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Does Twitter help with sales/traffic?

 2:02 am on Jan 7, 2010 (gmt 0)


I just created an account on Twitter for my ecommerce website; as of now I have 0 followers but hopefully that number will grow...hahaha.

Anyway, I was wondering from people who have a Twitter account for their ecommerce site:

1. Did sales or traffic increase to your website due to your Twitter page?
2. How many current followers do you have on Twitter?
3. What methods did you use to promote your Twitter page and get people to follow your Tweets?

Thank you,




 3:21 am on Jan 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

1. Yes, we run specific coupons on twitter and can track sales from those coupons. Dont have specifics but id say we get 5-10 orders per week from twitter, not huge but growing.

2. 500+

3. We have a follow-us image on the header of out site. We have a follow-us image on all our newsletters.

Facebook for us has been the best .. we have had incredible growth from FB. I just looked at my analytics and we had over 15k in sales from facebook referrals. That is a shockingly fantastic number to me because its FREE traffic. Now on FB we post regularly and really interact with customers. We use it as a support tool and have contests. We did a contest before xmas where the next 10 people to post "we shop foo.com all the time" on our page would get a $50 gift certificate. I cant say enough good things about FB.


 3:31 pm on Jan 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi ssgumby,

Congrats...it seems like Twitter and FB have been a real help for your ecommerce site; I hope I have the same success using Twitter & FB.

I'll definitely try out some of the ideas you mentioned to get people more involved with my Twitter and FB page.

I also just created a FB page too; so hopefully with Twitter and FB I can generate some more traffic/sales.

1. Did you use FB advertising to promote your page on FB?

I'm thinking of trying this out for a month to see if it helps my page get more FB fans...



 4:07 pm on Jan 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi ssgumby,

I was just re-reading your post; does FB have analytic capabilities, or are you using Google analytics to track your FB referrals?



 4:27 pm on Jan 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

One thing you can do is set facebook to push all your FB status updates to twitter so you basically get to post to both places at once.

We recently started very little FB ads, but we literally just started about a week or so ago so we didnt use that to build up friends.

I think for FB ads there are analytics, but we use Google Analytics to track by referrer.

The nice thing about FB and I think this helps us generate revenue ... you post a status update maybe offering a coupon or some promo ... lets say you have 500 friends. If just 50 of those 500 share that status on their page then it has went out to a much larger audience. Those 50 could have any number of friends and some of them may share. It really goes pseudo-viral in a short time.


 5:09 pm on Jan 7, 2010 (gmt 0)


I actually tried linking my FB to Twitter, but I receive this error message when I try to do it:

"To use this feature, you will need to sign up for a personal Facebook profile."

I just created a FB business page because when I go to open a new account it says businesses can't open a personal FB account only a FB page.

How were you able to link FB to Twitter? Did you use an FB app?

Thank you,



 6:03 pm on Jan 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

To be honest I dont know how we set it up, our office manager did this. I do know we all have a personal FB account and they are tied as admin to the FB business account. I do not know though how all that was done.


 6:18 pm on Jan 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Many of our competitors opened twitter accounts, posted for awhile and then stopped. I haven't logged into twitter in months. I find the whole Twitter thing stupefyingly boring.

The question isn't whether TW, FB etc can bring in a few orders (often by giving expensive coupons). The question is whether they're the best places to spend money and effort. My ***guess*** is that FB is the better way to go and only for very specific types of sellers.

There's some indication that Twitter traffic is now in decline.


 8:57 pm on Jan 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

There's some indication that Twitter traffic is now in decline.

Really, where did you hear that?

I guessed (and posted about it here) that Twitter was a flash in the pan. Its completely dominated by commercial interests at this point which will drive users way in droves.


 9:19 pm on Jan 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi ssgumby,

I'm trying to setup FB & Twitter to work in sync; I think I have it working properly now but one quick question.

When you post to your FB website page; does your name from your personal account show up on the post to the FB page? And does your FB website page post also show up under your personal account FB profile wall?

Thank you,



 10:37 pm on Jan 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have a small business site and attracted 2 partnerships during my first 90 days. I have 2000 followers so far. I think that if you want to sell other peoples products on your on site, Twitter is good for finding similar products.


 10:48 pm on Jan 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

There are a few free services out there which will automatically push out status updates to Twitter, Facebook, etc.

