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Automotive Social Media Marketing - AutoSuccess Magazine Parts 1, 2 and 3 Published in October, November and December 2009 Issues - Written by Ralph Paglia


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Automotive Social Media Marketing - AutoSuccess Magazine Parts 1, 2 and 3 Published in October, November and December 2009 Issues - Written by Ralph Paglia

Automotive Social Media Marketing - AutoSuccess Magazine Parts 1, 2 and 3 Published in October, November and December 2009 Issues - Written by Ralph Paglia

Published in: Automotive, Business, Technology
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  • An all new lineup of environmentally responsible 2010 Nissan cars, trucks and SUV's is available from Kelly Nissan, located in Easton, PA. Kelly Nissan is one of America's best Nissan Dealerships as measured by sales and service customer satisfaction. The Kelly Nissan dealership sponsors the unique social network based Kelly Automotive Community website at You should visit and join this automotive social network to receive special discounts on Nissan new and used vehicles, genuine Nissan accessories, parts and Nissan repair and maintenance service. Kelly Nissan also hosts a more typical dealership eCommerce website located at where their entire inventory of new Nissans, including a huge selection of 2010 Nissan models, as well as their large inventory of Certified Pre-Owned Nissan cars, trucks and SUV's is updated daily, providing car buyers with full details including prices and optional equipment descriptions.
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  • 1. RalphPaglia marketingsolution WHY DEALERS NEED A SOCIAL MEDIA AND REPUTATION MANAGEMENT STRATEGY, PART 1 Social Networking: 2.0.” This Web-empowered social evolution in a positive way when they are spending An Introduction is building up to a tsunami-sized wave, and time in various social networks and UGC I’ve been selling cars for more than 28 years, the impact will make any previous influence sites. This can be as simple as placing an and using digital marketing to do it for 23 of the Internet has had on the car business advertisement on Facebook that targets them. I first started using digital marketing during the past 14 years look mild in people in the dealer’s local market, providing in 1986 by posting “liner ads” on defense comparison. Over the next few issues, we’ll an invitation to join the online community of contractor Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) be looking at how to harness these new tools like-minded consumers that is sponsored by while working at a Volkswagen dealership to build more business. the dealership. In this community, there are in San Diego. Car guys who have known no ads, and it is free to local owners of the me for any length of time know that almost Before we go any further, consider these dealer’s brand. everything I have predicted over the years words of caution: For many dealers, this in regards to how the Internet would affect type of social media initiative will attract Today, automotive consumers spend far more selling cars has come to pass, and within the the attention of customer segments that your time online visiting their social networks time frames I predicted. So, here’s what I sales and management teams may have had and UGC sites like YouTube and Flickr than know is coming at us right now, without any very few previous opportunities to deal with. anywhere else on the Internet. The amount hedging of bets or wavering. Because many of these customer segments of time automotive consumers spend here have not been interacting with your sales dwarfs the time they spend looking at Google Social media is changing the way people people in recent years, your team will need search results, automotive Web sites or any get their information. It’s moving customer to develop some new skills and get used to other type of online site. This means that information sources further away from communicating in different ways if they want social marketing is fishing where the fish are. marketers and their advertising channels to successfully engage with them. More on that next issue. (that would be you), and closer to the people that they relate to and interact with in their What is Social Media Marketing? Ralph Paglia is the director of digital online communities. Social networks, user- I have learned that, for car dealers, “social marketing at ADP Dealer Services. He generated content (UGC) sites, and all their marketing” is essentially whatever tactics can be contacted at 866.883.9250, or by variations make up what people call “Web can be used to engage automotive consumers e-mail at 1 5 the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  • 2. RalphPaglia marketingsolution WHY DEALERS NEED A SOCIAL MEDIA AND REPUTATION MANAGEMENT STRATEGY, PART 2 Simply put, social this way: In less than a week, these negative hand, if your dealership has been directing media is changing the online reviews and customer ratings of your best customers to a designated way people get their information about the their experiences at a dealership can reverse dealership review and rating site, and there stuff they are thinking about buying. It is also the positive impact of a $100,000 monthly are more than 50 reports entered over a span moving customer information sources further advertising campaign. of many months, those same bogus reports away from marketers and their advertising look inconsistent and exaggerated at best, channels (that would be you), and closer to Automotive consumers trust the reports, and outright lies at worst. Wouldn’t it be the people they relate to, and interact with, in reviews and ratings posted online by other better to have dozens of raving fan-written their online communities. Social networks, consumers far more than the information reviews show up in a search for dealers