With more than 12 million tweets a day, Twitter has definitely moved past the "tipping point" of social-networking sites. If for some reason you haven't joined the world of Twitter, you'll definitely want to now. Not for the social reasons that most people are using it (Does anyone really need to know you just went to Starbucks for the third time today?), but as a way to generate excitement about your eBay Store.
Getting started is easy:
- Go to www.Twitter.com
- Sign up with, preferably, your eBay Store name as your username
- Go to Settings and set up a short sentence in your "one-line bio" section
- Include the URL to your eBay Store in the "more info URL" box
- Make sure you upload your photo or your Store logo under the "pictures" tab
- You can play around with the "design" tab, but one of my favorite places to create a custom page for your Twitter account is Pretty Tweet.
OK, now you're all set to create your first tweet of 140 characters—knock yourself out! Once you get past the first one, it's easy.
Now, for those of you who are veterans of this fast-growing site…
Get your priorities straight
Twitter users are driving me crazy! Why is everyone bragging about how many followers they have? People, it's not the quantity of followers you can get; it's the quality of followers. Why does it matter if you have 1,578 followers if none of them would ever buy from you? Let's change this mindset today. Here are a few ways to convert your followers into buyers:
Make sure that after about a week you "unfollow" anyone who has chosen to not follow you
- Use a service like Twit Seeker to locate your buying community. You can enter search terms to find Twitter users who are interested in related topics. If you sell baby products, search for "stay at home moms," "day care" or "grandma/grandpa." If you sell household appliances, search for "newlywed" and other bridal-related terms, "moving," "graduation" and anything else that would relate to someone setting up a new house.
Here's a hint for using Twit Seeker: Mark "from profiles" for the search, instead of "from tweets." This will provide you a more focused, in-depth search.
- Choose which of the search responses fits your niche buyer profile and sign up to "follow" them. They will automatically receive an e-mail with your eBay Store's name, your Store's logo and a link to follow you on Twitter. Intrigued, they will check out your Twitter profile, and you will potentially have one more buyer.
- If they follow you, make sure you thank them with an e-mail promoting your eBay Store. What? You don't have time to send an e-mail out each time someone follows you? Yep, me either. That's why someone created something called Tweet Later. Sign up for the free account and use the "Send welcome DMs to new followers" feature. Although Tweet Later has many powerful features, this particular one is a must for your Twitter marketing plan. This allows you to automatically send a DM, or Direct Message, to anyone who follows you. The recipe for a great Welcome DM is to first thank them for following you and then give them a directive—something that gets them back to your business. Something like:
Thank you for following us. You can read the Top 10 Time-Saving Tips for new parents at our eBay Store at www.OurStoreNewsletter.com. While there, check out our new educational toys.
Now, no matter when someone follows you, they will automatically receive a marketing note from you.
- Make sure that after about a week you "unfollow" anyone who has chosen to not follow you. If they aren't interested in your business, product or service, it's better to not have them taking up valuable space on your "follow" list. There are quite a few Twitter tools out there that will help you remove followers. My two favorites are Buzzom and Tweepular. Choose the one that fits your marketing personality best.
- As you become a top-notch Twitter marketer, you will want a tool to help you manage everything. A lot of us like Twhirl, which sits on your desktop and allows you to easily tweet, post photos and post your tweets to other sites, including Facebook and LinkedIn.
There are numerous Twitter applications out there. Find the ones that fit you the best.
Limit your sales pitches to less than 50 percent of your tweets
Some final tips
First, limit your sales pitches to less than 50 percent of your tweets. If you sell baby products, provide tips for new parents, links to articles about baby safety and ideas for cheap family fun outings—information your potential buyers would find useful. Then every four or five tweets, pitch a product, service or your eBay Store. Use TwitPic to create visual interest in your products.
Second, make sure you're using your Store Referral ID/URL for your eBay Store. This will ensure you receive a 75 percent refund of your final value fees for all items sold from your Store.
Then watch your Store traffic reports to see if linking from your Twitter page is helping drive traffic to your Store.
There are many more marketing tools and tips for using Twitter to promote your business. You can learn about many of these by following me on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/osirockstars.
Other Entries by this Author
Janelle Elms is a best-selling author, inspiring educator and Visionaire of the OSI Rock Stars. You can hear her on wsRadio every Wednesday on Ask Janelle Radio. Learn the success information you need to grow your business at www.osiRockStars.com. For step-by-step training on how to set up an eBay Store for maximum exposure and profit, visit One Percent Coach.
Opinions expressed here may not be shared by Auctiva Corp. and/or its principals.