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Social Commerce: Using Twitter to Increase E-Commerce Sales

Ross Beyeler

Twitter, once considered a “micro-blogging” platform, is best used today for conversation and live engagement. Due to its conversational nature, it not only makes for an organic selling tool, but can double as a very effective customer support channel. Twitter lets you define your brand’s voice, easily allowing you to attach pictures, links, and videos alongside your tweets. With all that said, It can be a difficult platform to understand, but once you figure it out, it’ll become an invaluable tool in your e-commerce marketing toolkit. We’ll go over some tips and best practices for using Twitter and how you to easily integrate it with your Shopify store.

Don’t Be an Egg

Generic Twitter Profile

When you first create your Twitter account your avatar will be a plain white egg on a colored background, a clever metaphor for your “newly hatched” account. While it’s unlikely that you’d start tweeting without a having your brand’s logo set as your avatar, don’t stop there! There’s a number of ways to customize your profile, including a large header image and theme colors you can fully customize to match your branding. Next up, make sure to create a bio that clearly defines who you are and what you sell, you only get 160 characters, so make it succinct and to the point! You can also enter a geographic location to help your discoverability, this is especially useful if you have a physical retail location. Most importantly, don’t forget to enter the domain to your Shopify store in the website section.

Integrating Twitter into Shopify

Shopify + Twitter

Shopify comes with a built-in Twitter integration that will have you ready to sell on Twitter with just a few clicks. After you’ve set up your Twitter account, you’ll want to prepare your products so they’ll be properly formatted for Twitter’s “Buy Now” button. This preparation is a simple list of criteria that you likely adhere to already, such as having an image, product description, and setting your product to be visible on your shop.

The final step to bring all of this together is to add the Twitter sales channel through your Shopify admin. This can be done by heading to the sales channels section of your admin backend, clicking “Add sales channel” and choosing Twitter from the list presented. You can also simply follow this link to skip a few steps! Shopify will guide you through the rest of the process and you’ll be ready to begin creating Twitter content!

Create Great Content

Once you’re looking good and have Shopify integrated, it’s time to start tweeting! Creating unique and interesting content is the key to gaining and keeping customers. Twitter is great for building excitement, gauging interest in upcoming products, or simply reminding people about your best-selling items. One way to excite your followers is by teasing a new product in the days leading up to its release, giving your customers incentive to check back for further updates while measuring the number of likes or retweets it receives.

Twitter is also great for running contests and giveaways. Creating a shareable image with instructions to follow and retweet for eligibility will see your customers spreading your message for you while bringing new awareness to your brand.

Above all else, remember to be careful with the language you use within your tweets. People can tell the difference between a tweeted-by-committee post versus something that seems natural and inviting. You want your users to interact with and share your content, give them something that’s worth doing so.

Stay Connected

There are many ways to keep yourself in tune with your audience on Twitter, as well as keeping your brand involved with the whole of the Twitter user base. Pay close attention to your mentions, and reply to them in a timely manner. Your customers will look to Twitter as a quick way to receive feedback to their questions, complaints, or even praise. Aside from having a live chat plugin on your shop, Twitter is one of the quickest and cheapest ways to offer customer support to your users, be sure you utilize it!

If you pay attention to Twitter’s trending topics you can find relevant hashtags to include in your tweets to reach new people. Just be sure you know the origins of the topics as to not commit a social media faux-pas, you could offend people instead of inviting them through your digital doors.

It also helps to know evergreen hashtags that are relevant to your brand and its products. You’ll want to employ these whenever possible to expand your reach, but use them conservatively, a tweet that is littered with too many hashtags becomes unreadable and can come off as desperate. There are a some tools to help you research popular hashtags, most of which require payment, but a good free one to get you started is Hashtagify.

Paid Advertising

Everything we’ve touched on thus far is entirely free to implement and execute. When you’re ready to invest some money into Twitter there are numerous ways to advertise on the platform.

Followers should be seen as potential customers, and the more customers you have the better, right? A Follower Campaign can help grow those numbers. With this type of campaign your Twitter account will appear in the suggested follows portion of a user’s sidebars when they view accounts, tweets or topics that you’ve targeted or are deemed as relevant to your account.

When you’re feeling comfortable with your following we suggest you look into a Website Card campaign. They differ from Follower Campaigns in that you’ll be promoting specific tweets, allowing your content to be seen in users’ timelines, the core part of Twitter’s platform. Twitter Cards stand out from regular tweets as they offer visual and sometimes interactive content in accompaniment to the usual 140 characters of allotted text. The Website Cards in particular can include an image and a direct link to your shop, a collection, or particular product.

All of Twitter’s advertising options offer the ability to target by various metrics including gender, interest, behavior, geographic location or even their device of choice. With a little experimentation you’ll increase your conversion as you find what works best for your brand. The better you know your audience the easier it will be to get a great return on investment from Twitter advertising.

This article is a part of our Social Commerce series. These articles highlight methods and best practices for improving your e-commerce sales through the use of various Shopify Sales Channels integrations such as Facebook, Pinterest, Houzz, and The Shopify Buy Button.

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