June 11, 2010, 11:58 AM

Want to use Twitter to drive sales? Don’t say “buy”

Building brand awareness will convert into sales.

Bill Briggs

Senior Editor

Moxsie.com uses Twitter to raise awareness of its brand and products among its target demographic of women ages 18 to 25. What Moxsie does not do is ask its followers to buy, Julia Kung, director of marketing, explained this week at the 2010 Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition.

Since its January 2009 launch, Moxsie has built its business on social media. As a result, more than 50% of its traffic comes from sources other than paid search, Kung said. The company has more than 50,000 Twitter followers and relies on the micro-blogging network to turn conversations into conversions, Kung said.

 Retailers wanting to tap into social media can stay connected to their shoppers through various means. The point, Kung said, is to stay in touch. “We don’t stay on topic all the time as we develop our brand personality,” she said. Tweets have to do with the popular TV series “Glee,” for example, and Moxsie can turn on a dime to match its followers’ interests. “If you cultivate relationships, brand ‘evangelizers’ will result.” Those evangelizers in turn have significant influence on other Moxsie shoppers.

 Co-presenter Bob Pearson, chief technology and media officer at communications services company WeisComm Group, told attendees their web sites are just the beginning point for getting a brand message. It should not be the focus of their marketing efforts, however. “You have to build a content syndication network,” he said, by tapping social media.

 Pearson was responsible for developing the use of social media at Dell Inc., before joining WeisComm Group. One of the benefits of using, and monitoring, social media such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs is that a retailer can read and react to consumer comments. “You can reach customers directly online in decision-making mode or information-seeking mode by scraping conversations occurring in real time,” Pearson said. “At Dell we were looking at reaching out in real time to help them.”

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