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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Joey Little

Joey Little Vice President of Social Strategy

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Create an Emotional Connection with your Community through Twitter

 

Last Wednesday a marketing employee from New Media Strategies, Chrysler’s former marketing company, mistook the Chrysler Twitter account for his personal account and posted on the Chrysler Twitter page, ““I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to drive.” Between “to” and “drive” was an unfortunate word. The impact was felt immediately when followers began to retweet the post. Chrysler quickly responded by posting “Our apologies-our account was compromised earlier today. We are taking steps to resolve it.” The automotive giant also followed up their quick Twitter response with the firing of the employee and the nonrenewal of their contract with the social media agency responsible. Chrysler will work with the agency, New Media Strategies, in the transitional period until they name a new agency.

 

 If you’ve been keeping up with the latest in marketing strategies then you already know that joining the social media world is a must. However, to avoid backlash, knowledge of Twitter and information on how to make this site work for you is crucial.

 

 Among the various social media sites, Twitter ranks among the top.  Twitter is a website which offers social networking and microblogging services.  This is done by posting "tweets,” which are text-based posts up to 140 characters in length that you post to your profile.  Others can view them publically.  As a user, you can subscribe to other users' tweets.  This is known as "following.”  If you are following somebody, their posts appear on your page.  When others subscribe to your tweets, they are following you.  When used properly, this social networking and microblogging service can make your business boom. Take care to double check your tweets before posting. Read below for some more tips on how to make Twitter work for your automotive dealership.

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1.)    Be part of the local conversation.  Follow your local sports teams:  high school, college, semi-pro and pro.  Retweet local sports news.  This will keep your business’s name in the heart of local sports lovers.  They will be more likely to recall the name of your dealership when they are considering a new car.  Also, keep up with your local news sources:  print, radio and television.  Retweet major local news stories to gain a maximum number of followers.  Another way to stay alert on the local pop culture is to follow a local celebrity, such as an athlete.  Retweet what they post.  Also, to instantly connect with followers, spread the word about local philanthropic events, such as fundraisers.  By promoting local events like these, you can get more involved in the community and give back.  The more your posts emotionally connect with your audience, the more fans will love and follow you.

 

2.)    Build a reputation.  Use Twitter to brag about your business.  What new cars are available?  Are there any promotions going on?  Get the word out and see what people have to say.  You can search Twitter by keyword, so you can track comments made by others about your dealership(s).

 

3.)    Offer support.  Wonder what problems people have had with your dealership?  Like many other social media sites, Twitter can be used to track complaints by keyword searching your dealership.  Then, you can use Twitter as a public forum to answer the complaint, thereby eliminating bad press.

 

4.)    Offer information.  Engage users by offering useful car-related information like, for example, how to change the oil in a particular car.  Information providing gives followers an incentive to pay attention to what you post.  Remember, the more followers, the more your name is out there.

 

5.)    Follow your followers.  Follow everybody who follows you.  Look for opportunities to connect with your followers by paying attention to what they are saying.  Retweet their posts, make related  posts and connect!

 

Twitter is a free and fast way to market your auto dealership by being a part of mainstream conversation.  Now that you know how to make Twitter your new marketing tool, you can proceed. Remember: the more followers, the more press on your dealership, so tweet away and see what happens! But take care to double check your posts before posting them.

 

Glossary of Twitter Terms:

 


The @ symbol is a way of addressing another Twitter user.  For example, @SamSmith means you're either sending a message to Sam Smith or you're talking about him in your message.  On your Twitter home page, you'll find a linked search where you can see people mentioning your username with an @ before it.  This is how you find other people's replies to you. 

Direct Message 
Whereas replies are completely public, a direct message is a private message that you send through a discussion board.  You can only send a direct message to someone who is following your account.  Send a direct message by prefacing your tweet with "DM username." 

Follower 
While Facebook requires that all relationships be reciprocal, Twitter allows for one-way relationships.  If you find Twitter users who are interesting, you can "follow them" by subscribing to their tweets.  They do not necessarily have to follow you back, though hopefully most will. 

Hash Tags or # 
Hash tags are words or acronyms that begin with the number sign.  They are used to group conversations where people are tweeting about the same topic.  The number sign groups the comments together so that users can see what other people are posting about the same topic. For example, if I wanted to start a hashtag about VinSolutions, I could post a comment preceded by #vinsolutions.  If anybody wanted to add to the conversation, they would write something like “#vinsolutons - their products are great.”

 

Reply 
Reply is when you respond to a tweet from a certain user.  To reply to any given Twitter community member where it's placed in the public feed (everyone can see what you are saying) is called a Reply.  Most Twitter clients (and Twitter itself) preface their tweets with "@username."  If you wanted to send a message to me, for example, you would tweet, "@SamSmith How are you today, Sam?"

 

Retweet 
A retweet - or RT - is when you share the tweet of another user with all of your Twitter followers.  If you are following a Twitter news feed and they post a link to a story that you feel should be shared, you can "retweet" it.  If you see a quote or a funny saying that you like, you can also retweet it.  For instance, if I (Sam Smith) tweeted, "VinSolutions products http://www.vinsolutions.com,” you could retweet it as “RT@SamSmith:  VinSolutions products http://www.vinsolutions.com.”  Retweeting is a great way to gain followers and to also give credit to other users for their tweets.  Don’t copy other people’s tweets and try to pass them off as your own.  Give credit where credit is due.



Tweeps 
These are Twitter people who follow each other from one social media/network to another. 

Tweet
This is the term for each of your posts on Twitter.


Twitterverse 
This is the term used to describe the Twitter Universe.

Tommy Bay
Man, that sucks for Chrysler! Thanks for the boil-down of Twitter. The glossary was a helpful touch as well.
Eric Miltsch
Many people are still trying to wrap their head around the concept of communicating in short blasts of 140 characters. Here's where it gets interesting: Google is now (beta) indexing content shared on Twitter (& other social sites) Those with larger social circles & greater topic influence can increase the probability of being found for relevant searches. EX: Someone searching for Automotive DMS Solutions, who happens to be socially connected with Joe from VIN, may see a recent tweet about DMS solutions in their organic results. Still think being twitter is a waste of time?
Jared Hamilton
Good 101 information. Many people are fearful or just dont know where to start, this is a nice roadmap.
Paul Potratz
Great Job Joseph! Easy format to follow but now you must post your @twittername :) Thank you for the post
Allan Cooper
Nice post and the comments from everyone are all valid....especially Eric Miltsch. I just posted a tweet about Chery Automotive launching in Australia. It has generated an amazing response at 2am from many channels regarding numerous topics.

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