Conversational Marketing on Twitter

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How often do you talk with your audience? No, not share a post you think is useful and expect your audience to affirm your beliefs. I mean, really talk to them, hear about their challenges, and evaluate ways to help them overcome those challenges?

Though we all genuinely interact with our audience fairly regularly, often, we also spend a lot of time “broadcasting”—talking about how our brand can serve them and promoting our content, events, and activities. While promotion has a time and place in social media marketing, sincere conversations have a far greater place and worth. To chat about how much value conversational marketing brings to a brand, we invited B2B marketer and #TwitterSmarter chat veteran, Shruti Deshpande. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Shruti Deshpande
Topic: Conversational marketing on Twitter
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: What is conversational marketing?

Conversational marketing is about engaging in one-on-one interactions with prospects, customers, and your audience. Unlike an announcement, conversational marketing prioritizes dialogues and information sharing.

It’s an ideal way for businesses to interact with their audience, know their preferences while spreading the word about their offering at the same time.

As Joana pointed out, conversational marketing directly addresses people’s need to share opinions, stories, and experiences.

This is why, as our guest explained, conversational marketing is an effective means of communication for brands. It’s also highly responsive, meaning your audience will respond to you earnestly.

Q2: What type of brands should use conversational marketing?

Any brand that intends to leverage positive customer experiences as a strategy to promote their business and encourage customers to return, should use conversational marketing.

As Alyx added, conversational marketing can be a powerful tool for brands to build a strong community organically. Whether it’s online or in real life, participating in genuine conversations is always a win for businesses.

Our guest also gave us a few examples of popular brands that use conversational marketing effectively. While Domino’s uses emoji to encourage people to buy again, the skincare brand, Sephora, makes it easier for customers to book appointments at stores nearest to them.

The rideshare brand, Lyft, uses chatbots across social channels to help their customers book rides easily.

Q3: How different is conversational marketing from traditional marketing?

Conversational marketing builds on traditional marketing. It means that you use materials and content you created in your traditional marketing activities to start conversations and build up relationships with your audience.

For example, assessing website visitors and categorizing them based on their chances of converting is traditional marketing. Adding a chatbot to engage with those visitors is conversational marketing.

Lance put it nicely. Traditional marketing follows a rigid plan and structure. You run a campaign, you target certain groups with a specific message, and you have prepared responses for your leads.

Conversational marketing, on the other hand, is more pliable. There’s no one correct way of doing it, and your approach will (and should) evolve with every person you engage with. It varies by season, by the customers’ needs, by their current economic and social situations, and by their nature. It’s more like offering one-on-one customer support, rather than shooting out an email to a list in bulk.

Q4: What are some examples of conversational marketing?

There are heaps of ways to implement conversational marketing. As our guest listed out, live chats, automated chatbots, voice assistants, product tours, conversational AI-based guides are all simple ways to be more conversational with your audience.

Madalyn told us about how Gary Vaynerchuck connects with his audience using text messages. With consistent tips, motivational messages, and reminders, he actively encourages interaction.

And of course, Twitter chats and Spaces are also forms of conversational marketing, as Jennifer reminded us.

Q5: What are the benefits of using conversational marketing?

Apart from getting to know your audience and their preferences, apart from making great connections and building lifelong relationships, conversational marketing is also a good way to hone your messaging and increase customer satisfaction. The more targeted your message is to your ideal audience, the more credible you seem.

If you’re a business with multiple offerings and various groups of audiences, conversational marketing can help you categorize your interactions and give your customers hyper-targeted information that they can instantly relate to.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of conversational marketing is that it’s natural, as Jim pointed out. It allows you to market your business without being overly salesy or fake. True discussions are the way to go.

Q6: How do you go about implementing a conversational marketing strategy?

First off, actively engage with your audience. One way to do that is to set up AI-powered chatbots on your website to respond to visitor questions instantly. You can set up default responses to a handful of frequently-asked questions, and then transfer the interaction over to a real human.

Next, based on the response you get on your first step, evaluate your strategy and understand what your audience really expects from you.

It’s also important to know which channels to pursue, as Cassandra mentioned. Listen to your audience across various channels—social media, website, real-life community meetups—to know where they are most active. Then, start planning your strategy from there.

Q7: How do you measure the success of your conversational marketing?

Conversational marketing intends to improve how your audience engages with you. Therefore, to measure the success of your activities, look at stats like loyalty levels, customer satisfaction rates, reviews, and lead engagement time at each stage of the funnel.

Eventually, you also want to see those sales numbers creeping up, as Christine noted.

Q8: What tools can you use to manage your conversational marketing activities?

There’re so many tools you can use. Our guest’s list included Facebook and Instagram chatbots, Google Business Messages, WhatsApp business, Hubspot Live Chatbot, Apple Business Chat, Drift, and Telegram Bots.

Once you know what they really want from you, give them the information they need. Recommend solutions that are relevant to their requirements and build a relationship with them. Gradually, you’ll have learned a lot about your leads and how you can best serve them. Converting them into customers would be a natural step up from there.

Our friends from GiveWP also recommended Talkwalker alerts and Brandwatch for measuring audience sentiment.

Well, that’s all from me, folks. Thanks for reading through, and for more insights from our chat with Shruti, browse through this Twitter thread.

If you think this summary is pretty good, you’ll love the real-time chat. Join us every Thursday at 1pm ET on #TwitterSmarter. Afterward, we also hang out on Twitter Spaces at 5pm ET to continue our chat. Catch you there!

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About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all the things—marketing stuff for the bills; haiku and short stories for the soul. A social media enthusiast, I hang out with the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and am always happy to take on writing gigs.

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