September 24, 2010, 10:00 AM

Giving voice in 140 characters or less

Twitter enables retailers to interact with consumers on a human level.

I was talking recently with Josh Bernoff, Forrester Research Inc. senior vice president, idea development, when I asked him to describe the most effective ways retailers are using Twitter.

Twitter is good at just about everything,” he said, before pointing to retailers using the microblogging site as a tool for customer engagement, promotions, customer service, and even, on occasion, direct sales.

Among those potential benefits, there’s one thing that the site does as good, if not better, than just about any other marketing platform—giving voice to an otherwise anonymous company or individual.

Take for instance, online-only U.K. retailer Appliances Online, which, in addition to its own site, operates white-label sites for a number of retailers. The retailer has been using Twitter for more than a year to build brand awareness.

It does so by using its employees’ own voices as they engage consumers with questions, such as “How do you pronounce ‘scone’” which is a word that is a key giveaway as to where a U.K. resident was raised, says Ben Fox, content editor.

Because they’re not pushing a hard sell on Twitter, which causes me and countless others to click Unfollow, they’re building a solid audience.

“We want to engage consumers in conversation because that puts a human face on who we are,” he says.

Given the option between buying from a faceless retailer and one that I feel like I know, I know which one I’ll choose.  I suspect I’m not alone.  

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

Recent Posts from this Blog

FPO

Jeff Sass / E-Commerce

How brands use domains beyond dot-com to attract shoppers

Amazon, for example, posts holiday ads to amazon.blackfriday.

FPO

Will Gensburg / E-Commerce

How to win with online shoppers in Canada

90% of Canadians live within 100 miles of the U.S. border and most already shop ...

FPO

Sven Hammar / E-Commerce

4 ways to keep customers from abandoning your shopping cart

Think of the 69% industry average cart abandonment rate as an opportunity to win incremental ...

FPO

Ralph Tkatchuk / E-Commerce

5 ways retailers can reduce shopping cart abandonment

There are steps web merchants can take all along the path to purchase that can ...

Advertisement

Advertisement