After speaking with a number of car dealers on a daily basis, and even more in workshop settings at conferences, I have realized that there is a serious need for Twitter to be explained in terms that dealers both understand and find important. There are a number of strategies that work well for car dealers who use Twitter, but this post is going to focus on searching for leads; yes, leads!
The metaphor comparing Twitter to a goldmine in the title of this post is perfect, and here’s why: Twitter needs to be monitored, worked on, and searched strategically. If done so diligently, dealers will be able to find gold; service and sales leads. Sometimes they will find a little, and other times they will find a lot (and varying degrees in between), but when it comes down to it, the leads are out there, you just have to mine them.
Twitter mining, also known as search-and-respond, is a term that has been coined in the social media industry and refers to the practice of using Twitter’s advanced search to find leads and then respond accordingly, to open the doors of communication.
Twitter’s advanced search is one of the most hidden and underrated functions of Twitter. Most users know Twitter search as the search bar at the top of their screen, but there’s much more available to the user than what they can find using that search field.
First, log in to Twitter (do not skip this step) and type in Twitter.com/search, and click on “advanced search”.
After clicking on “advanced search” you will be given the opportunity to fill out a number of fields to help you find what you’re looking for.
So, what are you looking for and do you need to fill out all of those fields You’re looking for individuals in your primary market area (PMA) who are looking to purchase a vehicle (new, used, varying OEM brands based on what you have to offer) and those in need of a service appointment. And no, you do not need to fill out all of those fields! In fact, I suggest only filling out the few that I have pointed out with red arrows in the above screenshot. Too many fields will only limit the amount of search results that you may be able to see.
Suggestions for success
Start with service because, for some reason, the Twitter community likes to talk about oil changes! Try searching for variations of oil change, new tires, transmission, point inspection, and other service related keywords and phrases. Mine through the results (don’t forget to click “view all tweets”) and respond to those that look like they are still potentially open to choosing who will help them with their service related issue. Look for users who are stating that they need or are asking for recommendations. And even if they aren’t asking for a recommendation, but simply reporting poor service, respond by suggesting your dealership for next time. Next, search your OEM brands, used cars and any other search terms that may suggest that someone is looking to purchase a car.
Remember: social media is about engagement, and a touch of social selling can be okay, but mix it up! Don’t respond to too many tweets in a row without mixing in some re-tweets of useful information, links to your YouTube videos, or original blog content.
Brittany Richter is a social media specialist and account manager for PCG Digital Marketing.