Even in a world where public sharing has become the norm, a desperate need for private interactions still exists. Did you know that the real business is done behind the scenes on Twitter via direct messages (DMs)?
Twitter DMs are the self-professed private side of Twitter.
For #SocialFirst brands, Twitter DM as a medium for customer support is a must. Brands widely use Twitter direct messages to have non-public conversations or share and receive sensitive information with their customers (who follow their Twitter page). That being said, brands should know how and when to use Twitter DMs for the betterment of their business and when to switch back to the public conversation.
Here's all you need to know about how a brand can leverage Twitter DMs to grow their business and provide top-notch customer service to increase their brand reputation online. Let's get started!
- Can You DM On Twitter?
- Why Use Twitter DMs?
- How To DM On Twitter?
- Twitter DM Limit
- How To Know If Someone Read Your Twitter DM?
- Best Practices For Twitter DM
You can directly jump to a section of your choice or keep scrolling.
Can You DM On Twitter?
Twitter DMs are the messages sent on Twitter that remain private between you and the recipient. They do not appear on your feed as well.
You can initiate a private conversation with another Twitter user if you follow them (irrespective of whether the person follows you or not). Similarly, you can receive a Twitter DM from any of your followers.
If you have opted in your settings to receive messages from anyone (which most businesses choose, especially for their support handle), then you can receive Twitter direct messages even from someone who doesn't follow you.
Those who don't follow you can still send you a Twitter DM if they have previously sent you a direct message. If you send DMs to accounts that do not follow you, you may need to verify your phone number.
Direct messages can be started as a group conversation as well. In that case, everyone in the group can see all messages, even if they don't follow each other.
Why Use Twitter DMs?
Here are different reasons brands use Twitter direct messages to build bonds with their customers.
#1: To Solve Problems In DMs
Twitter is a platform where your customers can talk about your business and its service to millions of users. This is a good thing when they have something nice to say. But when they face a problem, they will often use the platform to vent, complain, and appeal publicly to you to help them out.
By encouraging such complainers to DM and reaching out to people who tweet their grievances, you can control the damage caused to your brand while showing other users you take customer satisfaction seriously. Bringing a complaint into a private conversation will de-escalate the frustration, making the customer feel heard and limiting the potential fallout.
Businesses can use Twitter DM to solve problems or misunderstandings privately with their customers without causing much harm to their reputation online. Fewer tweets on customer service-related issues also lead to a less cluttered on your Twitter business profile page.
Know more about Examples Of Twitter Customer Service Done Right
Image Source: Wendys Twitter
#2: For Lead Generation
Twitter direct messages have proven to be a highly effective form of communication for lead generation, with a response rate of almost 30% if you write your message in the right way.
Since lead generation requires a lot of follow-ups and back and forth communication, it becomes difficult in public forums as making a lot of public replies clutters your public feed and increases your risk of being marked as spam. Hence, using Twitter DM for lead generation saves your account from being suspended and heightens your chance of response with folks who follow you.
If you have a sizable following on Twitter, you can even use Twitter direct message cards as an effective technique to build leads. Twitter DM cards are particularly effective in the B2B sector for lead generation.
Image Source: Twitter
#3: To Spark Genuine Conversation
Did you see someone tweeting about a topic of your interest, industry, or one in which you are knowledgeable? Want to strike a conversation with another thought leader of your industry? Why not send them a Twitter DM and take the conversation further.
Twitter DMs are a great way to start conversations that add value. However, they don't turn out to be that fruitful when you use them to promote your brand without context.
Image Source: Smooch.io
#4: For Collaboration
Creating connections and collaborating with people and businesses in your industry is a great way to get your brand name out there. Twitter DMs will help you connect with relevant people, whether collaborating with an influencer or another brand. Thus keeping your conversation private till the time the campaign is ready for to be executed.
How To DM On Twitter?
Here is a step by step guide on how to DM on Twitter using three different methods:
How To DM On Twitter: From Web
Step 1: Go to Twitter & click "Messages" from the left navigation bar.
Step 2: Click the envelope icon with a plus sign from the top.
Step 3: Enter the name or @username of the person you wish to send a DM to in the address box and click "Next."
Step 4: Type your message and click on the Send button to send the message in the message box.
If you want to send a Twitter direct message to a group of people, you can add up to 50 usernames in the address box.
You can include a photo, GIF, video, or emoji in your Twitter direct message.
Press the shift and enter keys together to start a new line in a message, as pressing just the enter key will send your message.
How To DM On Twitter: From Android Or iOS
Step 1: Open the Twitter app on your device.
Step 2: Tap on the envelope icon from the bottom menu. You will be directed to your Twitter DM history section.
Step 3: Tap the blue envelope icon with plus sign to create a new message.
Step 4: Enter the name or @username of the person you wish to send a DM to in the address box. Once selected, tap "Next" from the top right side.
