Social media is one of the most cost effective ways that an online merchant can attract new customers and build relationships with existing ones.
In social media, the aim is to become generally interested in your customers, including what they do and how they feel about the world. That understanding comes from participating in an ongoing conversation. You listen to your customers, share ideas or interesting things with them, and listen for feedback. Done successfully, social media marketing facilitates a level of engagement not really possible in outbound marketing.
Put another way, “social media is a great equalizer: big brands can be outsmarted without making huge investments, and small brands can make big names for themselves,” explained Dan Zarrella in The Social Media Marketing Book.
Done well, your social-media marketing plan will start with a store blog and extend to profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Digg, and other community-focused sites and networks.
So, why am I yammering about social media? Each week, I do my best to introduce you to a product or service that I believe will help you improve your ecommerce business. I give that product or service a rating from one to five stars, with five being nothing short of amazing. I call this endeavor “The PEC Review.”
This week, I want to introduce you to TwitterBar, a simple Firefox add-on. I’ve awarded it four stars for being a very easy way to post tweets to your store’s Twitter account.
Tweet in The Awesome Bar
In Mozilla Firefox, the address bar is called an “Awesome Bar” because it can be used for things other than just typing in a web address. For example, I always use the Awesome Bar to search–just type in the query and your search engine of choice runs that query for you.
With TwitterBar, the Awesome Bar is even more awesome. Just type anything you want into the Awesome Bar, like “Practical eCommerce is the best online journal I’ve ever read.” Append “–post” and hit the enter key on your keyboard, and the Awesome Bar contents will be posted on your Twitter account verbatim.
If you want to let your followers know about a forthcoming sale, just type it in the Awesome Bar. If, like many merchants, you access your store’s backend and other operations software in a browser (meaning you’re on the Internet all day), being able to tweet from the Awesome Bar is exceptional.
Post Any Page to Your Twitter Account
TwitterBar will also capture any page you’re looking at and post it to your Twitter account with a shortened URL. Just click the blue bird at the right hand edge of the Awesome Bar. It could not be easier.
You will want to make a minor adjustment to the add-on’s options. By default, TwitterBar will post the shortened URL of the page you want to capture and the phrase “Currently browsing,” which is not very helpful. Instead, replace “Currently browsing” with “$$” in the options to get the page title.
Support More Than One User Account
TwitterBar will also support more than one user account. So, you can use it for your store’s Twitter account and for your personal account.
TwitterBar is free, although the add-on’s developer, Christopher Finke, requests a $5 donation when you download the tool.
TwitterBar is a simple-to-install and simple-to-use add-on that can be a big boost to your social media marketing. For these reasons, I have awarded TwitterBar four stars in this “The PeC Review.”