Social Media: New Study Shows Business' Lack of Time, Money, Manpower

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automotive-social-media-marketingAre you considering Social Media marketing for your company? A new study from Ragan Publications called “Structuring a Social Media Team” suggests that most companies who have taken the plunge are struggling, overwhelmed and haven’t devoted enough time, money and manpower to call Social Media successful.

There’s one thing the study didn’t mention and it’s the underlying reason for all of the other ailments: lack of commitment. I still hear from some dealers who aren’t convinced that Social Media is worth the trouble. There are fewer and fewer of them and I wish them well. Social Media is hard. It takes faith and dedication. As one Social Media-adopted dealer said to me the other day, “Shhhh, that just leaves more for us!”

All marketing takes a belief that it can bring you leads and sales. A commitment to Social Media means honoring the process. It’s nothing like we’ve seen before. It takes courage and a bold sense of what’s possible.

Here are some of the highlights from the study I found interesting and relevant to dealerships. You can download “Structuring a Social Media Team” here:

1. One of the most astounding and frightening stats I found was that nearly 86% measure success by the number of  followers, fans and “likes.”  Nothing could be further from where you need to focus. Of course you want to have a nice size community around your brand but it means nothing if each one of those members isn’t local and engaged. A small, engaged group is far more powerful than a large, disengaged number of people who’ll never buy from you.

2. 69% said they were disappointed with how they measure Social Media. One respondent said, “I’m not sure what to measure or how. I know it’s important, but I can’t show my boss how many retweets a post received and expect him to care.”

This mindset shows a lack of understanding on the basic components of marketing: Objectives. Measurement. Results. There are many good tools to analyze your results. Start with a solid foundation. Tie results back to your objectives and you have ROI the boss will notice.

3. A total of 65% of the respondents said they use Social Media regularly but have more to learn and accomplish. Another 23% rated themselves “newbies”.

So many businesses are doing what I call “rudderless Social Media”. They know they need to be doing Social marketing so they begin and get stuck on where to head next. You’d be surprised how economical it is to hire an expert to help you get traction. Someone to sift through all the fluff and turn your store into a Social business.

4. When asked about their Social Media goals, 87% said “to increase brand awareness”. 62% sought to boost Web traffic. 61% were out to improve the organization’s reputation. Only 45% said their goal was to generate leads.

This may be the biggest misconception about Social Media out there right now. Most dealers respond similarly with a goal of increasing brand awareness. Many haven’t realized it’s possible to generate leads on Social Media. Facebook marketing in particular is ideal at moving potential buyers down the sales funnel. The techniques are advanced but so is the result.

5. 23% said their budget was less that $1000. A respondent remarked, “We have zero budget; Social Media is an afterthought. We are successful at it because of the passion of the people involved.”

This is not an experiment, folks. What you pay attention to gets results. Limping along without any meaningful budget and expecting a result is insane. Leverage the excitement and passion that’s in your rank and file. Commitment+Time+Effort+Budget+Measurement = Results.

  • Do you want to drive traffic, leads and sales? Social Media can do that.
  • Do you want to participate in conversations your customers are having everyday? Social Media can do that.
  • Word of mouth is the most effective marketing available. Do you want to your happy, loyal customers to refer you to their family and friends? Social Media can do that.

Social Media will bring your store into this new connected world. The sharing economy is upon us. How much time, money and manpower are you willing to devote to the race?

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