The Best Social Media Strategy: Have You Got What It Takes?

automotive-social-media-marketing-consulting-trainingHow prolific are you when it comes to knowing the best route to take for your business’ Social Media marketing?

Sadly, I see many dealerships and other businesses floundering or totally missing the mark with their Social Media. What you’re about to read will help you decipher if you have what it takes to flourish and if you find that you don’t, what you can do about it.

I’m inspired to write this because I keep getting messages from dealership employees that say, “The boss asked me to take over the Facebook page and I don’t know where to start.” I’ve had a run of those emails lately and frankly, I get surprised by every single one. This case of the blind leading the blind has to stop. Would you put a greenpea salesperson on the floor without any training? Would you let an apprentice replace the master cylinder in your customer’s car? Then why would you leave your store’s marketing message and sales funnel to just anyone or some outside company to do it for you?

Three things I know for sure:

1. What you don’t know about Social Media causes damage to your brand and costs you sales.
2. Letting someone outside your company post irrelevant content for you causes damage to your brand and costs you sales.
3. Appointing a marketing novice who’s only claim to fame on Facebook is they know how to talk to their friends causes damage to your brand and costs you sales.

Are you seeing the pattern here? There is no time anymore for limping along on Social Media. It’s where customers go to talk about their intended purchases and their experience with your business – before, during and after the sale. You need to be there ready to engage.

The most effective route to take with automotive dealership Social Media is to designate a dedicated Social Media manager and provide training to support their success. Just this week a gal reached out to me who has four dealerships’ Social Media to manage. She said, “I just can’t dedicate the time it takes to do all the research and post everyday.” She believes that and there is a solution. With expert guidance, once you’ve got a solid marketing strategy in place, you do actually have the time it takes. It’s about working smarter not harder.

She needs someone to show her where the rocks are so she can walk on water with the boss. However, from the boss’ point of view, she’s still doing her job and the store is still selling cars so, why would he make a move and spend money? This is the biggest challenge I have as someone who wants dealers to succeed in Social Media.

Social Media has moved into its own powerhouse for leads and sales. If you’ve got a novice handling your marketing then you’ll get novice results. If you have a well-trained Community Manager who knows her way around the marketing aspect (ie: campaigns) and also facilitates content creation through customer and employee interaction, then you’ll see outstanding results.

Here’s what it takes now to succeed today on Social Media. How many of these do you have in place?:

  • Marketing expertise to set clear goals and objectives.
  • Great design aesthetics.
  • Solid content strategy (what  you’re going to post on your profiles).
  • Promotion strategy (how you’re going to continually increase your fan base).
  • Engagement strategy (how you’ll respond to fans and build community).
  • Conversion strategy (how you’ll turn your fans into customers).
  • Track and measure to tie results back to objectives (ROI)
  • A budget to do all this correctly.

Yes, it takes a defined budget to generate leads and sales on Social Media. It’s not free, only the real estate is. Social Media is a platform just like TV, radio, billboards and print and you have budget and best practices for those mediums down pat. The more you know about Social Media the more you see the expertise, time, effort and budget it takes to succeed.

So tell me, do you have what it takes?

 

 

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Kathi Kruse

Automotive Social Media & Online Reputation Coaching/Training. Blogger, Speaker. I've spent my life in the car business. Founder & CEO Kruse Control Inc.