Step 5: Start typing your message in the bottom "Start a message" box and tap on the arrow button to send the message.
How To DM On Twitter: From Statusbrew
Statusbrew unifies all your brand conversations and messages into a single inbox, thus allowing you to DM quickly on Twitter. You can even build a dependable response system along with your team effectively. Here's how you can use Engage in Statusbrew to reply to your Twitter DMs:
Step 1: From your Statusbrew's homepage, select "Engage."
Step 2: You will be presented with a list of all conversations on the left side. As you select a conversation, a detailed preview will appear in the middle, and details of the conversation to the right side. At the bottom of the preview section, you will find the Reply Section.
Step 3: If you want to filter all your Twitter DMs, select "Add filter" -> "Type" from the top. Select "Twitter DMs" from the list of "is."
Using Statusbrew Engage gives you a lot more features that can make responding to conversations easier and save you a lot of time.
You can manage conversations from multiple Twitter profiles using Statusbrew. From the reply section, you can also choose from which profile you want to respond to from the ones integrated with Statusbrew. For instance, if you have a support handle on managing all support-related queries, you can choose your support handle from the drop-down.
If multiple people are involved in the conversation, you can also tag people you wish to reply back in a conversation. Simply click on the "Reply-To" bar and select or deselect the users involved in the conversation thread.
You can also add internal notes to any conversation. These notes will not be visible to the message recipient and will only be visible to your internal team.
Statusbrew allows you to tweet your DM link in reply to the user you want to send a direct message to. Simply click on the "Send DM Link" button to tweet your DM link & take a public conversation to private.
If you wish to block a user, click on the three vertical dots from the right side menu & select "Block User."
Bonus: Statusbrew's mobile apps (supported for Android & iOS) helps you to manage & maintain your Twitter presence from anywhere seamlessly.
Twitter DM Limit
Twitter imposes a maximum limit of 1,000 messages on the amount of DMs sent per day.
This limit includes actions from all devices, such as the web, mobile phones, API, etc. These limits help regulate traffic on Twitter servers.
Earlier, Twitter DMs were limited to 140 characters. But in 2015, Twitter expanded the character limit of direct messages to 10,000 characters.
If you ever find that your Twitter DMs are not being delivered, it might be due to one of the following reasons:
You might have crossed the daily limit.
The Twitter recipient may have reported or blocked your account.
If you send duplicate DMs to multiple accounts, this may be reported as a spam activity. It can result in you not being able to send DMs for a short time. You may have to wait for at least 30 minutes without any attempt to send a DM before you can do so again.
How To Know If Someone Read Your Twitter DM?
Twitter's read receipts feature helps users know if people have seen their messages or not. If you disable the Show read receipts setting, you will not see read receipts from other people.
Though this setting is activated by default, you can disable or enable direct message read receipts on Twitter using the below steps.
How To Enable Or Disable Read Receipts From Twitter Website?
Step 1: Click on "More" from the left side menu.
Step 2: From the menu opened up, select "Settings and privacy."
Step 3: On the new settings page, click "Privacy and safety."
Step 4: Select "Direct Messages" from the right side menu. Uncheck the box Next to "Show read receipt" to turn the feature off.
How To Enable Or Disable Read Receipts From Twitter Android or iOS?
Step 1: Open the Twitter app on your device.
Step 2: Click on your profile icon from the top left side.
Step 3: Tap "Settings and privacy" -> "Privacy and safety" -> "Direct Messages"
Step 4: Toggle the button in front of Show read receipts to turn the feature off.
Note: To enable the read receipts from the Twitter website, just check the box Next to "Show read receipts" to turn the feature on.
Best Practices For Twitter DM
Follow these 9 best practices to make the most of Twitter direct messages and provide incredible service to customers.
#1: Have A Separate Support Handle For Managing Customer Queries
If your brand receives a large volume of customer complaints daily, consider creating a separate handle just for support. This will make it easier for your customers to reach the right people to solve their issues. Having a support handle also communicates to your customers that your brand cares about customer service and wants to be reached.
While it's essential to have a dedicated Twitter handle and support team, it's even essential to strategize about its tone and voice as you definitely want to take customer issues seriously and show that in the way you respond to them (be it a public response or a private one).
In this manner, your conversations will also be organized when it comes to managing Twitter DMs. Your customer complaints will not be spread across different handles, and you will know which handle's DM to check to deal with queries.
Protip: If your support team is only managing the support handle during specific hours or days, note that in your bio to help set clear expectations with your customers.
Know more about 200+ Twitter Bio Ideas: How To Write A Good Twitter Bio
Image Source: Brew Support Twitter
#2: Change Your Direct Message Settings To Allow Messages From Anyone
By default, if someone doesn't follow you, they won't be able to DM you unless they start following. However, Twitter also provides a setting where you can switch off this default setting so that every Twitter user can DM you irrespective of their following status.
