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There’s no doubt that Twitter is a powerful and popular social media platform. That popularity extends into the auto supply chain, too. In fact, our recent SMaASH 2.0 study shows that 88 percent of the top 25 North American automotive suppliers use Twitter … and many of them use it a lot.
We found that 45 percent – almost one-half – of all social media updates posted by these suppliers on the top four platforms are focused on Twitter, rather than LinkedIn, Facebook or YouTube.
Initially, this seems logical, as it’s a quick and easy process to post a 140-character Tweet, right?
But the key question is: Is it wise to spend almost half of your precious social media effort on Twitter, where the typical supplier’s audience is smaller and your message can easily be lost in a constant avalanche of Tweets?
Our recent Social Media and Automotive Supplier Habits™ 2.0 (SMaASH 2.0) study of the top 25 North American automotive OEM suppliers showed that the typical supplier posts on Twitter about 50 percent more frequently than on either LinkedIn and Facebook … despite the fact that the typical supplier has 13 times more followers on LinkedIn and seven times more followers on Facebook than on Twitter.
Looking at it another way, less than 5 percent of the typical supplier’s total social audience follows them on Twitter. So, why spend so much effort targeting fewer followers?
Beyond the smaller following, consider that your Tweet is competing with an unending avalanche of a half-billion Tweets per day. What chance does your Tweet have to break through the clutter of that crushing volume – especially when your Tweet’s half-life is just 15 minutes or less?
Of course, every situation is different … and for some, Twitter may be the perfect primary social media platform. For other suppliers, it may be just one of several important channels. There are no one-size-fits all answers.
Whatever your situation, if/when you are using Twitter, here are some things to help ensure the energy you’re spending posting there is being used most effectively:
• Post Your Positive Press – Out of all the Tweets posted by the suppliers we studied, only 6 percent of the posts related to media coverage the supplier had received. A Tweet (or Retweet) is the perfect, quick way to share positive coverage that your company has earned, so be sure to link to articles that showcase or position your firm. This highlights and leverages credible third-party commentary on your company, and it also builds goodwill with the reporters that cover your company, as they are increasingly being evaluated by the number of shares, likes and comments their stories generate.
• Follow Your Followers – Our study shows that while the typical top supplier has some 8,000+ followers on Twitter, they only follow back 345 accounts (about 4 percent). Twitter and other social channels are about reciprocity, so follow your top followers – those who have big followings themselves, those who are most socially active and influential, and, of course, the key reporters, analysts, industry experts and academics.
• Picture This! – Currently, one-half of all supplier Tweets lack visual content. As we all know, visuals boost readership and engagement immensely. Visuals help your post stand out in that burgeoning sea of Tweets, so make sure to include a photo, graph, infographic or video with your Twitter posts as often as possible.
• Tweet and Repeat Tweet – Use your best Tweets more than once, as long as they aren’t about breaking news. A recent study showed that one-half of Twitter users don’t log on every day. So to increase the likelihood your followers will see it, use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite to program your Tweet to be used at different times on different days.
Overall, the key to social media success is to review your specific situation and look at the real-world data to guide your planning, rather than hunches.
For more information on our SMaASH 2.0 study findings, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit Automotive World Article: Top U.S. Suppliers Increase Social Media Activity by 144% in 2015 or call us at 248-269-1122.
Bianchi Public Relations’ SMaASH 2.0™ study reviewed social media usage between January 1 and June 30, 2015, by the top 25 North American automotive OEM suppliers as ranked by Automotive News.