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The Twitter DM Change and Its Impact on Social Customer Engagement

by Jenny Sussin  |  October 18, 2013  |  1 Comment

There have been a lot of news articles and a lot of blog posts about Twitter’s change to it’s direct messaging rules – gist is, you can set your Twitter profile to allow people to direct message (DM) you even if you don’t follow them.

I’m not trying to repeat anything anyone has already said, so I’ll link to a couple of articles right now that will explain more if you want more:

Twitter Enables Direct Messages From All Your Followers: The Effect on Social Customer Service

Twitter’s Direct Messages, A Vehicle for Spam, No Longer Accepts Links

How Twitter’s New DM Will Impact Brand Marketing

Instead what I want to let our clients and readers of the Gartner blogs know that there are 5 quick things to keep in mind regarding this change and how it impacts your business.

This won’t stop customers from complaining publicly. People aren’t going to DM you instead of tweeting your transgressions out loud. That isn’t nearly as satisfying for them.

If someone complains publicly, you need to at a minimum begin your response publicly. If you need to take something to a DM or offline, you should, but you should also recognize that the Twittersphere doesn’t know you just called that menace @jsussin who complained about her lost luggage unless you tell them you’re going to call her.

You’re still going to need a multichannel customer service strategy. DMs don’t take the place of email and people will never view them as, as secure as email. And they’re not. You still need to work on that customer engagement center.

Individuals don’t need to open up their DM box to you, even though you open it up to them…but even if they do, don’t abuse it. Links aren’t the only thing you can send in a DM that can be spammy and you don’t want to get yourself a bad reputation, do you?

The DM should still be used lightly. In a world where we’re hell-bent on personalization, we’re going to want to send coupon codes and individualized messages to our customers. There are still times you want to shout from the rooftops that you love someone and propose to them on the jumbotron. He/she may still want to show off that affection to their friends. Keep that in mind.

And with that my friends, do your thing. If you have some more quick tips that you want to share, or if you have any comments or questions, use the comment thread!


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Category: 360  customer-service  marketing  social-crm  social-media  

Tags: 360  customer  customer-service  customer360  gartner  gartnercrm  marketing  socbiz  social  social-crm  social-media  socialcrm  twitter  

Jenny Sussin
Managing VP
7 years with Gartner
8 years IT industry

Jenny Sussin is a Managing Vice President for CX and Sales Research. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on The Twitter DM Change and Its Impact on Social Customer Engagement

  1. A great and very timely blog on the new changes to Twitter DM from Jenny. In addition to these nice guidelines on appropriateness of action, I especially like Jenny’s recommendation that public complaints will still require a public response. It is an important thing to keep in mind as brands work to develop both direct response and cross-channel response capabilities which will move the conversation “out of the limelight”. This digital paper-trail of sorts is a nice best practice to show the world where good efforts have been made and conversations have been taken off-line.

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