One cool tactic to use is to take up actual blogging, then use one of the services to tap into your blog's RSS feed to send status updates with links back to each blog post. In that way, you can focus on the quality blogging and automate promotion of each posting.

Another tip: LinkedIn has just added a field to allow you to disclose your personal Twitter URLs - if you have many employees, ask each to set up LinkedIn accounts, including mentions of your business with your company's URL and Twitter URL!


 1:25 am on Jan 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi Silvery,

What are some of the free services that will automatically push out status updates to Twitter, Facebook, etc?

Thank you,



 2:06 am on Jan 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

There's some indication that Twitter traffic is now in decline
Really, where did you hear that?

look up a research that says that only 10% of their visitors post more than once.... i.e. the rest are probably fake profiles, bots and lots of chinese :)


 5:19 am on Jan 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

@Aleks - That just tells you about usage and retention rates. You can't conclude from that that traffic is down. I'd guess most social media sites experience situations where most users churn, yet they grow.


 6:59 am on Jan 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

Quite a bit to be found in G under "twitter traffic decline"


 7:22 am on Jan 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

Here are my recommendations;
1. Tweet Deck
2. Hummingbird
3. Hoot Suite
4. Twitter Karma
5. Tweecious


 1:38 pm on Jan 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm using cloud profile (CP). CP allows automatic posts via email so if you can program a little you can do informational posts sent out on a periodic basis with no work other than initial setup.

CP forwards posts to Twitter & Facebook. Also, LinkedIn supposedly reads and re-posts twitter posts but I haven't been able to get it to work so far.


 2:02 pm on Jan 8, 2010 (gmt 0)


No, when I am logged into my personal FB account and I go to my business FB account somehow my personal id is tied to the company account. When I post under the company FB account it shows as coming from the company with the company icon and all.

I guess lets make sure we are talking apples to apples. When I say "post to FB" I mean posting a status update.


 4:47 pm on Jan 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

> Twitter decline.

Far from true IMHO. Normal for a new tool to go through a honeymoon phase while people figure out how to use it and profit from it. Twitter isn't going away nor going to decline into oblivion. Google sees value in Twitter enough to amend their services to include it (search results and their search appliances). Businesses are using it for profitable gain.

The problem most businesses I've spoken with have is they're old-school and want a recipe handed to them on how to use Twitter. I tell them that's like me handing them a script of how to talk when they arrive at a party at their friend's house. It won't work. Twitter relies on the user's ability to be social, to put themselves out there and engage people. This isn't a web application with constructs and rules - it's a social interface tool.

From what I've seen, it's most definitely a useful tool for generating sales in many market spaces.


 5:23 pm on Jan 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have just started experimenting with Twitter and Facebook and would have to say Facebook looks the most promising so far.

I have not promoted or even told anyone about my twitter or facebook pages yet.

I have been tweeting events from my site for a couple of months and have about 100 followers. However I would guess at least 50% of my followers are bots or people with no real interest in my site. The tweets are automated and pretty dull (I wouldn't follow them myself !) so I am suprised anyone actually follows me.

On Facebook I set up a fan page for my site a couple of months ago, mainly to stop anyone else using my brand name for themselves. I didn't post anything on it at all. A couple of weeks ago I had a look at the page and was staggered to see I had 225 fans. All these people also look like they would be genuinely interested in my site.

What I didn't (and still don't) understand is why would a page that merely contains a link to my website have any fans at all.

I thought I had better give my "fans" some info so I started updating my status with a few events from my site (slightly more interesting stuff than my tweets). A few people then posted on the FB page to ask why was I telling them this information. My first thoughts were why are you a fan of my site if you are not interested in the information in it ?

I am now posting some of the more interesting posts from my forum together with a link and have had at least one person say it was a good idea !

In the past week a batch of 25 new fans subscribed and it looks like they have all come from the same source as they have similar profiles.

I will be tracking my referals from Twitter & Facebook to see if it is worth continuing with the experiment. I don't have a lot of time to spare so I need to try and workout how to make my updates as interesting as possible in the most automated way possible.


 5:30 pm on Jan 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

lorax -

"they're old-school and want a recipe handed to them on how to use Twitter"


"Twitter relies on the user's ability to be social"

I think you nailed it .... most all complainers about social media are old school in my opinion. They feel the need to hang their hat on phyical mailings, emails and print ads. Your other point is critical as well, one cannot and will not succeed doing social media if they themselves are not socail ... it takes someone with the gift of gab (ie a salesman) to really get people to interact.


