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My GSM, Gerry (@ghogan1451), recently expressed interest in getting on Twitter, after seeing me post content and running the dealership's company account (@LouFuszToyota).

He is relatively new to social media, and while I've given him the basic pointers (understanding hashtags, interactions, searching for trending topics) he was wondering what else he can do to build followers.

To that I ask you guys- what did you do when you first started out on Twitter? How did you build a following? Or have you helped out someone else in getting active?

My first major suggestion to him was to change his e-mail signature to start including his Twitter handle.

Tags: Media, Social, Twitter

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Good idea on the email signature... Also, have him add his Twitter profile link to his LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media accounts if he has them.  One of the best ways to get followers is to follow relevant people, so if he saves a search for the makes of cars you sell, or the name of the dealership, then he should follow anyone who includes mention of the make or dealership name in their tweets.

One thing I do for a lot of general managers is find which competitors have decent twitter follower bases and then go into the list of those followers and follow each one the makes sense... Many of them in turn follow you back.

Another productive practice is to retweet posts made by people with large follower bases that are relevant to your business... for example, retweeting posts made by @ScottMonty if you are a Ford or Lincoln dealer will usually result in some follower activity.

Lastly, have him join ADM and dealerELITE and list his twitter profile URL in his profile and he will gain many industry people as followers.

Thanks for the tips. Hoping to get him up to speed (and eventually, the rest of our staff)! 

When you tweet a subject that has an active fan base be sure to use the relevant #hashtag as those types of users often search for their interest by hashtags. Also, do a geo search on your city with advanced search and find some active users close by and follow them. After all those in your own neighborhood are your best prospects for customers.

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