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Indian e‑traders recognizing the benefits of Twitter

Com­pa­nies in India that main­ly trade via the Inter­net are wak­ing up to the ben­e­fits of engag­ing with users on the social media site, Twitter.

The 140-char­ac­ter lim­it that each tweet impos­es seems to be enough to per­suade con­sumers to buy. For exam­ple, one of India’s biggest e‑tailers, Flip­kart, used Twit­ter to increase sales of Father’s Day presents. They post­ed an image of a young boy using a land­line tele­phone to call his father and ask for sta­tionery mate­ri­als. The image was titled ‘The orig­i­nal on-line shop­ping’, and seemed to imme­di­ate­ly res­onate with the company’s 135,000 users.

Sell­ing social

Senior vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing at Flip­kart, Ravi Vora, said: “Twit­ter plays a 360 degree role for us. We work on cre­at­ing a des­ti­na­tion where our cus­tomers can have fun, with wit­ty replies and engag­ing con­tests, instead of using it just as a sales platform.”

Their fel­low e‑tailers, includ­ing Myn­tra, Snapdeal and Jabong, also use Twit­ter to engage with their cus­tomer base, attempt to influ­ence and pro­vide spe­cial­ly tar­get­ed offers. A brand-mar­ket­ing founder and e‑commerce ana­lyst stat­ed that Twit­ter pro­vid­ed access to peo­ple these com­pa­nies would oth­er­wise not be able to reach, and that it not only encour­aged engage­ment, but was also able to exert a form of pressure.

Myn­tra fash­ion store is using Twit­ter to launch a 12-hour Trea­sure Hunt com­pe­ti­tion that encour­ages users to vis­it their online store and pur­chase cloth­ing. One user demon­strat­ed how effec­tive this sales tac­tic was when she admit­ting see­ing a par­tic­u­lar item of cloth­ing trend­ing on Twit­ter and was there­by com­pelled to vis­it the store.

Part­ner­ing with Amazon

Twit­ter announced last week that they would be part­ner­ing with online retail giant, Ama­zon. Ama­zon is par­tic­u­lar­ly adept at using Twit­ter to engage with their cus­tomers. They have a spe­cial­ly trained team who respond to com­plain­ing tweets and pro­vide sup­port to pro­mote a pos­i­tive view of their cus­tomer ser­vice. The new part­ner­ship will allow users to link Ama­zon accounts to Twit­ter han­dles, and update their shop­ping carts. Twit­ter have not yet announced when this new facil­i­ty will be avail­able in India.

While this tac­tic seems to be work­ing for Indi­an com­pa­nies, some social media man­agers in Amer­i­ca have found that it can deliv­er dis­ap­point­ing results.

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