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Last week Twitter announced the rollout of a new button that can be added to a website, which launches a direct message conversation. It appears to be squarely aimed at customer service, but will it have other interesting uses?

Twitter’s new DM button will most likely be bolted onto the other “social media contact” sections that brands include on their sites. This will make it slightly easier for consumers to find and contact brands, but the benefit seems to be more on the brand’s side. The ability to direct more people to a “private” conversation on social media will be welcome news for many customer service managers (especially those working in industries for which Twitter has become the de facto channel for complaints). Saying that, today’s savvy audience knows the score… if they don’t get an acceptable response they’ll be tweeting publicly in no time.

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New Twitter DM button (far right)

Managing audience expectations will also be crucial, especially if this button starts to be placed next to Facebook Messenger and Live Chat options – that may suggest to users that their Twitter DM is going to be responded to in real-time (like chat).  Brands need to have a clear communication of the platform/channel that’s being used and ensuring the customer is on the same page.

However, I’m possibly more interested in how brands might use this new feature to engage their audiences in other ways, beyond customer service.

  • I think a nifty (a rarely used word on this blog…) feature is enabling brands to pre-populate the text in the Direct Message. Again it has many benefits for customer service, but how can brands use this creatively in other ways? Adding a number of Twitter DM buttons, each with a different pre-populated message certainly sounds like it could be put to good use.
  • The pre-populated text could then be aligned with workflow rules inside a social management tool (like Conversocial or Sprinklr), automatically pushing people’s messages into a separate queue, and perhaps triggering an automated response. Almost a rudimentaty message-bot.
  • Or what about entering competitions… the ones where the first person to reply gives the answer away to everyone else 😫… the DM feature could become a simple, private 1-click entry mechanic.

Have you seen these buttons live on a website yet? Will you be using them? Please tell us in the comments below.


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