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WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (April 27, 2015) — The Virginia Automotive Association celebrated its 50th anniversary in Williamsburg over the weekend, and I had the pleasure to attend such a great event.

During my long drive down to the event, I got to thinking about some social media blog topics that I have stirring around in my head. Imagine the excitement I had when I got to the event and met Kimberly Taylor, owner of Titan Auto & Tire.

Kimberly manages Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google+ for Titan Auto and is one of the people I have retweeted and conversed with via Twitter. (Remember when I said I often “meet” people on Twitter and then in real life at an event?) As we spoke about our common interests in social media, I decided to ask her to share her top five thoughts on using social media for business:

Kimberly Taylor, Titan Auto & Tire
Kimberly Taylor, owner of Titan Auto & Tire

1. For connecting locally, Facebook is the best.

Titan Auto has two locations — South Chesterland and Moseley, Va. — and both are active in their local communities. Posts about the company, its employees and its community lead to the most likes and engagement, Kimberly explained.

“It’s really interesting on Facebook. There’s just such a personal connection to that, more so than Twitter,” she said.

In her experience, people like to learn about your business and what you are about—things that you support and things that you love.

“For us, I think Facebook has just been a great way to connect with our customers, more so than to really sell to them, but to connect with them on a personal basis,” she added.

2. Twitter is just as important for her as anyone else.

Twitter is much more information-driven, Kimberly said. Posting blog articles and other content is something she does more of on this platform than Facebook.

Additionally, taking photos of interesting things around the shop is a great visual for Twitter and Instagram. For instance, if a really old filter comes through the shop, Titan Auto’s Twitter and Instagram pages may add a post showing a new filter compared with old filter. This is not only a great visual tool, but an educational one as well.

 

“I think Twitter is almost just as important for me as it is for the people that follow me because I’m following people in the industry and other local businesses,” Kimberly said.

Since Twitter is so information-driven, it is allowing her to stay up-to-date in her industry and community. It’s also a great way to share content with other local businesses. Kimberly told me about how a salon kept retweeting tweets she was sending out, so one day she stopped in to introduce herself. She said this is something she has done a few times: taking the conversation and engagement from Twitter and making “real life” connections.

3. Learn when and how to post.

I think with social media its crucial to get a time structure together for yourself and your team. I know that while I check social media every day, I can easily miss something if I am distracted with everything else on my plate or I can spend three hours on it if I wanted to. Finding the balance is hard, but necessary.

This was something Kimberly and I spoke about because each platform is different, too. If you post four times a day on Twitter, that is totally acceptable. However, start doing that on Facebook, and you will see your numbers drop.

Kimberly said she tries to post twice a day to Facebook, with one post relevant to the season or something going on, like a rebate. The second post is about a community event or something else going on that is relevant to its customers.

She also tries to post to Instagram once a day. While Kimberly said Instagram is not her favorite site, she wanted to be able to reach a younger demographic.

“You have to go after what’s hot right now and go to where the people are,” Kimberly said.

What does she wish she knew from the beginning? How to post and the best times to do so.

It is something that can evolve and change, but in case you are wondering this yourself, here is a pretty cool infographic with this information.

4. Follow a theme.

For her own ease of mind, Kimberly said she tries to follow a theme through her social media platforms each day. For instance, if she is posting about tire safety, she would post them through all the sites. This does not mean she is posting the same exact post to each site, but she will keep the theme going.

With two locations being represented, it is important for both of the stores to present, even though they are different. 

“Both stores support the local high schools and schools, communities around the stores,” she said. Since Titan Auto has one social media presence for both stores, she makes sure that both communities are represented, including engaging with moms clubs and homeowner’s associations.

5. Get your team involved.

One aspect I found really interesting is that while Kimberly handles the social media accounts herself, that does not mean she does it all alone. She gets the staff involved by having them send her photos of interesting things in the shop. It seems simple, but having that kind of participation can really make it easier on your social media person. And since you are working so hard on social media to engage with your audience, what better way to do that than have even more of your employees play a role in that?

___________________________________________

Do you have any advice? Tweet to me at @jenniferkarpus or email at jkarpus@crain.com

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