As 2013 approaches, it’s time to say goodbye to some long-standing habits and attitudes around Social Media marketing. With the new year upon us, we can reflect on what beliefs we’ve been holding on to and make a conscious decision to jettison those that are no longer serving us.
Some things just need to be put out of their misery. Sure, soul patches and socks with sandals were a good idea at the time, but now, not so much. The same goes for these 5 archaic habitudes around Social Media marketing.
1. Stop showing your disdain for Social Media. It’s like bragging that you can’t read. It’s not a fad, folks. How do we know this? Humans like to share and get support from their friends, family and network. We’ve been doing it since the dawn of time. Word of mouth has always been the cheapest, most effective way to market. Social Media simply facilitates word of mouth. Businesses can now be part of that process on an ongoing basis. If you’ve got a product or service to sell, you have to participate on platforms where your customers spend their time.
2. Stop ignoring your most valuable asset in content creation: your employees. One of the biggest challenges for dealers and other businesses today is finding the exact right content to share on Social Media. Content that’s relevant to your audience – piques their interest, solves their problems, makes them laugh – is hard to come by if you don’t take the time to know your target customer. No one knows your customer better than your front line personnel. Make content marketing your culture. Welcome their input and ask for contributions.
3. Stop relegating authority of your store’s marketing to someone you just promoted because they’re 25 and seem to enjoy Facebook. The days of handing over your brand to an amateur are over. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, you name the platform, each one has become more complex and requires sophisticated marketing ability. There are so many great options available to market your store. I encourage you to take advantage of every opportunity. However, it matters who you trust your brand to and their level of skills.
4. Stop avoiding Social Media because you think “it doesn’t sell cars”. Here’s the thing: marketing has never “sold” a car. Successful marketing generates leads. It’s up to your sales staff to sell the cars. Did newspaper ads sell cars? No, salespeople did. When you’re doing it right, it is very possible to generate leads on Social Media. There are many components that make up a winning Social Media strategy and I see many dealers getting hung up on one or two of those while overlooking the others. Just like a V8 running on 4 cylinders, Social Media marketing cannot succeed without all the parts, sufficient power and optimal road conditions.
5. Stop ignoring the online ratings sites as if no one’s looking at them. Denial will kill you. 84% of the buying public say that an online review influences their buying decision. You may not think they’re relevant, but your current and future customers put a lot of stock in online reviews. There are things being said about your store online everyday. Make a plan to be part of those conversations. Don’t come from a place of no power by being reactive. Instead, install an internal proactive strategy within each department to capture the opinions of your happy, loyal customers.
To say that Social Media has changed a lot this year is quite the understatement. If you’re not in the space very day, it’s very difficult to know what’s right for you, your store and your target audience. If you are overwhelmed about Social Media or don’t know where to start, bring in help. (Pssst, you can order my book “Automotive Social Business” to give you an inside track).
2013 is here. Are you prepared to compete in the ever-changing Social landscape?