Twitter Marketing Experiment with American Silver Eagles on eBay
Introduction to the Twitter Marketing Experiment
As a relatively new member to the Twitter world I decided to see if my tweets were actually helping me market my coins on eBay. I am a Top Rated Power Seller on eBay for coins, currency, and precious metals (eBay ID: dwest61506). Like any good business man I am always looking to expand my customer base and I decided to give Twitter a try. In this Lens I go over my systematic approach to Tweets for a particular coin I am selling on eBay and the sales results and increased page views of the eBay listing when compared to a similar item.
The Twitter Marketing Experiment
My plan to determine if tweets actually make a difference on sales
When setting up a comparative experiment you try to keep constant as my inputs to of the experiment as possible and only let one input change and determine the effects that this changing input has on the outcome of the experiment. In this comparative experiment two items for sale on eBay was a 2011 and 2012 American Silver Eagle coin. The American Silver Eagle coin is a one Troy ounce 999 fine silver dollar produced by the U.S. mint and is widely sold all over America and the world. Based on the mintages of the 2011 and 2012 Eagles there isn’t any reason for one item to command a higher price than the other date. A review of eBay closed item sales results for these two dates confirmed they sell for, on the average, the same price. The eBay title of the ad for the 2012 is:
2012 Gem BU Uncirculated American Silver Eagle Encapsulated
The 2011 Eagle eBay listing is identical except the date is 2011 not 2012 and the picture is the correct year of Eagle for the listing.
The one input that was changed was that I tweeted on a regular basis about the 2012 Eagle for over a month and I only tweeted once for the 2011 Eagle. The tweet for the 2011 Eagle was actually a mistake on my part and hopefully didn’t taint the results of the experiment significantly. The tweet I used for the 2012 is listed below:
Check out 2012 Gem BU Uncirculated American #Silver #Eagle Encapsulated http://r.ebay.com/NAUCJD via @eBay
I also included a picture on the 2012 Eagle with each of the tweets.
Activity Log for the Experiment
Number of Tweets and Listing Changes
The following table gives a chronology of the experiment and gives the dates of the tweets for the 2012 and any changes of the price of the American Silver Eagles for sale on eBay. Since the price of silver is constantly changing I had to adjust the price of the Eagles so that they were competitive as the price of silver changed. As you can see from the table, I accidentally tweeted for the 2011 Eagle.
Table 1 – Chronology of the experiment
6/16/2014 Started listings at $29.50; first Tweet for 2012
6/18/2014 Revised listings to $28.95; Tweet for 2012
6/23/2014 Tweet for 2011 and 2012. The 2011 was a mistake.
6/25/2014 Tweet for 2012 only. Made quantity to 3 available on eBay for both coins. Spot silver $20.79.
6/28/2014 Tweet for 2012 only. Changed price for both coins to $28.50. Spot silver $20.87
7/3/2014 Tweet for 2012.
7/8/2014 Tweet for 2012. Lowered price on both to $28.35. Spot silver $21.02.
7/15/2014 Tweet for 2012.
7/17/2014 Tweet for 2012.
7/19/2014 End of experiment
Development of my Twitter Account
Growing my Twitter followers over time
In early June of 2014 I got serious about development of my Twitter account. As a Coin Dealer that is active on eBay and Amazon I wanted a way of notifying my customers about new items for sale, special deals being offered, and new Squiddo Lens or updates to my existing Squidoo Lens. The table below shows the development over time of my Twitter account (@DCoins). My method to increase my number of followers was to Follow at least one person or business on Twitter that was related to coins or precious metals. Apparently several of the people followed me back. I also had small notes on several of my eBay listing that asked people to follow us on Twitter.
Table 2 - Twitter account status
Date # Tweets # Following # Followers
6/17/2014 272 163 34
6/18/2014 280 166 38
6/23/2014 311 180 43
6/25/2014 326 184 46
6/28/2014 348 191 47
7/3/2014 378 202 49
7/8/2014 404 211 60
7/15/2014 448 218 65
7/17/2014 466 222 68
7/19/2014 472 224 74
Sales Volume and Page Views
How many sold and how many lookers
Table 3 - Status of eBay 2011 and 2012 Silver Eagle Sales
Date 2011 Page Views 2011 # sold 2012 Page Views 2012 # sold
6/17/2014 8 0 17 0
6/18/2014 11 0 18 0
6/23/2014 30 0 54 1
6/25/2014 66 1 78 2
6/28/2014 72 1 111 2
7/3/2014 88 1 154 4
7/8/2014 95 1 190 4
7/15/2014 103 2 232 4
7/17/2014 119 3 264 5
7/19/2014 125 4 278 5
What did the results of the experiment indicate?
Looking at the results in Table 3 it is clear that the use of Twitter did have a positive effect on both the number of page views and the number of sales. The number of page views for 2012 Eagles was over twice that of the 2011 Eagles and I sold one more 2012 Eagle than the 2011 American Silver Eagle. The effect was much more pronounced on the number of page views than it was on the difference between the number of Eagles sold. Other experiments are needed to quantify these results to get a better idea on how much Twitter can help your marketing campaign.