Social media plays a big part in the lives of consumers, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise when you hear 67% of Twitter users are more likely to buy from brands they follow.  For any industry, it’s important not only to build your social platform, but also to find new and innovative ways to interact and grow relationships with online consumers.

For your dealership, a solid online presence is a must.  Your consumers spend more time researching and interacting online than ever before, and when you make yourself present and become a part of those interactions, you’ll increase the likelihood they’ll end up doing business with you.  Think of the convenience of online searching when it comes to daily life, and you’ll understand how essential it is for your brand to be present and active, especially on social platforms, where communication is quick and far-reaching.  It’s easy to reach out and get things like restaurant recommendations, current coupons, and references for the most hassle-free dealerships in town.

Now imagine the part you could play in your own dealership’s success if you were right there on Twitter—interacting with consumers and sharing valuable content that could lead directly to sales.

67-interiorGraphic-3-683x1024Getting Started
Some beginners say they are intimidated by Twitter’s platform.  Somewhere between the hashtags, the 140-character limit, the scheduling, embedding, and everything else, newbies start to slowly back away.  But it’s really not hard to get started—in fact, you don’t need to know all the hacks to start sending out tweets that will get you some brand recognition.

You should, however, pay attention to a few things that have already been discovered.  They’ll help you out in the long run:

  • Social media audiences love images. You’ll get about 313% more likes, quotes, and retweets when you can offer up some pics to post alongside whatever you have to say.
  • Short is good. The character limit is part of this platform’s charm, but even shorter than 140 characters will gain you higher engagement.
  • Consumers want to share ideas with you. In fact, about 60% of your followers are interested in giving feedback, so asking for their insights is a great way to boost interaction.
  • Utilize hashtags. Select hashtags your consumers can share, remember, and search to make your dealership even more discoverable on social media.
  • Use @ mentions to call out brand advocates. Let your supporters know you appreciate them by mentioning them in your tweets.
  • Build your knowledge as you go. You’ll see individuals and brands participating in Twitter chats, building lists, and interacting in a variety of ways.  Take time out to learn about all the tools available to help you reach an even broader audience.

If you’re looking for one more reason to build relationships on Twitter, check out the ways consumers want to interact on the platform.  About 42% of users learn about brand products and services via Twitter, and 41% offer their opinions regarding products and services there as well.  Additionally, companies are now starting to provide more online support via social platforms, with 19% of Twitter users saying they turn to this platform to seek support.

Your consumers will follow you on Twitter for a variety of reasons.  They want to keep up with the latest and greatest in product offerings, so if you can be the first to engage them in conversation about exciting updates, you’ll have a good shot at holding their attention and getting them to visit your dealership when they need to buy.  But keep in mind, many of your customers follow you to get information about sales, deals, and maybe even a few exclusive discounts or giveaways.  In fact, 52% of Twitter users that follow brands are on the lookout for some type of promotion.  You have the opportunity to make your online brand advocates feel special and get their continued support by going out of your way to make them feel like valued customers.

On the flip side, if your customers look for you on Twitter and can’t find you, they can end up frustrated—and they might even turn to other resources to get the answers or insights they’re looking for.  A recent Sprout Social survey confirmed that a majority of brands not paying enough attention to their customers on social sites.  For example, for every 23 branded messages sent out, brands only reply with 1 consumer response.  And to top it off, consumers who aren’t getting responses aren’t shy about turning to their own platforms to complain about the brands that ignore them.

With all this information, the choice seems clear.  Twitter offers a huge opportunity for your dealership to actively engage with consumers and build relationships.  Since 67% of Twitter users are more likely to buy from brands they follow, it’s a no-brainer.  It’s time to get on Twitter, start building your online platform, and get consumers interested in following and interacting with your brand.  Your willingness to engage will truly make a positive impression and leave customers wanting to do business with you.  You’ll be helping your brand stand out from the crowd.

Author: Joey Little

Joey Little serves as Director of Digital and Social Engagement for AutoAlert. An expert in customer experience management, he educates automotive professionals at speaking engagements across the country. With results-driven advice and proven industry knowledge, he assists dealerships in reaching their audiences and increasing business via their social platforms.

Digital Dealer