By Sam Dillon

There’s a lot of data backing up the importance of Twitter:

  • According to a Kantar Media Compete 2011 study, more than a third of consumers cite Twitter as being influential in their purchasing decisions.
  • According to, Twitter is the top Internet network for influencing purchasing decisions surrounding electronics.
  • In the Acquity Group 2012 Brand eCommerce Audit™, less than 27 percent of the brands studied were found to actively participate in consumer interaction on Twitter. “…companies were least likely to respond to or engage with customers via Twitter than any other social media channel evaluated,” wrote the group.

With Twitter having such a heavy influence on consumers, I was shocked to read that 73 percent of customers’ Tweets are left unanswered by top retailers!

That’s a whole lot of missed opportunity.

What Are the Good Tweeters Doing?

Ask any Twitter user you know and they will tell you that interacting with retailers on the social network makes them feel more connected with that company. Twitter breaks down the walls that were once up between businesses and their patrons, allowing consumers to interact in a fun and easy way with the brands they lovenordstrom (and love to spend money on).

Being curious, I took a look at the Twitter page of a brand that was included in Acquity Group’s study. This Tweet: “@Nordstrom I talked to one of your lovely stylists about the Essie nail corrector and he was very helpful! Thank you!” was answered within the hour. This was the short, yet significant, reply from the Nordstrom Tweeter: “That’s great to hear! Don’t hesitate to let us know if you need any more help. Have a great evening, Jen.”

Such a simple response like that is invaluable in creating stronger, more intimate connections with customers. Great job Nordstrom!

Who knows what would happen if only the other 73 percent of Tweets received the same acknowledgement!

In My Experience

In my experience, interaction really does go a long way. I follow a start-up jewelry brand based out of Manchester, UK on Twitter. I once tweeted about a sale being hosted at the online store and the jewelry designer immediately started engaging my Twitter account.

kimberly ann marie

My Tweet was favorited, it was re-tweeted and the designer even replied to one of my personal Tweets that had nothing to do with her jewelry company. I thought: “Now isn’t that nice,” and the simple interaction immediately increased the company’s likeability in my mind.

Next time I am searching for jewelry online, which website do you think I am likely to go to? I definitely remember hers, that’s for sure!

Another Great Conversation

Another great business-customer conversation on Twitter came from one of my co-workers who excitedly tweeted this:

Not a comment that needed a response, but CKO Kickboxing took advantage of Mandy’s tweet as an opportunity to interact and build a relationship with its newest client. People connected to CKO even joined in, earning Mandy a RT, two “Favorites” and multiple responses.

CKO cko2

Tweet More, Not Less

If you run a business, take a note from Twitter users like Nordstrom, Kimberly Ann Marie and CKO Kickboxing. Do yourself a favor and respond to Tweets; it won’t hurt, it will help.