Have you ever stopped to think about whether you actually believe Social Media marketing can generate revenue for your business?
I don’t mean a begrudging or half-hearted belief. I mean committed acceptance to connecting with your customer to generate leads using Social Media. If your answer is less than 100%, consider how the traffic in your showroom has dropped and listen to this:
- Social Media ad revenue will increase from $5.5 billion in 2011 to $8.8 billion in 2012, a year-over-year growth rate of 60%. (The Real Time Report)
- Facebook-Only Mobile Use has climbed 23% since March 2012 (Techcrunch)
- 20% of US Internet users would buy from a brand if a friend followed that company on Social Media (eMarketer)
It’s easy to crawl back to the comfortable place where we all broadcasted advertising messages to the masses but that place is only an illusion now. It’s like that sweet field of poppies Dorothy fell asleep in on the Wizard of Oz. Except there’s no tapping of the ruby slippers to wake you up and take you back to “Kansas”.
A groundswell movement is happening right now in our industry. Employees are recognizing the value of relationship marketing and they’ve taken things into their own hands. I can’t tell you how many times I hear from a dealership employee who’s been suffering in silence. They’ve seen the value of Social, started using their own profiles to communicate with customers, and sold to them. They’re trying to convince the boss that it works but they either get a “that’s a waste of time” remark or they’re chosen to run the store’s Social Media without any support whatsoever.
You can ignore the groundswell, and maybe that’s eventually how you’ll realize it’s happening. Maybe the wave will come and take your good people away. Make no mistake, that employee who’s been suffering is just getting better at Social marketing. For them, they need a good fit where they work, they need support and the competitor might just be that place. Please don’t let this happen to you.
No budget + No Buy-in = No Social Business
These free Social platforms are there to attract you. They attract your customer and you can’t ignore their value. Devoting zero budget just let’s your customer know you aren’t interested in talking with them. No buy-in helps your employees become frustrated and unproductive. No Social Business means no revenue from one of the most lucrative media outlets of our lifetime.
Relationship marketing is as old as time. Dealers have been lured away from it, just like other businesses, by the sweet sound of writing a check to cover last month’s advertising. “Throw the money at it and the customers walk in the door.” You may believe it’s a fad or that it’ll pass, but the fact remains that the customer is driving this media culture shift. The consumer has become the media. Engage them and you engage their network. Engage their network and you drive your online authority.
Please don’t discount these ideas just because they’re new to you. What if you’d never heard of a phone you can carry around in your pocket? Would you discredit its value? No, you’d look at it wild-eyed and wonder how you can get one.
Treat Social Media marketing with that same eagerness and you’ll not only beat your competitor, you’ll have the best hires knocking on your door.