Q&A: How an e-commerce brand created a community on Twitter

Penny Coughlan

By Penny Coughlan

June 04, 2018

As a purely online business, how do you connect with existing customers and establish relationships with new ones?

We chatted with Tim Urch, Senior Community Executive at @gethuel, to learn more about how they use Twitter to build and engage with their community.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Tim Urch and I run the Community side of Huel. I create organic content that goes out across our social channels and chat with our amazing Huelers on a daily basis — sharing their stories and photos and hearing about their experiences. I love it!

Tell us a bit about your business

Huel is a UK based food company that recently launched globally. We make nutritionally complete, plant-based convenience food products. So many people rely on unhealthy options through the busy work week but Huel gives them a healthy, convenient, and cost-effective alternative.

What inspired your marketing team to create a Twitter account?

Twitter is an essential platform for any business, but particularly for e-commerce. When the entire business is online it can be difficult to keep your finger on the pulse of what your customers are thinking. Twitter breaks down that wall better than most platforms.

How does Twitter fit into your marketing mix?

At Huel our customer service team sits within marketing, that way we are never out of the loop on what our community is thinking. People use Twitter to get in touch with us about all sorts of queries — delivery, FAQs, and top tips. Twitter is the perfect place to talk with our customers in real time and help make their experience the best it can be.

We also use Twitter for influencer marketing and outreach. Getting genuine, positive reviews gives an uncertain potential customer the confirmation they need. Huel is a pretty new concept for most, so we appreciate it can take some convincing! By reaching out and connecting with relevant influencers we can create a buzz. In the same way Twitter puts customers in direct contact with us, it helps put us in touch with influencers.

What are a few Tweet examples that you think really capture the brand?

We aren’t particularly ‘corporate’ at Huel HQ, our team is young and creative, so we like to combine informative organic posts with fun and chatty replies.

How do Twitter Ads play a role in your marketing strategy?

Getting a conversation going is essential so creating ads that do this is central to our strategy. The benefits of advertising on Twitter is that you can be as granular as you want to. With Twitter Ads you can target relevant people which in turn generates conversation.  Scaling a campaign is simple and we can see large amounts of impressions and a strong CPA.

What results have you seen with Twitter Ads?

We find that our ads on Twitter strong amounts of engagement and often start conversations with potential customers.  We are pleased with the results and will continue to use Twitter Ads as part of our strategy to reach new customers.

What makes Twitter different from other platforms?

Twitter breaks down the boundaries between brands, celebrities, and people like no other platform.

Any final tips for brands on Twitter?

Engage! I see so many brands Tweeting but not replying to customers. Take time to respond to your followers’ Tweets with something sincere and personal. Don’t just like it — reply, ask them a question, thank them, use their name. If you’re a company then it’s likely they’re your customers, therefore you wouldn’t exist without them. 

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