American businesses are in denial about the need to embrace Social Media. New research finds that 72 percent of businesses that use Social Media do not have clear objectives or a clear strategy for their Social Media platforms.
This lack of direction is happening despite the fact that 60 percent of Americans use some sort of Social Media, according to the Pew Research Center. Dealerships and other businesses, however, are not convinced that Social Media is anything more than a fad or a temporary phenomenon.
Most of business owners’ skepticism comes from not experiencing the medium as a marketing tool coupled with their inability to obtain credible data on ROI (Return on Investment). There’s been a lot of conversation around Social Media ROI. For me, Social Media is another form of communication with your customer/prospect, pure and simple. If you’re generating leads, then you’re getting a return on investment. If not, then you’re doing it unsuccessfully.
Just because you haven’t been able to get Social Media to work for you, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work. Giving up and sticking your head in the sand doesn’t serve you, your store, your employees and most of all, it doesn’t serve your customers. Denial is a powerful impediment to your sales growth. Here are 5 ways to tell if you’re suffering from Social Media denial.
1. You long for the good ‘ol days and silently tell yourself they’ll be back. I was part of a large dealer meeting where the keynote must have said 10 times, “Stop dwelling on the past, it’s never coming back.” Of course it feels better to tell yourself it will, but change is upon us, folks. The future belongs to those who adapt.
2. You express disdain for Social Media. Declaring you despise Social Media is like bragging that you can’t read. Business News Daily states that Social Media is radically different and that existing theories about communications can’t be applied the same way. With 60+ percent of people using it, isn’t that enough to make you at least consider Social Media might have a positive effect on your business?
3. You tell horror stories and believe urban myths about Facebook. I actually had a car dealer tell me he wasn’t going to market his store on Facebook because his friend’s wife met up with her high school boyfriend there. She ended up divorcing his friend. Is that a valid reason not to take advantage of the biggest marketplace on the planet? Facebook is simply a platform, a medium, to connect with your customer. If you don’t, your competitor will.
4. You believe Facebook’s stock price is proof that Social Media marketing is a fad. Even though the stock has made some gains lately, I hear many equate the value of Social Media with the debacle of Facebook’s IPO. Listen up – your customer uses Facebook to connect and converse with brands that interest them on a daily basis. It’s only going to get bigger and more diverse.
5. You refuse to spend even a dime promoting your store on Social Media. Most Social Media platforms are free to join. That’s because the user is the commodity. Advertisers and marketers need to spend money on these platforms to get their content liked, commented on and shared. Get yourself a qualified Social Media manager. Leaving your store’s marketing up to a someone who has no marketing training and no budget will ensure your failure.
Social Media denial is an ineffective coping mechanism that stunts your ability to sell. Don’t be part of that 72 percent that have no clear set of goals or defined strategy on Social Media. Acknowledge that denial is blocking your ability to move forward. The best way to unlearn this behavior is to admit you’re using it and to seek out help. There are people like me who can guide you in navigating Social Media and designing a plan that’s right for your store. All it takes is your conscious decision and a phone call.