How to Conquer Resistance to Social Media Marketing

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automotive-social-media-marketing-consulting-trainingInformation is power. This isn’t just some fluffy phrase uttered by motivational speakers in hotel banquet rooms. Information leads to freedom and higher profits for your business. When you know more your can do more.

Ah, but how to actually discern truth from fiction. When I talk to business owners lately, I find there’s a lot of misinformation being spread throughout the land (mostly by vendor salespeople who don’t have the same goals you do). Not knowing the truthful advantages and disadvantages of a product or service keeps you in the dark. Staying there harms your business.

I get it. You’re busy. You don’t have the time to figure out exactly whether Social Media marketing is good for your store. That’s actually why I started this blog: to supply dealers and their staff with useful information on automotive Social Media marketing and online reputation management. But even now, after 4 years there are still many who aren’t seeking the information they need to make an informed decision.

Are you resisting Social Media marketing as a way to grow your business?

We all have little gremlins in our heads that compel us not to take action. I get them a lot! Sometimes they’re so loud you think they’re sitting right next to you when in fact, they are an illusion. As a business leader, acting or NOT acting because of gremlins keeps you from your business goals. If gremlins are keeping you from interacting with your current customers and prospects online, it’s time to evict them and choose something better for you and your business.

What are the gremlins saying to you?

Let’s break it down so you can move past this old noise and rock Social Media! The following are some of the most common excuses I hear from dealership managers (and many other business owners). See if any of them sound familiar and let’s walk through the resistance together.

I’m Too Busy

Are you too busy to get more traffic, leads and sales? Take 10 minutes per day to consume information. Don’t rely on vendors to always give you the right information. Just this week I had a potential client reach out to me who’s automotive Social Media provider had given them bad information and their page was suffering because of it.

I’m Too Old

I’ve seen 19 year old receptionists that don’t want anything to do with Facebook. I’ve seen a 55-year-old Digital Marketing Manager at a dealership group who fully embraces Social Media. It’s not the age, it’s the mindset. If you believe you’re too old, you are. Every business leader must push back on this notion. The people that buy your products and services are out there ready to hear your message.

It’s Too Late

While the Social web moves at a high rate of speed, there is always time to catch up. It will take hard work but it’s never too late to bring awesome products and services to those that want them. You need to figure out where those people are spending their time and launch a concerted campaign to attract and engage them. Act now.

I Don’t Like Facebook

I once had a GM of a dealership tell me that he doesn’t go near Facebook because his friend’s wife was on there and met up with her high school sweetheart. She ended up divorcing his friend. Respectfully, that’s not Facebook’s fault. You may have reasons why you don’t want to be on there personally but that’s no reason to completely discount the power of Facebook. The numbers clearly point to the fact that your customer spends time there. Your business should be there too.

I Don’t Know Where to Start

Here’s another case of letting the gremlins win. Taking ONE step today is more than you did yesterday. Seek out a trusted expert and ask where to start. Shine the light of information on that dark room and see where it takes you. The place to start for your store may be different than another dealer’s. There are many components at play including how your dealership operates so discuss this with your trusted expert. Taking everything into account will ensure you start well and get traction early.

It’s Too Expensive

Getting solid advice from a trusted expert is a lot less than you might think. You spend thousands on advertising every month. You can get quality advice and training for your staff at a fraction of what you spend monthly.

It’s Free So It Can’t Really Do Anything For Me

Social Media marketing is not free. The platforms are free by design. They attract users for the same reason as any other entertainment or communication platform – so they can be served ads. Social Media allows you to interact with customer and prospects across all stages of the buying cycle. You need finesse, training, a budget and skillful people to succeed. Done right, Social Media can generate leads and sales and that’s exactly what it can do for you.

Be careful. Watch out for the gremlins’ nasty little falsehoods. Each time you listen and believe, it costs you money. 


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  • David Sharp

    Kathi, I like this post. You have a way of taking the…I’ll just say it…fears that we face and addressing them so well. Usually the fear of the unknown is the biggest. We don’t know HOW it works, therefore it doesn’t. We don’t know WHY it works, therefore it won’t.

    These same things could be said to some extent about my 2012 Dodge Challenger. But those things don’t stop me from hopping in it (looking very cool in my mid-life crisis) and driving down the road.

    The WHAT aspect of all of this is probably the next part, as in, “What do I do next?”. That is the perfect question and it leads to, of course, more questions. But at least it is the proverbial “first
    step”. If you don’t have the time to learn the world of social media advertising, then you are too busy to be in business. If you advertise by ANY traditional forms of media (radio, TV, newspaper, billboard, etc.), then you realize the importance of reaching out to the people to get your name out there. The difference in digital media is that the people can reach back to you. Not only that, the ability to target specific audiences is truly amazing and getting better every day.

    I completely concur with you my friend on everything that you have said here and I appreciate you saying it. You are the voice of social media–digital media–advertising for me and it’s like the E.F. Hutton commercial, “When Kathi Kruse talks (blogs, chats, tweets, etc.) I LISTEN!

    • krusecontrol

      You rock, David! This past week or so I got a lot of calls, emails, etc. from people who work at dealerships where the boss still won’t budge on social marketing (and some who don’t believe in digital marketing either!). I thought I would write about what I was seeing in hopes that it might break the damn for a few. Thanks so much for your support :-)

  • Dealertrack DMS

    Fantastic article. The timing to jump start social media efforts could not be better. With changing SEO guidelines with the Google Hummingbird update now is the time to invest or reinvest in a social media strategy. Dealerships have a built in audience and even to some extent a built in content base. Now is the time to review what your audience wants and how you can deliver it to them digitally through social media. Not only will your accounts grow but the effect will trickle down to your website traffic.

    • krusecontrol

      Thank you. Do you find your clients are having resistance to Social Media?

      • Dealertrack DMS

        Roughly 73% seem to have accounts but most of those are inactive. I do sense some resistance in the form of not knowing why or how to participate. If I was an internet sales manager I would push social because it can have a huge impact on specifically that sales positions results.

        • krusecontrol

          Wow, your 73% is quite telling…and something that doesn’t surprise me. My own observations from doing Social Media Action Plans for over a year now tell me the same thing. I agree, about Internet sales mgrs too. There’s results to be had if you’re willing.

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  • marketwithmario

    Great article Kathi. I love the “I’m too busy” bullet. Small daily efforts can create monumental results!

    • krusecontrol

      Totally Mario! Thanks for stopping by my blog :-)

  • Justin

    Awesome article! I also encounter quite often business leaders who don’t see (or choose not to see) the ROI reports for social media programs. “Why would we invest our time into that silly Facebook thing when we could be making a hard sales pitch in the Sunday newspaper instead?”

    • krusecontrol

      Oh yeah, Justin! I hear that a lot when I do workshops at conferences. There are a few dealers in the audience but most are the people at dealerships who see the potential but have to convince the boss it’s worth it. Change is not easy. Fear creeps in and the next thing you know, you hear the boss putting out another “outbound” marketing campaign that very few customers will respond to.