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[ Home > Resources > Koehler Home Decor Articles > How Twitter Can Really Help a Retail Business ]

How Twitter Can Really Help a Retail Business

October 23, 2014

Many small businesses, especially retail businesses, pay less attention to Twitter these days than the do some of the other social networks, but that may be a big mistake. Making use of the microblogging platform allows you to reach a slightly different audience and to be a little more direct in terms of marketing. Why use Twitter for business? The vast majority of Twitter users tend to be younger, educated, and tech-savvy people with money and time to spare. These users often head to Twitter several times a day, usually via a mobile device so are particularly engaged in the platform. This pretty much means that Twitter can access the target market of most businesses and can do so at an outstanding rate every day. Twitter is a great way to meet potential clients and get leads. You can use it to promote your brand and let people know what you’re all about, you can use it to interact with your customer base and attend to their inquiries, and you can use it to generate leads.

Building your Audience
Expanding your network is the tricky part to using Twitter as an effective marketing tool. To get followers, you first have to find people to follow. You can use the “Who to follow” tab on the Twitter toolbar to look for people. Simply type keywords related to your industry in the search box, and Twitter will give you a list of people you can follow. You can also click the “View suggestions” tab. If you want to be a little 'sneakier' check out who is following your competition and follow the most engaged of those users too. Take advantage of Hashtags A Hashtag is a Twitter tagging tool that helps organize information about a certain topic. This makes it easier for people to discuss a certain topic with a great deal of Tweeters. You can create a Hashtag by simply adding a “#” to a keyword. So if you want to know more about say, porcupines, you can simply type #porcupine and you’ll get a list of all the people who are most recently talking about porcupines. You can also use Hashtags to look for people who are talking about a topic related to your industry and start following them as well. With this nifty feature, you can see everyone in the Tweeting world who is talking about a topic. This makes it so much easier for companies to see who is interested in their niche. What Should I Tweet? So you have created your Twitter page and you have some followers. Off to a great start, but now how do you keep them interested enough to keep following your Tweets? Here are a few tips for things you can Tweet about:

1. Interesting things you've posted on your blog or website
This is a great way to generate traffic into your site. By posting short teasers of news and updates, then attaching a link to longer related content on your site, people are more likely to check your website out.

2. Upcoming events, campaigns and tradeshows
You can promote events you have organized, including sales and promotions, by using Hashtags. You can also spread the word about any future happenings that could possibly interest your followers.

3. New products or services
Use Twitter as a great way to inform people and get them excited about new products or services.

4. Useful information and advice
Make your Twitter page helpful for those who are already loyal fans of your company by giving advice and helpful tips about your products and services.

5. Things that your followers are interested in
It’s smart as a company to Tweet about things that your audience is interested in, even if it doesn’t directly benefit you. Doing so will help develop a more loyal following. You don’t want people to feel as though you’re simply pushing your products or services on them.

6. Links to fun things happening in the community
Again, this may not directly benefit your company, but it could increase your number of followers. By giving people links to things they may be interested in, they feel that it benefits them to follow your Twitter page.

7. Real stories about your company and its people
Tweeting about real life stories of your employees and historical tidbits about your company could help create a human angle to your company. People are then more likely to be interested and want to support you.

8. Customer Service
A number of companies, large and small, are successfully using Twitter to provide basic customer service. This can be extremely and efficient for both parties but only is you have a way to ensure the feed is monitored at all the times. A Tweet that goes unnoticed and unanswered tends to annoy a customer more than being left on hold on the phone and that annoyance is something that they will probably share via, you guessed it, a Tweet.

9. Special offers and discounts
One of the best ways to keep people interested is by posting special offers on your Twitter page. If you set deadlines for them, it will keep people tuned in to your posts to make sure they don’t miss anything. While they stay tuned in, you’ll be able to get your other messages across as well.

10. Images
Twitter may have started off as a text based micro blogging platform but these days images are as common on Twitter - and as clicked - as they are on any other social network. After a recent redesign, Twitter even offers one extra built in advantage for retailers; the ability to automatically create a collage of pictures within a single post, a great way to promote a new group of products together.

Koehler Home Decor is a wholesaler of home decor accessories and unique gifts. Source quality wholesale merchandise at KoehlerHomeDecor.com and find tips for promoting your business on our blog.

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