Question recently seen on Twitter from @stevekennedy:
Do you think using Twibler to post your eBay items here helps your conversion rate? Have you asked any buyers? I am just interested to see if anyone has ever made a sale because of Twibler. Thanks 4 input!
I will attempt to answer the question, (any comments from readers with different points of view are welcome in the comments section below) but...
First lets discuss what Twitter is for those who have not yet been initiated.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is first and foremost a social network
Twitter asks "What are you doing?" and provides users with a 142 character chance to inform the world about what it is they are up to?
Think of an early 1990's AOL chat room with dozens of updates per minute available to everyone in the world. Only, as a user of Twitter, one may pick and choose who's "updates" they want to follow. Conversely other users may choose to follow you, even if they do not know you.
These features make Twitter unique, simply due the fact that users can craft the experience by selecting whom they follow.
Interested in Internet marketing and the Tech world? Simply follow icons in these industries and fellow Twitter users who also follow the thought leaders. The same goes for almost any interest or industry you can think of. Transparency is all part of Twitter, not only can you follow interesting people, but you can also see who they follow and do likewise.
Its the fastest and sometimes most accurate way to get the news and collect intelligence about anything or anyone with whom your interested in.
Twitter has become a phenomenon of the Web 2.0 world and one of the most interesting major success stories of the last several years. According to stats just released from Nielsen Online, Twitter recorded 2.3 million unique visitors in August (US-only), an increase of 422% from the same period last year.
Twitter is doing something a lot of people like. Whether it is the mobility (Twitter can be used on most smart phones or simply through SMS text on a cell phone, or the customization of who can be followed and possibly networked with...
Twitter has peoples attention.
In March 2008 on the All Business Auctions Blog, I wrote about Twitter and asked if it would be used at eBay Live 2008?
Twitter at that time seemed to be an enigma to the eBay community.
Times have Changed
Twitter has been embraced by many eBay thought leaders, gurus and just plain sellers and buyers since last March. As we all know, there are many types of people in the eBay community.
Many of these people, (and this is not exclusive to eBay centric Twitter users) use Twitter to promote more than what they happen to be doing at the moment. Twitter is used for monetary reasons such as to broadcast links etc to hundreds or even thousands of people who have chosen to follow the user.
The beauty of Twitter is you can pick and choose whom to hear from. i.e. if you are sick of eBay gurus promoting the next set of DVD's guaranteeing you will make millions on eBay, it is a simple matter to stop following these individuals.
This leads me to Twibler
Twibler is an application which promotes itself as a marketing device for eBay sellers. By joining Twibler, entering information about an eBay account and a Twitter account, the seller is given a tool which will send out a message on Twitter (a.k.a. a Tweet) every time the seller lists a new item on eBay. All for FREE.
Sounds great, right? Marketing on auto-pilot...
Using social networks to market eBay listings, is this not what all of the "experts" have been telling sellers to do for some time now?
Yes - Except
- Twitter is a Social Network - This means the users (your followers) are interested in what you are doing, what you have to say - not necessarily the products your selling.
- Marketing via social networks requires finesse, no Ron Popeil Ronco style Vegematic sales gimmicks needed here - this is not the 1970's.
- There is a difference between social network marketing and simply "using" a social network for traditional marketing efforts.
- Many eBay sellers use bulk uploading tools when sending listings to eBay - This creates Twitter Spam when connected to Twibler. No Twitter users want to see a consecutive list of 10, 20, 50 or 100 Tweets from a single Twitter user utilizing Twibler to promote eBay listings.
- Spam is Spam - no matter if it is in your email inbox or your Twitter account - Do you appreciate Spam?
- Just because something is Free and Easy to use, does not make it effective or worthwhile.
- Twitter is an amazing tool to build a personal brand - Twibler can destroy that effort in one bulk upload to eBay.
- People do not follow other people simply to see the products they sell. People follow others in a social network to learn more about them, what they think, what's newsworthy, not what they list for sale on eBay today.
- In the case of a company, followers want to learn about news and events related to that company. If they want to buy a product from the company, they know how to find it.
The Twibler website claims opening a new or second account on Twitter will solve all the problems above. Please explain to me the purpose, if no one was following the new account? Unless you sell something extremely rare on eBay, I doubt any eBay seller would collect many Twitter followers with an account that simply posted eBay listings to Twitter.
In the end it is a matter of not understanding the craft of social network marketing. As a business person, one should try to understand social networks before wading in with easy to use tools like Twibler, which in the end could do more harm to your brand than good for your sales.
Twibler does not post any statistics about increases in sales due to the use of the service, and I suspect they never will. Are you really ready to bet your social marketing plan on a single untested and ill conceived RSS feed reader for eBay?