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How Heavy-Duty Parts Companies Use Twitter

Learn how heavy-duty parts companies can use Twitter in 2022, and the benefits of doing so.

Episode 164: How do you sell more heavy-duty parts in a digital world? Or to go even further, what role can Twitter be used to help you sell more parts? In this episode, we talk about Twitter, and how it can be social media channel you may want to give more attention to.

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Transcript of Episode:

Jamie Irvine:

You are listening to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. And this is the show where you get expert advice about heavy-duty parts that keeps trucks and trailers on the road longer while lowering cost-per -mile.

When we think of social media and we think of the way to use it, I always talk to my clients about how important it is to look at where their ideal customers are. Well, in order to know where your ideal customers are, you have to have a clear profile for your ideal customer. And often what you find is when you identify that ideal customer. So if you’re a parts menu manufacturer, you’re looking maybe for distribution partners, if you are a parts distributor, you wanna talk to repair shop owners, mobile mechanics, and fleets that handle their own repair. If you are selling parts online, digitally, and you’ve got an e-commerce site, perhaps you have B2B, or you have B2C, direct to consumer. So now you’re including owner operators and other people who would be buying parts for commercial trucks and trailers. So you gotta really think through where people spend their time and how those profiles like to get their information.

So when I started The Heavy-Duty Parts Report, I focused predominantly on LinkedIn and I spent about two years there before I really got serious about some of the other social platforms in this series. We’ve talked about LinkedIn, we’ve talked about YouTube and Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for me is pretty low on the list, but there’s some things that you can do on Twitter that is more difficult to do on other social platforms. So one of the things that Twitter I think is perfect for is really for giving people quick updates, right? Just a few characters. We’re just letting them know what’s going on, quick update. We are perhaps using it to deliver promotional information, and it is also a good platform for back and forth conversation. So I was looking at one article where it talked about how businesses can use Twitter.

And it said that the number one use of Twitter is actually not about the customer at all, but it’s identifying and engaging with influencers. So there may be people who are influential in your ideal customer profiles world, and you may want to connect with them. And if they’re using Twitter, it’s a great place for you to connect with them. And so they can perhaps help you to get awareness for your brand and your business. But the second thing listed in this report about how to use Twitter was to get noticed by prospects. And so this might be a way if you’re putting out content regularly and you are putting lots of updates, maybe you’re posting some videos, doing some of the live streaming, and this is a way to get access to a group of people. And maybe some of your ideal customers are predominantly business users of LinkedIn and maybe they don’t like Facebook and Instagram. They’re not on it. And so maybe Twitter is their other go to social media channel, especially if they are trying to keep up to date with what what’s going on in the world and in the industry. And one of the best ways I can see using Twitter is to answer questions. So if you have regular questions that your customers often ask about your products, Twitter is a great place to be able to put these little quick answers to common questions and post those regularly so that people can see them. If they’re following your Twitter account, then they’re gonna see these updates and that’s going to help to take maybe some of the friction out of doing business with you because before or they even reach out and talk to you, they’ve already gotten a lot of great answers to common questions.

And so they’re ready to move ahead and to buy. And, you know, in rounding out the top five, there was over 15 things in this report I was looking at, but in the top five, building brand awareness and loyalty, again, Twitter, there’s, there’s millions of users. And so if your customer there and they’re using Twitter and they’re following you and they see regular content from you, they’re going to have that brand awareness and over time, if you’re engaging with them, then you can build up brand loyalty. And also it is a opportunity for you to better understand your audience. We have to be very careful when we make decisions about how we’re going to market to our potential customers, that we don’t make assumptions. Assumptions can get us into all kinds of trouble. And it can be very easy to assume that our customers don’t use one platform or another social platform, but is that true?

Have we taken the time to really find out for sure. Have we taken the time to understand the platform, to do some investigation, to see who’s there, to look at some of your best customers and are they using Twitter? Oh, wow. You know, maybe we find out that they are. Well, then what we can do is we can look at the kind of content that they are consuming and we can look at what other brands, not necessarily even direct competitors of ours, but just similar types of manufacturing companies or parts distribution companies, maybe in the automotive sector, what are they doing? And how does automotive differ from heavy-duty? And is there an opportunity, you know, one of the worst things you can do is spend all of your marketing dollars, doing the exact same thing all your competitors are doing. And so if right now, one of the social platforms is very well represented by the industry.

Then maybe using a different social platform is actually your way in to build up new engagement, new reach, and find new customers. And so if none of your competitors are using Twitter and some of your customers are, then that’s probably a good idea to spend some time developing a relationship with those people using this social platform. It’s always good with every social platform to look at its origins, to look at what the objectives of the social platform are, to better understand how to craft and create the type of content that is going to be most successful on that platform. We’re gonna take a quick break. We’ll be right back. Don’t have a heavy-duty part number and need to look up a part? Go to parts.diesellaptops.com or download the app on Apple or Android to create your free account. Looking for high quality fuel injection for heavy-duty applications? Having one supplier for fuel injection allows you to better serve customers by providing them with a complete line, which increases your sales and profitability.

