How to Market Your eBay Business on Twitter

Twitter is a convenient format for building an online community and gaining followers and consumers for your eBay business. If the thought of marketing through short-and-sweet messages appeals to you, Twitter may be the place for your online customer connections.

Some quick Twitter stats:

  • Twitter has an estimated 500 million registered users and 200 million active users.

  • Estimated total tweets average 400 million per day; that’s 750 tweets per second.

  • Thirty percent of Twitter users have an income of more than $100,000.

  • Twitter handles more search queries than Microsoft’s Bing and Yahoo! combined.

For Twitter to work for your social commerce, you have to follow people, listen, and take action by engaging in the conversation. Take the time to interact and foster relationships within the Twitter community.

Participating is not terribly hard because Twitter’s tweets are limited to 140 characters. If you send text messages on your phone, you’re given room for 160 characters, so moving from text messages to tweeting isn't a big jump. After you get the hang of short messaging, tweeting can become second nature.

Promote your eBay business on Twitter

Your plan for Twitter should be to engage a good number of followers, drawing them to your business and brand. Become their virtual friend and turn them into evangelists for your businesses. Twitter is not a numbers game unless you're a multinational company (and have the staff to run the account).

When you Tweet, be discreet: Be sure that your self-promotional tweets stay at a low number. People are not on Twitter to be sold to, they are there to engage. If your account is constantly sending out marketing-style Tweets, you’ll find that relatively few people will follow your account back — or you may be overrun by other promotional bots.

Social media scientist and data-cruncher Dan Zarrella from Hubspot studies social media posts to find out which get the greatest attention. In contrast to Twitter — where information is exchanged among personal tweets — Facebook posts with a higher number of self-referential words tend to get more Likes. Note that these posts aren't marketing messages; they're posts that involve you and your involvement with your business and customers.

Who should you follow?

Twitter can work only when you follow other people and they follow you back. How do you get people to follow you? By commenting on another tweet, re-tweeting, tweeting content, or just jumping into a conversation that interests you.

Your first step is to go to the Twitter home page and type your full name, your e-mail address, and a password. Then click Sign Up for Twitter.

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After you register on Twitter, things may seem a little lonely. At first, a blank page will stare back at you, awaiting an action. Twitter will post suggestions for people you might want to follow. You can also try the following:

  • TweetFind: The home page says “Twitter Directory with Social Listings — Grow your Social Media Presence Today.” Use TweetFind to search keywords in user bios as they have been input on Twitter. You can also search job titles, topics, or any specific keywords that may help you find someone you might be interested in following.

    TweetFind presents search results in order of relevance to your keywords, so more valid results appear at the top. Most important, you can click any user’s name to see a profile page with more information. Note the Klout and PeerIndex influence scores when these show up on profile pages. They are proprietary rating metrics — and an industry standard: Higher scores indicate a person with greater influential activity.

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  • Twellow: Billing itself as the Twitter Yellow Pages, this site has been indexing and categorizing Twitter since 2007. Twellow makes following new people a breeze. On the home page, select a category or subcategory from a drop-down menu to see a list of Twitter users whose bios match your search. You can also type in the search box the keyword of a topic you want to follow.

    If you read the user's details and decide that you want to follow the person, click the Follow button below the user's profile picture.

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    You can narrow your keyword or topic searches to your immediate geographic area, which is particularly valuable if your business does not currently do online sales. On the search results page, click the city at the top-right of the list and Twellow will narrow the search to a reasonable distance. Note that the displayed city is generated from your Internet service provider and may not exactly match your location.

    After you set up your Twitter account, select your topics and register them on Twellow so that your account becomes indexed and available for others to find when they search the site.

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