Does it seem like everyone is “atwitter” over Twitter these days? Even people who aren't on the application are passing off words like tweet, retweet and twing like they are early adopters.

As more and more social media outlets take over the space, businesses, including dealerships, are asking whether it makes sense to be a part of the buzz.

Just because everyone has gone “tweet “crazy, doesn't mean you need to be right there with them. There are ways you can be a part of these social sites without spending a lot of time, money or hassle.

Twitter

Twitter is a website where people tell you (in 140 words or less) what they're doing.

Does it make sense for your dealership? Not exactly. A quick search on Twitter for the word “dealership” returned a lot of posts where people were actually freaked out they were being followed by a dealer. Not exactly the connection you would hope for with potential customers.

Instead, use your own customers promote your dealership on Twitter.

Why not make a “twitter promotion” and ask customers to tweet about the positive experiences at your dealership through their own Twitter network? If a friend of theirs is referred from a tweet, the original customer gets a gift certificate or prize.

If you do bite the bullet and decide to create a Twitter account for your dealership, ensure you add local media to the people you follow. Many anchors and news reporters will actively ask for stories when tweeting. Finding reporters is as simple as typing their name into the “search” field. If your dealership is a match for a story idea, who knows, your “tweet” to the reporter could be picked up and become six-o-clock news.

FaceBook and MySpace

Much like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace are probably not the best areas to promote your dealership when looking at creating and maintaining an actual page. However, you can't deny that the target audience for these two social media sites is a veritable gold mine.

There are two ways to go about profiling your dealership on Facebook — the personal side and the business side. In terms of the personal side, a profile of your dealership doesn't make as much sense as a profile set up for an individual at your store.

For instance, your Internet Sales Manager should have a profile with a link to your dealership. This widens the net of promotion for your dealership among the ISM's friends and family.

Another, more appropriate place, for a dealership-only profile is within the business page section of the site. Click on this link to find out more about setting up a business page: http://www.facebook.com/advertising/?pages. Here you can set up a virtual homepage and post your logo, bio and information about your business. Another area that makes sense to at least explore is both platforms' new advertising options.

Facebook and MySpace are now offering pay-per-click advertising that displays in the sidebar of a person's profile. A lot like Google Ad words, both sites rely on a daily budget set by the advertiser in regard to amount of clicks.

They are both still somewhat limited, for instance Facebook only allows you to upload a static picture and limits the word count, but both have tools that enable you to specifically target an audience. You can target by gender, age, location and more. The concept is still fairly new on both sites, but it's an easy way your dealership can be a part of Facebook and MySpace without the hassle of monitoring and maintaining a profile daily.

Social media outlets are coming onto the scene faster than most bloggers can keep up. While it's not necessary you engage with each and every one, it is important you're aware of what they do and use them in a way that creates maximum value. While you may not be all “atwitter” over Twitter, chances are good your customers will be — and that's one social experiment you can't afford to miss out on.

You can tweet her at twitter.com/Charismacom or visit: www.charismacommunications.com for more information.