Twitter is becoming more vital for small businesses and as it grows, more car dealers from up and down the country are jumping on board. There are currently 500 million users on Twitter, with a further 135,000 new users signing up every day. And, if you utilise this fantastic tool to its full potential then you can really see the benefit!
Decide what you want to achieve
It is important that you know what you want to get out of Twitter. It can be useful for a number of things. For most car dealers the main benefits of Twitter can be growing an engaged and relevant following as well as getting their brand in front of a number of potential customers. It really is the perfect tool for building your brand’s reputation and getting it more well-known in your area.
Be sure to follow other local businesses and any ‘key influencers’ in your area. A key influencer is someone who is active on Twitter and is followed by a large number of your target audience. If you notice that there are certain users, or even other businesses, that have a large following from your local area, then try and build some form of rapport with them. They may retweet you or share your content, meaning you are increasing the number of potential customers who are seeing your brand.
What are you tweeting about?
Over 340 million tweets are sent out daily around the globe. So, how can you stand out from the rest? First up, it is important that you don’t bombard your followers with too much blatant advertising or sales materials. Sure, you can post pictures of your stock and deals that you are offering, but make sure that this is not all you are posting. Otherwise, people will get bored and unfollow you.
Think about what your followers may want to see from you. As you are aiming to get people local to your area to follow your brand on Twitter, make sure you are tweeting about local events and news. If you think a news story may be interesting or useful to your followers, tweet it. The same goes to other automotive based stories. Whilst your followers may not all be car enthusiasts, it is important to post some car related tweets too – you are in the industry after all.
It is also important that you respond to any tweets that are directed at you. People will be able to see these tweets and if they aren’t responded to then your brand will look negligent. This is especially the case when you receive any negative tweets. By responding professionally and in a timely manner, you can show off your business’ fantastic customer service.
Don’t be afraid to show your personal side too. If it is someone at the dealerships’ birthday, say so. Maybe even post a picture of the cake that you’re all sharing etc. People love to see the goings on behind the scenes, so don’t be afraid to show off the people who make your business what it is.
Depending on the reputation and influence of your dealership it can be relatively easy or pretty difficult to get your first 100 followers. Here are some tips and advice that can help you along your way.
First up, it is always a good idea to ensure that all of your staff are following you with their personal Twitter accounts as well as all of your friends and family. As long as your friends don’t mind you asking, you can quite easily get around 30/40 followers this way.
You should also promote your Twitter account on Facebook. If you are already set up on Facebook and have a decent number of followers then a few posts asking them to follow you on Twitter can be a great way to generate more follows.
Lastly, you should always promote your Twitter handle on and offline. This way, people can find your page and follow you off their own volition. You should include a link in your email signature, include it on as much advertising as possible and also add it to any business cards or flyers etc.
Knowing who to follow
There will be a large number of interesting and relevant people on Twitter for you to follow. Early on you should focus on key influencers as mentioned above, but you will also want to follow other local companies and events, other car dealers and businesses that are related to the industry. You can find these people by carrying out Twitter searches, looking at lists and taking a look at who your competitors are following.
It is also worth following those people who are keen retweeters. If you follow them and build a relationship they may follow you back and could end up retweeting you in the future. It is worth seeing what kind of things they share so you can target them with similar tweets in the future.
Quick tips to take home
- Make sure your profile is updated to the new look – and is still legible. Take advantage of the new layout by adding a header image to your twitter page. It should compliment your background, be bold and stand out but still allow for your bio text to be read clearly (which will show in white over the top of your image).
- Manage your Twitter relationships in less time. There are lots of great tools that can help you update your Twitter account ‘Hootsuite’ and ‘bufferapp’ allow you to schedule in your tweets for the day/week so that you have a constant and consistent flow of tweets going out but which are still personalised so it still feels ‘real’ to your followers. You can use ‘followerwonk’ to map your ‘key influencers’ within your niche, and most engaged members. It helps you cut through the noise so you don’t neglect the people who likely help your business most on Twitter. Retweet, like and tweet to your ‘Key influencers’ regularly to try and build a relationship, they will eventually reciprocate and retweet you- getting your post huge exposure.
- Land great clients by tweeting with them. Twitter is one of the easiest networks for engaging with people, regardless of whether they are following you. If you want to land a particular client for your business, start tweeting with them. Share their posts and include their username in the tweet. Follow key people in the company’s organization, if possible, to answer any questions they might ask their followers. The smallest interactions could lead to the biggest deals.
- Keep track of your follower trends. Track what is working and what is not with your twitter account- ‘Twittercounter’ is a free tool that lets you see your follower growth over a three month time span. Track your progress to notice trends- if there are any surges in your follower count over a period of time this may be a reflection of your recent activity so take note of what you did that was effective! – Again you can also use Google analytics custom URL builder (see above) when posting a ‘money tweet’ (referral link back to your site) to analyse how much traffic etc your link generated.
More useful resources: Read Spidersnet’s Car Dealer Guide to Twitter today!