Using Twitter For eCommerce

Many think that ecommerce has no place in the Twitter-verse, but look at some of the top accounts and you’ll think otherwise. From a one-person startup to fortune 500 CEOs, anyone can and is using Twitter to connect. I’ve been twittering now for a few months now, and I can definitely see its importance. And yes, I love the challenge of saying something interesting in 140 characters!

Twitter

Twitter brings along great networking possibilities. When I joined, I didn’t quite expect the importance of this micro-blogging service. But then, slowly I realised the importance of such a service. While many are hooked on to Twitter, not all see the real value of a service such as Twitter. The service can very well be used to reach your potential customers by tweeting about a particular product or service.

While e-mail marketing is a common way for ecommerce sites to stay in front of customers, what if you had an instantaneous way to stay in front of customers? Something that didn’t require overly done marketing copy, or image layout, or the need for three+ layers of approval? That’s where Twitter comes in. Unlike email newsletters, which can be sent to anyone with an email account, people who embrace Twitter are there because they want to receive and share information.

Also, most Twitter-ers more than likely understand texting and IMing. If the person agrees to “follow” you, they’re already a “qualified” prospect or a loyal repeat customer (and marketing studies say time and time again that it costs more money to get new customers than it does to keep existing ones). So if you can directly reach a loyal following of 10,000, 1000, even 100 people–for free–wouldn’t you do it? Of course you would. There are many who already do it!

So, here’s a step-by-step guide to tweet about your ecommerce deals:
1. Create a Twitter account. It’s free.
2. Have a clear call-out on your website that you’re now on Twitter and invite people to follow you.
3. In all electronic communications, include a link to your Twitter page.
4. Learn proper Tweetiquette.
5. For eCommerce sites, only tweet when you have something worthwhile to say, but try to get out at least one tweet a day.

Twitter’s been steadily growing in popularity, and now a couple e-commerce sites have pioneered the application to integrate with their own sites. Twitter feeds are an easy and cheap way for any e-tailer to use social media. Just be sure to build your following by letting site users know that you’re Tweeting deals and news. Add a call-to-action button on your site, blog about it and notify your opt-in subscribers.

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