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One of the best ways I have found to use Twitter is as part of the Social Marketing & Reputation Management Consulting Services I deliver to dealers... Specifically, I use the RSS Feed application available at http://rss2twitter.com/feeds to set up automated Twitter updates for the dealership's followers from their online community's Latest Activities RSS, the Blog RSS, the Forum RSS, the Video RSS, the Photo RSS, the Events RSS, etc. One of my next projects is to tie a used car special web page to an RSS that flows into the dealership's Twitter updates... But, just for VERY special vehicles at VERY special pricing... I believe the key will be exclusivity, maybe one or 2 Used Vehicles listed in this section and feed to Twitter each day. I would like to hear from other ADM members about ways they have found Twitter to be useful.

Tags: How Do YOU Use Twitter, Twitter Advertising, Twitter As An Automotive Marketing Tool, Twitter Marketing, Twitter sales promotions, selling cars with Twitter

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Ralph, One of the problems I see with dealers using twitter is if it is not done right, then they actually end up hurting themselves. Posting ad after ad after ad is spam. DON"T BE SPAMMY! Use twitter to brand yourself. Adding relevant RSS feeds from your blog is okay. Just don't continuously spam. Otherwise one of two things will happen. You'll end up with just a bunch of bots following you, or if twitter is sucessful in eliminating the bots, no one following you.

A few good quality followers are better than 3000 bots. How do you get real followers? Provide real information. Pick up a Star or Enquirer magazine, The stars are not in "glamor" shots. People want to know the real side of them. This could be a draw for your dealership. Post what's really happening around the dealership. i.e. Shirley N.of Beaverton just took delivery of her new 09 Accord, John our new car manager got a huge surprise this morning when he found his entire office wrapped in aluminum foil. Pics at "URL" make it interesting so "real" people will follow. Then come up with the occasional "very special deals" that Ralph is talking about.

Twitter can be a great way to acquire customers and increase the weight of your web site in the search results if done right. One last thing....If you notice your competitor is following you. Block them. You don't want them to see what you're doing or to advertise for them in your followers list.
I believe that you start slow and build. Make sure to DM everyone that is local to you personally even if you have an Auto Dm on the account. Read their stream find things that you can RT and comment on, if a blog comment on it. Use all your Brands streams to gather info for your feed, and use RT on 3rd party info written by others it will be read more coming from someone else, if you can use local or even hyperlocal news sources to drive interesting non-auto news the better. Personal is best after you have more folks following you. Use a link shortener and monitor what is going out and adjust to your community.

Once you have enough mass to be read and seen; then up the stream volume and see what happens. Use Twittergrader on the Hubspot site to see if you are doing it right, or to create a baseline that you have something to work with. Remember I tell myself everyday be social that is to engage- not sell... On my www.smallbiztwit.info page I have a post that is my 25 words of wisdom on Social Media and it - Selling is not a dirty word in the Social Media World it is how you connect to earn the trust to ask for the business.

I look forward to following and reading what the Auto guys thoughts are with SM marketing and the best practices that we can help each other with.....
I agree that Twitter has value as something that creates value around a special model, special pricing, etc. Provided the customer actually uses their Twitter account (the other 900 lb gorilla in the room), it's a real-time way to alert them to specific vehicles they're interested in.

Were you ever successful at tying the web page/twitter updates to used cars?
Ralph it's a great question. Really is. The other side of the coin of that question is interesting too. And maybe... just "maybe" might be more interesting to dealers. That question would be directed at consumers/customers and it would go as follows: How do you use twitter to solve your transportation issues and questions?

What's interesting about that question or that perspective is that it would give dealers a stronger idea of how to listen, where to listen, and what to listen for in a social media context. Customer support, Customer understanding with Social Media tools are elements that are picking up speed relative to Traditional Marketing 101 in Social Media. The challenge that we see with businesses today - especially automotive dealerships - is that for the most part they all are trying to implement the new technologies and new mediums to achieve outdated goals and metrics. We're still as Einstein cautioned: "Trying to solve problems with the same thinking that created the problem to begin with." No can do my friend, no can do.
YES - business and dealerships need to sell more. YES - dealerships need to be more profitable. YES business need to retain their customers. YES - dealerships need to reduce operating costs. NO - social media technologies in and of themselves are not a simpler faster way to just those ends. The bull-horn of traditional marketing had no facility to receive immediate feedback from consumers, and much less so did the direct mail flier or the email blast. But social media tools do. They're 1-to-1-to-many-to-1etc. There's a human on the other side of your tweet that can retweet just as fast as you can.

Two important principles that we see taking hold for businesses using social media (and it's bringing them business) are: 1) the Golden Rule applies MOST in the social media world, and 2) Tweet as if it were your family member on the receiving end. We talk to our families. We get to know them as they get to know us. We certainly don't market to our family members. Social Media is more about effectiveness than it is about efficiency. If we think along those lines then maybe some ideas will begin to flow that bring value and benefit to consumers. And there's no amount of marketing dollars that can compete with that.

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