why twitter is important to business

Charlottesville Car Dealerships and Social Media: A Study of Four Automotive Brands

By Social Media

In the last few years I’ve noticed an uptick in the number of local car dealerships ending their television commercials with “Friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter.”

I became curious about what the local social media scene among the automotive brands really looks like and decided to conduct a small independent study.

  1. Price Kia is the first dealership that appears in a Google search that has an evident social media presence on its home page. The Kia dealership’s Facebook Page has 248 “likes,” 30 photos and four videos but  not a lot of engagement or customer interaction.
  2. Brown Automotive is the second leader in the Google search, and has a Facebook Page with only 141 “likes;” surprising because this dealership is so engaged in the local community. Twitter is where this dealership really stands out and that is largely due to www.twitter.com/brownautogal What really makes Brown’s social media engagement successful is that Brown Automotive’s Twitter presence has a face and a voice — and these belong to Jamie Schwartz, aka Brown Auto Gal.
  3. Jamie SchwartzFlow Volkswagen Charlottesville only offers a Facebook page for customer engagement. The page has only 50 “likes,” but offers good content, helpful tips and reminders. With such great content, it’s too bad that Flow Volkswagen isn’t living up to its social media potential.
  4. BMW of Charlottesville earns points for having Facebook and Twitter badges on its website home page, making it clear to their community where to engage. BMW’s Facebook page is active so it’s surprising that it has only 30 “likes.” The dealership also has a Twitter account, but they seem to be a bit confused about it — the account is http://twitter.com/bmwcharlville but the bio lists it as BMWCharville:


The Twitter account needs some help. A keyword-rich bio should be added and it should be evident who the person is behind the account. There are thousands of engaged Twitter users in our community – and yet BMW of Charlottesville is only following 12.

There is definitely some untapped potential for social media engagement in the car sales arena in Charlottesville. I see plenty of people in our community tweeting and posting on Facebook about a need for a new car, recommendations for where to get a car fixed or the next car they should purchase. With such a competitive marketplace, these dealerships should take a hard look at how they can pull ahead of the others with some simple social media strategy.

Entitlement and the Culture of Social Media

By Social Media

I’d like to tell you that social media is all about butterflies and rainbows but you probably already know that’s not true.

A great feature of social media has been the advocacy action – the grassroots community building initiatives that have toppled the bad and uplifted the good.

Stories of these incidents are of a sort that (wait for it) go viral.

It’s become a custom amongst the social media set, when confrunted with truly terrible customer service to Tweet, post on Facebook and publish blog content chronicling dastardly customer service deeds.


It’s true; we have come to expect that businesses — particularly larger brands, are at least listening online. We hope (and I believe, have a right to expect) that brands are responding to their own accounts. If you’re contacting a brand to complain on the brand’s Facebook page or with an @ reply message on Twitter, they should contact you to see how they can help.


I’m concerned about this — I’m concerned that maybe we’re an overly entitled generation, demanding superior customer service not just from big brands but all the way down to small Mom and Pop shops that may not have the resources to respond to all vehicles of  communication.

Now, should these companies be setting up Twitter accounts or Facebook pages if they’re just going to ignore or abandon them? Should they have an 800 number if no one is ever going to answer it? Probably not.

What do you think? Have customer satisfaction stories in which social media plays a role made us more demanding? Is that fair?

Twitter: Why We Care What you Had for Breakfast

By Communications

cerealI can’t tell you how many times this example has been thrown my way, as a challenge to the relevancy and purpose of Twitter.

“I don’t care what you had for breakfast!”

“Why would I care what someone had for breakfast!”

Why breakfast? I wonder.

Of course the people tossing out the Most Important Meal of the Day with the bathwater haven’t experienced Twitter and so, I struggle to find the most polite way to tell them they have no idea what they’re talking about.

Of course Twitter users are tweeting about more than their bagels and schmear or their $5 lattes. But let’s say, for fun, that for a day, everyone on Twitter tweeted their breakfast. Now that would be VERY interesting to those people over at Dunkin Donuts. And to the mom and pop coffee shops in your town. And to Eggo and to the billion dollar breakfast cereal industry. If all those breakfast-interested parties were also on Twitter they could ENGAGE with those Twitter users and ask them why they prefer, say, Bodo’s to Panera, or Mudhouse to Starbucks.

But you don’t really care about what your customers are thinking, saying and doing, huh?

On a personal connection level, say I’m tweeting my breakfast from a local coffee shop and learn that someone I know via Twitter only is there, or on her way there and at last! We will meet! And a friendship that had heretofore only been online, is now in real life and that is why we care what you’re having for breakfast.