Wait a sec, Sparky. Are you really going to ask your grandma to like your Facebook business page? . That’s the nature of social media, now isn’t’ it? Well, no actually. Let’s answer one question first.
What will you do with all those people?
On its surface it just seems like that’s what you’re supposed to do. Put out the open for business sign, start a Facebook page and wait for the business to flood in.
There you have it, brand central station is booming. Right? Nope.
The only problem is that just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. I sound like your mother but, the underlying message is true. With the power of social media you can do more harm than good. We’re all possibly familiar with the Burger King, well, King, but are you familiar with the YouTube video a few employees made? The viral video showed an employee taking a bath in the sanitizing sink. Yuck. Or, how about when Honda was looking for Facebook feedback on a new model, the person commenting quite often happened to be a Honda brand manager. Ouch
According to recent reports, only about 15 to 20 percent of the people who have liked your Facebook page are really within your geographical area—a.k.a. potential customers. Of that, only 8 percent actually read your post. And, while a friend’s page is limited to 5,000 friends statistically speaking, a person caps out with keeping up with about 150 friends. This translates an important question for those managing a dealer’s social media efforts—what will you do with all those people?
You’ll engage, because that’s what all the articles you read told you to do. However, the point that is becoming increasingly clear is that you can’t possibly and mind you—properly, engage when all you’re concentrating on is a number.
Don’t forget the effort is about your brand, don’t lose focus on this: Everything you’re doing online and offline is about your brand.
- Develop a strategy. A plan. How and who will manage this strategy? And, stick to it.
- Eliminate the idea that thousands of “likes” will equal more business. Repeat after me: I will limit myself to only true potential customers. That pretty much eliminates your third cousin in Germany
- Work the plan. Engage with your Twitter followers and the people who like your Facebook page. Yes, update them, but don’t scream at them. Imagine a cocktail party. You wouldn’t run into the room yelling, “Hey, I’m the coolest, best person here.” “Look over here.” Well, maybe you would, but people wouldn’t be interested in you, except possibly a bouncer. Same thing goes for your updates. Yes, you’re probably running an incentive on a Toyota Camry. But, does your potential customer know that if they check in on Foursquare during an oil change, you’ll wash their car for free?
When access to social media information for dealers is plentiful, I challenge you to truly work on the people. What would you do with 100 Twitter followers who are within walking distance of your lot? Those people are different than those who aren’t even near your state, let alone your upcoming Labor Day sale.
At DealerFire, we work closely with our clients to ensure their digital marketing efforts are clear, concise and, of course effective. Sometimes we just need to point our clients in the right direction, and other times, we’re strategizing and managing their social accounts right next to them. We love recommending our clients use social media outside of the box. Why not post something about a local football game?
So, slow down. Take a look around. Smell a few Google+ posts. Re-energize your approach to likes and followers to those who will truly benefit your dealership.
But, don’t forget to retweet anything coming from me.
DealerFire was born out of the back of a Jeep Grand Wagoneer on its way from a month long Oshkosh, WI to San Jose, Costa Rica road trip in 2003. Just two guys armed with degrees in French and social work, a youthful entrepreneurial drive, machetes and the idea they could shake up the automotive industry. One knew how to build websites and they both knew how to treat people right. Simple really. It was that can do attitude and life experience that started DealerFire, and then today, what keeps the company rolling. Minus the machetes.
Today we’ve grown from those modest beginnings, to now servicing over a thousand franchise and independent dealers’, automotive portals and publications throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. It’s been a long, exciting road and today we are proud to claim the spot as the global leader in custom automotive marketing solutions.
Jessica Ruth is a Digital Marketing Ace @dealerfire who has a mild infatuation with Twitter and tries to hide her Midwest accent while writing.
Please post any car dealers Facebook page that is kicking ass in the comments.