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Ketty Colom

Ketty Colom Digital Marketing Specialist

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Twitter 101 for Auto Dealers



Twitter, an online micro-blogging social networking site, can be a difficult thing to manage for a business profile. However, if you think of it as a cocktail party it might make things easier for you. Don’t be the drunk guy spilling over his words, constantly saying things that don’t make any sense but also, don’t be the person in the corner that holds onto his drink never saying a word. Be the person that is engaging, fun, and the life of the party.

First off, let’s get familiar with Twitter lingo, if you already know this, you can just skip to the next paragraph.

@ = reply or mention

ex. @activengage your last blog post was great!

.@ = allows your tweet to be seen as a broadcast, meaning EVERYONE can see it.

ex. .@activengage your last ebook was awesome!

RT = retweet or in other words, sharing. It has been said that the most effective time to RT is around 5pm.

ex. RT @activengage: Happy #memorialday! Enjoy the day off - and be sure to check out our tribute to vets:

DM = Direct Message, no one can see this tweet but you and the person you are tweeting to

ex.  DM here is link to Todd's cameo clip from NADA that I plan to use in the upcoming @lead2show video

#=  this hashtag symbol is short for a trending topic. On Friday, the trending topic for the day is #FF (Follow Friday) in which you mention fellow Tweeters

ex. #FF TGIF @vickioneill @joe4pres@GeorgeMagda @Toddlearsmith@HookLogic @drivingsales @RalphPaglia

Now that you’ve mastered the Twitter lingo, you might be asking yourself, what do I Tweet? Simply put, you want to Tweet things that add value, not noise, to your followers. A dealership, for example, can Tweet about a new shipment of vehicles that just arrived, special giveaways,  service specials for the week or even some pop culture posts. Below I’ve highlighted some examples of good tweets.

Hendrick Atlanta has a good example of a giveaway:

To make this Tweet even better you can see if there are any trending topics on 
I typed in Dale Jr and noticed a lot of tweets on him as well as the Camaro and autographed. So I would have written this Tweet like this to get the most exposure and chance of being re-tweeted.

Win #DaleJr 2011 #Camaro delivered by #Jr himself. One ticket will win an #autographed prize pack this week!


This Tweet by Charleston Honda has good use of #hashtags

Here Charleston Honda focused on keywords that are trending topics, and in turn, the chance of their tweet being re-tweeted is higher.

Here is a good example of a mention that Rosen Nissan had with a customer:

Not only does this tweet humanize Rosen Nissan as a dealership, but it also has great use of a #hashtag!

Taking notes? I’ll make it easier for you. Let’s review the do’s and don’ts of Twitter for your dealership:


  • RT and give props - if your Tweeps (Twitter Users) share something interesting, give them credit.
  • Comment
  • Share interesting links (ones specific to your audience)
  • Ask questions - get your Twitter followers involved!
  • Use link-shortening services such as  and which make it easy to incorporate condensed, trackable links that don’t take up so much of the available 140 characters of space in tweets.
  • Check sites like hashtag.orgMonitter Tweetmeme , and Trendistic to see what’s trending and currently being tweeted the most.
  • Respond to a RT, DM, or mention in less than 4 hours.
    • Here is a Tweet, that if it wasn’t quickly responded to, would have been bad news for Chevy:


  • Tweet nonsense or the same message every hour- it’s annoying.
  • TUI (Tweet under the influence). Think of Twitter as living in a glass house, everyone will see what you post, sure you can delete it, but to those who managed to see the tweet before termination, will not forget.
  • Tweet about sex, religion, or politics - these topics should be seen as the plague. Be like Switzerland and stay neutral.


Are you ready to Tweet? Wait! Take time to do a little research by listening in on the Twitterverse so that you can get a feel for the conversations taking place and discover the ways your Tweeps  like to interact and engage on Twitter. Twitter has various built-in tools to help you in your research:

• Twitter has a search engine  that produces real-time RSS feeds for the keywords orphrases you enter.
• If you are trying to figure out whom to follow, you can start by connecting with people you already know by importing your email address book. 
• You can also use Twitter’s general “Who To Follow” function which offers suggestions based on those you’realready following.
• And, you can select by topic of interest  when figuring out whom to follow.

Remember, building a Twitter following doesn’t happen overnight, unless you're a celebrity with a substance abuse or criminal record. If you keep at it,   make valuable contributions, add to your stream, respect your community, and show that you’re in it for the common good,  they will come.

Chris Costner
Great rundown Ketty. I still see both businesses and individuals that have yet to grasp this. Content is paramount and for those with a constant stream of inventory, coupons, and the constant "me" messages I would recommend making a change fast.
JD Rucker
Awesome stuff, Ketty! I'll be tweeting about it all shortly.
Jim Bell
Good stuff Ketty. So many miss the boat on this. I will be tweeting this. :)
Christine Rochelle
Twitter is my favorite social network but then I realize when I go to conferences how little dealers are using it. More "101s" on Twitter are needed, great job.
Bryan Armstrong
Awesome post! I love Twitter and as @bryancarguy I follow this fairly well. My @Vwsouthtowne account is still trying to find it's identity and niche so this was great! Thanks!

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