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Marketing Inspiration: Maaco Twestimates Leads to More Leads

Uh oh, better get Maaco!

Remember that slogan? The auto painting and collision repair franchise has been around since 1972 and that slogan was a hit for them throughout the 80′s and 90′s.

Now Maaco is trying to hit the right note a second time with a clever Twitter campaign called Twestimates. Tweet a photo of the damage on your car and get a free estimate back via Twitter. They even give you a coupon for 10% off the repair should you follow through.

twestimates

AdWeek says that the campaign has generated around 200 Twestimates and 40 leads. 40 isn’t a huge number, but that’s a nice percentage given the low number of followers and participants. What’s tough about a service like Maaco, is that it’s (hopefully) a one-time use company, so there’s no reason for people to follow the Twitter account on a regular basis. This campaign is all about brand awareness and it’s working.

Maaco set up a special Twitter account just for the campaign – @maacover.  (Get is Maac – over? Say it out loud.) Even if you don’t submit a photo, there’s good information here for anyone even thinking about having their car repaired. Some people will look at Kayla’s crushed side panel and assume, as she did, that it would cost over $2,000 to repair. Surprise! It’ll only cost around $600. (To me, that’s still an insane amount of money to fix a small dent, but the car “experts” in my house say it’s very reasonable.)

Chris Furse, Maaco vp and CMO, called the campaign a “game-changer.” He’s assigned ten customer service reps, 5 on each coast to handle the Twestimates so they can respond within 20 minutes of any message. That timing is a vital part of the whole campaign. Once a potential customer has gone through the trouble to photograph and Tweet his issue, that’s the time to hit him up about repairs, not two days later. And the virtual coupon will certainly help anyone sitting on the fence to climb over.

Also note, that this initial response was completely word-of-mouth. Maaco hasn’t run any dedicated Twestimate ad campaigns on the web, TV or radio. Imagine how the numbers would ramp up if they ran it as a TV commercial.

Twitter isn’t the only social media tool on Maaco’s radar. They also maintain an Instagram account for before and after pictures.  I’m not a car girl, but these photos are pretty impressive.

Time to brainstorm: how can you spin this idea for use in your own business?