Twitter was created in 2006 by Jack Dorsey. It has gained extensive notability and popularity worldwide. It is often described as the “SMS of Internet”.
Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users’ updates known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length which are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have subscribed to them (known as followers). Twitter extremely valuable to any e-commerce site.
Simplicity has played an important role in Twitter’s success. People are eager to connect with other people and Twitter makes that simple.
Most people shop online for convenience rather than customer service. And while inroads have been made into providing better customer service online, the personal aspect is often still missing. It’s the ability to have conversations with customers that makes Twitter extremely valuable to any e-commerce site.
Ø Listen to Your Customers
One of the best things about twitter is that it gives you a readymade platform, in which the online business can directly communicate with its customers; listen to their feedback & demands. Brick-and-mortar retailers have the benefit of physical presence of their customers when they are making purchases. But, e-commerce merchants may be unaware of customer problems or questions unless they are contacted directly or worse, if the customer publishes a complaint online. With Twitter, an e-commerce business can monitor what people are saying about its brand and products and respond with assistance.
Ø Be Personable
Twitter also gives the online business to create & build upon their brand perception. Internet shopping is usually impersonal. Ecommerce sites often try to connect with customers via blogs or comments, but Twitter makes it much easier to have direct conversations with customers and also show a bit of personality.
A Bit of PR Is Fine, Too
It’s okay to use Twitter to provide useful information to your customers as long as you are clear about your intentions and can do a bit of listening as well. Sometimes customers just want to know when you have a sale. In fact, Dell was so successful in using Twitter to alert followers about sale items that it has now set up a separate Dell Outlet Twitter account that offers discounts exclusively to followers on Twitter.
Ø Getting Started
The best way to get started on Twitter is to learn as much about it as possible. Sign up for an account, listen to what people are saying and find interesting people and companies to follow.
Ø Using Twitter for Your Site
Once you’ve decided to use Twitter to promote your online business and website design , it’s important to fill out your company profile and upload an image that your customers will recognize. Make sure to identify the people within your company who will be monitoring and using the account, and the more people tweeting the better. Unless you already have a very reputable and popular brand, your company will probably need to use your Twitter account for a while before people will want to follow it. Encourage your customers to follow you on Twitter by adding a link to your website, your emails, business cards and any other place with company contact information.
Ø Twitter Tools
There are some tools to make Twitter easier to use. For example, Twitter offers widgets on its settings page which you can use to put your Twitter updates right on your website. You can automatically send updates to twitter by using twitter-feed to import items from any RSS feeds you have, a good way to let customers know about updates from your blog or featured items on your site. Monitor what people are saying about your company and products by using tools like Twitter’s search or Tweet Scan. You might also try applications such as Tweet Deck, twhirl, or Twitterific to post updates and have conversations on Twitter.