How to Save Your Business from Social Media Snake Oil

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automotive-social-media-marketing-consulting-trainingHow important is it to have the right people representing your business on Social Media? You most likely have potential employees go through a stringent hiring process because they will be representing you to your customers. It’s important to have the same rigorous plan of action when deciding your Social Media marketing strategy.

Social Media marketing became a real player over 5 years ago. Lately, I see a lot more “social media providers” dipping their toe in the pool, obviously trying to get in on the action while the gettin’s good. Some of those providers have had to change their business model in order to stay relevant and I don’t fault them for that. However, while they say what they’re offering is marketing, I’m pressed to find a true marketer in the bunch.

I read a blog post recently from my friend, Rick Walter @UsedCarRicky about companies who are selling Social Media snake oil to dealers by preying on their lack of knowledge. Rick says, “I have personally converted tweets and likes into real car deals. That doesn’t make me a genius or guru, it just means that I worked at it and just like customers on the lot, it’s a numbers game. You can make the numbers work in your favor if you pay attention to what your customers are saying instead of what someone tells you they are saying.”

“If you choose to outsource Social Media marketing, do so with the same care you would take if you were meeting your daughter’s first date.” Rick says, “Are you handing over your daughter to just any mo-mo that comes to the door? Of course not. Treat Social Media with respect and you will see the benefits.”

In this world now, we can’t afford to let others speak for us without our awareness. You have to know where the pitfalls are. If you’re approached (just like your daughter’s suitor) check their credibility and motivation. If you’re looking for answers on how to proceed with Social Media, check with your trusted sources. If you don’t have those (many don’t because Social Media is new to many businesses), consume content yourself. Read blogs and engage your employees in the process. Expert advice can be beneficial and it’s also true that no one knows your customers better than you do.

Here are some questions to answer to keep you safe from snake oil and at the same time construct a viable presence on Social Media:

  • What are my Social marketing goals?
  • How will I achieve those goals?
  • What content strategy is best for my business?
  • How can I promote my business on Social Media?
  • What is my engagement strategy and who will manage it?
  • What’s my plan on converting fans into customers?

When that “first date” knocks on the door, be ready with the equivalent of a shot gun – Information. Just how well-versed are big companies in representing your local dealership’s brand? Knowledge is power. The more you learn about Social Media marketing, you see how it won’t be successful without your attention.

I spend most of my time spreading the good word to inform dealers because not too long ago, I was one. I know many dealers are waking up and making the right choices. Some will continue to sleep and, sadly, they’ll suffer the consequences. One day they’ll wake up to find their daughter pregnant and living in a van down by the river.