by Denise McVey, president, S3 Public Relations
What does Twitter mean to your retail business? Look at this growing social media form as an opportunity to bond with customers and drive business.
Step 1: Get a Twitter account (free at Twitter.com). You’ll need an e-mail address to get this started. I suggest having your Twitter account name be the name of your store if at all possible for maximum recognition factor.
Step 2: Populate your Twitter account with frequent updates. THIS is your big chance to connect with customers who want to know more. How much more? Whatever information you can provide that is of value to them. Just marked down last season’s styles? Tweet all about it. New shipment arriving this afternoon? Share the news. Having an industry expert or respected designer in to talk? This event is Twitter worthy. Create an inner circle your followers want to be part of. Steer away from overt hawking of goods – again, the Tweet needs to represent value to those who are following you. Their response (“Retweeting” so others hear about it, showing up, buying...) is the value you hope to derive, thanks to the creation of a relationship between you and your “followers” (those following your updates on Twitter).
Step 3: Follow and be followed. Twitter users have the opportunity to follow and be followed by other Twitter users. This is what allows all the hyper-connectivity. Don’t be afraid to follow others, but try to weed out Tweeters whom you expressly don’t want to be associated with. If you sell toddler toys, for example, and adult entertainment expert may not be someone to follow. (You can even block followers you identify who may harm your brand.) All this following and being followed gets your message out in front of others, every time you Tweet.
With the recent massive growth of Twitter, don’t be surprised if more people than the population of a small country end up following you. No, they won’t all personally purchase anything from you. But if you’re doing it right, among that mass there will be individuals who transact with you – or who influence someone else to do so. The true potential of Twitter lies within you: recognize how it best applies to you. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find it’s pretty easy – and it offers excellent ROI for a minimal time investment. Just be sure to keep the momentum going, because you’re only as good as your last Tweet.