How to Utilize Twitter as an effective tool for complaining- FOX BUSINESS “Willis Report”

How can brands use Twitter for customer service?

Does tweeting at companies really work? New York City Social Media Strategist Kris Ruby says yes. 

Social Media Expert Kris Ruby recently shared top tips on how to utilize Twitter as an effective tool to get what you want when complaining on FOX BUSINESS “Willis Report” with Gerri Willis.

social media expert kris ruby fox news twitter complaints















Excellent Twitter Customer Service is a must to compete says Social Media Expert 

Social media is an instrumental component of any B2B marketing strategy for customer service. If consumers have issues with your company, service, products, or medical practice, one of the first places they go to complain is Twitter. Why wouldn’t you want to be there to help mitigate the damage and respond to any complaints?

Consumers today are looking for an instantaneous response from brands.  They do not want to pick up the phone and voice the complaint. Rather, they want to send a tweet or leave a Facebook comment instead. If Twitter is their go-to social channel and you aren’t there, you run the risk of consumers changing brand preference to another company (or competitor!) that will be more responsive to their needs.

Why is Twitter an effective tool for complaining?

Twitter is an effective tool for complaining because it is a portal for public two-way public communication. When you dial into a customer service line, no one knows who you are and the complaint isn’t public. When you post a complaint on Twitter, it stays online and companies don’t want their reputations ruined. When people complain on Twitter, they get real-time feedback and often times feel they are having a more human interaction than dealing with an automated recording.

How do brands use Twitter for customer service support? 

Can Twitter be used as a direct customer service tool? Absolutely! Brands use Twitter to reply to real-time tweets, direct messages and negative brand mentions.

What is social media customer service? 

Social media customer service is the process of offering customer service support through social channels including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Every business needs a social media customer service plan.

How to Respond to Negative Feedback on Twitter

Satisfy Consumer Complaints in Real-Time

When it comes to answering Direct Messages on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, time is of the essence. If a patient sends a Direct Message (DM) through Twitter, they don’t want to hear back from an office manager five hours later. This could lead to a negative review and a dissatisfied customer or patient. For example, if a hotel customer sends a DM on Twitter Friday night and someone doesn’t respond until Monday morning, the customer might have already left the hotel infuriated. Someone should be tasked with responding to DMs pretty much 24 hours a day. If that is too much for the agency, then assign someone from your company to answer DM’s on nights and weekends.

Poor Customer Service on Twitter can negatively impact your brand. Positive customer service can positively impact your brand and turn an unhappy customer into a happy one for life!

Social media customer service: How to handle customer complaints on Twitter

What is the best way for companies to handle complaints on social media?

Brands that respond to consumer complaints on Twitter should develop a social media marketing strategy that includes the following trifecta:

1.   Monitor brand mentions with social listening tools. Create a social media monitoring strategy for brand @ mentions on Twitter.

2.  Create a Twitter handle for consumer complaints. Create a dedicated support Twitter handle for your company. Will you use your main Twitter handle or a dedicated support handle?

3.   Decide on an open or closed response strategy.  Will your brand respond publicly to negative complaints or will you funnel the complaints to a private direct message support channel?

How to complain to a company on Twitter: 

How do I complain about a company or brand on Twitter?

According to a 2021 study, new research from Lithium Technologies found that 78% of people who complain to a brand over Twitter expect a response within one hour.

Companies are afraid the conversation could turn negative on social media if they reply to tweets and that by replying, they are giving greater exposure to complaints. The truth is, if people are unhappy with your brand, the conversation is already negative. Ignoring it only makes the problem worse. By responding to consumer complaints on Twitter, you can actually change the tide of the conversation. Many consumers are thrilled to get a response from a brand and it can actually increase consumer loyalty.

Consumers today jump straight to Twitter for customer service complaints as it is a much faster response time than emailing customer support or waiting on hold with customer service.

What is an example of a complaint that worked in a customer’s favor?

JetBlue is incredibly responsive on Twitter. Airlines can often be a source of frustration for travelers, but JetBlue has done a remarkable job of using Twitter as a customer service platform to increase customer loyalty and keep frequent flyers satisfied. They excel in responsiveness on Twitter.

An example would be a customer complaining about their long wait time and horrific flying experience, and JetBlue responding while they are still at the airport offering to refund the cost of their flight publicly. They turned a negative situation into a positive one and the customer RT’d the response, which received positive feedback from their followers.

When brands react professionally to negative criticisms and complaints, consumers develop stronger loyalty to those brands.

What are the biggest mistakes people make when they complain on Twitter?

The biggest mistake people make when they complain on Twitter is being overly emotional. Another mistake people make when complaining is not actually having a legitimate complaint. Social media managers can step in and turn lemons into lemonade.

How do you complain on Twitter and get results?

Be solution-oriented. If you have a legitimate complaint about the service you received, come up with a solution so you don’t seem like an endless complainer. Include a proposed solution that could be valuable to a company.

Think before you type. Remember, what you say is permanent. If you wouldn’t want your tweet on the cover of the NY Times, then don’t write it. Choose your 140 characters wisely.

Use the company’s Twitter handle you are complaining about so the complaint is on their radar

Tweet photos (For example, a skirt you ordered that was sent with a rip in it, screenshot of an email to the company unanswered)

How do you get results when you complain on Twitter? 

To get maximum results when you complain on Twitter and get others to RT the complaint, it has to be something that would not turn off future customers. A great way to get customers to RT your complaint is by sharing a screenshot of how the company mishandled the situation (If they tweeted you “We don’t want your business and don’t come back. There are plenty of other stores to shop at.”)

This is compelling because of the human-interest element and makes others think- if that is how they treated one customer then I will never become a customer.

Martha Stewart’s recent Twitter rant

Was this a good way to go about complaining on social media?

Martha Stewart’s recent Twitter rant was not a good way to go about complaining because it had a “Diva Like” tone to it.  It wasn’t really a valid complaint that Apple should have bounced back to and fixed. So what if your iPad broke? They don’t do custom home deliveries and you can’t get special treatment because of celebrity status. Granted if this is something they wanted to do it would have been a good PR move for Apple, but by no means should they have been expected to do that.

The problem becomes when your complaint is not in alignment with what a company should realistically fix. You then sound “whiny.” If they sent you a broken iPad, then they should respond immediately and fix it. If your iPad broke after you bought it, however, then drive to the store like everyone else and have it fixed the old-fashioned way.


Negative Tweet About Your Brand? Keep reading.. 

Does your business need help meeting the new customer expectations social media requires? Is your companies Twitter presence dominated by consumer complaints? We can help. Contact us today for a free consultation and to learn more about creating a B2B marketing social media strategy for your business.

MITIGATE RISK. There are many PR disasters waiting to happen, but Twitter doesn’t have to be one of them. If a social media community manager is active on Twitter, they can jump in and mitigate risk before it gets out of control and turns into a tweetstorm or public relations disaster. When your company is active on a social media platform, you have a greater ability to control and redirect the conversation. If you ignore the platform completely, it is hard to regain lost social media market share with your audience.  This is why social media community management is so important. Create a Twitter marketing strategy and don’t delay! 

End corporate convenience. Community management is a 24/7 job.

[READ] Tips for Managing Your Company’s Twitter Account to Boost Engagement 

*Date last updated: April 2021 

Kris Ruby on Willis Report