My Twitter Experiment: Getting Stores to Reply

Earlier this week, I wrote an article for entitled The 40 Online Stores You Need to Follow on Twitter. I’m pretty proud of how it came out actually, as it took me a few days to research and write. But now that it’s done, I want to take a look back and see if I achieved what I originally set out to do.

My goal in writing the article was two-fold:

1) Create unique content that would be a great resource for our readers by finding the best Twitter accounts out there for online merchants. These are the stores that went above and beyond the normal tweeting, to really be interactive with users. Believe it or not, it was actually tough to make it to 40! I didn’t want to simply list links to 40 Twitter pages either. I wanted to include a short blurb with each store, explaining why they’re so super awesome.

2) I wanted to create an article that wouldn’t just get some buzz on Twitter from our followers, but one that could ultimately get some of the 40 stores involved talking about us. And taking it a step further, if someone links off to that article on their blog or news site, even better.

So once the article was written, I had to promote it. I know just tweeting the article once wasn’t going to get hundreds of users and dozens of popular stores talking about. Far from it. So I spent the good part of Monday and Tuesday going after each store. Using Twitter’s @ mention feature, I’d call out individual stores and tell them they made it onto our list of 40 Stores to Follow. I did this slowly throughout the day, changing up the wording carefully, but also trying to space it out with other daily tweets, so as not to annoy my followers.

To my surprise, I actually got a decent number of stores to respond to @JoeShopping. Some merely retweeted with a short note, others @ replied with a big thanks, and a few @ replied and included a link to the post. To see how well my experiment worked, I thought it’d be neat to list the stores below with a note as to whether they responded and/or responded with a link to the blog post.

Simply Replied

Retweeted or Replied with a Link

I’ll keep updating the list above until I hear back from all 40 (which could take a while). Once I’ve got all the results, I’ll conclude if the experiment was a failure or a success. Personally, I’m happy with the post and know a number of our users enjoyed it, so in my book that’s already a home run.

And just for the record, I’m also ecstatic when a store simply replies, even if they don’t include a link. Yes, we have a better chance of their followers clicking through to the article if they include a link, but simply @ replying is pretty fantastic too. Not only do we have a shot at their followers coming to check out our Twitter account but (and yes this may sound cheesy), I know everyone appreciates a compliment.

As a writer, I just love when someone tells me they enjoyed something I wrote. Whether it’s a catchy headline or a funny caption I wrote, it really does mean a lot to get ANY type of response. (HINT HINT: Leave a comment below about this post and make my day!) So even just getting a short “Thanks” from a major store like Crate and Barrel feels pretty darn good! I’ll keep up this experiment for a few more days to see if I can get at least half of the 40 stores acknowledging my post.


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4 comments on “My Twitter Experiment: Getting Stores to Reply
  1. Lisa says:

    Interesting experiment, I’ve been tweeting whenever I have a question to a store. For example the other day it was GoDaddy and they responded immediately. Another time it was TJMaxx when I mentioned them in a tweet they started to follow me. There is a person behind that store 🙂 It is much quicker to get a tweet response than trying to call or even waiting for an email reply. I also with my husband have an online store and we respond asap when a customer tweets us. We have our phone set up to know when it comes across so we can respond anytime from anywhere.
    Lisa recently posted..Is Stumble Upon Still Worth Your Time?My Profile

    • Andrew says:

      Hey, Lisa! Yeah, I’ve started noticing that too. Some stores are fantastic at replying to customer service type questions via Twitter. Wayyy better than sitting for 20 minutes on the phone or waiting 3 days for an email response! Great that you and your husband provide a rare service these days: GOOD customer service. 🙂

  2. I love hearing about your experiment that you revealed how it all panned out in the end. I’ve got some other tricks up my sleeve that I use when positioning a client on Twitter to promote a campaign (like a charity push or simply establishing a presence clients new to social media). I’m almost always successful in getting the company/exec/celeb to reply and subsequently move to DM & longer forms of comm. The problem is that it’s just something I do naturally and I’ve not thought it out in a way that I can clearly articulate it in an article for others.

    Your experiment got me to thinking about how my activities could benefit others if I could just lay them out in such a way that readers could understand what I mean and implement their strategy in a similar way to see if it works.

    Great post!
    Samantha Gluck recently posted..How to Write Tweets that Get Read and RetweetedMy Profile

    • Andrew says:

      Thanks, Samantha! I would love to read a post about how your brain works! Heh. Seriously, sharing those kinds of tips would be incredibly helpful, but I can see why it’d be hard to put it down easily into a “how to” sort of post.