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Megan Barto

Megan Barto Finance Manager

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Down With Tweet Book!

 

I like twitter.  I’ve met lots of people using my personal twitter account.  I see also the value of Twitter for Automotive Dealerships.  I maintain a list of Honda Dealerships on twitter that has 265 dealers on it. While I’m looking for new dealers, and viewing the Honda dealers I already have on my list, I get frustrated by 3 things.

1.   A constant stream of Facebook Posts (you can tell which these are because the links are “fb.me/xxxx”)

2.   A constant stream of inventory.

3.   Dealers who don't interact with their Twitter Community!

We’ve all heard the term “Social Media.”  Let’s break this down even simpler: “Social” and “Media.”  In order to be social you have to interact with people!  Someone isn’t very social if they don’t talk to anyone, are they? 

I use a twitter client called “Hootsuite” which allows you to schedule tweets (which I’m somewhat against, but that’s a different topic), but it enables me to set up a keyword search based on how close the tweet is to me geographically. I have several set up, including, “Ciocca” “Honda” & a few of my competitors.  For example, I have a fellow “tweep” (or “friend” on twitter) who quite often post pictures of his CR-Z’s MPG. I “RT” (re-tweet –  aka, forward), his picture to all of my followers.  We typically have a short conversation (sometimes, it’s about the weather!) after I RT him.

People need to think of you as a person, not just a business.  I mean, they obviously know someone is behind the tweets, but does this illustrious person have a personality? Of course they do and that’s part of the importance of Twitter!

As far as linking your Facebook posts to Twitter – I don’t do it – why do you?  When using a client like HootSuite, or others like it, you can select multiple social networks post your message to.

But just because you can; does that mean you should? 

You have to remember that Facebook and Twitter are 2 different networks with 2 different purposes and their audiences are looking for different things.

Think of it this way:

I get home from work; I look back through my Facebook “News Feed” for the day.  Some of them can be a few hours old.  But with twitter, I barely go back more than an hour previously when I’m looking at my feed.  There really isn’t a point!  Most people tweet for an immediate conversation, or at least for a reaction.  If you reply to something they sent hours ago, it probably isn’t relevant to the current conversation.

If I feel something is important to tweet, I may tweet it 3 times a day: morning, afternoon and evening.  While if I put the same thing on facebook 3 times in one day, people may start to look at me funny.

Social media isn’t just a way to post things no one is going to react to.  It’s a way to engage your customers!  Don’t always post about cars or service, but rather tweet about things that are going on in the community. It will help your business and be a lot more enjoyable along the way.

 

Megan S. Barto has been in the car business for 5 years at Ciocca Honda in Harrisburg.  She started with both floor sales and Internet sales.  In November of  2009, she was promoted to Internet Sales Director.  She has since launched Ciocca Hyundai of Lebanon, and manages a team of 4 Internet Sales Coordinators at Ciocca Honda. You can reach Megan at mbarto@cioccahonda.com or on Twitter @skeetle.

Ron Henson
A star is born. Great stuff Megan!
Chris Costner
Great points Megan. There are many individuals and organizations our there that have yet to learn how to use Twitter to benefit themselves. Content is paramount and all users on Twitter should know who they need to communicate with and develop a conversation. From the automotive standpoint, those who have steady streams of inventory links or offering prizes for new followers just don’t have a clue. To me those accounts are the same as any other spam out there. Not interested. Maintaining a relationship from both an individual and business standpoint will certainly help to attract new business and contacts. Many think it is all about getting as many followers as possible. Users without a strategy and being in the conversation will ultimately be left behind those who do. Thanks for sharing.
Megan Barto
Thanks, Rob & Chris! To "learn" twitter all it takes is a few minutes looking at what other people say to get the idea of how to "fit in." Then after people learn the basics, they can take off from there! The number of followers you have doesn't really matter if you don't interact with them!
Brady Irvine
Great job Megan, I love Twitter for building relationships with people in the community and I couldn't agree more that it's far more effective to talk about what's going on locally than it is to be talking about inventory and crap all the time.
Jim Bell
Great first DS post Megan and great points that dealers have to take to heart. I love it when a dealer starts to follow me on Twitter and all they post is inventory. Goes to the phrase...Content is king.

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