The New Year always brings with it a sense of reflection. We look back on the year past with gratitude for our knowledge and experience. We look forward to the coming year and new beginnings. It’s a time to consider the changes we want (or need) and set intentions to follow through on those changes.
Some of the solutions we had going for us last year, won’t necessarily work going forward. With respect to Social Media marketing, there are many issues that dealers need to “re-solve” in order to market and advertise their business in 2013. Are you ready to make the commitment?
1. Re-Solve the dramatic changes in SEO and SEM by creating and publishing your own content. It’s no secret now that Google is looking for quality content to enhance search results. How will you differentiate your dealership in 2013 without producing great content? Your blog could be the single biggest traffic generator for your store. You’ll increase visibility and influence by feeding search engines what they’re hungry for. You’ll also attract buyers who are looking for credible information to make their purchase decision.
2. Re-Solve operating in that world between denial and hope by accepting the fact that Social Media marketing is not free. It takes skill, time, effort and little bit of money to make Social Media go. You will never succeed in Social Media if you continue to believe that it’s free. The platforms are there to attract users. For dealership marketers, it’s a place to connect with your customer throughout all facets of the sales cycle. Believing that’s free is nonsense and it’ll harm your business.
3. Re-Solve your low engagement by defining a clear content strategy. On Social Media, people interact with and share content that’s meaningful to them. When you constantly post updates about your products and services, people tune out. Attract more eyeballs by outlining the specific, unique qualities in your brand and your customers. Focus on your local area and current events happening around your dealership in real life. Your blog posts certainly come in handy here.
4. Re-Solve your Social Media content drought by making content marketing your culture. One of the biggest challenges for businesses is finding quality content on a consistent basis. In the very near future, every employee will be trained on Social Media. They’ll produce content & build lasting sales relationships with the Social customer. When customers consume your self-published content prior to sale, they have a stronger connection with you. If a potential customer has read 30+ pieces of your OWN content, you have an 80% better chance of closing the sale.
5. Re-Solve Social Media ROI by actually running marketing campaigns that generate leads. Marketing doesn’t sell things, your salespeople do. When I managed stores, I knew the leads would only bring the customers to the door (or phone, email, or Social network). It is entirely possible to generate leads on Facebook. A winning content strategy married with targeted Facebook advertising campaigns can bring people to you. Just like newspaper, radio and TV advertising, the selling part is up to you.
6. Re-Solve your disconnectedness on all the networks by picking one or two platforms and make them shine. Please don’t try to be all things to all people, especially if you’re new to Social marketing. I would make Facebook your first choice because it’s the mac-daddy and it’s where your customer is most-likely spending their time.
7. Re-Solve inefficient solutions by reviewing each marketing and advertising expenditure you had in 2012. Did you get what you paid for with vendors who’ve promised you Social Media success but haven’t really come through? Do you know what Social Media success looks like, really? Reassessing expense is always a valuable thing to do when starting the New Year. It opens eyes.
8. Re-Solve your inconsistent message by designating one person, a Social Media marketing manager, to listen, engage, and respond to your audience. Now that you’ve reassessed what you’re spending, it’s time to make some adjustments to that budget and reallocate it to personnel expense. I’m talking with dealers daily who’re doing this exact thing. Hire (or promote) yourself a Social/Internet marketing kingpin. If you need help finding one or what to ask them in the interview, check out my blog post “10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Social Media Manager”.
And speaking of new beginnings: I just published my new book, “Automotive Social Business – How to Captivate Your Customers, Sell More Cars & Be Generally Remarkable on Social Media”. If you could use some fresh ideas and guidance with Social Media, please check it out.