How Small Businesses Are Leveraging Twitter into Sales


February 25, 2009 By

Brent Nau

The explosive growth of Twitter has made Twitter a main stream micro-blogging platform. With the estimated 6 million users, businesses are find that there are true opportunities to connect with customers and drive sales from their Twitter accounts.  
 
Twitter is a free social messaging utility for staying connected in real time. Twitter is considered a micro-blogging platform where you only have 140 characters for your message. An estimated 5-10 thousand new users are signing up daily on Twitter. Traffic to the site has grown by 600% over the last 12 months with 20% of Twitter users joining in the last 60 days.
 
The Pew Internet & American Life Project released a study, Twitter and Status Updating, recently. The study provided the percentage of online adults that have said they have used Twitter before:

  • 19% - 18 to 24 years old
  • 20% - 25 to 34 years old
  • 10% - 35 to 44 years old
  • 5%   - 45 to 54 years old
  • 4%   - 55 to 64 years old
  • 2%   - 65 and older

 As the majority of users tend to be younger, they also tend to live in lower-income households.

  • 17% earn less than $30,000
  • 10% earn more than $70,000

As you can see from this data, there is a huge opportunity for small businesses to use Twitter. We have set up accounts for several of our clients, but we always get the question, "How can I generate business from it?". Here are four case studies on how small businesses are generating sales from Twitter.

  1. CoffeeGroundz Cafe (@coffeegroundz) is a local coffee house in Houston, Texas. They are proclaim to have taken the first to-go order through Twitter. A regular customer messaged them asking if he could place an order and pick it up at the drive-thru. From there CoffeGroundz started to take orders via direct message from their cleintele. Clients are now even ordering via Twitter directly from a table in the store without having to walk up to the counter and order a coffee.
  1. Zoomdweebie's Tea Bar (@52teas) is a local tea company in Wichita, Kansas. They set up a Twitter account and offered a new tea blend each week. Customers were also alerted to daily specials. The owner stated that they typically sold one or two packages every two or three weeks, but Twitter has allowed them to ship 40 to 50 packages. They are even getting orders from as far away as Scotland and Australia.
  1. Namecheap (@namecheap), a 70 person domain registrar out of Los Angeles, started their Twitter account in December. They initially ran a trivia contest once an hour and the first @ replies won an one-year domain registration. Namecheap's traffic increased by 10% in December and domain registrations increased by 20%.
  1. Ichiban (@orlandoichiban), an Orlando-based Japanese restaurant join Twitter in December. They are taking online orders via Twitter. They are even promoting their special and upcoming events to their followers.

 

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