Selling on Twitter – SMW Glasgow presentation

Posted by on Sep 22, 2011 in Twitter | No Comments
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As part of Social Media Week Glasgow, I was invited to speak at a Business Banter event on Tuesday 20 September. It was a fantastic event – if you didn’t manage to make it along, a video of my short, five minute presentation is available here.

The transcript is as follows:

I’ve only got five minutes so rather than bore you with theory I will just tell you what we did to sell a product on Twitter. Hopefully then you can see the theory in action and apply it to your own product or service.

Impact Online was hired by John McMonagle who was going on Dragons’ Den. He owns a fish and chip shop – a floating one in Clydebank – but he’d invented an inflatable car bed. It was really cool – he made me go in it  – it was very comfy and I thought it would be great for T in the Park. So we set up a Twitter account for the product  in order to gether feedback and drive traffic to the website where the product was on sale.

We chose a Twitter name that had both the brand name and the product in it, so that it could be easily found. The brand was Karnap and the product was a car bed – so the Twitter name was KarNapCarBed, using capitals to make it easier on the eye.

We researched Dragons’ Den fans and followed them, starting conversations with as many as possible – time was of the essence before the programme on BBC2 on Sunday night. We researched them using a variety of methods, primarily the keyword search on Tweetdeck.

Did you know only about 17% of people use Twitter.com? Everyone else uses Twitter clients like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite, which allow you to do much more advanced things, like schedule tweets, track stats and set up columns for specific search terms.

Dragons’ Den was on at 9pm on Sunday night. There were two hashtags for the programme on Twitter – BBCDragons and DragonsDen. Hashtags are like labels you attach to your tweet and it’s a live link so if you click it, you’ll see everything everyone else is saying about the same thing.

So we set up two columns on Tweetdeck to follow these hashtags. We found a lot of followers this way too.

We knew time was limited to the duration of the programme and a little before and after so we scheduled tweets to go out at three minute intervals during this time. We used all the relevant key words and a link to the website. This link was shortened so that it was a unique link and we could track how many clicks it received.

Then, during the programme we answered every tweet mentioning the bed. I think there were over 100. Every time someone mentioned it, we answered and included the unique website link. Every comment, positive or negative, got a response. Some people laughed and said they were taking the mick. Others were delighted – and congratulatory that John had gone ahead and made the product himself. A few were chuffed to bits to get a personal message from a “celebrity”!

We kept tracking the messages during the week for people who’d recorded it to watch it and gathered all the feedback. We grouped all the followers according to various criteria using the private list system – private because we didn’t want anyone else stealing our market research.

Afterwards we could see how much traffic came to the website from Twitter, we had feedback straight from the consumers as if we’d held a focus group and we had direct sales. People were saying “I want that” and we were saying  “OK here you go” – that’s a pretty powerful sales tool.

Now obviously an appearance on a TV programme is going to be an example not many people will be able to exactly replicate. But you can still piggyback on a hashtag to promote yourself, you can set up unique links to your website so you can measure the impact of Twitter and you can directly reach your target market by keyword research and tracking. Then a little bit of old-fashioned conversation and salesman’s tactics will do the rest!

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