One of the challenges of using Twitter is its openness. Unlike Facebook, where users can restrict content visibility to groups of friends, if a person is posting on Twitter and wants more than one person to see it, then everyone on Twitter can see it. Or so it was. Twitter isn’t abandoning their model of openness, but they recently added a group private messaging feature that lets Twitter users start a private, direct message conversation to a group of up to 20 users. Using Group Direct Messages on Twitter can be very useful to business owners and marketers. This article will show marketers how to use Group Direct Messages on Twitter to provide better customer service and to build their brand.
Two weeks ago, Twitter rolled out the new Group Direct Message feature for desktop and app users along with a mobile video camera feature for the app. The group function lets users start conversations with any of the followers of the profile. The users don’t all need to follow one another in order to chat.
“Private conversations on Twitter are a great complement to the largely public experience on the platform,” wrote Jinen Kamdar in a blog post on Twitter. “You might prefer to read (or watch) Tweets but converse about them privately. You might want to continue a public conversation privately with a smaller group, or start one based on a Tweet you saw. Many of you use Direct Messages to reach the people and brands you’re only connected to on Twitter. Whatever the case may be, the ability to converse privately with groups gives you more options for how and with whom you communicate on Twitter.”
There are, of course, a few exceptions that marketers need to keep in mind. First, other users participating in the conversation can invite their followers (even if they aren’t followed by everyone involved in the group Message). Additionally, users who have been blocked by anyone participating in the group Message can’t be invited to join.
The feature has been active for a little over two weeks and large brands are already using these group direct messages to build brand loyalty. On February 6th, Adidas awarded certain Twitter users with a chance to have a group direct message with soccer stars. To reward those who participated the most in the Adidas #therewillbehaters campaign, Adidas chose three fans to have a private Group Direct Message conversation with Real Madrid CF star, Karim Benzema.
The campaign has been largely successful at generating buzz online for Adidas. They plan to host similar sessions as the campaign continues. It is clear from the response that using Group Direct Messages in this way can be a good incentive to consumers to follow and engage with a brand.
Marketers can use Direct Group Messages to build their rapport with their customers. For example, a business can offer a few members the chance to share their ideas or thoughts with the owner of the company. It would provide valuable feedback from customers to the company, and for the customers, it would show that brand cares about their opinion.
Similarly, if a brand is sponsoring an event with a popular music act, they can boost awareness about the event by giving lucky fans the chance to talk to the band in a Group Direct Message.
The way people can invite their friends can also be used for promotions or specials. A brand can send a message to about five fans that says the next 15 people to join the conversation get a prize or special discount. It would get people to share the conversation with their friends who may not know about the brand.
The addition of Group Direct Messages on Twitter can be very useful for marketers who are willing to think outside the box for the best way to make use of the feature. Though it’s somewhat limited by the 20-user cap, it’s a good way to engage with groups of users in a private way.
For more news about Twitter, read this article about a reported plan to bring real-time tweets back to Google Search.