It’s 1998. You scan your inventory for the best cars to put in the ad. You pay the local newspaper and cable company huge sums to run the ad. Buyers show up on the lot with their checkbooks in hand. The focus then was meet, greet, sell, then next up. It was the equivalent of 50 first dates.
We’ve come a long way, baby… or at least the customer has.
My hero, Carl Sewell speaks about the $517,000 customer. The average person buys 12 cars in their lifetime and the tab for those, including service, equals roughly $517K. Establishing a long-term relationship with that potential repeat customer ensures you’ll be there for every one of those purchases. The top salespeople know this. They treat every customer as though they were going to do business with them for the rest of their lives.
It’s 2012. Buyers aren’t showing up on the lot like they used to. Some dealers are more concerned with wishing it was 1998 than reaching today’s customer with Social Media marketing. Some on Facebook are more concerned with getting Likes on their Page than getting their message out to their existing fans. It’s important to grow your fan base but only if those fans are potential buyers. Buying Likes and running meaningless contests to get Likes will never increase your sales.
Facebook marketing has never been about getting in the face of a million strangers in hopes of landing 50 first dates. It’s about building an amazing Page and giving your fans a reason to talk about your store. You build an online community to mirror your existing offline community. You want your message to reach the fans who already love you, engage in your content, and want to share how cool you are with their friends.
I hear a lot of GMs asking, “How can we get more likes on Facebook?” Whether you have 100 fans or 10,000+, your message will never reach your fans’ newsfeeds if they’re not engaging with you. It’s never been about the number of fans you have. What matters is the actions they take.
Social Media is an action-based medium.
You have to listen, talk and converse to get noticed and be remarkable. A successful Facebook Page does not happen overnight. It’s not “build it and they will come”. You can’t lurk and expect to close sales.
So which will it be: 50 one-night stands with people who don’t trust you, who may or may not buy from you again? Or will you focus your efforts on cultivating those repeat buyers–the people who already know, like and trust you? Social Media helps you turn one-night stands into long-term sales relationships. Everyone wants repeat buyers. After all, Facebook is a referral-based platform and those existing fans are your best salespeople!