How to Use Twitter to Find and Engage with Active Car Shoppers

Your customers (or potential customers, at least) are talking. Are you listening?

There’s no denying it – it’s a social world out there. More often than not, today’s consumer will share insider information about their purchase habits with their online networks. Now imagine how powerful it would be if the response they receive for these simple “Car shopping tomorrow with Joey!” kind of tweets came from the place they end up visiting?

One thing we’ve learned after a few decades in the automotive marketing industry – sometimes the best way to bring customers in is to go out and find them yourself.

Take the following tweets, for example –

Screenshot from Twitter

People want to be heard, and they want the things they say online to spark some sort of interest. Or else, why would they bother posting it? By doing a local search for certain key words (new car, car shopping, etc.), you can pinpoint those who are nearby to your dealership who are very clearly in the market for a new vehicle.

Then, send them a response! Maybe ask what type of car they’re considering, share a special offer, or provide a bit of research on different models. Showing that you care to help (and not just sell) is key to interacting in a social environment.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Watch your tone

You’ll want to be conscious of the fact that this is a personal, one-on-one interaction. Sales pitches won’t last (or translate nicely) via Twitter, so keep it casual and approachable. Remember that your messages will be situated among conversations with friends and family, so you won’t want to stand out in a negative way by being overly promotional.

Make it personal

Today’s generation can see right through template responses. Make sure that you have really considered the context of what they posted and how you can specifically address their needs. If your response looks like you copied and pasted it from another interaction, it will be swiftly ignored.

Don’t overstay your welcome

Some users will be highly responsive to this approach, while others may not take to it as well. Remember to respect their space and only continue the conversation if you’re clearly welcome. You want to help customers, not alienate them.

So give it a try! Now’s the time to explore how your business fits into the social world, and start to harness the relationships we can share with customers in the online space.

Happy tweeting!

Michelle Gordon

Michelle is a Social Media Strategist with Stream Companies, a Philadelphia area advertising agency.

Michelle Gordon

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