Welcome to the Social Media Revolution! My name is Chris Whitehead and I would like to thank everyone for attending. What is Social Media Marketing and how should a dealership engage in this new media? Today we are going to answer those questions and leave you with a few simple take-aways that you can bring back to your dealership to help you start your social media strategy.
The question I get asked most often by dealers is “why should I participate in Social Media?” I busy, I have enough to deal with to run my buisness I don’t have time to Tweet, or post facebook updates. I definetly don’t have time to write blogs or create video tutorials.
The answer is simple. The conversation exists with or without you. As we saw in that short video your customers are already engaged in social media and it’s growing faster than an media segment in history. And those customers are having conversations right now about you, about your brand about your competitors. And they are doing this whether you are engaged or not! .
It’s important for you to take ownership of that conversation. You can’t control what people are saying but you can engage them in a constructive dialogue to ensure that you maintain a positive image with those you are speaking to. Listen to what your consumers are saying, about you, about the brands you sell, about your competitors. You have to understand the issues as well as how each consumer communicates before you engage them. Once you engage in the conversation you will at some point have to deal with difficult and uncomfortable issues. You will have upset customers, and that’s ok, it’s how you deal with and respond to those upset customers that makes the difference. It’s better to have a conversation where you are dealing with an issue around an upset customer than have no conversation at about your business at all. Provided you deal with that situation appropriately. It makes you and your dealership more real, more human. And consumers don’t always trust companies that only have positive things said about them. Is this realistic? Especially in the used car world? Consumers want to know that you care about their concerns and you take them seriously. In the US there has been a growth in websites that rate care dealers. Sites like Dealerrater.com where consumers can post their gripes or recommendations. Dealers then respond. I can guarantee you that you will see sites like this in Canada in under 2 years. Incorporate Yelp into this
This is one of my favorite quotes because I feel it sums up what has happened in the market place. Consumers no longer trust advertisements. In the video we saw in the beginning it indicated that only 14% of consumers trust advertising yet 78% of consumers trust peer recommendation.
We don’t have to look any further than the success of eBay and Amazon.com to see the how the influence of consumer recommendations have changed the way people buy products. On ebay, buyers rate sellers and vice verca
This kindle has a 4 ½ star rating based on over 14,000 customer reviews. This type of information is what builds true consumer confidence in today’s market.
The next evolution of this is with Facebook. Consumers have naturally utilized facebook to seek out their peers recommendations for products and services. Facebook recognized this and recently launched it’s “like” feature. Business can now attach the “like” feature to everything from article posts to inventory. When a consumer selects this button it brings that item back to their facebook status wall where their friends can comment on it. In this example on Mashable.com you can “like” the articles you find. This article was “liked” 443 times. This gives the article some credibility on the homepage itself but also draws more traffic back to the article because those 443 people who “liked” the article also shared this information on their Facebook status page. Assuming each user has 150-200 facebook friends this exposed the article to an additional 66,450-88,600 different people! Imagine if this was a piece of your inventory. How much would it cost you to get your message to 60 or 70 thousand eyeballs? And they got there based on the recommendation of one of their friends. Let’s assume only 2% of those actually click through to take a closer look? That still almost 2000 visitors to your website. If you convert 4% of those that’s 80 leads and assuming a 10% closing ration that’s 8 deals!! That’s the power of recommendation!
Still not convinced about the power of Social Media Marketing? Or maybe you don’t think it applies to automotive?
Use twitter example
Remarketing forum and expo
Fast Forward: Used car dealers make friends via social media and web marketing
Listen before you engage You need to have ownership in that conversation
“ We are leaving the information age and entering the recommendation age. Today information is ridiculously easy to get, you practically trip over it on the street. Information gathering is no longer the issue – making smart decisions based on the information is now the trick…recommendations serve as short cuts through the thicket of information, just as my wine shop owner shortcuts me to obscure French wines to enjoy with pasta.” (Frog Design Brain, 2005)
Still not convinced? In July, the site most visited by new-vehicle prospects was Facebook. - J.D. Power 2009 Automotive Internet Roundtable
Best Practices <ul><li>Listen </li></ul><ul><li>Manage Your Brand Identity </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the most relevant places to engage with your customers-then Engage! </li></ul><ul><li>Put the “Media” in Social Media </li></ul>
Listen <ul><li>To what people are saying about your brand / company </li></ul><ul><li>To what people are saying about your competitors </li></ul><ul><li>To what people are saying about your industry </li></ul>
Identify the most relevant places to engage with your customers-then Engage!
Before you engage ask yourself these questions from your customers POV. <ul><li>Why would I read, watch, look at this? </li></ul><ul><li>How is this relevant or interesting to me? </li></ul><ul><li>Does this put ME “in the know?” </li></ul>
Put the “Media” in Social Media <ul><li>Use Advance techniques to drive traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Podcasts </li></ul><ul><li>Webinars </li></ul><ul><li>News Releases </li></ul><ul><li>Social Bookmarking </li></ul>