Monday, June 29, 2009

Note to eBay Sellers Re: Twitter

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase

Lately I've been seeing newsletters from several eBay 'gurus' suggesting that Twitter is a great place for eBay sellers to increase their sales and profits.

The primary premise is that 'tweets' show up well in google searches, so if you 'tweet' your listing, it'll have good placement in search results.

The second premise is that your eBay listings will be of interest to your followers.

The third premise is that you can use various 'systems' to increase your number of Twitter followers.

I beg to differ.

Each of these premises has a particle of truth. Yes - tweets show up well in google search results, yes - some of your followers may be interested in your listings and yes - there are systems that can increase your followers.

But these are not the most effective or best ways to use Twitter. Here's why: Twitter is a social networking site and social networking is about developing relationships NOT selling. Yes - it's that simple.

Quality, not quantity. Followers are not meant to be collected as if you're in a popularity contest. What does it matter if you have thousands of followers who are not interested in what you tweet?

Relationships are nurtured through the quality of your posts. A constant stream of tweets that consist mostly of your listings will be ignored. People want to connect with you because you provide something of value. With social networking, it's important to 'give' before you 'get.'

This doesn't mean you can't put your listings on Twitter. It's all in how you go about it.

First and foremost, establish a relationship with your followers.

You've probably heard the analogy of Twitter being like a cocktail party. At a cocktail party you don't show up, pass out your business cards and start selling to everyone there. Instead, you start a conversation, have a dialogue and develop a relationship before you promote yourself.

The same is true on Twitter. Without developing a relationship, your followers will see your self-promotion as 'anti-social' behavior.

Using Twitter only for listing your eBay items is NOT a viable, long-term strategy for success.

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  1. EXCELLENT, Marlene, want to write the preface to my Twitter eBook?

  2. Well said, but consider the source, the guru who disabled comments on his blog because he didn't have time to mess with moderation. This is someone who does not grasp the concept of two way communication as opposed to broadcasting.

    Too bad.

  3. What a lovely lady you are. You found a nice way to say..."What a complete idot" without ever having to say those words.

    This move by some to get links from Google to a eBay ad is so stupid, I am really at a loss for words. But you found the right mix or adjectives, nouns and verbs and wrote a fantastic post...bravo.

    Don't miss the show on Wednesday ( when I actually do call "the nameless" an idot by name, LMAO

  4. Hey John -
    Thanks for the kudos!

    I encourage everyone to tune in to John's show on Wed at 1:14pm EDT -

  5. Excellent post Marlene and much more diplomatic than I would have been.


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