Why IDS RV, Marine and Trailer Dealerships Should Use Twitter

By Jenn Varela – IDS Contributor

Twitter, Tweeting, Followers, and the pound sign, or better known these days as the Hashtag.  What does it all mean and what does it mean for your IDS RV, Marine or Trailer business?  In this social media blog, we’ll go over what exactly is Twitter and why it may be a good idea for you to use it.  Hang on tight, because by the end, you’re not going to want to wait any longer to start tweeting!

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a free social media outlet that individuals and businesses can use to send out short informative messages to their friends and/or followers called tweets.  For an RV, Marine or Trailer dealership this can be the quickest way to let all your customers know about a sale or special promotion happening – providing that your customers are following you on Twitter.  It’s also a great way to share conversation with your customers in real-time.  For a business just learning about Twitter, you can visit the Twitter Business information page.  This page has some great information on how to get started and case studies.

Why Twitter?

Perhaps a better question is, why not Twitter?  Imagine sending out an announcement to all your RV, Marine or Trailer customers at one time and not having to worry about bounced emails or emails not even being opened?  Individuals that are following your business will see your tweet come across in their timeline.  In days past, you may send out 200 emails announcing your big sale at the end of the month, but alas, only a handful of the recipients even bothered to open the email.  With Twitter, your customers see the news as soon as you press the tweet button.  How great is that!  And to make the deal even better, you can schedule the same (or different) tweet to go out at different intervals during the day by using a third party app.

Another great feature with Twitter is the hashtag.   Hashtags are used to help categorize a conversation.  For instance, at some of IDS’s recent events we used the hashtag #RVIA when we were at the RVIA trade show in Kentucky, #RVDA when we were in Vegas for the RVDA convention, and #MDCE while we were at the Marine Dealer Conference in Orlando.  By using hashtags, you can search for a word or phrase and any public conversation that has used the word or phrase with a hashtag will be selected.  This makes it easy for everyone to start having conversations with each other while at the event.  Here is a great explanation from Twitter support:

  • People use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search.
  • Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets marked with that keyword…
  • Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet – at the beginning, middle, or end.
  • Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending Topics.

You can also attach photos to your tweets.  While attaching a photo to your tweet does put a damper on your total character count of 140, it’s still pretty useful.  If you have a part or unit on sale, send a short message about it along with a photo of it.  Recent studies have shown that the public LOVES pictures. Plus, if you wanted, you could send out a tweet an hour with a different part or unit that you want to promote.  You know, just in case someone didn’t happen to see the last tweet or it wasn’t the part they were looking for.

If you’re worried that your customer niche may not be on Twitter or that it’s for a younger generation, think again.  You may be surprised to find that 15% of online adults use Twitter as of February 2012 and 8% are doing so on a daily basis, this according to Jeff Bullas.  The proportion of adults using Twitter on a typical day has quadrupled since late 2010.

One last note, remember to engage with your customers.  Ask them questions about products they like and products they don’t like, but also remember to answer any questions and comments tweeted to you.  And most of all have fun with it!  Be professional but don’t let it stress you out.  Twitter can be a great tool to help your business succeed in this digital world.

Jenn Varela is a Social Media Coordinator and blog contributor who has been involved with the RV and Marine industry for the last 12 years. Working for companies, such as Integrated Dealer Systems (IDS) and Signify Marketing, allows her to develop and implement effective Social Media campaigns for a variety of different businesses within the industry. While at IDS, she worked hand in hand with dealers teaching them how to effectively use technology to increase productivity and profitability.

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