Why use Twitter DM for business?

We’ve explored why it’s essential to use Twitter for your business including the customer service and cost-saving benefits. Now let’s examine how you would use Twitter DM as a channel for your business.

Make sure you can be contacted

In addition to regional data regulations there are some limitations to who you can and can’t directly message on Twitter. This is not unique to Twitter. Nor is it as limiting as it seems. Most companies continue to discover endless use cases that fulfill the necessary criteria in order to thrive within these elastic confines. You simply need to be aware that a user must fulfil one of the following for you to message them:

  • be following your account
  • have messaged you previously
  • or have their settings set to accept direct messages from all.

This also applies to your own Twitter business account. As a business, you should want to remain as accessible as possible to your clients, customers or prospects. This is why most company accounts opt for allowing all users to message them in their settings. Allowing more channels for conversation with your consumer base is always a good idea after all.

The typical use case for businesses using Twitter DM

The most common use case for Twitter DM occurs when a user tweets the company’s Twitter handle. Customer service agents then publicly respond (so that other users can see the message is being dealt with), and ask the user to privately message them. Twitter has even developed a way for businesses to create a button in the body of their tweets. This takes user straight to the inbox. Simply use the following link, inserting your profiles numerical ID at the end:

https://twitter.com/messages/compose?recipient_id={insert numerical ID here}

Once the user has messaged you privately, the company is then able to message the user back using Twitter DM. This is because they have fulfilled the second criteria, seen above. Remember, only one of the three criteria needs to be met in order to message a user. Companies typically therefore use this method in order to blanket fulfill the conditions for all cases.

Why is it so important to resolve a Twitter complaint?

The reasons for not resolving the matter on the public timeline are multitude. Primarily, however, a private resolution both protects the brand, and the customer. Users still feel heard by being able to chat with an agent privately, but the complaint severity has been downgraded by taking it out of the public eye. At the same time, the customer’s data, which is most likely required in order to resolve the matter, is kept secure in the privacy of the direct message conversation. By swiftly responding in this way, you will make consumers view you as a proactive, modern company and your agents will also be empowered with the opportunity to switch a customer’s view of you a full 180 degrees, by taking a complaint, and ending the conversation with a huge thank you from the other side.

“One simple conversation and suddenly a moment of annoyance becomes a moment of delight as an issue is resolves in a public display of exceptional customer service.”
– Twitter, 2015

Once the matter has been resolved via Twitter DM, you already know the customer is a heavy Twitter user because they have taken to the channel to contact you initially. Chances are therefore good that they will then publicly tweet about the exceptional customer experience your agents have offered them. This is especially the case if your agents have achieved an in-channel resolution, where the phone or device is still in the user’s hand, thumbs itching to tweet some more, gifting you some great PR, all whilst strengthening ties of loyalty with existing consumers.

Further use cases

By making Twitter DM your primary channel for customer service, you can deliver a low-cost yet exceptional customer experience. Businesses can encourage DMs with a button that takes customers straight to your inbox. Just be sure to turn the setting on that enables customers to message you without you following them. It’s also worth noting that you can even customise your Direct Message deep links or Direct Message buttons to provide users with an automated welcome message. Perhaps immediately triaging by asking some qualifying questions. You can find out more about Twitter DM welcome messages here:


Reward your biggest fans

Twitter DM is not just a channel for complaint. You can reward your most-vocal and most-cheery users who are praising a service or product from you too. Simply ask them to directly message in order for you to provide some kind of thanks or token reward. Even if it’s just a branded tote bag. Not only does this provide the kind of amazing customer experience that they are likely to tweet about (gifting you some great PR), once the recipient has DM’d you once, they have again fulfilled the 2nd criteria and are, according to Twitter’s rules, opted in to receive communication from you in Twitter DM subsequently.

Re-engage and nurture 

Twitter DM can provide ample follow-up opportunity for users whose complaints you have already resolved on the channel. Consider entering these customers into a re-engagement program by offering discount as reconciliation or a survey following the service they had. Discounts will help to win back your customer’s loyalty and produce more revenue through additional sales. Surveys help fulfill the needs of customers to feel heard. But they also provide you with crucial data you can use to reconfigure your customer service strategy in order to survive in an ever-competitive market where customer experience is key to maintaining or achieving a competitive advantage.

Opt-ins for other uses

You may want to ask a user’s permission to send marketing on Twitter DM in exactly the same way you would for an email address or text message. To fulfill both Twitter’s opt-in policy and protect the customer’s data preferences, would require their Twitter handle, their freely-given consent, and you would also need to advise them to follow your account using this handle so you can send a direct message. This provides you with both a list of accounts who have opted in, and also more Twitter followers as an added bonus!

Want to see how easy it is to use Twitter DM for your business? Book a demo today!

See also: Why you should use Twitter DM for customer service

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