[caption id="attachment_3585" align="aligncenter" width="454"]Used effectively, Twitter can be a useful megaphone for your auto shop. Used effectively, Twitter can be a useful megaphone for your auto shop.[/caption]

Twitter can be an effective tool to leverage your other social media efforts, but it’s important to use it to its highest potential.

Fortunately, that’s not as hard as it may seem. As with other social media platforms, it starts with how you describe yourself and who you interact with.

  1. Optimize your profile

Focus on your bio or “about” section. It’s the first thing people will look at when they decide whether or not they want to follow you. Make it concise, personable and, if possible, entertaining. You have 160 characters, so use them well. Talk about your business, your qualifications. You can even include a few hashtags that are relevant to your auto shop.

The words you use are searchable, so include ones that fall under your area of expertise. If you’re focusing on winter maintenance once month, include that, or oil changes, coolant flushes, etc.


  1. Connect with the right audience

It can be tempting to hop on Twitter and immediately start following people and then sending them direct messages about your shop or linking to your other social media sites.


It’s better to connect with people and start conversations. Try sites like WeFollow, if you have the time to poke around. It can help introduce you to Twitter users that have the same interests as yours.

Also, look for industry specific groups and watch who actively participates. Follow along, comment when you feel like it, and then respond if anyone asks you for more information.

  1. Use Twitter Lists

Twitter lists are a way to group users together by some common thread. For example, you might create a list of people who tweet about car maintenance tips, or an ask-a-mechanic thread.

Twitter lists are helpful because they make those tweets easy to find. With Twitter, particularly if you have thousands of followers or are following thousands of people, it’s easy to get lost in all the noise.

You can always create your own list, too. Create a Twitter list named ‘valued customers.’ When you add someone to it, he or she will get the notification. For example, a notification that says: @YourAutoShop has added you to list: Valued Customers. You can imagine how that will make them feel. (That’s right: valued!)

  1. Share Quality Content

This is a recurring theme in our blog, because it’s so important. It’s also one of the biggest struggles any business owner has: finding and sharing content consistently. Twitter seems daunting because it’s so fast paced that most messages are visible only for short periods of time. You have to remember, however, that that can work for you, too. Create quality messages and then share them repeatedly at different time of the day or night through some scheduling program like hootsuite.

As for what to share, you’re probably overthinking it. Here are a few easy ideas:

  • Share photos of your latest repair or service
  • Links to your latest blog post, including quotes or key takeaways.
  • Details about a local charity that you support. (Customers love knowing that they are, indirectly, contributing to the community)
  • Insider tips that help your customer better understand your product or service.
  • Customer testimonials that tell your story through the eyes of a third party.
  • Q&A using questions frequently asked about your business or service. The comic book industry is very good at this. Writers will post the question: So-and-so asked: and then link the answer back to their blog. You can do that about anything from oil changes to changing wiper blades.
  1. Add Visuals to Your Tweets

All social media is becoming an increasingly graphic medium. The best way to give your tweets additional weight, to make people pause as they flick idly through their twitter feed, is to include a popping graphic or picture. Google some auto maintenance infographics. Include a pic of a particularly worn down brake pad. The pics may look small, but they’ll have a big impact.

Those are some of our ideas. Do you have others? Let us know in the comments.