Are you still waiting for the Social Media fad to blow over? It’s crazy but many dealers and other small businesses are lagging behind in the Social marketing game. Cars.com issued a study recently saying that 46% of Social Media users have shared their recommendation for a dealership. 41% say they saw a post that caused them to rethink their purchase decision. Do you really want to be missing out on nearly 50% of potential business?
I wrote a post recently about business’ lack of commitment to Social Media marketing. Automotive retail has never really been an early adopter and that’s certainly true with respect to Social Media. In fact, many dealerships are still waiting for others to test the waters before they dive in. Retail operations has worked the same way for 50+ years (I was in the thick of it for 30 of those years) so why change now? Having been at the inception of automotive Social Media nearly 5 years ago, I can say that change is here folks. The customer changed. Your time for waiting to see if Social works has evaporated.
I do a lot of training Webinars and a lot of people who attend are dealership personnel. I hear from many who are doing Social Media “in their spare time” with no training or budget. Actually, some are trying to do it without the slightest hint of interest or support from management. Some of my content is free or very reasonably priced so these folks attend to increase their knowledge with hopes that someday the boss will see the light. I’ll say it now: this is the road to hell. Doing something halfway, especially Social Media, can actually damage your brand. I can’t tell you how many dealership Facebook pages I see that are failing.
It’s caused me to rethink what I do because while I want to offer good advice to people who are new, the others who’ve been doing Social for a while have not progressed. I don’t want to perpetuate them being stuck. Whether they’re too busy to take it to the next level or they’re fearful of asking the boss for time, training and budget, they need to take a hard look at why they do it and devise a plan to take their next steps. Isn’t it time to get serious about reaching thousands of loyal fans and followers and converting them into customers?
There’s another group out there who won’t take action even if they’re offered really great advice or almost a step-by-step curriculum. Some don’t want to have to think. Some say they want to be leaders but can’t pull the trigger on generating leads and sales with Social Media. Those are the people I can’t help and I’m sorry to say this but I see a lot of that happening right now. As a former executive manager, it hurts my heart to know that management doesn’t care about the value of Social and staff cares just enough to be stifled.
It’s time to take action. If you’re an employee of a dealership who knows Social can produce results and your boss doesn’t agree, then set up your goals, produce the results and prepare a reporting of those results for him/her. THEN you can say Social works without a doubt and ask for training and a budget. You stand a better chance of getting what you really want instead of being stuck in limbo.
Business success depends on leads and sales. Social Media produces results but only when it’s done correctly under the guidance of an expert. Get the information you need, especially the stuff you don’t know you don’t know. Spend the time and effort to do it right. Stop being stuck in recess. It’s time to get to class.