7 Steps to Twitter Q&A Success

Twitter question and answer sessions for dealershipsYou’ve seen your favorite celebrities featured in Q&As on Twitter.

You watched hundreds of fans engage with them and ask questions.

You wondered if you could use a Twitter Q&A to engage with potential customers so the next time they want to buy a new car, they remember your dealership.

The short answer: Yes! The long answer: Yes, but you need to plan carefully.

Too often a Twitter Q&A is a recipe for disaster, resulting in a social media “brand fail” instead of a success story. JP Morgan Chase, Robin Thicke, and others learned that lesson the hard way.

Don’t join that list.

Check out these seven steps from our friends at IMN for hosting your dealership’s own Twitter Q&A:

Step 1: Check for Interest

Is Twitter the right channel to reach your audience? If they don’t use Twitter, you should rethink running the Q&A.

Before you start talking, just listen. Get on Twitter and research ideas and topics. Find popular and trending topics by searching related hashtags and key industry players. Pick a subject you know interests your audience.

Step 2: Get Approval

Find a willing subject expert who agrees to participate. Also, get approval from the appropriate leadership, including your OEM’s marketing department, if necessary.

Step 3: Decide Your Goals

Do you want to promote your new models, highlight your dealership’s great service tradition, or something else? Find your “why” and stick to it throughout the planning process.

Be careful not to turn your “chat” into a glorified sales pitch. You want to create conversation that provides value to your audience.

Step 4: Pick the Specifics

Iron out the details ahead of time to avoid a logistical nightmare. Decide when the chat will run and how long it will last. Most chats run for an hour. Consider outside timelines if you want to develop a chat series or coincide with a related event.

Also assign roles in advance. Who will answer questions, retweet and curate the conversation, referee, and introduce ideas if the chatter stalls?

Don’t forget to make a hashtag for your event! Keep it under eight characters for easy sharing.

Step 5: Plan Your Points

Work with your featured expert to develop 5-10 talking points. Every point should relate to the overall conversation but also be distinct enough to stand alone in case someone retweets it. Include statistics or figures, photos, and links to related articles or infographics for each talking point.

Step 6: Prepare for the Worst

Every performer has to prepare for the heckler in the crowd. Try to anticipate any negative feedback and have a response plan in place – whether that is openly addressing known concerns or taking a “don’t feed the trolls” approach.

Step 7: Promote Your Chat

You’ve taken all the steps to prepare, so let people know about it. Allow time to advertise and promote through channels relevant to your audience.

Want to see these tips in action? Check out IMN’s Q&A with Michelle Larter (@mlarter) Dec. 9, 1:00-2:00 EST.

Need help with your overall social media strategy? Call 855.NKD.LIME or email info@nakedlime.com.