Car dealers in Southern California (and probably everywhere else) are asking themselves whether or not they need a Social Media manager. Many are noticing the popularity of Social networks and it was all the rage at NADA2011. The problem is they don’t know who, how, why, when or where to start. I wrote in a post a while back that dealers are on Social Media…even if they aren’t. Right now, your customers are out there reading/writing reviews, articles, comments and opinions on your store. They’re deciding where to buy or service their car and are chatting amongst themselves (and to the rest of the web) about their latest visit, what their experience was, and even how it bugged them that they had to wait so long for their car and that no one said “Thank You”.
Do you want to know in real time what your customers are saying about you? CSI is no longer the tool to gauge your customer’s opinions. Do you want to effectively engage with them? Wouldn’t you love to hear first-hand about their experiences at your store–good or bad? Wouldn’t it be great to know how they felt about their delivery so you can implement better QC in the drive? Think of all the money you’ll save on hidden cameras and surveillance equipment. But seriously…
There really is no excuse for not being part of the online community that’s talking about your store. Wouldn’t you like to seize the opportunity to be influential and let your store be heard on Social Media? If all of this didn’t convince you, here are 5 more reasons your dealership needs a Social Media Manager:
1. Contrary to what you might think, just because your kid is on Facebook it doesn’t mean they could (or should) create and manage your Facebook page. Your Social Media manager candidate needs to know how to market your store while staying active, listening and responding to Social networks. If that’s your kid, then fantastic. If not, then search for a viable candidate. How? Use a professional Social Media coach/trainer. Someone who has extensive knowledge not only in all the Social platforms but who’s actually been IN the car biz, who can help you decide which strategy is best for your store. Social media is so constantly evolving, you want a professional to coach and train your new Social Media manager that’s up to speed with the latest tools, platforms, & strategies.
2. Your new Social Media Manager will create a content strategy that will attract fans and generate leads. Starting out, there needs to be a plan; a plan that will provide you with a road map so things don’t get lost. Consistent, relevant, recent and local content wins and you need a body whose job it is to create and manage that.
3. Just because you already have Social Media platforms in place does not mean they are successful. Are you seeing real results? If you have a Facebook or Twitter account that gets updated every now and then when you have the time…you’re in trouble. It actually looks worse for your dealership to have inactive pages than not having any at all. Also, you want them all integrated together so they are working for you.
4. A Social Media manager balances your Content. It’s easy for someone to ‘hide’ you on Facebook or ‘unfollow’ you on Twitter, it takes 2 seconds and I see it happening all the time with dealerships. “Push” advertising is viewed as spam on Social networks when you haven’t established a relationship yet. Your Social Media manager will be the voice of reason to balance your posting content. Sure you can mention this week’s ad or Service special, but only about 10-20% of the time. You want to make fans comfortable enough to join in the conversation and with someone managing that, responding and interacting, your fan base will grow.
5. A Social Media manager saves you time and brings you profit. I’ve seen quite a few stores lately who are handing the Social Media duties over to the Internet Sales Dept. This costs you gross, plain and simple. Salespeople sell cars, that’s their job. Even though an effective social media campaign requires an “all hands on deck” approach to be effective, you need a fully-trained Social Media manager who spends their day listening, conversing and providing great content to attract buyers. Social Media is word-of-mouth and your mouthpiece has to devote their attention to your online community…not to who’s going to be their next Up.
Dealerships in the last 2-3 years have been so prudent in expense control and staffing. Isn’t it time now to hire and/or train a person in your store who manages your Social Media and online marketing? At this point, can you afford not to?