This post originally appeared on J.D. Power Automotive Online Review and has been re-posted here on DealerRefresh with permission. Posted by Amit Aggarwal.
Why would someone follow your dealer on Twitter?
Last year, I asked “Why would I follow a dealer on Twitter?” My premise was that people will follow someone on Twitter if they can get something out of it. Too often, dealers were just pushing specials and not giving people a reason to follow them. As a counter example, Courtesy Hyundai of Georgia (@HyundaiAtlanta) regularly tweets car care tips, a topic that has the potential to draw followers who will then also receive other information about the dealer and may choose to participate in conversations.
Seven months later, Courtesy Hyundai continues to mix tweets regarding car care, Hyundai vehicles, industry data, and dealer information and now reaches 2,364 followers. The tone is conversational and there’s clearly a person behind the account as evidenced by the tweet frequency – nearly all tweets come during work hours.
Contrast this approach with that of East Coast Automall (@NISSANandVW), shown below. The account produces over 17 daily tweets at a constant frequency throughout the entire day. Who wants to receive automated tweets at 4am? There’s almost no conversation, with few replies or retweets.
@NISSANandVW (and related accounts @NewJerseyNissan and @TriStateVW) each have over 23k followers, which seems to have been achieved by following anyone who’ll follow back, even those accounts that are essentially telemarketing / spam. This boosts one’s follower count, but accomplishes little else.
Fortunately, East Coast Automall seems to be in the minority. Other dealers on Twitter at least attempt to use the medium in a productive way.
The tweet cloud for Suzuki of Wichita (@suzukiofwichita) demonstrates the warmth of personal interaction, with words like happy, congratulations, thanks, and welcome showing up frequently. @suzukiofwichita also frequently links to other social media content (e.g. Facebook, YouTube)
Richmond Ford (@richmondford) hasn’t tweeted since November 2009, but still has 8,867 followers. The historical tweet stream shows a lot of brand content, especially retweets from @Ford.
While there may be no one “right” way to use Twitter, there are clearly some wrong ways. I’ve highlighted some dealers with large followings, most of who seem to offer something of value to their followers. If you can’t do that at a minimum, then don’t do it at all.