For over 100 years, conversation hearts have communicated loving messages in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. Their phrases are legendary—sweet nothings meant to charm objects of affection.
The magic of these messages is that they also serve as great reminders of how to treat our clients and customers in the business world.
One of the most popular ways to talk to customers in the modern age is across social media—specifically Twitter. It dawned on us recently that the social channel has a lot in common with candy hearts: The sender hopes to dazzle the recipient of the message; the ideas being communicated are often consistent, and above all else, the phrasing is short and sweet by design.
Here are five ways that candy heart philosophy can help you share love for your customers on Twitter.
1) Sweet Talk
It may seem like common sense, but it’s a rule that bears repeating: always stay positive on social media. When you’re tweeting, especially on behalf of your brand, maintaining a pleasant tone is vital. Smile as you write to ensure your words convey what’s intended. Your customers will smile when they read them. Think sunshine; rainbows; that addictive song by Pharrell Williams—whatever it takes to keep your spirits lifted in the social setting.
2) Be Mine
Supporting customers online is a joy. When we pay it forward on Twitter, we not only demonstrate our company values, we keep the relationships strong amongst our friends in business. We regularly retweet posts by our clients at @NoDaBrewing and @coastalcoffee as well as our partners at @mycorp and @liveplan, and are proud to be associated with them. Nothing makes us happier than seeing new clients and friends join the platform so we can begin sharing their stories too.
3) Only You
Be sure that you’re not using your Twitter account just to promote your products/services. Social media is about engagement—if your audience feels like you’re constantly selling to them or preaching to them without interaction, they’ll lose interest and stop paying attention. Respond to customer inquiries sincerely and don’t be afraid to go off topic from time to time. Discuss what your readers want to discuss and make it more of a conversation than a bulletin board.
A great way to bounce ideas off of your community is to start an informal chat on Twitter. Ask a question; jump in on a conversation in progress; take the temperature of a new feature or service that you’re investigating. The customers will appreciate being heard and you’ll benefit from the candid feedback.
Keep it simple. Use your allotted 140 characters to create meaningful, concise tweets that speak from the heart of your brand.
Tassoula E. Kokkoris, social media enthusiast, is the Marketing Communications Manager at Guidant Financial. She is published in The World According to Twitter, and has contributed to several publications including Startupchamp.com and InformationWeek. She tweets for Guidant via this handle: @guidant.