My 80/20 Twitter Approach

You can’t pick up an Ecommerce magazine or read a blog nowadays without being told that you need a social media strategy. At this point you’d think that every online store has one, but over the last few weeks I’ve been collecting data on hundreds of online stores (who we’ll be contacting soon to pitch our product to) and I’ve been stunned with the amount of stores that don’t have a Twitter and Facebook account. If that’s you, i’m not here to judge you. Even after reading Gary Vaynerchuk’s book The Thank You Economy, it still wasn’t until I saw him speak on stage and vulgarly yell at us about how important this is that I even opened a Twitter account. If you’re not convinced right now. Then set aside an hour to watch his speech. (Warning: Vulgar)

Full disclosure: I’m by no means a “social media expert”, but I do recognize it’s importance, and I try to do the minimum to get by. To date @Mppartner has around 1100 Twitter followers and that generates about 30 unique visitors a day to this blog. That’s free traffic and I’ve also additionally made some great connections through Twitter. The idea behind this post is this: If you can only get yourself to do 20% of all the suggested social media stuff out there, what things will get you 80% of the results you’re looking for? I’m really hoping some of my readers can add their 2 cents to this post in the comments, because as I said I’m no expert. I do believe however, that I can offer some advice to those of you out there that haven’t even opened accounts yet. So here are my suggestions:

1. Open the accounts already! When I opened my Twitter account, I didn’t log back into it until 6 months after that initial day I became curious. Just the fact that I had that account made it easier to take the next step though 6 months later. The same goes for a Facebook page. It takes 5 minutes to set up.

2. Link to these pages in your store header or footer. You are working your tail off to get people to visit your site. Why not offer them the opportunity to join the modern day fan club of your store? Not doing this is letting all that hard earned traffic go to waste.

3. Sign up for free at HootSuite and set up your accounts. This tool will simplify managing these two accounts, you can schedule posts ahead of time and also set up twitter searches to see when your brand is being mentioned. You could even set up a column to list when products you sell are mentioned, then you could jump in and offer advice and possibly secure a future customer!

4. On Twitter, follow a bunch of people that are following similar accounts to you. A small percentage will follow you back, and you’ll have a better chance of finding conversations that you’ll be able to contribute to if you know they are already interested in the same field. If you’re like me you can then unfollow those that didn’t follow you back and start the process again.

5. Force yourself to tweet once a day. This is the hardest thing in the world for me and admittingly I fail at it regularly. You have to develop this habit though so that you can slowly learn how Twitter works and how to utilize it best.

6. Respond to any tweet that aren’t spam/generic thank yous. The whole point of Twitter is to engage in dialogue. You don’t want to just be pushing content to the world, that’s what all the folks do that don’t understand the medium. You need to try and engage in conversation and offer help and advice to your specific community. That’s how you gain trust, authority, and ultimately customers.

That’s all I have right now. I know there are so many more ideas out there and if you have had success with other tactics please share them in the comments. I’d love to try out some other proven ideas and let you know how they worked for me. For those of you that haven’t gotten this far though, get on it! You have nothing to lose!