user-generated content (UGC) sites, and all and messaging produced by dealers and their selling your make? their variations make up what people call employees. A rapidly increasing percentage “Web 2.0.” of car buyers and service customers So ask yourself these questions: Are you are making buying decisions based on aware of what customers are saying about What is Social Media Marketing? what other customers report on sites like your dealership? What about ex-employees? Dealers should consider social media Edmunds, Yelp, Kudzu, MyDealerReport. What about competing dealership employees marketing to be the tactics that can be used to com, and DealerRater. posing as consumers? Information travels engage automotive consumers in a positive com. The Nielson Company, for example, quickly across the Internet. Have you set up way when they are spending time in various reports that 76 percent of car buyers rely Google Alerts for the name of your dealership social networks and UGC sites. Social media most on what their friends and family tell so that you get an e-mail every time someone marketing also includes the creation of a them about vehicle makes and models publishes it online with a link to the Web plan that identifies the sites to target and the considered during the shopping cycle. page it appears on? If “no,” then why not? nature of the dealer’s presence on each of Meanwhile, only 22 percent of car buyers those sites. This can be as simple as placing report basing their selection on what they Bottom line: Start listening to the online an advertisement on Facebook that targets read in a magazine or newspaper. Another conversations about your dealership and people in the dealer’s local market. research study, done by the Yankelovich the people who work there. Better yet, firm and published by J. D. Power, asked car you should be leading, stimulating and As we have seen happen over the years with buyers “What is the best source of advice on providing the venue for the majority of these traditional media, online media has evolved a new car?” A full two-thirds (67 percent) conversations affecting how automotive to better serve people’s wants and needs. responded with “another consumer.” consumers view your dealership. Since 2001, the cost of server-based storage has steadily declined, paving the way for Additionally, in 2005, it was found that 92 For car dealers, more than most business cheap and plentiful online hosting of free percent of automotive consumers reported owners, it is imperative that you have Web sites provided to consumers in exchange that “word of mouth” was their best source of systems in place to actively listen for for the revenue from advertisements that information on new products. anything being posted about your dealership, appear on their blogs, profiles, forums, and a process for immediately addressing photo and video pages. Further technology Even the competing dealer on the other side anything being said online that is negative or developments such as broadband Internet of town can spread malicious rumors about defamatory. That’s reputation management access and Web-based applications your dealership and in the hopes of stealing versus reputation chaos. (MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) have your market share. It is important to realize Next month, we’ll examine a dealer’s social created easy-to-use, fast and robust features that, in the absence of a dealership exerting media and reputation management action plan. that streamline the online establishment of some level of control and influence over these sites. their online consumer reviews, just a few Ralph Paglia, is the director of digital bogus reports can become your dealership’s marketing at ADP Dealer Services. He can Today, automotive consumers spend a lot new reputation when there are no other be contacted at 866.883.9250, or by e-mail of time online visiting their social networks reviews of your dealership. On the other at and UGC sites, such as YouTube and Flickr. In other words, with social marketing you Top Online Member Communities Destinations Ranked By Unique Audience are “fishing where the fish are.” Just imagine Site June 2008 June 2009 Y-O-Y both the potential that these communities can provide to your dealership, or the loss to your Member Communities Category 108,341 138,635 28% dealership if you fail to connect. Facebook 29,292 87,254 198% 59,549 62,831 6% What is Online Reputation Blogger 40,553 42,922 6% Management? 1,033 20,950 1,928% In today’s world of UGC sites, customers 17,201 16,922 -2% can quickly air their opinions. Because there Classmates Online 15,474 16,224 5% are so many sites soliciting consumers’ LinkedIn 9,583 11,417 19% viewpoints, a negative review or dealership Six Apart TypePad 11,189 10,079 -10% rating may be instantly seen by thousands of Yahoo! Groups 9,801 8,364 -15% local customers before a dealer is aware that 2 the negative report even exists! Think of it 2,867 7,625 166% 0 Source: Nielsen NetView, June 2009, (U.S. Home and Work)
  • 3. RalphPaglia marketingsolution WHY DEALERS NEED A SOCIAL MEDIA AND REPUTATION MANAGEMENT STRATEGY Last month, I provided you with an overview meetings to motivate and engage dealership employees from every department with part3 of social media marketing, and a reputation practical guidance and rewards. also be included to limit the ads to appearing management strategy. This month, we look at only in front of local Facebook users in the some action items that can help you take your Coach salespeople on how to use their own dealer’s community that meet the age and first steps into this world. “hub and spoke” strategy that leverages their employment segment targets for each ad. account in the dealership’s online community How Do I Get This Handled? to efficiently share specials, incentives, new Internal Campaign Prior to In order to take advantage of what social inventory, model intros and