Relationships are the only thing that can’t be pirated by competitors.
Social Media marketing is driven by relationships. Your highest return on those relationships lies with your repeat customers. They are advocates for your store. Friends trust friends who are advocates.
Nielsen just released a study focusing on the trust levels that consumers have with the various forms of advertising. The top answer, at 92%, said, “Recommendations from people I know”. The second-most trusted? “Consumer opinions posted online.”
Yes, these beat out the age-old, go-to practices like ads in search results, billboards, radio and TV, and branded websites. So the question is:
What are you doing to create and maintain the relationships you have with those people who are so delighted with you that they share their opinions everywhere they go?
Now more than ever, those repeat buyers are valuable assets to your operation. They influence others with their recommendations.
I did a guest lecture at a local university this week talking about automotive Social Media and it’s relationship to a dealership’s online reputation. Some of the grad students are currently working at dealerships. I always ask who in the room is using Social Media and most of them raised their hand. Some were proud to say their store was succeeding with Social marketing. Awesome.
As I rolled out my slides and fielded questions, I could see those who thought they were succeeding slowly start to realize there was so much more to take advantage of. They realized that without a clear internal process to engage those “Raving Fans” and cultivate those relationships, they were staring at a huge void in their marketing strategy…AND their results.
Take some time and identify who your advocates are. Every Service Advisor I know has “Raving Fans” who only want to see them when it’s time to service their car. That my friends is trust and you can’t buy it, you can only earn it. If you’ve taken the time to earn it then why wouldn’t you make nurturing that trust part of your daily routine?
Some salespeople I know have stayed in touch with their customers for years. They know that a person who’s purchased before is very likely to do it again. These are not new principles folks, only a new way of keeping in touch.
Social Media is the Rolodex of 2012. When I sold cars, I used to keep all my customers contact info on cards inside a box I would carry around with me. Then came the Palm Pilot and I was thrilled. Today, we have Facebook and Twitter. The best part is that you get to “touch” the customer more often when they’re in your Social network. It’s a great time to be selling!
We hear a lot about the importance of engagement on Social Media. It’s become an iconic marketing term that gets thrown around a lot. What we’re really talking about is practicing a content marketing strategy to stay in touch with our repeat buyers while cultivating new sales relationships. It’s open, connected and everyone in our network gets to witness our efforts.
Do you have a proven strategy and process in your store for engaging your repeat buyers using Social Media? How often do you thank them or engage them in conversation? Now’s the time to take action. Quick, before the dealer down the street figures it out first!