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6 Best Practices for Brands Using Twitter DM as a Service Channel

Jaclyn Fu
By Jaclyn Fu on Feb 2, 2017 4:49:00 PM

In 2016, after nearly a decade of expansion across highly public mediums,  we saw the rise of private messaging applications. After so much publicity, consumers, in their search for efficient and effortless resolutions, have resettled on the one-to-one communications that the industry began with. This has seen social platforms encroaching on the traditional contact center, with Twitter DM seen as a direct replacements for live chat and email. 

So has Twitter killed live chat support? Not yet, but it certainly has the potential to ever since the company opened character limits in 2015 and doubled-down on enterprise support features. Service automation on Twitter has grown 2.5x over the past two years alone according to Twitter.

What makes it so advantageous? It’s that it is both a private messenger and a public social ecosystem all at once. Your agents can both quietly resolve issues while scanning the universe of tweets for brand mentions. 

For #SocialFirst brands, Twitter DM for support is a must. 

Here are 6 best practices for using Twitter Direct Message as a servce channel: 


1.   Shift public conversations to private resolution

Companies can now respond with a standardized deep link to a Direct Messages. Twitter will turn that simple URL into a call-to-action button that says “Send a private message”. This greatly simplifies the demand on the user when starting a private conversation. Since the recipient of the Direct Message is already selected, the compose experience is easier as well.

The experience must be frictionless, authentic, and optimized for both social and mobile. The metrics must be able to measure true impact to the customer’s experience, not just the speed of responses.

2.    Drive traffic straight there

If you’re ready to handle the inbound volume, make sure that you can actually receive that traffic. Go to your brand’s Twitter account customer support page and indicate that you now offer service. This will allow you to receive direct messages from anyone and places a “Provides Support” indicator on your public profile. Finally, promote your new social care by embedding a Twitter support button on your brand’s website support page and you’re good to go. 

3.    Skip the small talk

Even mid-sized brands can save hundreds of man hours by collecting basic support information automatically, up-front. This feature is called Twitter DM Dispatcher and before deploying it, Mike Johnson, improvement manager at Tesco, estimated that this back-and-forth between customers and agents took up 14% of his team’s time

Dispatcher automatically replies to customer Twitter DM inquiries with a seamless in-app form that can classify their issue, gather their identifying information or account number, and route messages.


4.    Have a personality

The world of social care requires a new script. Consumers come here seeking connection with each other and when they turn to a brand, they expect the same. Craft a Social Customer Service Playbook that provides your social care team with guidelines on what to say and what not to say. In our experience, it’s easiest to teach them through positive examples of what has worked so that they can mimic it. 

5.    Get it done then and there

Consumers increasingly prefer direct messages over public ones because they’re on a quest for in-channel resolution. Through Twitter, you can and should provide this, but only if you can secure your customer data. 

Solutions like Conversocial do this by providing enterprise grade encryption on chats which means that you can request private information and authenticate users without having to leave the chat window. This is critical, because consumers won’t tolerate being moved to other channels like email and voice and those brands that don’t make in-channel resolution part of their practice will see a significant drop-off in productive traffic. 

6.    Mind your feedback

What’s cooler than being cool? Knowing that your customers think so. Twitter CSAT allows brands to follow up their conversations with automated customer feedback questions to sample CSAT and close the loop on resolution reporting. Make this a standard practice for your organization so that you can validate your success metrics and reward agents who go above and beyond. 


Twitter is coming for your legacy support channels. It will very likely supplant a significant amount of that traffic in the coming decades because it provides consumers with the quick, human support that they crave and brands with the tools necessary to deliver it. Will your #SocialFirst brand be at the crest of the wave?

Want to learn more about how you can incur 272% ROI on your Social Customer Service? Reach out to one of our social analysts and let them calculate your potential ROI with Conversocial.

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