stories about their Going Public media, user-generated content (UGC) and customers across multiple social networks. One of the most important aspects of putting Web 2.0 Web-based assets offer, you will together a successful dealership social Assess your Internet sales or BDC operations marketing and reputation management need to assign resources to find, harvest and and the team’s ability to engage customers strategy and implementation is the way the develop the sites, blogs, accounts, profiles, using multiple social media channels, while dealership leverages the employees and fan pages, tweets and other content that managing the conversation and relationship suppliers. Before getting too far ahead of represents your dealership’s offerings and all the way through to a face-to-face meeting yourself by inviting customers to join the describes what customers can expect from the at the dealership. Do they know when (and centrally featured dealership community site, shopping and buying experience at your store. when not) to shift from a relationship- you must get as many employees to join the Basically, you have three ways to get your building conversation to a sales-focused community as possible. dealership in the game: process that adapts to the way each customer • Do It Yourself = Lower Cost + More Additional Action Items for Dealers prefers to buy a car? Determine and deliver Work — Requires a major time to Consider: the appropriate training, coaching and commitment; set-ups require between • Leverage the overwhelming growth in supervision needed based on previous item. 75 and 100 hours of uninterrupted focus, consumer use of social networks and along with daily process execution and Hub and Spoke Social Media UGC to develop your social marketing content creation. Marketing Strategy and reputation management strategy that • Get Professional Help = One Time One approach is the use of OEM-provided utilizes “positive word of mouth.” Expense + Less Work Up Front — social media press releases (SMPR) within • Create your own online community of Faster startup and set-up; the account dealership-sponsored and managed online customers, employees and suppliers filled structure is done quickly and typically social communities. These Web sites are with high-quality content such as videos, better built and the strategy is designed, the key to the “dealership community” photos, the latest reviews and road tests, documented and initiated. concept and practice. Using these dealership interviews and articles supplied by • Outsource To Supplier = Recurring communities as the central point creates “the OEM, enthusiast publications, dealership Expense + Least Work + Consistent hub” for distributing customer-engaging employees and consumers. Tactical Execution — videos, photos, articles, reviews, ratings • Build and deploy a comprehensive Upfront costs may be reduced by and other goodies. This strategy of asset syndication strategy that uses Really spreading over contract term; dealer may distribution allows dealers to leverage Simple Syndication (RSS) and embedded get more accountability, monthly reviews resources supplied by OEMs (such as the HTML code (widgets) built into your of measurement data with benchmark SMPRs, YouTube videos and Flickr slide dealership-sponsored community to push analysis, professional guidance, more shows), content generated by vehicle owners, content and member activities out to the professional content and graphics, better dealership employees, suppliers and other most popular sites on the Web. integration technology, widgets and community members to be leveraged in customized HTML upgrades. a social network distribution schema that What’s the Pay Off? attracts targeted customer segments by This will provide you with a competitive A Brief Blueprint supplying an ever-increasing membership advantage in your market. Make no mistake, Regardless of which approach you take, it base within the dealer’s community. there are many dealers around you who will use is key to commit the financial and human social marketing and reputation management resources needed to get your social marketing Online Advertising Budget to to conquest business from you and then keep and reputation management strategy in place Support Social Media Marketing those customers so that you are unlikely to get before the end of the first quarter in 2010. The most successful “hub and spoke” another shot at their business in the future. Key sites to consider as part of an action social marketing/reputation management plan include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, dealers feature their communities in online Scared yet? Don’t be. If you’re squeamish or LinkedIn, Flickr, Digg, Blogger, YouTube, advertising. Other ads invite Facebook don’t have the staff to properly run your online Wordpress, Typepad, Ning and Delicious. members to become a “fan” of the dealership marketing, you can always hire part-time by visiting the dealer’s Facebook fan page. A college students (or unemployed investment After building your dealership’s Web 2.0 dealer’s Facebook fan page can be a gateway bankers) for less than a decent lot attendant; community, define and assign the daily to the dealership community site with links, you better have a plan, however, and a set of tasks that will get your community’s content videos, photo slide shows and other content, tasks that you want them to get done. created and syndicated out to social media, which is actually hosted on the dealership generating traffic and valuable back-links. community site but appears within Facebook Ralph Paglia is the director of digital courtesy of the syndication integration that marketing at ADP Dealer Services. He Build social networking connections with can be set up from the dealership community can be contacted at 866.883.9250, or by 2 existing customers while using weekly site. Geotargeting and demographic filters can e-mail at 4