Social media is one of the staples of online business these days. There is no better way for marketing
and promotion, especially for smaller ecommerce businesses
that need to get the word out for less. Social platforms
allow you to introduce new products
, alert customers to sales, and share special deals.
Perhaps the most effective of these for interaction and reputation management
is Twitter. Rarely private, you can search for references to your business, address issues, or thank users. You can also keep an eye on certain hashtags
, and connect your products or website
to them to gain more interest from around the web.
With such a unique format, you would think that online sellers would be jumping all over the chance, to make the most out of it. But you would be amazed by the common, or should I be brutal and say amateur, mistakes that are made all the time.
This is a guide on how not to use Twitter for ecommerce
Do Not Forget to Be Professional
People often mistake being "friendly and approachable" with being "buddy-buddy." The first is just part of leaving a positive personal impact on your customers; a basic of customer service. However, the second is being too familiar, and makes you appear unprofessional. Neither of those are labels you want associated with your ecommerce business.
Of course, there is another side to this. If the nature of your business is casual, and the tone on your website itself tends to be sarcastic or amusing, you should maintain that voice on your Twitter account too. It is merely a case of being consistent.
One positive example is Old Spice
, which is well known for their funny, cheeky commercials. Their social media sites, including Twitter, keep the tone going.
Do Not Be Goaded Into Anger
Sometimes people are going to be jerks. It is one of the rules of the Internet: trolls are everywhere. Keep it cool regardless of whether they are complaining about a product or service, or just flat out insulting you. Do not lash out and ruin your image.
Whenever you see a post that is critical about your company, take a moment to think of how you would want to be handled as a consumer. Do they have a reason to be angry? Are they just trying to cause problems? How can you deal with the problem in a professional manner?
Do Not Ask Questions Just to Fill Space
For some reason, business social media accounts have the habit of asking stupid questions with no value. There might be a slight connection to a product, but ultimately it is pandering. Nothing could be gained from the answers, and while some people will answer, the majority will see it as a bit condescending. Or just as a means of badgering them into paying attention to your account.
There is nothing wrong with using Twitter to get customer feedback, or just to interact. But make sure what you are asking provides some kind of payoff, or shows genuine interest. For instance, you could ask kind of product lines they would like to see, or what they would stock up on if it happened to be on sale. Don't ask them something pointless, like "What is your favorite color?" unless color has a significant relation with what you do?
Do Not Post Content From Questionable Sources
You see an image with a funny quote, and not only is it relevant to your ecommerce niche, but it is something you are convinced your customers will love. So you rush to Twitter and post a link for all to enjoy.
A few hours later, you hop onto Twitter to see what is going on and encounter a firestorm. People are angrily demanding to know why you posted that link, or why you at least didn't warn them first. It turns out that while the image was fine, the website it is hosted on is Not Safe For Work (NSFW). You unknowingly sent them to a website with inappropriate content, which they opened at work, or at home in front of impressionable eyes.
This happens more often than you would think. You always have to be conscious of where you are getting an image. If you find that the site is inappropriate, a quick Google search should give you a copy elsewhere. When it doubt, just skip posting it in the first place.
Do Not Use Text Speak or Slang
When you post to your Twitter, you are marketing your business. That means you should be tweeting with correct grammar. "Text speak," or heavy slang is improper, and looks lazy and unintelligent. Using ungrammatical expressions is ok only if you find them ok to use on your website. Having said that, some amount of abbreviation is ok to lower character count.
Twitter is a fantastic resource for any ecommerce website. It allows you to connect with your customers, provides you with a platform to promote yourself, and even boost profits. But only if you avoid the common pitfalls mentioned above.
When you are setting up your personal Twitter account, make sure you pay attention to how you behave. Unless the audience is unable to make the connection, realize that you are acting as the face of your business.