Last month at the October automotive conferences in Las Vegas, the DealerADvantage team had a chance to catch up our friends at Twitter, @Levy and @DaleMaffs to discuss the latest in social media, as well as some best practices they often share with businesses who are new to the Twitterverse. Let’s take a look at a few basic best practices your dealership can incorporate into its overall social media plan.
Are your customers, employees and community members on Twitter? If you’re new to the platform, start by creating a personal handle to get a feel for how Twitter works. Once you’re comfortable with the basics, like sending tweets, following others, replying to tweets and using @mentions and #hashtags, set up an official Twitter handle for your dealership.
You’ll want to update your profile photo, header and background to match the look and feel of your dealership website. It’s also smart to add a bio, website URL and location so that new followers can connect your presence on Twitter with your physical presence.
Establish a Voice
Tweets can only be 140 characters long, so it’s important to choose your words wisely. Though it’s tempting to tweet about specific vehicles in your inventory in the hopes you’ll make a quick sale, the best Twitter accounts offer more than just promotional content to their communities. Keep the dealership’s overall vision and values in mind when tweeting and develop content that falls in line with it. No matter who is physically tweeting on behalf of the dealership, it’s smart to establish style guidelines with all stakeholders at the dealership.
Target Your Audience
In “real life,” you already know that building relationships with potential sales and service customers takes time, so approach your online presence with that in mind. Like most social media, Twitter can help individuals learn about your dealership, which makes using photos and video a great way to share and connect. For example, tweeting photos about a recent special event or community outreach activity can help show off your store’s personality and local community involvement. Additionally, posting photos of employees and happy customers can lend credibility to your processes and overall customer experience, just make sure to ask permission first. Finally, your store’s followers are likely to be people who’ve already purchased vehicles from the dealership, so posting service specials, maintenance tips and other vehicle ownership resources can help your community stay connected to your brand.
Make it a Conversation
Twitter gives users the ability to focus conversations around central ideas through hashtags (i.e. #superbowl, #threewordstoliveby), so make sure you’re aware of any that may be relevant to your community, dealership or franchise. If your store works with other businesses or organizations in the community, check to see if they use a hashtag and be sure to include an @mention whenever you reference a mutual event or cause.
Most importantly, respond to your own @mentions – if someone gives feedback or asks a question, make sure to answer them.
Connect with us (@DealerADvantage) for industry news and best practices.