Melanie Borden

Founder & Owner | Melanie Borden LLC

Melanie Borden has worked in various atmospheres from public tech companies to private start-ups, retail automotive, and now has established her own marketing consultancy, Melanie Borden, LLC.

As a natural outgrowth of her work as a marketing executive, Melanie recognized the opportunities available to use online marketing strategies to build corporate and personal brands. She has successfully built her own brand, and helped others to do so as well.

To reach out, you can reach Melanie Borden via her contact links or send an email to melanieborden@melanieborden.com

Social Media Strategy: Top Performing Storytelling Posts

By

"Storytelling" is all the rage on social media right now amongst professional marketers. The truth is, this is nothing new. Before "storytelling" conversations dominated social networks like LinkedIn and Clubhouse, marketers and individuals, businesses alike, were already applying this technique on Instagram and Facebook or through their advertising messaging. As a marketer working in the auto field, I set out with a big goal in mind at the beginning of 2020: to create more visibility for myself in my industry through social media. I sought to do this in part through storytelling and thought leadership, as well as branding myself as an individual within the company I work for.  However, there was a challenge since I wasn't on any of the social sites as an individual. I took the first step of my own social journey with LinkedIn, as I recognized this medium's growth. As of January 2021,  Professionals are joining LinkedIn at a rate of nearly 3 new members per second.    According to Knista  Only 3 million users (out of the more than 700 million) share content on a weekly basis. This means that only about 1% of LinkedIn's 260 million monthly users share posts.   There is thus plenty of opportunity. Flash forward to the present. After having numerous of my own personal storytelling posts go viral, I have found that there are specific types of posts that perform the best. These include: Static image posts   A post made of up of text copy and a photo. LinkedIn posts with images get  2x higher engagement  than other types of posts. I like to use relevant hashtags at the end of my posts for added visibility.  Video Posts A post that is made up of text copy and a video. Video is great because it is not just visual, but audio as well.  Because only 1% of people use LinkedIn as a actual social network with posts , there is a real growth opportunity. Just like the static post, I like to end my post with hashtags relevant to the topic. The great news for every person on any social platform is that they all have a unique story to tell even if they haven't started yet. I like to say that the fun part of social storytelling is pinpointing your story in a post, interweaving it with your dealership or business's culture, and then tie it back into a relevant social site like LinkedIn!  Most importantly, have a strategy for how you will market for yourself on social. You will maximize the power of your posts and increase your odds to generate positive connections and opportunities! 
Talent Wanted: A Basic Review & Primer for Marketing Roles in a Dealership

By

I started my journey with the auto industry in early 2009 in a position of business development for an automotive tech company. At that time, I knew no one who worked at a car dealership. There was very little public information about marketing roles in car dealerships. Today, I run an in-house agency that I created. I oversee all of the marketing for a large auto group. With all of the social media and tech advances in today's world, I can now share with others who are looking to make a change, in addition to share different type of opportunities that reside within a car dealership.  Marketing Department:  CMO, Vice President of Marketing, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Marketing Operations Manager, Director of Communications, Creative Director, Social Media Manager, Videographer, Photographer, Marketing Intern, Marketing Analyst, Marketing Coordinator, E-Commerce Director, Communications Manager. The Marketing Department is what I like to call the heartbeat of a car dealership. It is the voice of the store (or stores) and every single department within the dealership. The Marketing Department plays an essential part of the dealership's brand image. Marketing roles can vary in a given dealership based on how they are structured. However, every single department within a dealership has services that need to be marketed to the public, and in a positive relevant light.  It is not as common to have a marketing department at a single dealership. With the evolution of social media, there are more opportunities that have arisen working in marketing in dealerships. Dealerships are now hiring marketing professionals to elevate their social media. Social media has created the opportunity of having the dealership's marketing department positioned as a robust profit center. Many dealer groups with more than 2 locations typically have an in house marketing team. Sometimes dealer groups not only use in house marketing, they use an outside agency as well. An in house agency may handle everything from soup to nuts not unlike an outside marketing agency does. An in house marketing department will handle everything from creative, vendor management, digital marketing, social media, website management, media buys, copy writing, PR, event management, and reputation management.   Business Development Center (BDC) or Internet Department:  Business Development Director , Business Development Manager, E-Commerce Manager, Internet Sales Manager, Internet Manager, Internet Sales Rep, BDC Rep. Business Development Center (BDC) Administrator. Another profit center within the dealership is the Business Development Center. The business development center goal is to develop and increase sales and service business for the dealership. The structure of this varies from dealership to dealer group. Most dealerships have some form of this department "BDC" which can be a call center or a department with sales people. A BDC call center may take inbound sales or service calls, make outbound calls, manage customer retention, make appointments for the different departments, and email guests. Some of their other responsibilities may include, building opportunities for the dealership, customer satisfaction, growing internet business, and managing internet leads or inquiries through dealership website and online channels. I have met managers in these departments that have a hybrid role where they also oversee all of the dealership's internet marketing as well.  IT Department:  Director of IT, IT Manager, Assistant IT Manager The IT department oversees the installation and maintenance of the computer infrastructure   (including phone systems) within a dealership. This may only require a single employee, or in the case of larger dealerships a team. In some dealerships, the IT department is integrated with the Marketing Department or is one in the same. They can build websites, update the websites monthly, code, and provide any tech support needed for dealership employees on different systems needed for day-to-day work activities.   Working in a dealership in any marketing capacity is fun, exciting, and you learn so much about every single facet of the business. Depending on your experience, desires, willingness to learn, or interest level, you can be a fit for any of these roles. There are so many exciting, different career paths you can take in marketing at a dealership. As a working mom in a car dealership, this was my source of inspiration for my children's book "Our Mommy Works with Cars."
3 Easy Tips to Rev Up Your Personal LinkedIn Strategy

