Tweets sweeten retailers' sales


POSTED: Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Sometimes, one tweet into the twittersphere will get customers coming in the doors.

While there is no dollar measure of the return on a tweet, at 140 characters or less, major malls and retailers in Hawaii are discovering Twitter and Facebook as ideal ways to create a buzz on sales.

With Black Friday come and gone, many are relying on social media to help carry the momentum through the holidays to Christmas Eve.

All four major malls on Oahu — Ala Moana Center, Pearlridge Center, Windward Mall and Kahala Mall — are on Twitter.

“;It's been a great tool for us,”; said Kristin Kilburn, retail services director for Ala Moana Center. “;It's just a great way to broaden our reach.”;

Kilburn said part of the strategy is to communicate to customers the way they're used to communicating, whether via Twitter or Facebook. Ala Moana hopped on to Twitter about a year ago, and has more than 3,500 followers, and on to Facebook in October, and now has more than 700 fans.

A tweet is like word of mouth, easily re-tweeted numerous times by a couple hundred followers. Word about the latest sale at Old Navy, for example, or the latest fashion arrivals at In My Closet spreads fast.





» Ala Moana Center @alamoanacenter


» Pearlridge Center @pearlridge


» Windward Mall @windwardmall


» Kahala Mall @kahalmallctr


If a photo of a product's been posted from someone's iPhone, even better.

Karey Choy, manager of In My Closet (@inmyclosetHI) at Pearlridge Center, said she has definitely seen social media work for the boutique, which just opened its second location in September. The first is at Kahala Mall.

Some customers tweet about a dress or accessory they find at In My Closet, perhaps two to three times a week, she said, which is an effective marketing tool.

She tweets about sales and promotions, and mostly gift ideas. In some instances, customers have come in and inquired about an item right after it was tweeted, she said.

Choy enjoys the customer interactions on Twitter, and says she's met many IRL (in real life) as they walk into the store. In My Closet started with Facebook, first, then joined Twitter.

Outrigger Enterprises just decided to launch an @waikikibeachwlk Twitter account, according to general manager Conchita Malaqui, to help promote its shops and restaurants.

“;It helps generate buzz and an interest in what we have available at Waikiki Beach Walk,”; said Malaqui. “;The instantaneous interaction is also thrilling.”;

Outrigger decided social media was an important enough outreach tool to outsource it full time to an expert.

Melissa Chang (@melissa808) tweets for Pearlridge Center, Waikiki Beach Walk and Blue Hawaii Lifestyle at Ala Moana Center.

The trend toward social media is growing — women with children at home are more likely than average adults to use Facebook and Twitter, according to a recent survey by the Retail Advertising & Marketing Association.

Nine out of 10 mothers also regularly seek advice from others before buying a service or product, while another 97.2 percent give advice on a service or product they have bought.