5 Tips for Using Twitter to Drive Sales
With the holidays over, businesses will have to work hard to attract shoppers to their stores. Therefore, it’s not surprising that retailers are getting better at using a sophisticated marketing mix to create engagement and conversions. That mix includes social media, mobile and digital campaigns.
Twitter is especially geared to help retailers target customers. With keywords, geo-targeting and smart tech, brands can identify who is looking for their merchandise via tweets. When they find someone, they can tweet directly back with an offer or discount to get that shopper in the door.
Here are five ways that retailers can use Twitter to drive sales:
1. Run a contest to increase engagement. Twitter and its hashtag language is great for creating a network around a contest. Ideas are limitless — anything that provides a good incentive (e.g., winning a gift card) and incorporates a hashtag works well. This tactic gets more people engaged, makes your business more visible via Twitter and increases purchases.
2. Promote specials and offers. More than 90 percent of users say they follow businesses on Twitter to get discounts and promos. Since potential customers look to Twitter for deals, providing them with special offers is sure to boost sales. Share discounts via Twitter by sending @Replies to specific users who would be interested in the offer.
3. Create “Twitter-specific” offers. In addition to promoting existing specials via other marketing channels (e.g., email, banner ads, affiliates, paid search, etc.), create Twitter-specific specials that people can only learn about by following your brand on the social networking site. For example, cupcake bakery Sprinkles uses this tactic particularly well. It posts phrases on its social media pages that users can whisper while in-store to get a discount. Not only will the discount encourage Twitter users to make a purchase, but Sprinkles is able to directly attribute these sales to its Twitter efforts, effectively tracking its social return on investment.
4. Engage your Twitter community with the excitement of the season. Most shoppers love a little holiday cheer, whether it be Christmas, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, etc. Celebrate the season with your followers and post holiday-spirited, shareable images via Twitter. Consumers are likely to favorite and retweet images, drawing more visitors to your Twitter profile and increasing the chances of acquiring new customers.
5. Leverage tweets about great purchases, shopping experiences and highlights from followers suggesting others buy from your brand. Twitter’s primary purpose is for users to share their thoughts, experiences and ideas through the platform. If you have great customer service, good deals and cool merchandise, you're likely to read about it. Join the conversation with hashtags, retweets, replies and favorites. If negative comments pop up, take the chance to apologize, offer a second chance or improve. Never be a snarky Twitter Grinch!
Bernard Perrine is the CEO and co-founder of Twitter marketing company SocialCentiv. Bernard can be reached at email@example.com.
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Bernard Perrine is the CEO & co-founder of Twitter marketing company SocialCentiv. A founding partner and former corporate officer of Kinko’s, Perrine has also held leadership positions with Eastman Kodak and Microsoft.