Our growing group of automotive Social Media professionals, Your Inside Track, got together recently to chat about Twitter Marketing. Renee Stuart and I host this monthly online event and it’s gaining traction fast. There’s a real thirst for knowledge when it comes to Social Media marketing to increase leads and sales.
It’s a nice feeling to know that we can all come together to share and collaborate. Social is a platform with roots in collaboration. We can all learn from each other and Renee and I learn as much about ourselves and our goals as everyone else does.
Your Inside Track’s focus this month is on Twitter Marketing. If you want to establish credibility and trust that turns conversations into sales, Twitter is ideal.
Who do you want to reach? In today’s automotive retail (and nearly every other business), marketers should focus their strategies on these three foundational components:
- Targeted Marketing
- Relationship Building
- Self-published Content
Being active on Twitter leverages these three components and attracts better, more engaged customers. Your store can enjoy a unique competitive advantage. Tweeting alone won’t magically generate customers; but done right, Twitter’s drawing power is sales magic.
Here are the 10 powerful tips for successful Twitter marketing:
- Clear Objectives. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Measurement is about more than just results. It must tie back to your objectives. It’s the only way to know if your time, effort and money are being spent in the right place.
- Great Design. Take advantage the free real estate that Twitter gives you. Make sure you have a brand-specific Background, Header, Profile Picture and Bio. Stay consistent with your marketing message.
- Learn the Language and Etiquette. @mentions, #hashtags, RT (ReTweets), 140-character limit and shortened URLs are Twitter lingo you must master to communicate well. Etiquette (Yep, just like your Momma taught you) is key. Did someone share your content with their network? Thank them. Did someone mention you? Respond back. After being on Twitter for a while now, I’m glad to say that I love that it lets me practice gratitude everyday.
- Grow Your Following. Start by following those who you want to connect with: thought leaders in your industry and local influencers. Then, make a plan to follow up to 50 or so potential customers per day. Utilize tools like ReFollow and TweetAdder to help you. Not everyone will follow you back and that’s ok. Remember, you’re looking to connect and engage with your ideal customers.
- Provide Great Content. Build credibility and trust by being the “go-to” seller for honest, straight-forward information. Who are you trying to attract? What are their interests? How can you solve their problem? Curating the right content mix is an artform. Before you click send, ask yourself, “Would I follow this brand solely based on this one tweet?” If you don’t know where to start, seek help from a Social Media content strategist. This is where your OWN content (blogs, white papers, ebooks) is golden. It’s great to provide others’ content to your audience but when it’s your own, it adds a deeper level of brand perception. You become the remarkable thought leader in your community.
- Listen and Engage Daily. Don’t just talk about your product, share your expertise. Have a dialog with your customers & prospects.
- Social Customer Service. 71% of those who receive positive Social care are likely to recommend that brand to others. When you listen to your customers’ feedback via Twitter, respond accordingly. Leverage your already existing conflict resolution process and remember, your online reputation depends on your actions.
- Know the Fail. Auto-responders…just don’t. Sending Facebook posts to Twitter…Ix-nay. Buying followers…don’t be ridiculous. Broadcasting messages about your products and services…you should know better by now.
- Twitter Chats. These are an inter-active conversation at a specific time (usually weekly) around a specific topic on Twitter. Attend one. Follow everyone in the chat (these are connected people!). You will learn so much by just being there. Here’s a few chats on Social Media topics I recommend: #LinkedInChat (Tues 5pm PDT), #GetRealChat (Tues 6pm PDT), #ContentChat (Mon Noon PDT), #MMChat (Mon 5pm PDT).
- Generate Leads and Sales. I saved this one for last because you need to master the all the others before you move to this realm. There are conversations going on right now about the products and services you sell. You can tap into those conversations and lead some down the sales funnel. Use a Geo-Search tool like Hootsuite to capture local info. Use Needtagger to delve deeper into the intent of those conversations. Create specific marketing campaigns for only your Twitter community. Make good use of landing pages to capture leads.
Make sure your sales skills are sharpened for this endeavor though and keep in mind that asking questions gets you to the promised land. I’m going to quote my friend Megan Barto from Ciocca Honda: “If you start conversations, the prospect will create the lead for you.”