Twitter is the fastest growing and one of the hottest social networks on the Internet. For businesses, its power is unprecedented, but knowing how to use it for business is not necessarily obvious.
Twitter has now reached the place were business people can no longer ignore it. Worldwide, traffic to Twitter reached 10 million users in February 2009, up an amazing 700% from the same time the previous year. Until then, it was regarded as sort of a cool consumer novelty with no real business application.
Today, Twitter has over 200 million users and is now averaging more than 460,000 new accounts being added every day. That’s 15 million new accounts per month! During 2010, there was an average of 50 million tweets (messages) per day. In 2011, that number has already grown to over 140 million per day. That’s one billion tweets a week!
What you may not know though is that Twitter can really help businesses get closer to consumers and yes, even sell more products and services. The fact that 33% of active Twitter users have household income of over $100,000 per year, makes it an ideal website to use to promote your business.
Twitter is a constant stream of communication. It allows you to post updates (called tweets) as often as you want. When you follow other people on Twitter, you see their tweets. When they follow you, they see your tweets.
The problem with Twitter is that since it is so different than other Social Network websites most people have a hard time trying to figure out how to use it.
The first post on Twitter by new users is most often, “I just joined Twitter.”
The second post on Twitter by new users is most often, “What do I do NOW!”
The suggestions in this article should help retail jewelers get past that “What do I do now” phase and start using Twitter as an important tool in reaching new prospects and staying in contact with existing customers.
Setting Up Your Profile
When you first join Twitter you need to set-up a user name. This user name will display on all the tweets you make. Your user name is also how people will find you and relate to you. If at a later time you want to change your user name, you can. Everyone following you will still be connected to you and you will not loose any information you have on your account.
Twitter is one of the few Social Networking websites where you can join as a person or as a business. You can join setting up your account as you, an individual. Plus there is nothing in their Terms of Service at this time that prohibits you from setting up an account in the name of your store.
In order to fill out your profile, log into Twitter and then click on your username at the top right of the screen. In the drop down menu select ‘Settings’. On the page that appears click on the ‘Profile’ tab.
If you are using Twitter as a person, identify some attributes like your real name, your location, your website address and your biography. Be certain to fill them all out. Your location and your website (limited to just 1) will help potential customers find you and your biography will help them get to know you better.
Because you are a person communicating with other people on Twitter, you should add something personal like “a mom” or “a dad” or “father of three”. Those kinds of things actually add a little more personableness to your biography. You do have to keep your biography fairly short. You are limited to 160 characters.
If you are a man it is especially important to add some family information such as “happily married” or number of children or grandchildren. As a jeweler you will want to follow potential customers in your area which are primarily women. Adding family details to your profile will help you from becoming labeled as a stalker.
You also want to have a recent photograph of yourself. This helps people see you as a real person and helps them get to know you better.
To add a picture click on the ‘Picture’ tab in the settings. Then click on ‘Browse’ and search through your hard drive and select the picture you want to use. Click ‘Save’ and that’s it.
If you plan to use Twitter as your business, add your store name to your Profile and write a short description about your store for the ‘Bio’ section. You also want to be sure to add your city and state to your ‘Location’ as this will help you get ranked for Local Searches.
For your profile picture upload a picture of the front of your store, your logo, or a favorite piece of jewelry.
Personalize Your Theme
Twitter allows you to change the look of the pages on your account. Go to your Settings and select the ‘Design’ tab. Here you can select a different Theme, upload a new background picture, and/or change the colors of the background, text, links, sidebar, and borders. Changing the look and feel of your pages from the default Twitter Theme helps you to stand out from the rest and makes you look more professional.
One of the first things you will notice about Twitter is your tweet can only be 140 characters long. This is one of the biggest reasons that kept me from becoming more involved with Twitter sooner. How in the world can you say anything in 140 characters or less? That’s only 15 to 20 words – a mere sentence (for me even less than a sentence).
Frequency of Post
Social Networking is not Set and Forget. You need to stay fresh. Social Networking is like big grocery stores – There’s a Sell by Date on every message – And It’s Today! If you create a Social Network page about your store and then only up-date it once a week or a couple times a month it will not be effective.
There is no such thing as an ideal number of tweets per day or week. You are only posting too often if all your posts are about you selling your jewelry. The content of your tweet (the quality) is more important than the quantity of tweets you make.
The more often you create new tweets the greater the chance that your followers will see your content. People log onto Twitter at different times during the day and on different days of the week. You need to be posting at various times so that you have the opportunity to be in your Follower’s Feed when they are online logged in to Twitter.
If you have 10 new pieces of information about jewelry to post, instead of posting them all at the same time, spread them out over a couple of days at different time intervals. If you post them all at once, everyone online at the time will see them. However, if someone logs in 3 or 4 hours later, they may never see what you wrote as the content has been pushed down by more current posts.
If you spread it out over several days at different time intervals you will reach more people. The chance is greater that they will be online when one of the pictures are posted.
Content of Tweets
Mix It Up! If every one of your tweets is simply a notification that you are having a special event, you will find some of your best customers reacting, but little else. It’s okay to talk about your events, but real engagement comes much faster when you mix your content up giving people a variety of information they are interested in.
If you post relevant, interesting information about jewelry – the more the merrier. Inform your followers how to care for their jewelry and how to build their jewelry wardrobe. Tell stories about gemstones and the history of jewelry. Make it interesting to your followers and they will look forward to reading all your new tweets. Also link to informational articles about jewelry such as jewelry fashion trends, jewelry news, etc. If all your post are about ‘Buy My Jewelry’ people will tire of reading them and either ignore them or un-follow you.
The content you create should include information on Gemstones, Diamonds, Precious Metals, Jewelry Care, Jewelry History, Jewelry News, and Jewelry Trends in addition to the information you share about your store.
In addition, when you add pictures or videos to your Facebook page, link to them from Twitter. Use those pictures to create a video slide show to post on YouTube then tell all your Twitter followers by linking to the video. When you write a Blog post, create a link to it from Twitter so all your followers can read your information.
Brad and Debbie Simon are 30+ year veterans of the retail jewelry industry and have been marketing on the Internet since 1999. Their company Internet 4 Jewelers provides On-Line Marketing services for Retail Jewelers including Search Engine Optimization Strategies, Social Network Management, and e-Mail Marketing. For more information log onto: Internet4Jewelers.com or e-Mail Brad@Internet4Jewelers.com.