Tweeting 4 Biz

Twitter has become an essential part of any company’s marketing strategy, assisting with everything from increasing visibility to crowdsourcing.

Within the realm of Twitter, one of the most powerful tools is the hashtag, or “#” symbol, followed by one or more words — without spaces or punctuation — relevant to a specific topic.

Auto Rental News spoke with two social media experts about their experiences with Twitter and how they have seen it directly benefit automotive businesses across the country.

Paul Potratz is the CEO of Potratz Automotive Advertising and Jim Flint is the corporate director of interactive sales and marketing for John Eagle Dealerships, as well as president and founder of digital marketing firm Local Search Group. Here are a few of their Twitter do’s and don’ts.

Do Be Part Of The Conversation

One of the primary ways to achieve success through Twitter is to make sure each tweet — from the wording down to the tagging — is relevant. Twitter’s style is “conversational,” so participating in that conversation is key.

Flint likens appropriate Twitter dialogue to the way one would behave at a cocktail party. As attendees move in and out of conversations, they listen before interjecting.

Examples of good tweets.
Examples of good tweets.

Do Create Your Own Hashtag

Some businesses are successful at creating their own hashtags, but doing so requires research. Start by using existing hashtags to create a community presence. Use Twitter’s hashtag search feature to find out which keywords and tags are the most popular.

Once you get a feel for hashtags, start creating your own. Monitor these hashtags using that same search feature on Twitter to determine which ones receive the most attention.

Integrate hashtags into the company’s marketing plan. Tell customers to follow a certain hashtag in marketing literature. Put the hashtag on your website and embed it into your email signature, for example.

Do Use Hashtags To Crowdsource

Hashtags can be engaging in smaller, more specific dialogues. “Most people who want to be involved in conversations about certain topics will hashtag it,” Potratz notes, adding that you will find more success reaching out to those already interested.

However, when reaching out, a proper response requires a personal touch. Address the user’s specific needs, and maybe attach a coupon, discount or rental car information. “It’s a chance to connect to them if we can fix their problem,” Potratz says.

Don’t Write A Novel

Twitter limits each tweet to 140 characters, but you probably don’t need that many. Use as few characters as possible, leaving more room for hashtags, which improves the tweet’s searchability.

Potratz advises to make sure tweets aren’t all about the “sale.” While it’s acceptable to link to your company’s site, you risk losing readers if you over-promote.

In addition, try to add pictures or videos relevant to your topic.

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