Braintree is a digital and mobile-payments company that aims to simplify credit card transactions. With a fleet of high-profile clients, an easy-to-use API, and top-notch customer support, the company has quickly grown from a fledgling startup to a leader in the payments industry. It makes sense for a brand with a digital focus to be a powerhouse on social media, and Braintree excels in crafting a strong presence on both Twitter and Facebook.
The company has branches in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, and Amsterdam, and it is continuing to expand its services internationally. Despite its widespread operations, social media management for the company is still a team effort.
We chatted with Stephanie Bell and Kristi Lynch, who head the social media work at Braintree, about how the company uses these platforms to deliver great customer support and to be a leader in its industry. They spoke jointly to us in the quotes below.
Creating a Specialized Strategy
“The number-one goal is to continue increasing awareness of Braintree and to become the go-to company for individuals or companies seeking payment advice,” according to Bell and Lynch. To that end, Braintree has used different networks to showcase various facets of the brand. “We use Facebook more to demonstrate Braintree’s personality and what it’s like to work here,” they said. “It’s a great place to add photo albums of company outings, recent events, and candid office photos.”
“On the other hand, Twitter is a better tool for disseminating information and content,” they continued. “We mainly use Twitter to promote our product releases, events we’re hosting, announce news, and as a thought leadership tool. It has also been a strong customer service tool; our customers often use Twitter to ask questions and offer feedback.” Crafting a specific purpose for both of the networks gives focus to both profiles. It also allows Braintree to showcase the wonderful company culture it has created, as well as showcase its payment services.
The company also encourages its employees to be involved in Twitter and Facebook. “Social media at Braintree is a company-wide effort where many people across teams contribute; however, we have a dedicated team of two to respond, post, and monitor,” Bell and Lynch said. “For example, our developers commonly deliver the responses on Twitter and our HR department posts frequently on LinkedIn.” This approach means that everybody is equally invested in presenting Braintree well to the public, and it strengthens the community across the employees.
On both platforms, Braintree’s approach to social media includes building awareness of the brand and its services. “We’ve found that including links to relevant articles and product descriptions has been effective. Using trending topics on our industry and hashtags have also helped establish Braintree as a leader in the mobile payments space.”
Delivering on Customer Support Promises
Customer support is a key element to Braintree’s work both on and off social media. In fact, the company proudly advertises the “white-glove support” it supplies for clients in all of its online materials. That means Braintree is vocal in engaging with customers on all channels. Even on Facebook, where Braintree hasn’t made support an obvious part of its presence, the brand still fields posts and messages from clients.
The company has been conscious to make sure that any customer service inquiries are a group effort. “Since we have a relatively small social media team, we work together with our engineers and sales teams to craft answers.” Despite the extra legwork of getting information from the appropriate teams, Braintree responds to nearly every comment or tweet it receives from every client. It means customers get accurate and thorough replies to their questions, and they know that a query on social media will get an answer.
“Many of the questions our merchants have are extremely technical in nature and require more than 140 characters to answer,” they said. “We often direct questions from Twitter to our specific teams, whether our general support email address or directly to the team member who can help.” Turning the conversations to email takes away the length limitations on Twitter. Bell and Lynch also keep tabs on Quora and Stackoverflow for answering more involved support questions on these public online forums.
Connecting With Communities
Many of Braintree’s leaders are active on Twitter, especially CEO Bill Ready. Ready is active in the startup communities, and is a regular guest writer and speaker for business blogs and events. His Twitter activity regularly promotes Braintree and its recent acquisition, Venmo. Ready’s Twitter handle, along with the official Braintree account, make for a strong one-two punch with each of them retweeting and responding to the other.
The company doesn’t just focus on developing internal connections on social media. Braintree leverages those networks to stay involved and in touch with the business community and with clients. “We’ve partnered with incubators like ‘500startups’ in San Francisco and ‘1871’ here in Chicago, where we hold regular office hours, host lunch and learns, and try to make ourselves available to the local startups,” Bell and Lynch said. “We’re also doing a lot more events across the U.S. and internationally.” Since Braintree itself was once a bootstrapped startup, this effort to reconnect with other entrepreneurs is a great example of how to pay it forward in the business world as a brand achieves bigger and bigger successes.
Finally, Bell and Lynch advise that businesses be alert and receptive on these channels. “Pay attention to what people are saying. We have been successful using social media for customer support, thought leadership, news and events, but every business will find different benefits to how it can use social media.”
Do you know another great company whose social media strategy we should profile? Let us know in the comments!
[Image credits: Braintree]