Learn more at ambacinternational.com/aftermarket. So we’ve talked about how with LinkedIn and with Facebook, we can do longer form content. Last week, we talked about Instagram, a highly vision platform that also has some really great different features like IGTV and the Instagram live and the stories. Well, Twitter’s no different and Twitter has evolved over time. And so we really need to take a look at that and we need to adapt our content for that platform. The content’s going to look very different on Twitter than it will. Let’s say a long-form video or a long form written post with images on a platform like Facebook. So with every social platform, and we’ve kind of covered all of the really, really big ones. Now I wanna just reiterate how important it is to one verify that your customers are actually using the platform to adapt your content to the platform, make it so that it is adapted to that specific platform so that it gets the best chance at getting some reach and actually finding your customers.

Don’t do what everybody else is doing. Try to find a way to find lanes where you can be unique in your sector, and you can do something a little different than your competitors, so that people, when they see your content, it gets their attention. And if we’ve done all of this correctly, then we have an opportunity to succeed, but there’s two other things, two kind of words of caution that I’ll put out there before we move away from social platforms and continue to talk about other ways to sell heavy-duty parts with digital tools. I really think that one, it’s very important that whatever platforms you do choose, you go really deep. You know, instead of being kind of broad and generic, you know, that’s like being a mile wide and an inch deep, instead go an inch wide and a mile deep, which may mean that you choose to use only one or two social platforms in the beginning and you ignore all the rest.

You know, I always tell my clients, go get your handles, you know, secure your handles for every platform so that if for some reason you decide to start using a new platform, you’ve already got it. Somebody else doesn’t get it. And, so you’ve got that handle, you’re ready to go, but that doesn’t mean you have to make content for every social platform, pick the ones that make the most sense, pick the ones that represent the best opportunity for you and be willing to commit to very consistent content creation on those platforms, engage with every follower, every comment, every reshare, you know, make sure that you are actually using the platforms the way they were intended to. And there’s a reason it’s called social media. It’s all about two-way interaction between you and your customers. And the last thing I would say is don’t quit too soon.

You know, recently, one of my clients said, I don’t know if this is worth it. You know it seems like we’re only getting a few views on every post. And when we looked at the analytics of their entire effort across all the digital platforms, from their website to their social, you know, it was surprising that in just a few months, they had received over a hundred thousand views and all of these little views, these small amounts, this post, that post, they all add up over time. And definitely when it comes to digital content, there’s something called the hockey stick curve. And that’s not just because I’m Canadian. But the hockey stick curve is very flat with just a small increase month over month for a long period of time. And then you hit a moment where you get to the end of the hockey stick, where the blade of the stick points straight up.

And I know for myself at The Heavy-Duty Parts Report, I definitely experienced the hockey stick curve. I built content for a long time. And for a while there, it felt like maybe it wasn’t going to work, but I remember after over a year being at like 10,000 impressions a month, and that was last fall. And then by January of 2021, you know, we were up 25, 30,000 impressions. By May we hit over a hundred thousand. We put in the work, we were consistent. We got that slow, steady progression of growth. And all of a sudden we hit that part of the curve of the hockey stick curve, where things start to go straight up. And I think for companies they’re looking for ROI, right? Return on investment, and they want it immediately, but it takes time to build up a following of, of engaged clients, of engaged prospects who are interacting with our content.

We have to fail a little bit. We have to try some things that probably aren’t gonna work, but we have to be creative and keep trying different things until we figure out what our audience actually wants, what our perspective customers, what our existing customers want from us. And when we find our lane and we maintain that consistency over time, the aggregate effect is that it builds and it builds and it builds. And then all of a sudden we reach that point where we kind of have a breakout month like I did. And that can happen for you too. I work with companies in the heavy-duty parts industry, heavy-duty companies that are wanting to sell more parts using digital tools. They want to have a full adoption of the digital sales channel. And whether we’re talking about your website, about using digital tools with your salespeople, or about the marketing with outbound campaigns and using social media, all of that is part of the work that I do with my clients.

And I would love the opportunity to talk to you and work with you on your strategy for your social media and your digital sales channel adoption. Reach out to me on any one of the social platforms you’re following me on right now. Or you can always reach out to me by email [email protected] and of course, head over to heavydutypartsreport.com, regardless of whether you wanna follow us as a podcast on our YouTube channel, if you want to get our weekly email, or if you want to follow us on social, there’s lots of ways for you to interact with our content.

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