There’s a full-circle power shift happening right now. Many dealers and business owners have failed to see that the game they all learned to play has changed. Thanks to Social networks and the incredible openness of the Internet, dialogues have grown (for free) between people living world’s away from one another, who might never actually meet in person. This colossal power shift back to the consumer means direct, daily contact with other consumers. We’ve come back to a place where buying decisions have a Social component. This means more sharing, gossiping, engaging, informing, and advising. Before, advertisers treated the consuming audience like a caged bear. Well folks, the bear has escaped.
Today, a PR person reached out to me asking if I could provide her with someone to “post updates to Facebook and Twitter“. Her client’s goal was to “get more Facebook fans”. After we spoke, I realized that even seasoned PR/advertising professionals have not fully jumped on the train that is Social Media. While the marketing components are still present–creating awareness, generating leads–many advertisers still think the bear is caged. They’re feeding the bear the same old stuff, trying to push the mess into the cage like before and expecting the bear to eat it.
Audiences everywhere are bored with and have zero tolerance for being brow-beaten by orthodox old-school advertising. Today’s advertisers need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and BE what people are interested in. Social Media is the platform to achieve that. Your audience was the caged bear and now that it’s escaped, the bear can eat anything it wants, including you!
Some old-school advertisers would go so far as saying the bear is dangerous, but that’s because they don’t understand the Social customer. Sure the bear can eat you up with negative reviews and Social Media rants. If you suck in real life, you’ll suck on Social Media. The dealers I see everyday work hard to please their customer and have known for years the value in cultivating raving fans. Now, it’s just a matter communicating those experiences to the Social customer.
Through Social Media, the bear can now eat anywhere it wants. It’s very important to offer it something: what does it like to eat? If it’s already eaten (done business with you) ask it how the meal was? In fact, keep your bear engaged through the entire buying cycle and they’ll remember you when it’s time to eat again. It’ll also recommend you to its bear friends and family. Remember, the bear should never be ignored or underestimated. It’s out of the cage and ready to do business.