Last month to prove the importance of manging your reputation on Twitter, I decided to run an experiment to see how well the brands in my life ran their Twitter accounts.
This is because whether you like it or not, people are talking about your brand online and these people cannot be ignored, good or bad, these are customers you want to keep happy. I choose to tweet the next 50 brands I encountered in my day-to-day activities, most with 'positive words' and some with complaints to see if they acknowledged my tweet.
We all see, encounter and engage with hundreds of brands every day, so obviously I will missed a fair few in the experiment. However, wherever I was consciously thinking or interacting with a brand, I would send a tweet with #MyBrands
The response has been extremely interesting. I didn't know how much it would effect my opinion of a brand if they interacted with me or ignored me, but it really did! Here are the results...
- Total number of brands tweeted: 50
- Total number of brands interacting: 16
- Interaction percentage: 32%
- Total Replies: 14
- Total Retweets: 5
- Total Favourites: 1
Firstly, the most important factor I found from this test, is how rewarding it felt to be acknowledged by a brand you like. I feel that replies are the most personal because they show the social media manager has taken some time to read what you have said and replied to you. I find that 'favourites' are slightly pointless on Twitter, because nobody can see them! Most replies I received from brands were fun and upbeat and made me smile. I especially liked Fosters 'Good Call - Happy Friday'.
It was also interesting to see the importance of Twitter for customer service. If customers are tweeting brands and receiving no response, it is effectively the same as walking into a store and being ignored by the sales assistants. Out of the few brands I tweeted complaining or asking for help, all of them replied.
For example, I lost my Sekonda watch and wanted to buy the same model again but couldn't find it anywhere. Therefore, I tweeted Sekonda with #MyBrands and asked whether they still make the watch. Sekonda promptly replied letting me know that my watch had been discontinued, but sent me the link for the new updated version.
Some brands were not as helpful - I bought a packet of crisps from Tesco, which were over a week past their sell-by-date, I tweeted Tesco and although they replied, they simply asked me what the member of staff looked like and said they would report the incident to the store manager - this didn't help my annoyance!
Lastly, I was very disappointed with some brands I went out of my way to tweet and impress. For example I tweeted Whiskas with a video of my cat loving life, as she is about to eat some Whiskas - no response.
I tweeted Cravendale with a image of my cat attacking my cereal bowl (I like my cat) and made a joke about their television advert saying she 'didn't need thumbs' to get at my milk - again no response.
I also tweeted my local football team Reading Fc, with a positive view on the next game - no response. For those who didn't reply to me, I found it made me slightly frustrated with the brand and less loyal to them - especially if I could see that they were active on Twitter!
FACTORS OF THE STUDY
The size of the brand
I found that the size of the brand did effect whether they interacted with me. During my experiment I had a number of well established brands reply to me, including; Heineken, Berroca, Fosters and Colgate, however, what I found is that large global brands like Mcdonalds, Pepsi and Diet Coke with hundreds if not millions of followers, do not make time to reply to customers. Can we argue that this is fair enough, as they must get @mentioned hundreds of times a day?
The brand may not use Twitter
I attempted to tweet holding companies (E.G GSK for Beechams) when a brand wasn't using Twitter, however, much like the large global brands, they didn't reply to me.
Demographic of the brand
I did find that if I was not the correct audience demographic for the brand, it effected whether they responded to me. For example I tweeted both Mac and Herbal Essences and they ignored me, but when I tweeted Fosters and Heineken they couldn't reply faster!
THE BRANDS AND THEIR MESSAGES
FULL LIST OF BRANDS
2. Rice Krispies
6. GSK Beechams
9. Herbel Essences
10. Topman UK
11. Costa Coffee
12. Berocca USA
18. Galaxy Chocolate
19. Diet Coke
24. Ted Baker
27. Sommerset House
28. Madame Tussauds
29. River Island
31. Pulse 8
38. Tesco Christmas
39. Lynx Effect
42. Red Bull
44. Dairy Milk
47. Yorkshire Tea
49. Love Film
50. Reading FC