By

If we have been connected for some time on LinkedIn, you will have observed a big change in my posting activities. I've been a LinkedIn member since 2014. In December 2019, I asked myself what I could do more of to help serve others while bringing value to myself and the company I work for. Since I work in marketing, I decided to focus on marketing, and to "do as I say," which I hadn't yet achieved at the time with social media. I went from posting randomly to posting with intent on a regular basis. For the past year I have been working hard on my personal marketing strategy, which has resulted in the development of a larger audience on LinkedIn, for which I am grateful. I have done this in large part by sharing simple, general marketing knowledge that can benefit anyone, including salespeople, business owners, and individuals in their day-to-day activities.  So why would you focus your personal social media marketing efforts on LinkedIn and not the other social channels?  LinkedIn has an advantage, it is the most undervalued, underutilized, social media platform, but it is growing, giving you a lot of potential to create your own organic audience.  There are over 720 Million users' 6 out of 10 users  actively search for industry insights on LinkedIn.  Only  3 million LinkedIn users (fewer than 1%) share content on a weekly basis.  Here are a few quick go to strategies you can immediately apply to your existing LinkedIn profile: 1. Post weekly Be consistent, post every day and use hashtags! Hashtags help people find your content. You will see that at certain times of the day you get better engagement (likes, comments, etc.) I like to experiment with different times to see what works best. You will also see which performs better, whether video or static images.  2. Create your own LinkedIn business plan Determine what results you want from posting on LinkedIn. Set goals and objectives, create a posting calendar and be diligent to set aside time each week to organize your content, etc. Like Yogi Berra said. "If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else." What do you want from posting? A new client, a new job, to be a guest speaker, attract potential talent to your company, etc. Just like your monthly financial objectives, create them for yourself on LinkedIn. 3. Engage with your connections One of the many ways you can really make the best use of LinkedIn is to continuously network! Leave thoughtful comments, send professional notes to one another, find ways to help other people without expecting a thing in return. LinkedIn grew tremendously this year, in part as a result of people being stuck at home due to the COVID pandemic. I have made some of the most meaningful professional connections of my career this year from LinkedIn, and I know that is true of many others. Seize the opportunities, they are there. 
The Automotive Insider’s Guide to Having a Seamless Reputation Management Strategy

By

It’s an early fall Tuesday morning. The air is crisp (at least here in the northeast), and your coffee is hot as you pull into the dealership. You immediately notice a giant garbage can knocked over next to the service drive, and squirrels and birds are feasting undisturbed. Service customers have been arriving for a few hours, driving by the unsightly mess as they pull in. Even after their arrival, your guests are staring out the service department window in disbelief. It is a terrible visual, and it literally stinks. What do you immediately think?  You need to clean up the garbage as soon as possible since no one else has taken the initiative to do so.  Managing your dealership reviews online can feel a lot like cleaning up that garbage. The days of the phrase “all buyers are liars” are over because, in 2020, every single person has the ability to voice their opinions online, and not just to the managers of the dealership. Vendasta reports that  92% of consumers now read online reviews vs. 88% in 2014 . So, if you would take the time to clean up the garbage around the dealership, why wouldn’t you have a process in place for handling reviews?  Every day, millions of automotive consumers go online to research where they should purchase and service their vehicles. They do research across the internet:  Facebook, CarGurus, Cars.com, Google, and Yelp, your dealership’s website, your competitors’ websites, and so much more. According to TrustPilot in 2020,  Nearly 9 out of 10 consumers read reviews before making a purchase .  With the highest CSI, the most successful stores recognize the importance of reputation management and have a solid process in place, including well thought out internal guidelines, to address customer reviews. These processes vary depending on the specific circumstances, but most draw from certain general principles. In creating Reputation Management Guidelines for your store, or even in evaluating the Guidelines you might already have in place, some general considerations might include: Establishment of a mapped out internal process for the escalation of negative reviews. One of the worst things you can do is not respond to a negative review. Not only does this give you an opportunity to validate your position, but it also can assist in defusing a correctable situation before it escalates to the factory.  Have a point person to be the “voice” of the store. There should generally be one person who is responding, not 5 or 6 different. This way, one person is accountable for this, and consistency is more likely to be attained.  Ensure all the key people in the store (Owner, GM, Service Manager, etc.) are aware of the situation before responding to the review. This is tied into the store’s reputation management escalation process. You may want to have a conversation internally about what happened to get all of the facts before you respond.  Encourage your sales team to ask for reviews mentioning their names. When a positive review is made about a particular person, other people who read the review will instantly identify that person as someone they would want to have that same positive experience with. The top salespeople usually have the most reviews. Your customers are actually content creators! I am sure you don’t think of them this way, but you can take a review and repurpose it to be used on your website, social media, a blog, etc. Recognize that reviews provide positive opportunities as well. In a car dealership today, having a strategic process to address customer reviews is an absolute necessity. Implementing solid controls to manage this process will not only affect your CSI, it will also increase trust. Reviews that are handled well can create meaningful customer interactions and help you to package your online presence in a positive light. In closing, reviews need to be monitored, tracked, responded to, and then utilized for content creation.