Twittorials for car dealers: Making sense of the hash tag

A quick look around the Twitterverse shows that a good many new car dealers are working hard to ride the social media wave. That is just great, only many are lacking in their execution due to an old failing of the car industry. We give some poor soul half the tools he or she needs to perform their task and then let them loose. Then, the managers or owners wonder why said poor soul failed at that task. In other words, we show them the showroom floor, give them a pat on the back and say “you go girl!”

Some training!

I’ve had a couple of folks request some clarification of what #FF means on Twitter, so rather than begin at the beginning of Twitter basics, I’m going to skip ahead to the wonders of the hash tag. The hash tag or number sign is a somewhat important tool within Twitter. You see, Twitter is more than just a conversational tool: it is also a power search device that allows users to monitor topics or tie topics together using a common denominator.

For example, if I am writing about a Ford product or issue, I’ll include #Ford in my tweet. That will automatically pop up in Ford’s PR people’s search columns so they are aware of it. Obviously a potentially powerful tool if used right.

Search capabilities aside, the strength of Twitter for any business is the ability to build and interact with a community. This is the very tenant upon which social media is based. You follow me, I’ll follow you back. Blogs, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and more rely on this community growth to get their message across the internet.

I apologize, as I know that I have created a whole bunch of other questions about how to best use Twitter to increase sales. I will get back to basics, I absolutely promise I will! You have lots to learn!

Back to #FF.

Remembering that social media only works when we all share, you will understand that #FF is short for #FollowFriday. Make sense? I bet it does! You can give shout outs to your buddies who follow you! You can also use it to share an important newcomer to your friends. As an example, one of my Follow Friday shout outs today went to a bunch of car dealers and looked like this:
#FF 4 dealers @capitalford @achilliesmazda @FormulaHonda @AcuraofBarrie @eric_kelownakia @TaylorAutoMall @shawgmcbuick @vwtoronto…

The idea behind this is that hopefully some of our readers at Driven Wheels who also follow on Twitter might check out some of the dealers we follow on Twitter. In other words I’m building relationships with dealers by helping them build relationships with our readers.

Why did it get shortened from #FollowFriday to #FF? Simple: by shortening it, you have more of your 140 characters left to add another name!

In my next Twittorial, I’ll start back with the first day you sign up on Twitter and it makes absolutely no sense! I’ll help make sense of Twitter by giving you some great tools that won’t cost you a penny! Car dealers love that.

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Auto writer, motorsports photographer, social media specialist.

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