This is a simple how-to:
1. First. Relax and clear your mind of what you think Twitter is.
2. While in your relaxed, open-state-of-mind, think of Twitter solely as a way you can broadcast text message alerts to customers when you have a sale.
3. Set up a Twitter account with a name that’s modeled on other companies that I’m borrowing this idea from, say: DellOutlet, the Twitter account Dell uses to do what I’m suggesting
4. Promote to your customers that you now offer special “text-message sales alerts” they can only get by signing up for the alerts at that Twitter account web address.
5. About once a week, post an incredible (and I mean something they’ll brag to their friends about) savings on some item
Will it work? Here’s a quote from a recent article on InternetNews.com that mentions how Dell uses Twitter:
Twitter has produced $1 million in revenue over the past year and a half through sale alerts. People who sign up to follow Dell on Twitter receive messages when discounted products are available the company’s Home Outlet Store.
Because I’m trying to keep this how-to post simple, I won’t even tell you about how customers can subscribe to your Twittered sales alerts lots of other ways like, say, via RSS. For now, just think of it as a way to send out a text-message blast to customers who really love to come to your store or website when they know they can purchase something on sale. (Sorry, this only works in countries where Twitter is available via text-message or SMS, as the techies call it.)
Sidenote: I discourage individuals who use Twitter as a personal forum for sharing random thoughts with friends about what they’re doing each moment of the day from trying to “monetize” it by participating in any of the schemes that are emerging that will pay them to insert an ad in their Twitter stream. However, when you say to customers, start following this specific username for the stated purpose of receiving alerts when there are real deals, that’s the opposite of spam. I guess that’s something we should call Twitter Bacn. Note to self: explain bacn in a 2009 post.
[Also posted on RexBlog.com]
(Hat tip: VentureBeat.com.)