This month I’m going to be tweeting about Twitter. What it is, why you should care, and most importantly how you can use it in your business
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have most likely been bombarded with mentions of Twitter in the media
Even members of congress were “busted” tweeting during President Obama’s recent national address http://tinyurl.com/dc394j
Briefly, Twitter is a “microblogging” tool (and now a technical infrastructure) that lets people post short 140 character tweets to the web
Twitter is a weird FrankenTech that exists somewhere in the spaces between RSS, chat, e-mail (albeit public email), blogs, and forums
Once you post your “tweet” to the Twittersphere, users that are “following” you will be updated with the pearl of wisdom you just posted
I admit, at first I didn’t “get” Twitter. It seemed like a pointless social-media distraction. I’m rapidly and drastically changing my mind
The best way to really understand Twitter is to sign up for it and start playing with it. Go to twitter.com and create a twitter account
Make sure you take the time to create a customized and branded profile. Include a link to your e-commerce or dealership website
Be warned going in, Twitter goes down a lot. Just Google “Twitter is down”. It happens so much, it’s *almost* become an endearing quality
Check out Twitter’s help site help.twitter.com to really understand all that you can do with it. As always, if you’re stuck, RTFM!
Posting to, and managing followers is an excellent task for your Community Relationship Manager!
Publicize your dealership’s twitter ID and encourage people that visit your shop or your site to sign up for twitter and to follow you
Put your twitter ID on your printed receipts, on your business cards, add a “Follow Us” link to your website and in your e-mail marketing
You need to understand some of the tools and technique of the twitter “language.” First, a tweet is the name for a twitter post
Next, you will see the @ symbol in tweets. This is a way for directly referencing or replying to another twitter user. Mine is @radicalpower
Another symbol you will see is #. It’s an unofficial trick that has evolved among twitter users to tag or categorize post content #ecommerce
Another convention you will see is RT for Re-Tweet. When you read something really interesting that deserves wider distribution you RT it
Here’s how it looks together: RT @radicalpower- I’m writing a great article for #Dealernews on how to use #twitter for motorcycle dealers
Twitter has really become more of a technical infrastructure. To get the most out of it you’ll want to use some of the twitter clients
There are some cool applications that tap into twitter so people can analyze the real-time twit-stream to see what the world is thinking
Check out Twist twist.flaptor.com to track trends or keywords and Twitscoop www.twitscoop.com to see what terms are waxing or waning
There’s even an easy to use tool, twitpic twitpic.com that lets you post pictures through twitter.
Because you only have 140 characters, it’s hard to enter long urls when you want to direct people to a certain site or page
The solution to this is to use a URL-shortening service. Tinyurl.com is the most popular but there are hundreds more See: tinyurl.com/yp8cba
A user-generated directory has popped at wefollow.com. You simply tweet to @wefollow with 3 #category to get listed
So the big question you have to be asking is, OK this is all very interesting, but how can I use this to make more money in my shop?
On the e-commerce side, you can tweet to all your followers when you add new, cool products to your website. That will drive traffic & sales
You can also run RT-based contests. Tell people that if they re-tweet a product detail page, or blog post they have a chance to win a prize
Follow this link http://tinyurl.com/cg8euq for a Google search on “retweet contests” to see some ideas of what others are doing
You can publicize web discounts or in-store specials that are good with a code that you tweet. This gives people motivation to follow you.
Build a social media ecosystem with twitter that points people to your blog posts, and a blog link that points people to your twitter ID
When people follow you, or RT you, make sure you thank them via a Direct Message or publicly via an @reply. Don’t forget to follow them back
You will want to make sure that you do frequent searches on twitter for you company name to keep track of what people are saying about you
I hope you found this series of tweets on Twitter informative and I invite you to follow me on twitter @radicalpower
And yes, each of the points above were under 140 characters!
Tags:Column, dealerships, E-Commerce, ecommerce, internet, marketing, motorcycle, powersports, Powersports Industry, pr, Search Engine Optimization, selling-online, social marketing, social media, social-networking, Twitter