Why Use Twitter For Your Retail Business?

My last post was earlier this year, which unfortunately is not the best example of how often to write a blog as I encourage everyone to post a new blog at least once a month, if not weekly. It also spoke about Twitter and how it’s growing by leaps and bounds. So, I decided I would start off again with an encore to that last post. You can read all my posts on the Emerging Sales Success Web site.

Since its humble beginnings in 2006, Twitter's rapid growth has resulted in an estimated user base of 200 million people. While originally created by Jack Dorsey as a tool for individuals to use an SMS service to communicate with a small group, businesses soon realized they could harness Twitter’s exceptional promotional power to increase sales, establish brand identity and connect with customers.

wired.com features a fantastic article detailing the advantages of using Twitter for starting a new business.

So, how exactly do businesses take advantage of Twitter’s promotional power?

Retail giant Starbucks posts new offers and participates in discussions of these offers with itsTwitter followers.

Dell has created several Twitter profiles, depending on the kind of deal (e.g., Dell outlets posts recent refurbished Dell computer offers).

How successful has Twitter been for Dell? From 2007-2009, Dell earned $3 million in revenue directly through Twitter!

5 Benefits of Setting up a Twitter Account for your Retail Business

  • Establishing expertise and credibility: Offering expertise to your customers via Twitter is incredibly fast and efficient, and facilitates trust in your company and its products and services. 
  • Connecting with customers: Do you already have an established client base? Get them on Twitter, and make sure they follow you. Post relevant things like new products, discounts and links to your newsletter. The objective is to draw people to your store.
  • Getting traffic and leads: Twitter has all but replaced many businesses' PR agencies because a large percentage of followers are press and analysts. Oftentimes, the press will write about and link to a specific company on their website resulting in a significant spike in sales for that particular business.
  • Branding: Start conversations with prominent peers and contribute worthwhile industry news. Be careful, however—don’t simply follow thousands of people and then tweet @ them constantly. Instead, follow those that have influence and contribute when you feel you have something valuable to add.
  • Stay on top of your industry and/or market segment: Stop by http://twitter.com/search to find out what people are saying about a particular topic, allowing you to keep informed about your company and perhaps most importantly, the competition!

As Twitter continues to grow, the Twitter community is finding new and cutting-edge uses for this powerful tool every day. Twitter‘s exceptional promotional power should be part of every business's overall social media marketing strategy. To make your retail business as profitable as possible, it’s imperative you implement a smart online marketing strategy. Social media is the future of advertising!

Frank Guzzo is a speaker and trainer and at Emerging Sales Success, a sales and marketing consulting company specializing in social media marketing and focused on creating and building solutions for regional, national and international businesses alike. The firm keeps up with trends, filters the noise and helps companies and individuals put social media to work using a balanced approach. To learn more about how you can use social media marketing or to hire Frank as a speaker for your next event, call  (858) 633-7177.

Published on WholeFoods Magazine Online, August 22, 2011