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Larry Bruce

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I was recently asked by a dealer “What is Twitter?”, I thought about that a bit and my answer came out like this. “Twitter is a one-to-many, one-way, Instant Messenger”. That got the point across in an easy way, I thought. Then I got the harder question… “Ok how do we use this in our dealership?”

Well, that one stumped me for a moment. Like all social media, a marketer must find the right way to use these things- using them the wrong way can have really negative repercussions. The thing about social media is that it’s TOTALLY controlled by the community.  You must tread lightly.  People choose to want to hear what you have to say- and can just as easily turn you off. With all that said, the best use for Twitter I have found, particularly for a dealership, is as a message board to announce the OCCASSIONAL, really good specials that will get people into your store.
Here are a few examples of what I mean:

1.       Find a day that your drive is slow and send out a Twitter message:
$5.00 oil change special for the next 50 customers today who mention this Tweet!

2.       Free Car Wash Today at ABC Motors 123 Main St. Anytown ST. 77000 (make this a link to a Google map)

3.       Any Recall campaign that you have enough techs and parts for

4.       Free iTunes gift card for the next 20 customers that mention this Tweet in our service dept! NO PURCHASE NECESSARY! (very important) This is a “get to know them” thing, so be prepared to treat them like kings and queens and show them that you are there to take care of them.

5.       If your dealership sponsors a little league team, or any type of charitable event , Tweet the results

6.       10 New Camero’s just arrived!  click here for the listings and prices

7.       Tweet about a nice, low-mile, hard-to-find trade or used unit that just arrived

8.       Free 130 point inspection today! or on the Wednesday before a long weekend: Free! Travel inspection

9.       Free Loaner car for ANY service on Tuesdays or Thursdays (typically slower days on the drive)

10.   Free! Nitrogen tire fill up today until 4PM!

DON’T TWEET YOUR ENTIRE INVENTORY EVERY DAY…PLEASE! That is the worst way to use Twitter.
As with any social media, DON’T OVERDO IT, or you’ll lose your audience. Here are some more tips:
                                                - Keep you Tweets to max 1 per week
                                                - Tweet about nice, high value items
                                                - use short, one-sentence descriptions
                                                - put your phone number- or a local tracking number- in your Tweets

Remember, these are “get to know ya” encounters, so be prepared to be social when the customer visits your dealership. Also, educate your Service Writers on why customers want to follow the dealership on Twitter, and then deliver good, meaningful Tweets to your customers.

Hope this helps.


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