Facebook Marketing: One-Night Stand or Long-Term Relationship?

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Facebook Marketing One Night Stand or Long Term RelationshipIt’s 1998.  You scan your inventory for the best cars to put in the ad.  You pay the local newspaper and cable company huge sums to run the ad.  Buyers show up on the lot with their checkbooks in hand.  The focus then was meet, greet, sell, then next up.  It was the equivalent of 50 first dates.

We’ve come a long way, baby… or at least the customer has.

My hero, Carl Sewell speaks about the $517,000 customer.  The average person buys 12 cars in their lifetime and the tab for those, including service, equals roughly $517K.  Establishing a long-term relationship with that potential repeat customer ensures you’ll be there for every one of those purchases.  The top salespeople know this.  They treat every customer as though they were going to do business with them for the rest of their lives.

It’s 2012.  Buyers aren’t showing up on the lot like they used to.  Some dealers are more concerned with wishing it was 1998 than reaching today’s customer with Social Media marketing.  Some on Facebook are more concerned with getting Likes on their Page than getting their message out to their existing fans.  It’s important to grow your fan base but only if those fans are potential buyers.  Buying Likes and running meaningless contests to get Likes will never increase your sales.

Facebook marketing has never been about getting in the face of a million strangers in hopes of landing 50 first dates.  It’s about building an amazing Page and giving your fans a reason to talk about your store.  You build an online community to mirror your existing offline community.  You want your message to reach the fans who already love you, engage in your content, and want to share how cool you are with their friends.

I hear a lot of GMs asking, “How can we get more likes on Facebook?” Whether you have 100 fans or 10,000+, your message will never reach your fans’ newsfeeds if they’re not engaging with you.  It’s never been about the number of fans you have.  What matters is the actions they take.

Social Media is an action-based medium.

You have to listen, talk and converse to get noticed and be remarkable.  A successful Facebook Page does not happen overnight.  It’s not  “build it and they will come”.  You can’t lurk and expect to close sales.

So which will it be:  50 one-night stands with people who don’t trust you, who may or may not buy from you again?  Or will you focus your efforts on cultivating those repeat buyers–the people who already know, like and trust you?  Social Media helps you turn one-night stands into long-term sales relationships. Everyone wants repeat buyers.  After all, Facebook is a referral-based platform and those existing fans are your best salespeople!

Kathi Kruse
Kathi Kruse is an Automotive Social Media Marketing Expert, Blogger, Speaker, Coach, Author and Founder of Kruse Control Inc. Born in the heart of Los Angeles to a family of “car people”, Kathi’s passion for the car business spans a 30-year career managing successful dealerships in Southern California. Kathi is the author of “Automotive Social Business – How to Captivate Your Customers, Sell More Cars & Be Generally Remarkable on Social Media”. Her Kruse Control Blog is the leading Automotive Social Media blog in the US.
Kathi Kruse

@kathikruse

Automotive Social Media, Online Reputation Marketing/Coaching/Training. Blogger, Speaker, Author: AUTOMOTIVE SOCIAL BUSINESS. Founder/CEO Kruse Control Inc
Is Your Content Worth Sharing? Storytelling Techniques in Social Media http://t.co/wjhaVVraAM | Kruse Control Blog - 7 hours ago
Kathi Kruse
Kathi Kruse
  • http://denisesonnenberg.com Denise Sonnenberg

    Listen up! Kathi has this nailed. It’s about the relationships that are built. Numbers don’t mean much in Facebook Pageland. If visitors just like the Page and go away they may never see anything you post again. So then you end up talking to a stadium full of empty seats.

    • http://www.krusecontrolinc.com Kathi Kruse

      Thanks Denise! I like your analogy of the stadium and empty seats–it’s so right on!!

  • http://sosvm.com Rocky Rawstern

    Once dealers get this, then they can make the most out of their SM: “It’s not ‘build it and they will come’. You can’t lurk and expect to close sales.”

    Nice work, again! Thanks, Kathy!

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