chapter 4

Spark Conversations on Twitter

Twitter can be a powerful tool to help online store owners grow their business. Without investing too much time or money, you can easily drive traffic to your ecommerce store. It's also a great way to engage with your customers once your business is up and running.

But before we get into how you can use Twitter to make some sales, let’s first talk about some important account setup housekeeping.

Setting Up Your Account the Right Way

Profile Photo
You should make your profile avatar your business logo. When it comes to branding, it’s important to be consistent across all your online properties to avoid confusion.

Your Bio

This is the perfect location for your company tagline or value proposition. Keep it short and sweet and don't be afraid to have some fun.

Black Milk Clothing uses the tagline of “Give me nylon or give me death.” It’s fun, concise, and quickly describes the company’s vision statement while connecting their community with a single anthem that unites them.

Your Website

Always link to your homepage in your Twitter bio section.

Your Background

Backgrounds can be used in many useful ways. You can either choose to use large branded artwork or provide an image that displays contact or support information. If you have design resources, go nuts and create something beautiful. But if you're running on a budget or time constraints just keep it simple. A plain background is just fine, or you can add some information about your business.

In this example, we’re showing some basic contact information placed in the upper left hand corner of a Twitter background.

Direct Engagement

Twitter has an amazing real time search feature. You can listen to anyone’s Twitter conversation - a feature that can help you increase sales. Here's an example, let’s see who is talking about Supra shoes: 

Simply type "Supra Shoes" into Twitter's search field:

The result will be a real-time result of people that have mentioned the word “Supra Shoes” in their Twitter conversation(s).

This will display almost everyone that has tweeted about Supra Shoes. At this point you can scour the results and pick someone to have a conversation with.

Here are some things you can approach them with:

  • Offer coupons – If you find someone who has just purchased a similar product that you sell, you can offer them a coupon for the next time they are in the market for a similar product.
  • Ask them about their purchase – If they have just purchased an item you sell, you might want to ask them about their experience to learn why they bought from your competitor. If they bought it from you - thank them and see how they're enjoying the product.
  • Send them links to your products – if you discover someone discussing their interest in a particular product, feel free to send them a link to what you have to offer.

You might want to include a hashtag of the product brand name in your tweets. This will allow people who search for the hashtag to find you among results easier. For example:

You only want to do direct engagement a few times a day. It can be considered spam if you do it too much. As a matter of fact, we highly encourage that you read through Twitter’s spam policies here.

Whatever you do, don’t spam every person that mentions one of your products on Twitter with links to your product pages. That’s a gross misuse of Twitter and is considered spam. It will make you an awful human being.

Listen and Converse

If you read almost any blog post about how to use Twitter effectively for your business, the most common advice is that you need to “listen”. Most of these articles write about how to listen if you’re an established brand.

The idea is to engage people on Twitter who are talking about your brand and respond to them appropriately to build customer loyalty. 

For someone just starting out you want to listen in a different way. Chances are no one is talking about your online store just yet. 

So what do you listen for?

Use Twitter as a public platform to show that you are an authority and genuinely help people.

  • Solve problems and lend help – Listen in on people who might be having problems that you can help out with. Think of keywords that might indicate that someone is having a problem that you can solve, and type them in the search field. By helping people solve problems, you can build your follower count with people who are active in your industry. This will make them more susceptible to becoming future customers.
  • Discuss the current state of your industry – By joining in on conversations surrounding industry events, changes and news, you can establish yourself in the “who’s who” of your niche. This will open the doors for partnerships, networking and as a business that happily accepts referrals.
  • Show brands that you like – If you sell multiple brands, you can always show off brands you like and give the brand a little mention by using the @ and # characters. Not only does this publicly announce that you carry these brands, you’ll also strengthen your relationship with them.

Share Interesting and Useful Content

The single most powerful thing Twitter is good for is to disseminate valuable or interesting information. Based on your niche you should tweet out articles, pictures and videos that your audience will enjoy. This is a great way to start up conversations with other Twitter users who are interested in the same type of things your online store offers.

For example, if you operate an online surfing shop, you would want to tweet out links to videos of amazing surfing clips a few times a day as well as amazing surf photographs. 

Occasionally throw in a tweet about some of your most enticing offers with links to the product page. And as always, throw in a hashtag representing the keyword or brand name.

Finally, you may want to tweet out coupon codes. They may get picked up by Twitter searchers and spread like wildfire.

To further amplify your tweets and go viral these tips will definitely come in handy.

How To Behave on Twitter

The general rule of thumb in the world of social media is to not overly promote your business. Think of communities like Twitter and Facebook as online cocktail parties. You wouldn’t bust into the middle of an ongoing conversation with an opening like:

“Visit Hi-Top Heaven for the best deals on hard to find hi-tops, sneakers and today’s most fashionable trends!”

Instead, you would gradually start a conversation and let what you do unfold naturally. As you start to build a following you'll experience the profitable benefits of followers first hand. In fact, a follower is 72 percent more likely to purchase from you. One more reason to keep your eyes peeled to your newsfeed.

Next chapter

5. Inspire with Pinterest

3 min

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