 9:39 pm on Jan 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

olimits7 - Twitterfeed and Ping.fm are a couple.


 11:01 pm on Jan 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

It depends on the business environment and skills applied by the business to solicit sales. But I have seen some great success stories and this can only expand.

Business' that are social mediums in themselves [ bricks and mortar ] have done very well. One B & M business I'm familiar , connected to events , has over 100 persons twittering into their network , many of them permanently assigned. Sales have been astonishing.


 3:16 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

>> i.e. the rest are probably fake profiles, bots and lots of chinese

How you use Twitter will determine who/what you will attract to you. If you're randomly following people and posting useless tweets about your drinking binge then don't be surprised if you attract similarly minded Twitter users. If you blindly follow all of those that follow you without vetting them, then you're likely to open yourself up to bots, spammers, and other miscreants trawling for suckers.

I personally think it's a fascinating study in human dynamics with technology. The Internet is anonymous and for years we've been able to create the illusion of anything we want our visitors to believe we might be. E.g. a one man shop acting like a fortune 500 business. Some people will fall for it. Twitter actually allows your personality and transparency to show. People can gauge you. If you pretend to be something or someone you're not, you're likely to be found out. Example: Guy Kawasaki's - many tweets written by others but posted via his Twitter account. There was no indication they were coming from anyone other than him. And when it was found out - there was a lot of discussion about how misleading it was. I think he lost credibility over it as well - if only for a few months. For me... it's all part of the learning curve with this tool.

So to put this back on topic. If you're genuine and actually engage your market space on Twitter you can win their attention. Use viral marketing like online puzzles and contests that require users visiting your website to learn more about you and the winner gets some nominal prize. Give out discount or other special codes only available via Twitter and see how many are redeemed to help measure the effectiveness of the tool in your market space.

If you don't feel you can be so bold on Twitter, hire an intern to post interesting news for your market space on your Twitter account. Encourage their personality. Define the boundaries but give enough slack to let their personality show. Be transparent with your account profile - e.g. don't repeat Guy's mistake.

Occasionally mentioning your products or services is ok but it's not what people really pay attention to. If you pitch, make it really soft and infrequent and high value to the consumer. Otherwise, talk with your market space about things that are of value to them and win credibility with them. They'll seek you out if they think you have something of value for them.

Planning helps immensely in using Twitter for ecommerce. Think beyond Twitter and include one or two other social media tools to work in concert. Strategic planning of this sort can yield high value results and conversions. The trick is understanding the social rules and how to develop "soft" sales funnels.


 4:11 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)


I've seen some twitter product feeds that post from API; has anyone setup their website to post to Twitter through API?

I'm not to familiar to how the Twitter API works; what would be the process to create a product feed and posting it to Twitter through API?

Thank you,



 6:56 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

I would certainly recommend Twitter as part of the marketing mix. Many online stores will adapt social media in 2010. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have a "follow us on Twitter" icon on your site


 8:20 pm on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

Here's the thing people need to understand about social media that's commonly overlooked - for the most part, you will not get "new business" from social media. There are companies out there charging for this sort of thing now (maintaining social media sites), and generally they aren't worth the cash.

Social media isn't effective for building an audience, it's strength is in keeping yourself in the face of an audience you've already built through traditional advertising. In other words, making facebook and twitter profiles won't start bringing people who have never heard of you to your site, but they're a great way of bringing people BACK who already have.


 2:57 am on Jan 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

olimits, back to your question about your personal name showing in your business fb page when you post. Did you make yourself and "admin" on your company FB page? I asked our person and she said thats what needs done. To do this, simply click to see "all friends" and then find your personal name and click the "make admin" check box.


 2:11 pm on Jan 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

>> it's strength is in keeping yourself in the face of an audience you've already built

My experience is different. I have acquired new clients from using SM - both directly and indirectly. Directly in that someone I don't know contacts me because of something they saw me post. Indirectly in that someone suggested me to the potential client.

I know this scenario has happened for ecommerce customers of my clients as well. New customer sees a helpful tweet about a product and notices the Tweeter's username is likely a store name. Checks them out and buys.

While I haven't run numbers to see how often this happens I have seen click paths in the stats from Twitter to Thank you page suggesting it does happen. And we know it's a new client. Research on date/time of the order helps us determine which order it was and then can see who placed the order. Some are repeats others are new. It would be interesting to do a full research project on this to see what the numbers actually are.

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