A friend of mine recently started a new car search. He already had an idea of what he was looking for (a mid-size SUV with all wheel drive) but he didn’t have a particular make and model in mind. He asked our friends on Facebook if anyone recommended a specific vehicle and got a flurry of responses from the Acura MDX to the Toyota 4Runner and everything in between. So he took to Twitter to see what complete strangers would recommend and if two or three models rose to the top of his list. After receiving a few suggestions from followers, he also heard from a local car dealership.
The dealership that responded to his call for suggestions really got his attention with less than 140 characters. Instead of a spammy sales pitch, the dealer offered an invitation for a conversation: “There are a lot of good SUVs to choose from… other than AWD, what are you looking for?”
My buddy told me about the exchange he had with the dealership via Twitter the next day at work. He was really impressed that someone saw his message, let alone responded without a sales pitch. He ended up browsing that dealership’s website and combing through several potential vehicles.
By building customer engagement through social media, specifically Twitter in this case, this dealership created a solid foundation for a lasting relationship. By not hitting my friend with a sales pitch or suggesting a vehicle right off the bat, the dealership was able to build trust — something not easily attained from a typical marketing pitch.
In addition, the dealership did a great job of engaging in conversation marketing, instead of push marketing, by talking with the customer — not at them.
If you’re wondering, my friend did end up buying a car from the dealership that reached out to him via social media. And he brags about it to anyone that will listen to him.
The dealership likely has a customer for life as long as they continue to build on the relationship they’ve already started with him. And to think, it started with less than 140 characters.