When your business uses Twitter to handle customer queries, it's highly recommended that you turn off this default setting and allow everyone to DM you to reduce the friction while getting in touch with your brand. This is especially important if you have a separate support handle just for managing customer complaints on Twitter.
To update this setting, go to Setting and privacy -> Privacy and safety -> Direct messages and tick this box.
#3: Use DM Prompts In Tweets
Customer service conversations often initiate with public Tweets and then transition to a private channel. Twitter has made this transition as easy as a single click. A business can now add a DM deep-link to their Tweets that automatically displays a "Send a private message" link to send the brand a DM quickly and easily.
According to Twitter, businesses who use this feature end up receiving an average of 30% more often DM as compared to those who simply ask users in the Tweet text to send them a DM.
Image Source: Nike Service Twitter
#4: Create Direct Message Buttons And Use Chatbots
Chatbots on Twitter enable brands to communicate on a one-on-one level, create meaningful connections with consumers, save time, and drive sales - at a large scale. Automated customer engagements through chatbots help brands to nurture leads while reducing customer service costs.
In fact, Twitter DMs can be leveraged to create a chatbot that allows brands to deliver personalized product recommendations at scale, just as was done by Samsung. Samsung used the Direct Message Card to run an ad campaign that targeted people interested in movies, TV, video games, and sports to let people start chatting with the bot in a single click. Their chatbots then provided their customers with personalized product recommendations through DMs.
Image Source: Twitter
While anyone can create DM buttons with Twitter's API, they are most useful for brands looking to improve their customer service or increase engagement. This feature, being quite helpful, requires your account settings set to "Receive Direct Messages from Anyone."
You then need to include a link in your Tweet that directs users towards your DM. When Twitter direct messages are configured through the use of such Conversation Buttons, it becomes one of the best ways to promote your brand's chatbot in direct messages to a broad Twitter audience.
Image Source: Twitter
#5: Use Direct Messages To Only Discuss Personal Details
Twitter direct messages are a great way to ask customers for the specific information you require to resolve their issues. Instruct your customers to use DM when they need to share more personal information that can't be shared in a public Tweet, like a contact number, order number, registered email address, or the name of an employee they interacted with.
Basically, you should know when to take a conversation public to private and when to keep it public only. If a message does not need a personalized reply and is common for a fixed set of customers, it is advisable to reply to the tweet in public. You never know when your reply might be seen by other customers of a similar set, facing the same issue and will give them clarity on the matter.
Image Source: Coca-Cola Twitter
#6: Respond Promptly
Your Twitter customer service should be fast as 75% of customers Tweet expecting a response within 15 minutes.
Make the necessary arrangements within your customer service team to provide rapid outreach to customers who are reaching out. Demonstrate care to your customers by resolving issues as quickly and often as possible.
Also, make an effort to respond or engage with every single DM that you get and not just the tweets themselves. This improves trust in your brand as customers feel that you do care about their concerns, even in private conversations.
This point is especially important when dealing with customers who had a negative experience with your brand, as negative reviews tend to spread faster than positive ones.
Statusbrew's Engage Inbox makes customer interactions seamless, personal, and efficient. All conversations from several Twitter profiles are synced and available in a single inbox minimizing the hassle to log in to different accounts to respond quickly. Integrating Statusbrew with Slack sends you a notification whenever a complaint is received or replied.
#7: Include Photos, GIFs, And Videos
When Twitter provides you the option to include photos, videos, and GIFs in your DM, why not use it to the best of your advantage. Sharing a helpful photo, video, or GIF can make it very easy for your customers to understand how to resolve a problem.
The best accounts on Twitter create engaging visual content to educate and help their customers through Tweets. Once created, this type of content can be repurposed for Twitter direct messages too.
Image Source: Smooch.io
#8: Manage Both Tweets And DMs Together As Single Conversations
It's essential to treat both messages (Tweets and DMs) with equal priority and as part of one conversation with the customer. Try maintaining the continuity of conversation at a single channel, and don't try to switch from public to private or vice versa quickly. This will only increase the confusion and delay the complaint from getting resolved fast.
As your business grows, it will be beneficial to use a purpose-built social customer care tool to help manage these conversations at scale.
#9: Handle Customer Service With A Team
With a huge number of customer complaints, you would not just be needing a customer service team to handle the complaints but you also need an organized workflow. Without having an efficient team collaborate workflow in place, there will be a lot of internal clashes resulting in the delay to respond to the customer complaints.
That’s where team collaboration tools such as Statusbrew come in handy to automated Twitter management experience.
Use Saved Replies feature when dealing with the same queries over and over again to reduce your team's response time and avoid multiple replies to the same thread by multiple team members using Collision detection.
Also, understand your team’s performance and ensure your team's efficiency by analyzing the performance of individual team members and measuring the fulfillment of their goals.
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