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.
Announcing our new Message button. Now people can easily slide into your DMs from your website. Get yours now! https://t.co/ash9ouvgzu
— TwitterDev (@TwitterDev) August 24, 2016
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.
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.
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.