Monday, December 7, 2009

They're Watching Them, Watching Me on Twitter

Let's call this an accidental case study, shall we?

So here I am, on a Thursday morning in early Nov, Twittering and briefly chatt'n it up with folks on Twitter when I see one of them RT a message from Ace Hardware.  RT's are re-tweets, meaning they posted up again a comment they saw and it goes out to their own follwers list... great for word of mouth advertising. Ace Hardward's Twitter address is @AceHardware.  Personally, I love hardware stores. The HUGE one's and especially the mom and pop one's.  You never know what you'll find and probably don't need. 

The message read as such:  @AceHardware "25% OFF sack sale this Saturday at participating stores!" 

So I sent Ace this @AlexisCeule "@AceHardware    Sounds great!  How do I know which stores are participating?"  and honestly I wasn't really sure which stores near me were Ace Hardware's.

5 Minutes later, at 8:46AM, @AceHarware replies, "@AlexisCeule Thanks for reaching out!  Our Westlake and Ranchmart stores are participating in your area. Do these work for you?"
Wha?  Awesome!!!!  In that short time they figured out from my rather vague profile that I'm  near Corinth's Westlake Hardware and the one at Ranchmart about 3 miles away!  Brilliant and I greatly appreciate the personal touch and quick response.  That alone earns them my business.

A few minutes later, I send "@AceHardware   Fantastic!  Thank you for the speedy response too. I hope to get to one of them on Saturday."

I get another response from @AceHardware that says "@AlexisCeule sure thing! Glad we could help.  Let us know what you stuff your bag with."

A short time later, I get this tweet from @NutsandBoltsTV which has a store half a  mile from me.  "@AlexisCeule At Nuts and Bolts True Value, 95th n Nall,  this Satruday, you can get 20% off your ENTIRE purchase, you don't even need a bag."

Whoa!!!!!!!  Hold on!  I was literally giddy to have Ace and True Value duke'n it out for my business for a short little blip in time.  A cage match for the mom in Overland Park, Kansas!   Awesome!   And clearly, they are watching eachother and who they are talking to, because they have the same demographics for the most part.   I love that they made the effort to connect with me, because both of them did.   Of course I in turn RT'd @Nutsand Bolts offer because it was good too and my local KC followers would appreciate knowing that information.  

See...?  Do you get it, those of you with a business?  This is doing business on Twitter.  This is marketing, branding , promotions, public relations, customer services... all on Twitter.   Over the course of the month, I have told dozens of people this story. I was actually impressed.

@AceHardware  as of today has 1,867 followers and this location is out of Illinois.  I don't know if this is their HQ, but they are proudly helping out all Ace Hardware stores nationwide!  They are engaging with customers on most tweets and posting specials frequently.  They are moving forward nicely!

@NutsandBoltsTV is up to 85 followers for this particular store down the street from me. Sadly, they haven't tweeted since Nov. 25th.  WHY?   If you go to that Twitter page I am apparently the only person they engaged in conversation with from Aug. 21st to Nov. 25th.  The other tweets were very informative and biz like, but you can't just keep posting info on a wall to no one.  I told one client recently "It's like posting a party invite down a hall where no one goes".  You have to meet people!  What ever possessed the person tweeting for them that day to engage with me is exactly what they need to be doing EVERY day.  They can just as easily find other Kansas City based businesses looking for the same demographics and follow their followers and engage with them.   To me... this is a BLAST!  This is FUN!  This is SELLING DAGNABIT! (shaking my fist in the air!)  and it's easier than EVER!

What do you think about all this?


Connie said...

I think this is a great observation, Alexis, as an Internet Socialite. But as a suburban mom, it's also a lot of fun! When retailers speak DIRECTLY TO YOU, it's hard not to listen! Just makes you WANT to spend your money with them and possibly forgo spending it at Wal-mart. As a business person who also markets via facebook and twitter, your reminder to speak WITH people instead of TO them is right on!

Alexis Faulkner Ceule said...

Thanks Connie! I also love that they saw the "buying signal"... me asking where I could partake. They could have easily been too busy to reply. Thanks for the comments. :>)