Thursday, March 11, 2010

A nice set of Tweets :-)

Now that I have your attention, this is nowhere near as provocative as the title would indicate. If you're reading this blog, you are a participant in social media and probably understand its value. While it seems like everyone with a laptop, blog, and/or Facebook page is trying to make a quick buck by declaring themselves a social media "expert", that's like declaring one baseball team the winner after three innnings. It's still an emerging beast, and the Bill Gates of social media has yet to be determined.

That being said, social media can be a very valuable cog in your marketing wheel if you use it properly. Since launching my eBay store (shameless plug: The House of Cards), I have used Twitter and Facebook to provide an unmistakable boost in sales. I'll use this blog post to help you navigate Twitter to boost your own sales of baseball cards, widgets, or whatever, but I strongly encourage a presence across ALL social media outlets including any niche message boards and partnerships with other blogs.

To build a successful Twitter page that drives traffic to your business:

  • THINK PUBLIC SERVICE, NOT HARD SELL! - What you're selling is certainly the reason you're there, but don't make it the only thing you're about on Twitter. No one likes the "car salesman" approach. Load your Twitter page with links to relevant content, the latest news re: the product you're selling, and anything else you think your audience and customer base will use and associate your brand with. You're building a community, not a database.
  • USE IT AS A TWO WAY CONVERSATION! - Twitter can provide the ultimate immediate feedback tool for your customers to talk to you. Be willing to listen, and be willing to hear the hard truth about the things you're doing wrong and change them. Customer loyalty goes through the roof when they feel like they have a voice and vested interest in your product.
  • MAKE EVERY WORD COUNT! - Remember, you only have 140 characters to get the word out. URL shorteners are your friend!! I prefer, but there are several others out there. Use every last one of those characters. Edit, and re-edit. If you're really good and can say it effectively in 100 characters, use hash tags (#baseballcards, #ebay, #verabradley, etc.) to enhance the chances that users will find your posts and Follow you to provide additional potential customers.
  • GET RETWEETED! - One of the most effective ways to enhance your Twitter experience is to create a buzz among your Followers and casual users. Don't be afraid to be humorous, spontaneous, and spur of the moment to post something that might get picked up and spread like wildfire. DO make sure, however, that the post is relevant and on topic with the message of your business's page.
As I said, I am by no means a social media expert, but as an unemployed media guy just trying to make his way the only way he knows how in this economy, Twitter has provided a proven traffic builder for my eBay business. I hope this info proves useful and you are able to implement a few of these things successfully. You're welcome to take a look at my Twitter page, Follow me if you like, and provide any constructive criticism on how I could be doing it better and creating even more business!

Best of luck with your own businesses!! There's room for everyone out there.....even in this economy.

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