Awesome content drives social media. Social advertising, especially Facebook ads, are required but in the end, it’s the content on your profiles and ads that attracts buyers, engages them and helps resolve trust issues impeding the sale. Outsourced social media content has always been available and can be a good option for those who need it.
However, not all outsourced social media content is the same.
I like to stay on the front lines of what car dealerships (and other businesses) are bombarded with. To be completely transparent, I do make a living helping dealers navigate the perils of social media, online marketing and reputation management. But I used to be a dealership manager. I know how hard it is to figure out which way to turn when you know you have to do something, but just don’t feel comfortable with your choices.
All for good reason.
I witnessed another winner this week with a client who was sold a “social media content” product. This company’s strategy is circa 2012, which in social media is a lifetime (or two) ago. The “content” they’re “producing” are posts from mainstream automotive blogs that anyone can find and post. They’re boring posts about cars that everyone has seen before. Nothing innovative, nothing compelling, nothing to help the client stand out in this noisy social media world.
I’m shaking my head because these companies have savvy salespeople who need to make a living and they do a bang-up job getting unsuspecting dealers to believe that this is the proper marketing approach.
To succeed in 2015 on Facebook and other social media means to master the art of content and support it with an action plan to target those most likely to buy from you.
Without goals, an action plan and measured results, you might as well not bother with social media.
The simple fact now is that Facebook’s algorithms are set to ignore your content if you don’t pay to promote it. Even if you’re a business or non-profit that’s already attractive to the general public (think animal rescues or artisanal chocolatiers) you’re going to have a difficult time reaching people.
For car dealerships, it’s a tough road but you CAN succeed if you focus, stay the course and work your action plan. If your vendor hasn’t created one and/or you aren’t sure what your goals should be, seek out more information. Outsourced social media marketing can be the right choice for you, once you’ve covered all your bases.
For those who are still wondering about what to do or aren’t feeling completely comfortable, please don’t just give in when a savvy salesperson sells you on their 2012 idea of social media marketing.
4 Elements of Successful Social Media Marketing
Here’s what you should expect if you’re going to pay for outsourced social media:
1. Social media action plan.
When you get in the car headed to a destination you’ve never been to, you’re going to refer to your phone or GPS to guide you, right? Why drive around wasting gas, time and energy when you’ve got a plan at your fingertips. The same goes for your social media marketing.
With a plan in place, you can guide your vendor to achieve the goals YOU want, not what they tell you.
2. Publish awesome content.
After a careful analysis of what’s relevant to your target customers, outsourced social media content works in tandem with your “Hyper-Local Content” (our term for stories told by your employees and customers through your blog and social platforms). This is the winning combo in 2015.
Anyway you slice it, content originating from inside your store succeeds far better than boring automotive blogs that everyone can publish.
3. Promote your awesome content.
There are a few reasons to promote content:
- Grow likes and followers
- Increase reach and engagement
- Generate leads and sales
Buyers have questions, concerns and fears. Promote content that offers assistance and a chance for the customer to get to know you better.
Use Facebook ads and other social advertising to initiate a click over to your blog (your website) or landing page. Driving traffic to your website through social media is the key to SEO and it works best when the buyer clicks to good, solid information.
4. Run campaigns to attract leads.
Once you’ve reached your target market, you’ll want to promote content that brings them further down the sales funnel. Your next step is creative marketing campaigns that attract leads and foster sales.
This last element is not something where you snap your fingers and it appears. It takes creativity, solid execution and skills at analyzing results. Outsourcing this component may be a solution for your business, depending on your operational constraints.
Outsourced Social Media 2015: Strategy Before Tactics
Realign your marketing approach. Outsourced social media can be a good tactic but never put tactics before strategy (your action plan).
Outsourced social media can be utilized as part of your overall strategy, however it doesn’t replace the content you create within the four walls of your business. People want to know what it’s like to be your customer. Strengthen your confidence by taking deliberate actions and work your plan!