Are you laying awake at night wondering why your Social Media marketing isn’t working? Maybe you’ve bought all the fancy tools, all the analytics the web has to offer, and you still don’t really feel like you have your arms around this Social thing? You haven’t generated a lead yet, in fact, you’re resigned to the notion that your Social Media is only there to show the world that you’re on Social Media. I have a better idea.
In past articles, I’ve talked a lot about engagement. Engaging fans and followers is the key to succeeding in Social Media. No matter who your customer is, what you share in your status updates is where the rubber hits the road. That’s where the conversations you start and the leads you nurture are all born. The content you deliver to your audience keeps them engaged and talking about you.
I see many dealerships posting a consistent message about their store. This is the equivalent of attending a social event, let’s say a backyard BBQ, and only talking about yourself. When we humans are in social situations, we’re attracted to those that are interested in what WE have to say. These are give and take events and when you’re only taking, well, that’s a good way to alienate those at the party and find yourself alone, in the corner, finding your best friend floats in the bottom of your glass.
My friends and I were at South Coast Plaza last weekend at Z Gallerie. Our feet hurt and they had a big, comfy white leather couch. It looked so wonderful and inviting that we sat down on it without even thinking. As sometimes happens, we got caught up in a very meaningful conversation. The store clerks came up twice to see how we were doing. They were polite and welcoming. Soon, we realized that we’d been there for over an hour and we all agreed that Z Gallerie was so cool (!) to let us park ourselves on their couch.
This story is a tribute to the power of Social in real life. The fact that they welcomed us without any reservation, supported our needs and asked for nothing in return is remarkable. It made such an impression on me and my friends that we’ve talked about it twice since then and, of course, I’m mentioning it here. We’ll remember our time on the couch and when we, or someone we know, is looking for awesome home furnishings, Z Gallerie is who we’ll recommend.
Your online community is looking for this kind of support. You provide it to them with the content you share on Social Media. Figure out what’s important to them or what’s ailing them and give them a big, white comfy couch to drop their worries on. Your posts can solve problems for them, strike up a meaningful conversations and even make them laugh. If you can’t quite see how to do it, hire a Social Media content strategist to help fill in the gaps, identify your audience and foster what makes them interested in you.
Dealerships have an extra challenge, as do some other types of businesses. When you’re an animal rescue or a baseball team, it’s easy to pick up Likes when there’s a lot to like. It takes extra effort to attract visitors, fans and followers when your business is not something that people generally flock to. Don’t let this deter you. You CAN succeed at Social Media, you just need the right components to execute your strategy.
Social business is the new normal. Your store needs to be part of the conversation. If you don’t speak, someone will speak for you. Develop a solid strategy to welcome fans and followers. Provide a place where they want to come in, sit down on your Social Media sofa and hang out. They’ll remember you and mention you in online and offline conversations. Isn’t that what we all crave? Isn’t that the goal of all marketing?