My first job in the car business was working for this crazy family who owned 2 dealerships. The patriarch of the family had immigrated from Europe and loved talking to his customers. He would turn on the “Swiss Country Gentleman” shtick and they would eat it up like ugly girls asked to the Prom. He even had commercials on late-night local TV using the same persona telling everyone that “Our salesmen don’t work on commission”. This brought a lot of people into the store and they all drove away with a smile.
This dealer had his kids helping him run the dealership. One was the Sales Manager, one the Service Manager and the youngest did deliveries for the Office. This was the juggernaut running this enterprise. They all spoke Swiss to each other…all the time…in front of customers and, of course, the employees. Their saving grace was their take-no-prisoners Controller. He made sense of things, especially when the family would fight, and he made sure all the numbers landed where they needed to be.
My point here is that when management is speaking a different language, how can your staff bring their best game? Shouldn’t all the players be playing from the same Playbook to increase sales? The same applies to Social Media campaigns today at dealerships. Management decides to set up profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Yelp without a strategy that includes grassroots employee participation. Merely having Social Media in place doesn’t guarantee that staff will understand it and incorporate it into their daily jobs.
To better foster and manage Social Media, educate and develop everyone in the store. Make sure they’re speaking the same language. Take steps to engage employees and customers so they can easily collaborate with each other. Whether it’s the Salesperson asking the customer to give a short video testimonial at delivery or the Service Advisor reminding his loyal customers to ‘Love us on Yelp’, dealership Social Media marketing doesn’t work without each staff member’s buy-in and daily involvement.
In Social Media, your employees are the players who move it from a marketing campaign to having a conversation with your customers. Are they speaking the language of increasing sales?