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Sat Apr 25 2009 15:01:06

Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes

By: Ina Steiner

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Marketing evangelist Guy Kawasaki has called the Twitter phenomenon the Democratization of Power - "No matter who you are, you get 140 characters." Worldwide visitors to Twitter approached 10 million in February, up over 700% vs. a year ago, ComScore reported, calling it an explosion in traffic. In March, the number of visitors to Twitter.com jumped 131% to 9.3 million visitors. Oprah is now tweeting, making it even more mainstream.

Unlike many other social networking sites, Twitter is not driven by younger users: ComScore said 45-54 year olds are 36 percent more likely than average to visit Twitter, making them the highest indexing age group, followed by 25-34 year olds, who are 30 percent more likely.

AuctionBytes wants to know how eBay sellers and online merchants are using social marketing sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and blogs to drive traffic and boost online sales and will be giving away a signed copy of Guy Kawasaki's book, "Reality Check," to one reader.

Send 300-400 words on how you are using sites like Twitter to ina@auctionbytes.com - be specific and include links. (Please include Twitter in the subject line.) We'll publish our favorite entry in the next issue of the AuctionBytes Update newsletter reprint other notable submissions in the AuctionBytes Blog.

And be sure and follow AuctionBytes on Twitter - http://twitter.com/AuctionBytes





Comments (20) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes   Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes

by: Jim S.

Sat Apr 25 15:38:57 2009

Maybe I'm in another world but I think Twitter tweets are annoying and the biggest waste of time yet. Who cares what someone is doing at 12:01pm? I put it right up there with people constantly yakking on their cell phones in public places.

Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes   Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes

by: Patrick Alexander

Sat Apr 25 16:30:46 2009

Amen, Jim.

And Dear God: Please - no one tell me when Oprah goes to the pot.....

:0)

Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes   Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes

by: Jane

Sat Apr 25 19:01:29 2009

I find nothing of use, or of interest in Twitter. It seems like an absolute waste of time. Do I really care what anyone is doing at any point in time, in 140 character so or less? No, I don't think so.

Have you seen WALL-E? Remember the big fat people on the boat hovering around on their beds talking to others via the video link? No face-to-face interaction.

'nuff said.

Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes   Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Sat Apr 25 19:06:11 2009

Twitter is dumb.

It's like a blog for lazy people...both the readers and the writers.

That said, I use Twitter on two of our ecommerce sites to announce sales, special events etc.

Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes   Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes

by: clueless

Sat Apr 25 19:43:32 2009

Maybe I'm an idiot but I just do not get twitter. I have signed up for twitter. I still don't get it. What am I missing? I have a couple people I'm watching. But I still have no clue. Cannot see what all the fuss is about.

Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes   Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes

by: whats the use

Sat Apr 25 19:50:29 2009

Twitter is for the people who have their cell phone implanted in there ears.

Why would one waste their time?????

Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes   Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sat Apr 25 21:21:32 2009

IMO, Twitter exists primarily to promote the sales of 3G mobiles and expensive 3G net minutes.

It's another new tool for the growing hive mentality in this country.

Whether it or any of the other social networking sites like Facebook will actually produce significant member e-commerce sales remains to be seen.

Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes   Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes

by: o.c.d.collectibles

Sun Apr 26 07:48:05 2009

I'd have to disagree. I've met many fine people on twitter, and it's nice to see they have lives just like my own, busy and  complex with many interests and activities. When people are interesting to follow, and if you, yourself, are an interesting person, there are so many little factoids and links you can learn about!

There is one person who is maybe 10 minutes away from where I live, who was a soldier in Iraq. He is knowledgeable about computers, and he also provides a very nice concise feed about the local weather and traffic conditions nearby. That's a nice little feed, especially if their is a quick change in weather, or a storm coming into our area..he's also made some interesting suggstions and helped me identify a signature on the bottom of a glass vase!LOL!

I've met sellers from many different venues there, and have visited all their links and stores, heard about the trials and tribulations of selling in different places..

had the news from the earthquakes feed directly from folks who were experiencing it at the moment it hit them!

Finally got to meet some of the quiet people from GoAntiques, an well as some of the noisier ones! Have been able to share photos instantly with twitpics with some of these sellers to get some advice, and some pricing ideas..

Even better! I started following the people who create the show "Clean House" and posted dozens of photos for their agents to look at for submission to be on that show. (one can dream right?LOL)

Well, because I'm a Nurse, I can follow health care workers, other Nurses in different countries, and health care in general, the local area health care, the Docs, Nutritionists, veterinarians, and any professional that has some good information for any future problem solving!

The people who have cell phones planted in their ears are a whole different variety of people. Those folks are just too important. They have to answer their  phone calls immediately because their calls are way too important to miss!LOL!

Oh, and I get to hear the latest news about ebay from all the ebay bloggers who are right on top of that stuff!LMAO!

Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes   Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Sun Apr 26 09:21:18 2009

I think it's funny that ebay follows everyone who follows Ina's tweets.  There are a lot of people who read Ina's site that don't sell on eBay or even like eBay and a lot who have moved elsewhere to sell.  It's nice of eBay to give all of these sellers a bit of a boost in search rank by following them.

Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes   Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes

by: james

Sun Apr 26 11:18:11 2009

I don't see what effect Twitter is going to have on people's online businesses.....especially Ebay. If anything, Ebay should have a Twitter because they change their damn moronic policies every other day.

Twitter is pretty typical of what has happened in this country in the last few years.....it's just another way for people to be in other peoples' business. I personally don't want to broadcast every little thing I do nor do I think most people care what I am doing every 20 minutes.

Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes   Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes

by: Your_tweets_are_so_boring

Sun Apr 26 16:50:17 2009

For those of you who tweet:

We are not interested in what you eat, what TV shows you watch, what the weather is like where you live, how your local sports team did, or that you are getting ready to go to work.

Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes   Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes

by: fish noir foul

Mon Apr 27 07:57:24 2009

Put me in the camp that doesn't get it.

After hearing the constant TWITTER buzz I checked out their web page & read all the hyperbole & I still don't get it.

I'm not knocking it. If great numbers of people are using it I suppose there must be a good reason for them to do so but I can't figure what that reason is.

I'm sure Guy is capitalizing on a trend to great advantage but that is more a reflection of his personality than it is a reflection of any intrinsic Twitter marketing value.

Being the type of person I am I can't bring myself to bug former customers with email solicitations even though I have thousands of buyer addys at my disposal.

I'm sure I'd sell more stuff if I did use them but I'm also sure that for every sale I made I'd annoy fifty other people that get too much junk email already.

If I changed my thinking I could make myself believe I'm doing the World a favor by pestering people, I suppose, but that's not me.

And that's why no one has to fear getting a Tweet from me about my last bowel movement either.


   

Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes   Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes

by: Kristoffer

Mon Apr 27 10:08:41 2009

I don't get the whole Twitter thing either. I think people just sign up and do this kinda crap to fit in with everyone else.

Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes   Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes

by: Joyful

Mon Apr 27 10:18:00 2009

Thanks, OCD, for your description of your usage.

I don't "get it" myself, with already too many "virtual" people to keep up with on my Yahoo lists, LinkedIn, etc., but I'm a freelancer, and a fellow freelancer on one of my e-lists advises joining Twitter and setting up a feed for key terms, and then responding when the key term is someone looking to have done the kind of work she does.

I'm going to do that the next time I'm short of enough work to do, which thankfully isn't now.

I'd imagine that the next time I'm listing items for sale, I'll do a key word feed on anything distinctive; I wonder whether people tweet that they're looking to buy such-and-such, the way my friend says people tweet that they're looking to hire someone for a project. I'll find out!

Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes   Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes

by: Michelle

Mon Apr 27 10:22:37 2009

After disliking Twitter for about a year, I've turned around 180 degrees and  I'm now totally hooked.

Many people resist Twitter until they really try it for a good day or two.  Shoemoney changed his mind on Twitter and now uses it to drive traffic to his blog.
 
I feel connected to interesting folks like Ina, Guy Kawasaki and I Can Has Cheezburger and MailChimp.  http://twitter.com/ICHCheezburger

It's the next big platform for developers.

Michelle

Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes   Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes

by: Peter Leeflang / LEEFLANG ARCHIVES CORP.

Mon Apr 27 13:37:22 2009

Twitter (and any other social networking tool) is a waste of resources for sellers.


Such (micro-)publishing is terribly time-consuming and has a low return on investment.

True web site and email marketing has a much greater return on investment.

What is relevant for sellers in the 'social networking' arena is that SN is a phase towards a development that will eventually become of interest to sellers, being the new trend towards combining Entertainment with E-Commerce, like Swoopo already does, where buyers 'pay' to be able to bid on auctions.

What sellers will eventually discover is that adding 'Buyer Entertainment' to one's site, will convert in higher value so higher revenues. The SN sites are just a first form of 'rudimentary entertainment' for buyers. Game and gamble sites already prove that buyers consider entertainment 'added value', and we'll see more of that. Also look at how a B+M store chain like Jordan's Furniture already figured out this Entertainment/Commerce combination.

For the moment though, as a seller, I'm just monitoring SN tools and I'll jump in when they become a true tool to entertain my customers and sell my products and serices at the same time, the coming Play&Buy era.

Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes   Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes

by: Windsor Bear

Mon Apr 27 13:37:41 2009

I guess the next step is to have tiny wireless webcams and microphones embedded in our foreheads so that everyone can see and hear what we are doing at any given moment of the day.  George Orwell's "1984" seems to be more of a "reality" story now instead of fiction.  Or perhaps the Borg from "Star Trek TNG" were right... resistance is futile... we have been assimilated.

Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes   Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes

by: richard

Mon Apr 27 17:04:05 2009

I wonder if people can just upload a brief description of their collectibles with a link to the ebay page -- would that work at bringing more traffic ? I dont have a special market, I just sell whatever I can find at cheap prices.

I do run a daily search under  a specific keyword for an activity that interests me, so maybe some other twitterers do the same and they would find my auctions faster that way, rather than using eBay WorstMatch.

Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes   Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes

by: out-of-the-attic-2u

Mon Apr 27 21:01:47 2009

I also find twitter annoying, but you just never know who is looking and if they check out your site, you just might have a buyer, if not you have nothing to lose. I tweet maybe once a day, or a few times a week, depending on how I feel. I only promote one of my stores at a time. I don't spend my time tweeting if I did I wouldn't be able to take care of business.
barbara

Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes   Online Merchants Take Note: Twitter Traffic Explodes

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue Apr 28 17:46:26 2009

@ Randy Smythe

Thank you for quoting me in your blog today (4-28-2009).

Your point that Twitter is what you make of it is well taken, but I notice you didn't present any concrete examples of how Twitter is helping sell for you.

The amount of time a seller invests in these social websites must produce tangible results in order to make the time spent profitable, and the jury is still out.

Finally, you presume that I don't use Twitter which is incorrect. But I have to see any benefit so I remain healthily skeptical at this point in time.

I stand by the other two points I made.

It's impossible to drive one block without seeing at least a dozen people with mobiles glued to their ear, and IMO obsessive texting and these social networking sites have become bottomless money pits for mobile providers.

So I'm not the Luddite you imply -- let's see in a year what sales results can be attributed to the Twitters of the world.



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