Conversing with customers online is very different from talking or negotiating in a store. On the internet, users appreciate honesty, speed and conversation. They reject one-way marketing and defensive personalities.
When speaking with customers, whether it be on Facebook, Twitter or on a blog or forum, make sure you’re contributing to the discussion. Offer an opinion on the topic at hand. Only market your product or service when you feel it could solve a problem or push the discussion forward.
The great thing about a platform like Twitter is that you can search for whenever your company is mentioned. Be sure to acknowledge positive comments, and attempt to fix complaints quickly.
You should also make sure you keep an eye out for discussion on rival companies. If any of their customers are disappointed, you can always swoop in and offer a discount to convince them to try your product instead.