twitter and for how long. Then stick to it! Experiment by monitoring conversations about your business at varying times of the day to see when most of your customers are active. You should also use tools like Twitter Analytics or Tweriod to see what tweets you send draw the biggest engagement and when your followers are most active on Twitter.

Want More?

If you’re interested in learning more about ways in which to improve you ability to listen to customers beyond social media management tools like Hootsuite and TweetDeck, check out 3 Quick Ways to Improve Your Listening for Content Marketing Success from Don Stanley, owner of 3Rhino Media, a digital marketing consultancy. You won’t be disappointed.

Why Social Media Matters For Your Business

Contrary to what you may have seen this past week, social media isn’t just llamas and dresses. Sure social media has its fun side, but the value behind all those likes, retweets, and favorites can’t be ignored.

For the first time ever, businesses have the ability to reach and engage with millions of potential customers using social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. Each day new platforms continue to emerge while existing ones experience rapid growth each month. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the numbers.

  • Facebook has more than 1.39 billion users, 890 million of which visit the site daily
  • There are 52.7 million Twitter users in the U.S. alone
  • LinkedIn has 187 million unique visitors each month
  • 13% of all Internet users are also on Instagram
  • 400 million snapchats are sent each day

Hopefully you now have a sense of how prevalent social media really is. Still, you may be wondering what all of this means for you?

As with most marketing tactics, an effective social media strategy requires careful planning and time. So if you’ve seen the light and plan on diving head-first into social media marketing, take a step back and grab a seat, we’re not done just yet.

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when it comes to social media is trying to do too much. Although each social media channel presents its own unique opportunities, the reality is you can’t be everywhere at once. Avoid stretching yourself too thin by deciding which social media channel is right for you.


By far the biggest social media channel, Facebook is a great way to target specific segments of customers you want to reach. Narrow your reach based on information such as gender, age, interests, and geography. While they are effective, direct ads and boosted posts don’t come cheap. Be prepared to pay a hefty price for that loyal audience you try to build using Facebook.


Listen to what your customers are saying with Twitter. Used primarily to create brand awareness and promote website content, Twitter provides businesses with the chance to interact with customers in real-time. Reach out to unsatisfied customers and develop a strong reputation in customer service or drive conversation and engagement with hashtags.


Sometimes referred to as “Facebook for grown-ups,” LinkedIn is a way in which businesses can monitor and contribute to discussions with business professional in their industry. One particularly important feature on LinkedIn is “LinkedIn Groups.” Gain tremendous exposure for your brand by joining and establishing groups professionals in your industry will want to be a part of.


Take advantage of the rise of visual media by getting started with Instagram. You may want to seriously consider using Instagram if your business targets a young female demographic since about 70% of Instagram users are female between the ages of 18-35.


Like Instagram, Snapchat features a predominantly young user demographic. Unlike Instagram, Snapchat is only now becoming a promotional tool for businesses. With the recent introduction of the “Discover” feature, it will be interesting to see how Snapchat continues to evolve. If you are looking to target teens and young adults, keep a close eye on Snapchat so you don’t miss your opportunity to reach potential customers.

See One that Fits?

So now you have an idea of what social media channel is right for your business. Check out these terrific resources to get you started on your path to social media success.

What Do You Think? 

If you’ve used social media to promote your business, share your experiences in the comments below. If not, let me know what keeps you from doing so.