As we have all seen, auto dealers are jumping in with both feet on social media channels. Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and now sales professionals and dealers are recognizing the value of Carfolks.com too. Twitter, initially developed so friends could keep in touch with a short message to update each other, has grown into a full blown, sometimes out-of-control media phenomenon. Twitter shared they have 105 million registered users and 180 million unique visitors a month to Twitter.com (doesn’t count all the other third party platforms that leverage or plug-into Twitter). That’s a lot of eyeballs and huge numbers any way you slice it. So naturally vendors in our industry want dealers to spend ridiculous amounts of money so they can push all sorts of junk out to the 38 followers that the vendors’ robots have brought to follow the dealership.
What about posting inventory on Twitter? If you set up your Twitter account to focus on inventory and Twitter users choose to follow you as they might be in the market for a vehicle, that is fine! They don’t put up a pretense of connecting at a level other than sharing inventory.
My issue is when you set up a dealership community page on Twitter to communicate with followers about what’s going on in your life or in your business, events with staff and other lifestyle items. Then all of a sudden you start shoving your inventory down your followers throats.
Many vendors are offering to push dealers inventory out to the Twitteratti, because we know in our hearts that most of those 180 million unique visitors are looking to buy a new car or truck (sarcastic tone)!
We love auto retailing and know dealers offer real value to their customers and the community, so why is it that some dealers still want to annoy and intrude on potential customers looking for a few interesting posts on Twitter or Facebook?
Dealers focused on short term goals push product; dealers focused on long term success push relationships!
Think about the annoying radio commercials where the narrator shouts about your “must have” special pricing. You think you have to YELL TO GET THEIR ATTENTION, because your driving listeners are busy texting and you have to do something to get them off their phones.
When you build long term relationships you whisper and people will listen. Remember the TV commericals where everyone stops what they are doing to hear what a person’s broker said because they worked for EF Hutton? It made the point, that if you have something worthwhile to say, people will hear it.
Stop shouting online, and start connecting. Promote your people, allow your happy customers to shout your praises online and gain social evidence that you care about relationships first and doing business second. Put all your sales and service personnel on Carfolks.com (remember it’s FREE) and let everyone know you really do provide the best buying experience in your market. And if you are pushing inventory to Twitter or Facebook, please stop. It’s hurting the rest of us in Auto Retailing that want to be good neighbors.
Here is a short list of things NOT to do on Twitter.
Also here is a Twitter for Dummies Cheat Sheet with some helpful tips.