Using Twitter Effectively for E-Commerce
Many retailers have discovered that Twitter is an effective way to communicate with their customers. A recent study for Twitter by Compete reported that Twitter users are more likely to buy online, rather than the general public. They are also 1.4 times more likely to make an online purchase after seeing a tweet from a retailer or friends, versus someone who visits a store and did not see a tweet. If you invest time using Twitter as a communications tool, you may find some very high rewards. They do not necessarily come from direct promotions of your products. Here are some ways to increase engagement with your Twitter followers:
Many people use Twitter as a means to share interesting things they read, see, and do. Other people see those tweets, and share them. As you tweet and follow people yourself that you find interesting, you will develop your own followers. Spend some time looking for your audience by searching for topics that are interesting to your business, and then follow people who post relevant content.
People create their own topical indexes around hashtags — a phrase preceded by a # sign. So, #ecommerce could be a topic that you could search on Twitter. Any tweets that include #ecommerce would appear on that search. For Example, retailers who sell bicycles could mention, for example, a new Mountain Bike brand they have in stock and include #bicycles to be seen by people searching on that topic. Or, they may create topic just for the Mountain Bike brand, such as #MountianBike.
My friend has a camera supply business and has developed about 2,000 Twitter followers. She did not understand Twitter’s value in communicating with customers. The real value — which she missed — was utilized by one of her former competitors. They used it to promote their customer’s new camera models, tweets about photography trends, and actually uses Twitter to engage in public conversations with other photographers. In doing so, many photographers follow her because they provide interesting tips and ideas they could use. A percentage of them also become their new customers.
Once you have established that relationship, you can occasionally tweet promotional offers without irritating your followers. A good rule is to keep promotional offers to less than 20 percent of your tweets. The more you invest in conversations on Twitter, the more followers you will attract. Once you can tweet promotions, you can benefit from the higher percentage of Twitter followers that actually buy things as a result of your Tweets.
It will lead new prospects to your online store. They are more likely to buy than other visitors.
By Jason Greenberg
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