10 Twitter Tactics To Pump Up Holiday Sales

Use Twitter to Increase Last Minute Sales [Research /Charts]

Are you using Twitter effectively to drive holiday sales? With the 2012 holiday shopping season in high gear, don’t underestimate the power of social media, especially Twitter to influence holiday sales.

Deloitte’s 2012 Annual Holiday Survey revealed that consumers use social media to shop for holiday gifts and it’s the same way they shop for other products. They use social media to research gift ideas, find sales and promotions, and check product reviews and recommendations. Additionally, they look at family and friend’s wish lists and browse products. These activities are consistent with earlier research from Shop.org.

Exposure to tweets leads to higher retail site visits

Compete and Twitter research found that Twitter users exposed to retailer Tweets visited those retailer websites at a higher rate (95%) than general Internet users (90%). In part this is attributable to the fact that Twitter users are big online shoppers. Further, exposure to retailer tweets was consistent across mass retailers and more niche merchants. In fact, this trend was more pronounced for more niche retailers. This may be attributable to the fact that they have more engaged audiences.

Actionable Marketing Tactics:

  1. Use Twitter to let prospects know about your product. Understand  this doesn’t mean just screaming buy, buy, buy. Here’s a guide to Twitter etiquette.
  2. Let your Twitter followers know more about special gifts.  Share useful product ideas, information and images.
  3. Continually build your Twitter following. Leverage your Twitter presence on other owned media including your website and blog.

Exposure to retail tweets increases likelihood to purchase

The Compete and Twitter research found that Twitter users who saw retailer tweets were more likely to make online purchases. During the period Compete analyzed, 27% of general Internet users bought from a retail website. By contrast, Twitter users purchased at a 33% rate from the same sites. Further, when Twitter users were exposed to a retailer’s tweets, the purchase rate increased to 39%.  This represents a lift of between 1. 4X and 1.2X, respectively and holds true across a variety of retail categories. Again this trend is higher for niche retailers than mass market. This makes sense since these merchants have a more engaged and targeted audience. (Note: While the niche merchant purchasing looks low, it’s above average levels.)

Actionable Marketing Tactics:

  1. Use Twitter to promote limited, time sensitive sales. This can work well for a deal of the day offering.
  2. Make it easy for prospects to get answers to their purchase related questions on Twitter. Provide customer service via Twitter and offer a dedicated Twitter phone number via Twitter to close these sales offline.
  3. Use targeted Twitter landing pages. Create streamlined landing pages for each of your product related tweets to help close the sale.
  4. Target your tweets. Where possible create tailor product related tweets. Even mass marketers can take advantage of this tactic by creating separate Twitter handles.

Increased tweet exposure correlates with visitation and purchase lift

The more users are exposed to tweets from merchants the more likely they are to visit and purchase from them. Given the impact of the frequency of advertising exposure on other media, this intuitively makes sense. Based on the results of the Compete and Twitter research, Twitter users exposed to retail tweets twelve or more times were one third more likely to purchase from those merchants compared to all users exposed to retail tweets. Since the lifetime of a tweet is relatively short, it’s reasonable that it would take more tweets to have sufficient impact on purchasers.

Actionable Marketing Tactics:

  1. Create a series of holiday tweets related to your product. The object is to let customers know about your products and bring attention to your offering through the use of Twitter. (Here’s how to create a social media calendar as well as how to create a promotional plan.)
  2. Showcase your customers’ favorites on Twitter. This is a no-brainer. Take your best sellers and give them star billing  on Twitter by promoting them as customers’ favorites.
  3. Put the spotlight on your best gift items. Dress up your special products in their holiday finery and put them center stage. Give thought to the product that you want to sell.

While time to create actionable marketing promotions is limited, there’s still time to maximize the impact of Twitter with existing product information and images.

What other quick and easy social media sales ideas can you suggestion and why?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wtlphotos/3111558481/

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