The answer to this question seems to be elusive to many dealers and their marketing managers. The recent convergence of digital communication and dealership branding can make it very difficult to know the best route to take. We all weren’t born with iPhones in our hands (although some of us wish we were) or blessed with the ability to zero in on the exact right thing to say to make people want to buy our product. Nope. This is a whole new world folks and the only way around it is through it. Let’s jump in, shall we?
The ideal way to start a campaign for better engagement with your fans is to think of Social Media as yet another platform to communicate with your customer. How do you use the phone? How do you use email? These mediums weren’t always around so people had to learn them and develop ways to use them to their advantage. These mediums caught on and now they’re integrated into our lives. Social Media is no different. Your customer communicates using Social Media so you must use this medium if you want to talk with them. Once you learn the language of Social Media, it too will become a daily ritual.
The best way to learn the language of Social Media is to think of it as your digital backyard BBQ. These Social occasions very often become networking events. When your neighbor invites you over, you accept the invitation graciously. When you arrive at the BBQ, you walk in, maybe grab a drink, hang out and see what others are saying. You wouldn’t immediately start talking about yourself, right? Of course not. You’d ask others how they’re doing, how their family is or what’s up with their job. You make an effort to engage in conversations–to genuinely interact with your friends and family. If someone is having challenges, you talk with them to see how you can help and support them. If someone’s celebrating, you show your enthusiasm and congratulations. The currency of networking is not greed but generosity.
By getting to know others, you let them get to know you. Then you can share things about yourself and they’re eager to hear it. They naturally find out more about you and your presence influences their buying decisions. When they know you well, there’s a trust between you. They think of you when a friend or family member is looking to buy. They refer to you because of your relationship.
Since it’s a BBQ, it’s time to grill the meat. Content is the meat of Social Media marketing. It’s why people come to a BBQ in the first place! Good, relevant content will attract fans and keep them engaged with your store. Creative, fun, interesting content brings people to the party. If you talk about yourself too much, people aren’t going to engage in a conversation with you. You need to deliver great content so people will genuinely like talking with you. Share audience-relevant photos and video. Ask thought-provoking questions. Come from a place of “how can I serve?” Let your personality show through and have some fun!
New media does not have to upset your dealership’s daily operation. It’s a matter of accepting the shift to digital, identifying ways to market your store in your local market and learning how Social Media can help your business generate leads. Don’t be the last one to the party!