Social Media for Lingerie Retailers Part Two

Is Twitter Worth Your Time?

My name is Treacle and I’m the founder of The Lingerie Addict, a haven for lingerie lovers of every nation and persuasion. As a blogger, I interact constantly with the people your business needs most—customers. My column here is all about bringing you, the lingerie store owner, the perspective of us, the lingerie consumers.

Welcome to the second article in a 3 part series all about social media for lingerie retailers.  Last month, we talked about the pros and cons of blogging.  Today’s post is all about Twitter—what it’s really about, why you should use it, and a few best practices.

Twitter can best be described as a conversation in a noisy, crowded room; you’re talking, but so are a lot of other people.

For those unfamiliar, Twitter is a micro-blogging service that limits your posts (or “tweets”) to 140 characters each.  People who sign up to read your tweets are called “followers.”  When you subscribe to read other people’s tweets, you’re “following.”

Twitter can best be described as a conversation in a noisy, crowded room; you’re talking, but so are a lot of other people.  The upside is that Twitter lets you engage informally with customers, keep track of what other people are saying about you in realtime, and have your content (potentially) go viral through “retweets.”

Best Practices

  1. The first thing to do after setting up your account (and I mean do this even before you start searching for people to follow) is to use a photo of a real person as your profile pic.  I know that a lot of companies like to use their brand image, but unless you’re very famous (think CocaCola or Nike), the truth is nobody cares about your logo.  They care about connecting to other people.  For example, take a look @hankypankyjd’s Twitter. He very obviously works for Hanky Panky, but he’s also very obviously a real person and that is what attracts followers.
  2. RT and reply to content you find interesting. Everybody likes a giver, and this strategy is just a repackaging of the old “you do me a favor, and I’ll do you one” mantra.  People who you genuinely engage with are more likely to engage back, either by following you or by sharing your content with their followers.  This is the social part of social media.
  3. Organize your Twitter.  You can do this through outside programs like TweetDeck or within the system through creating “lists,” but the most important thing is to cut through some of the noise so it doesn’t overwhelm you.  For example, I follow around 2,100 people but only about 350 of them  are on my Twitter lingerie list.  That gives me a concentrated list of people to look at when I want to find the latest info in my niche.

Things to Avoid

  1. Don’t be “that person.”  You know, the one who makes every link, tweet, or retweet all about them, their product, or their store.  Remember, Twitter is a conversation, not a megaphone.  In the same way that you would be turned off in a room full of people if one person kept shouting “Look at me!  Look at me!” you’ll turn others off if the only thing you do is talk about yourself.
  2. Following too many people. Not only does it raise red flags at Twitter HQ when you have a follower/following ratio that’s way out of sync, it also makes you look bad…like you have nothing to say or that you’re not worth following.  Keep your following/follower count within a couple hundred of each other and don’t be afraid to unfollow people who aren’t a good fit.
  3. Automatic DM’s.  Chances are someone who’s made the effort to follow you already knows you have a website.  When and if they want to check it out, they will.  Sending an automatic DM saying “Visit my site!” just makes you look spammy and, in some cases, will make people unfollow you.  It’s much better to send a personalized tweet instead, something like “Hi @StockingsAddict, thanks for following!  Glad you’re here.”

Case Study

Towards the end of July, I announced via Twitter (among other places) that I was going to attend the CurveNY show and that I was interested in meeting other lingerie industry people.  The tweet had only been live for a few minutes before Layla L’obatti of Between the Sheets sent me a DM to say she’d love to meet while I was in New York along with an invitation to a private viewing at a Times Square hotel.

At the hotel, Layla took the time to show me intricate details of her new collections, and give me the history and inspiration behind her designs.  Though she had never been featured on my blog before, she’s since appeared in two articles: my overview of the CurveNY show (which went viral on StumbleUpon and was also featured in McPete Sez) as well as an indepth designer interview for my readers.  And it all happened because she used Twitter the right way.
 
Next month, we’ll talk about how to use Facebook for your lingerie business.  See you then!

Too see last month’s article on the pros and cons of blogging, please click HERE.


For more on Treacle, please visit her site at: www.thelingerieaddict.com
Treacle also offers Lingerie Business Strategy Sessions. Please visit her site HERE for details and use this code “TLJ” to receive 25 percent off your session. Discount available only thru the end of Sept 2010.

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