Twitter Handle Drama: How many handles should your brand have?

Maybe you’ve just made the decision to answer customer service questions via Twitter. Congrats! It’s a good move. Your customers are already their asking questions, so it serves your best interest (and theirs) to be available to them in the channels they want.

Or, maybe you’ve been doing social media customer service forever, but traffic is picking up and you’re at a crossroads, should you add a support focused Twitter handle into your social media presence.

No matter what boat you are in, you are struggling with a seemingly easy question: How many Twitter handles should your brand have, and should you use a specific “support” handle for customer service issues?

While it may seem trivial, it’s something that organizations should spend some time thinking about. Since customer service via social media doesn’t have implicit boundaries, and it’s very public channel, internal organization is crucial for its success.

A Twitter handle, and the tweets and responses that come from it, are an intrinsic part of a company’s brand. It tells your customers a lot about your commitment to serve, your company culture and what your company care about.

With these things in mind, how should you decide you Twitter handle strategy?

One way to think about it is how much traffic are you getting on Twitter? Is it easy to find customer support related tweets? Have you invested in specialized tools to help monitor your social media feed? If traffic is low and you have not yet invested in a social monitoring platform, chances are one handle might be just fine.

However, when using only one handle, it’s important to coordinate internally with others using social media, for example the marketing department, to ensure you have a robust Rules of Engagement plan in place. Using one Twitter handle can cause unwanted collisions and confusion for customers seeking help.

Alternately, many organizations have a special handle they use just for support. How can you decide if this is the right method for your team? One major consideration: Is this the first time you will be introducing Twitter for customer service? Are your customers trying to resolve issues via an existing handle? How hard will making the switch be both internally and for customers? It’s important to reduce the friction for customers. If they have to relearn how to reach you via Twitter, it might make the process of switching more painful and increase the likelihood of missing something. If using a new support handle is inevitable, be sure to communicate the change with as much notice as possible and as often as possible. Also be sure to be ready internally for customers resistant to change or just forgetful.

When looking at your Twitter Handle and how you want to organize the naming conventions, there is no one right way. Each organization is different and each customer relationship is different. What matters is resolving customer issues quickly. In our experience, we’ve seen fast service delivered from companies using one twitter handle for everything and from those using multiple. What they’ve all had in common is that they’ve had written policies for which teams/business units can create new twitter handles (if any can) and they have a long-term strategy for monitoring those channels for customer comments.

Have questions about social strategy or need some ideas around training? Reach out today to get the conversation started!