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Brian Pasch

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two-tweetsWith the advent of social media posts from Twitter and Facebook being integrated into search engine result pages (SERP), car dealers can further leverage their social media involvement. The ability to have Tweets and Facebook walls posts show in search engine results is not without its downside risks. From what I can see, the integration in real-time data into Google has started a tweeting and Facebook posting frenzy with subjects that are clearly designed for Automotive SEO positioning. This is a big mistake for businesses thinking that their social media posts will catapult them to the top of search rankings. Car dealers have to remember that social media platforms when used properly, should provide value and engagement to those that follow you. They should be humanized and not sound like a sales pitch. This has been repeated thousands of times but still the new "gold rush" with Google real time feeds seems to have gotten folks off track.

Nissan Dealer Tweets

I did a simple search in Google "Twitter Nissan Dealer" and found dealers on opposite coasts that were actively using Twitter.  Neither of these dealerships are my clients, and they were two of three that showed at the top of the SERP.  What was interesting was that Google knew I was located in New Jersey and the first result in the SERP was a New Jersey Nissan dealer.  Notice from the screen shot below that I did not specifically include NJ in my search phrase:

 

twitter-nissan-dealer

Two Different Dealer Strategies

The two dealers that caught my attention in the SERP were: In the first case, East Cast Nissan in New Jersey,  the tweets look like a 100% sales push and little customer interaction. This pattern of tweets does not look like engagement at all. Notice no messages to any followers in this stream. This strategy will backfire. In the second case, Universal Nissan in California, you can see Mike Sage engaging the followers and adding a human element to the conversation. Yes, there are some product and sales posts but they are balanced. These are just two random examples from a quick search. There are probably many good and bad examples that can be documented. The key is to not let the Google integration of real-time search skew your writing to become an SEO campaign. You will lose followers faster than Tiger is losing sponsors.

Your Lack of Action Is Equally Visible

If you have created a Twitter account, it is important that you keep up with it. In that same search for "Twitter Nissan Dealer"  shown in the screen shot above, there was a third company that showed in the SERP; Abeloff Nissan in Pennsylvania. http://twitter.com/pimpmycube When you take a look at this Twitter account, you can see that they just ran out of gas. The last post on this account was August 2, 2009. To just cover all bases, I did a search for "Abeloff Nissan Twitter " and this was indeed the only account for the dealership. In this case, a stale Twitter account is not a positive for the dealership. If you are not going to maintain a blog or a Twitter account, it would be best just to take them down.

Use Twitter and Facebook: Just Do It Well

With Twitter and Facebook data streams integrated into search results, this makes these two platforms a powerful tool for IRM, SEO and customer engagement if done properly.
Dealers need to use these tools; snooze and you will lose.
Dealers need to create value and engage consumers with good content.   If you can write and find articles that you customers would benefit from, hire someone who can. Share Your Best Examples If you have some outstanding examples of car dealers that are using Facebook and Twitter, post some links.   It will be good to refine this article with pratical examples of dealerships that are engaging social media with excellence.  It's so new, we have to start with early adopters that have had success. P.S. You can follow me at http://twitter.com/automotiveseo and on Facebook at:  http://facebook.com/paschconsulting

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