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5 Ways Retailers Are Missing the Boat on Twitter

5 Ways Retailers Are Missing the Boat on Twitter

Do you sometimes feel that your retail store is falling behind in today’s social media environment? If so, you’re not alone. It has grown increasingly important to be vigilant with your social media marketing on Twitter and other platforms.

While most retailers now have an account on Twitter, many are missing out on the benefits of using the social network to its fullest. Luckily, we’re here to help retailers put Twitter into their 2016 marketing mix.

5 Ways Retailers Can Get More Out of Twitter

  1. Great Listening Opportunity

Like most social platforms, it is vital to listen on Twitter. Don’t treat the social network as another broadcasting platform where you can send customers offer after offer.

You gain far more by hearing what your clients have to say about your business, products, industry, employees, customer service and pricing.

Take family-owned Hampton Coffee Company in The Hamptons, New York. Co-Owner Jason Belkin is on their company’s Twitter account (@HamptonCoffee) virtually every day listening to clients who mention the coffee house and answering their questions. He also thanks those who visited Hamptons Coffee Company.

Jason consistently has customers come into the coffee shop and tell him “I was the one tweeting with you yesterday.”

  1. Find Your Voice

With more than 500 million tweets sent out daily it can be a challenge to find your voice on Twitter. That’s why you must be unique. Otherwise, you will get lost in the shuffle, repeating the same information as everyone else does about your business.

By creating original, inventive content about your business you provide an incentive for people to follow your Twitter account. Verizon does a good job of this. Their unique ability to create relevant images, GIF, and videos related to the content they sell helps them retain more users because they target their tweets to what is relevant at the time.

  1. New Buy Button

Earlier this year, Twitter expanded their “buy now” button to all US retailers interested in selling products directly from the social network. The new buy button makes it easy for retailers to sell products directly on the social network.

Note: The button only works when integrated with a number of ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Bigcommerce and Demandware. You can also connect the buy button to a Stripe API for easy customer payments.


  1. Twitter Ads

A few years ago, Twitter ads were barely registering with companies. Now, marketers are starting to use them as a serious alternative to Facebook and Google ads.

While advertisers spent 127 percent more on Facebook than Twitter, the smaller social network delivered a higher click-through-rate (CTR) for companies. The cost is still higher on Twitter, but with a higher click-through-rate it is worth the cost.

Furthermore, Twitter embeds these ads in their stream seamlessly. That makes it easy for any company to get clicks from Twitter without looking like they are advertising all over the place.

  1. Customer Service

Finally, let’s talk about customer service on Twitter. Numerous companies use the social network as a customer service hub. Airlines especially find it useful to reply instantly to customers who have numerous questions about flights, delays and check-in requirements.

One retailer successfully using Twitter for customer service since 2008 is Whole Foods (@WholeFoods).

The entire Whole Foods Twitter operation is run by their online community manager, Mr. Bepko. He spends a third of his time every day answering customer questions on Twitter. He says that he spends 90 percent of this time talking to individual shoppers.

He answers questions, posts recipes, monitors mentions of Whole Foods and stays in touch with the entire Whole Foods community on Twitter.

The chain’s stores now also have their own local accounts to answer local questions, however, Mr. Bepko spearheads the entire Whole Foods community engagement campaign.


Final Thoughts

For retail businesses looking to connect with their target market, Twitter is a rich environment to create a devoted community that can grow with your retail establishment. It takes time to build that community, but it is worth the effort.

Let us know in the comments below how you plan to use Twitter more effectively to build your retail business in 2016.

Kabbage Team

Kabbage is here not only to provide access to the small business funding you need, but to also help you grow your business through free marketing tips, webinars, tools and more. Is there something you'd like us to cover or want to get your small business featured on our blog? Send us a note at