If you’re not using Twitter to help market and promote interest in your online auction web site, it’s time to start. Yes, as in today. If you’re thinking I don’t Tweet, want to Tweet, have time to Tweet or even know what a Tweet is – don’t Tweet it. I mean “don’t sweat it”. The Twitter concept is simple and used by millions. Share content important to you and useful to others (in 140 characters or less of course), and those interested in what you have to say can “follow” you to stay informed and/or pass that information on to their followers by “retweeting”. And you can do the same.
Twitter and Your Auction Software
If you’re not convinced you should be tweeting about your online auction, and you should be, you can still benefit from Twitter without doing anything. All AuctionAnything.com auction software packages come set-up to leverage the power of Twitter. Visitors using Twitter can click the “Tweet” button on any item page (i.e. bid form) and quickly share with their followers. The item title and associated page link are automatically added to the Tweet so people can easily spread the word when they see something they like or think their followers may like. Just think, donors for your online fundraiser, consignors selling on your commercial liquidation auction, or anyone just interested in sharing can help gain exposure for your online auction – instantly.
Add a Hashtag
Want to see who’s talking about your auction items? A convenient way to “categorize” Tweets generated by different people is to add a Hashtag to your auction’s Twitter settings. Well, what’s a Hashtag you ask? As described on Hashtags.org, a Hashtag is used “to create a thread of conversations around a specific theme or topic”. In the example above, the Hashtag #MyAuctTag appears in the Tweet automatically. So without even having a Twitter account you can search Twitter to see when there are Tweets containing your designated Hashtag. To learn more about selecting a good Hashtag, check out How to Start a Twitter Hashtag.
Come to Mention It You Need Followers
Now it’s time to take the next step. You’ve already read about how your online auction bidding software can benefit from Twitter without your direct participation. However, it’s important you have a Twitter account and take an active part in marketing your online auction. If you don’t have one yet, take a few minutes and set-up a Twitter account. Don’t wait – just do it right now and get it over with! Make sure to select a Username which best represents your organization and add your logo too.
Once you have an account, enter your Twitter username in the auction system under the Marketing Center. Your Twitter “handle” will automatically be added to Tweets from the bid form (see @AuctionAnything in the screenshot) along with any Hashtag you’ve supplied. In Twitterville, reference to your Username in a Tweet is known as a “mention” and they’ll help get you noticed. You can also track mentions under the @Connect section of Twitter.com.
With your Twitter Username enabled, the auction site offers yet another useful option. The “Follow” button will now show up under the main navigational menu. You can set this button to show on just the home page or all pages, and even display the number of Followers you have if desired. Your site visitors are now just a click away from following you on Twitter. However, it’s up to you to make it worthwhile for them to tag along. So make sure to Tweet and join in on the conversation.
Tweet Tips To sTart
Now that you’ve set-up a Twitter account, entered your Twitter information in the auction system and conquered your fear of tweeting here are a few ideas to get you started.
First, you’ll want to make sure your auction members know you’ll be using Twitter. If you send out a marketing e-mail ask them to follow you. You can even offer an incentive. For instance, pick one of your followers and provide free shipping with their first order, or provide a discount. Twitter-only offers can be very effective.
Next, be consistent when Tweeting. Establish a realistic schedule which keeps your followers informed about what’s going on with your auction without being too overbearing. Remember, quality is better than quantity and users like consistency. For example, make sure to announce the following highlights if you run an event-based auction or periodic sales.
- Early Registration Promotion
- Auction Opening Date/Time
- Deal of the Day (i.e. item starting and closing the same day)
- Special Offers (e.g. a limited number of tickets for an event)
- Unique or High Profile Items
- Auction Closing Date/Time
- Pick-up and Pay Schedule and Instructions
Stay connected by not only pushing out information, but asking and answering questions. Don’t be afraid to interact and converse with your followers and show them you’re about more than just marketing your company or promoting your event. Tweet about interesting stories, or resources, you come across in your industry. Or, pull your donors into the conversation when discussing your fundraising event.
Lastly, jump in with both feet and fear not. Although social media can be somewhat intimidating you need to start somewhere. When it comes time to market your business, or auction fundraiser, don’t be fearful of saying the wrong thing. Just be yourself.
Until We Tweet Again
Make today the day you embrace Twitter as part of your online auction marketing strategy. It’s one of the easiest, and most fun ways to communicate and stay engaged with your customers. Maybe best of all, it’s only 140 characters at a time. So, go forth and Tweet up your auction business and be patient while you build a following. “Good things take time”, and building your brand using Twitter can be a good thing.
Don’t Forget to Follow AuctionAnything!
We invite you to follow us on Twitter @AuctionAnything. We’ll keep you abreast of important news by Tweeting when we post to our blog (www.AuctionAnything.com/blog), upload a new, “how to” video or just want to share some good information.