This month we’re going to talk about more ways to grow your social media fan base, as well as some concerns to be aware.
The first goal of any new social media page is to attract “fans”. Fans are simply other users of the social media site. They can be your customers, potential customers, or just interested in your product or service. The first step in attracting fans is based on the content you place on your social media page. Perhaps you’ve heard the old advertising maxim “content is king.” Compelling content is content that begs to be shared. It can be educational, topical, cause based, or just plain fun. So start by writing something worth sharing (or hire a professional to help). Keep in mind that your social media site is two-way communication and the goal is create interaction. So don’t be afraid to ask a question, or otherwise reward your fan base for participating.
One popular tactic being used by a number of dealers right now to attract fans is to hold a contest. This is a great idea, and one with which our dealers have had strong success. Before you commit to doing a contest on a social media site such as facebook, however, make sure you know the rules; violating them can cost you your entire social media site. For example, facebook has very specific guidelines which permit you to promote a contest on their website, but not to conduct one without their express permission or using a third party application. So make sure you review their guidelines or engage the services of a company that understands the dos and don’ts of these policies. Guidelines aside, the key to success is to keep it simple. Make it easy, fun, and make sure to incorporate a sharing component so your contest spreads virally.
Another way you can spread the word about your page, is to advertise within the platform itself. In the case of facebook, this works like google adwords in that you pay for clicks or impressions. One really nice feature is that you can tightly control who sees the ad and therefore point the fan growth in a direction that suits the geography, demographics, or lifestyle attributes you want to associate with the dealership. Just remember there are on-going costs incurred daily, so be sure you pay attention to the costs that are being incurred.
We think one of the best ways to promote a social media site is through cross promotion with your traditional advertising. Getting the most mileage from this approach, however, requires some advance preparation, but once set up correctly, the obvious benefit is that you will attract fans using advertising that you are already doing.
A great first step is to install dynamic pages inside your social media site. Doing this makes your regular dealership website available in real time to facebook users, for example, with all the functionality of your regular website. This way you can feel comfortable knowing that by pointing to people to your social media site, they are also seeing the entire offerings of your dealership.
If all of this sounds like a lot of work, it is, but ask any dealer who has a vibrant, robust social media site and they’ll tell you the feedback they get, the referrals, the new sales, and the ability to continue to build relationships with their customers is more than worth it.
Ed Steenman is owner of Steenman Associates. For information and more case studies, visit www.Steenmanassociates.com or email [email protected].
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