Top Ten Twitter Tips For Retailers and Manufacturers

Tweeting. Ah, the complexity of how to do it. What do you tweet about? When do you tweet? For that matter, why do you tweet at all? For retailers, manufacturers, vendors, wholesalers and manufacturer representatives, Twitter provides an outlet for communication and marketing – two things you can’t live (or at least successfully live) without in the business of retail & manufacturing.

When using Twitter, there are certain “do’s” and certain “don’ts” that can help you thrive. The below ten tips can help you kick start or continue Twitter success.

1. Make your Twitter profile  relevant to your business. Use straight-forward words to describe what it is you do, sell and have to offer. Don’t beat around the bush here or make things more complicated than it needs to be. Luckily, you have a tight limit of word characters to write this profile, so you need to be selective… the goal is to be effective, as well.

2. Follow Twitter accounts who could be your customer, your competition or are currently your customer. You can learn from all of them. Read what they are tweeting about and try and relate it to your business. Are they asking for something in the marketplace that you have? Tell them! Do they complain about something in your niche market? Engage in some friendly tweets about it! Remember to actual “follow” people and businesses, you actually need to review what they are tweeting about – not just clicking “follow” and never checking in.

3. Sell yourself, not just your business. If you have a dedicated person tweeting, give some personalization to the profile by adding in a couple personal tweets now and then, such as “Watching Sunday football, then diving into some work later today.” By creating a character – aka a person – to the actual account, other Twitter profile users will relate to you and reach out in exchange.

4. Tweet newsworthy details about your business on a regular basis. If you login once in awhile and tweet exciting news, it won’t make a huge impact. But if you are a regular tweeter, then your following will know to look forward to your updates and will likely share exciting new with their followers, as well – a great way to gain a broader audience… and potentially more customers.

5. Offer incentives unique to your Twitter followers. If you are a manufacturers representative and want to promote a “free shipping deal” on all first time orders placed, tweet about it for days leading up to the expiration date of the promotion. Highlight your product while sharing your promotional news. Retailers could offer a discount for online purchases for their Twitter followers with a special code only shared via Twitter. The opportunities are endless here.

6. Open up the door to communication beyond Twitter. If you tweet with someone about your business,  invite them to email you directly to gain  more details. Twitter is the perfect appetizer to a full blown meal between customers and businesses.

7. Offer more than just a sales pitch via your tweets. No one likes being hounded with sales calls everyday… and this holds true for Twitter. Provide educational tweets, newsworthy details, personal thoughts and more that do not “sell”  your company. If you are a handbag manufacturer, you could tweet about handbag trends for the upcoming season. If you are a furniture retailer, you could tweet about cleaning options for various woods and fabric used in furniture. The opportunities to offer more than just a sales pitch are endless… and will gain you respect and trust in return.

8. Re-tweet others tweets – if they are worth re-tweeting. It’s easy to click “re-tweet” to show some love to fellow Twitter accounts, but those who follow you will appreciate you only re-tweeting those worth re-tweeting. If there is a link to a great article to share, re-tweet it. If there is a hot promotion going on by someone else that you think your audience will love, share it. You get the idea.

9. Add a widget to your website that allows your audience to find you on Twitter. This quick click will let them follow you… therefore allowing you to stay a constant presence in their lives, even after they leave your website. This, of course, is assuming you are updating your Twitter account regularly!

10. Be consistent. Your Twitter followers want to have trust in your tweets, so be smart about when you tweet (everyday is ideal, at least 3/4 times a week on the minimum) and why you tweet (business, news, personal). The right combination is sure to bring more business to way you.

Author:  Nicole Reyhle

Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is an experienced retail and wholesale professional with a passion for small businesses. After working many years in merchandising, marketing and management roles, Reyhle founded Retail Minded in 2007. Her professional blog is recognized as a “Retail Thought Leader” by and Reyhle is an adjunct professor at Columbia College Chicago, teaching retail, marketing and writing courses.

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