You may have missed it, like I did, but Twitter last week added a DM button to its embed library of tweets, grids, timelines and other buttons.

It's not massive tech news, granted, but allowing people to DM you direct from your website could have advantages.

Here are five of them...

1. Fewer contacts

Brands must be sure their settings allow anyone to message them on Twitter before embedding a Message button on their site.

Once the button has been added, there's a clear advantage over a simple tweet, as users have 10,000 characters in which to detail their enquiry.

Brands may feel that encouraging customers to send a DM instead of a tweet could be a better solution for tracking and answering more obscure problems (one query to read, instead of three tweets, for example).

Many brands with large amounts of customer service to do often have their own live chat functionality and will naturally push questions there, but for those that don't, DMs could be a neat solution.

2. Privacy

Messages are private, tweets are not.

Many tweet exchanges between customers and brands end up being moved to DM anyway, as the brand may ask for sensitive information.

Encouraging customers to DM in the first place removes this slightly clunky interaction, and a cynic might say that is also reduces public negative sentiment on social (even if only slightly).

3. Not just for customer service

Often I write an article and invite readers to email in. Though simple HTML allows one click to launch email software, this often isn't configured correctly at the reader's end, and they inevitably have to cut and paste an email address into another window, add a subject etc.

That can be surprisingly difficult when busy and multitasking. Adding a Twitter DM button gives a quick way to solicit responses from readers.

For example, soliciting feedback on an idea, asking for suggestions, crowdsourcing wisdom or even receiving competition entries.

message button

4. No bounces

There are obvious reasons why email is still considered the predominate form of digital communication with brands.

Email is required to make a purchase and is the very much the basis of CRM i.e. the customer identifier.

However, what email can be a bit rubbish at is actually getting your message to the customer - it may hit a spam folder, or lie in the social tab of Gmail, unnoticed.

As social CRM and messaging is still in relative infancy for brands, a Twitter DM from a brand will arguably stand out more and always hit the target.

5. Twitter/Tweetdeck is better than your email workflow?

Some people, I include myself, simply prefer the workflow of their social software to that of email.

There are fewer conventions and social platforms are generally speedier than email - partly down to mobile notifications and UX at the customer end.

It may be the case that employees at smaller companies want to simplify their workflow by directing enquiries to social messaging.

Conclusion...

This is just a simple button, but I thought it worth using the development to think about the nature of social customer service.

Facebook is rapidly developing its Messenger capability to allow brands in, and has included a message button now at the top of business pages.

Twitter therefore needs to fight back in any way it can, particularly given its use as a customer service platform by many companies (utilities, for example).

Brands should allow customers to contact them in numerous ways, and a Twitter DM holds advantages for both parties.

Ben Davis

Published 1 September, 2016 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

1142 more posts from this author

You might be interested in

Comments (0)

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Digital Pulse newsletter. You will receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.