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