Call me crazy, but it seems to me that retail automotive dealerships are going the wrong direction in regards to their social media efforts. I speak to dealers every day who are frustrated, confused and fed up with the amount of energy and money they are spending on social media. Somewhere along the line they heard that they had to have a Facebook page and a Twitter account, then they were convinced that the more “likes” they get, the better their social media is performing. I doubt that they would be very happy if they could actually quantify the ROI on their efforts to get “likes” and “followers.”
Don’t get me wrong, social media is huge and dealers should absolutely participate, but where are we going wrong? In my mind, it is simple. Instead of trying to get people to your pages, provide them content that is compelling enough for them to share on their pages! We all know that competing for even just 30 seconds of someone’s time online these days is next to impossible. If you are gearing up for a TV campaign, what steps do you take? Do you start from scratch, launching your own TV channel with great programming (competing with all the networks) and hope that your programs were compelling enough to get an audience, and dream that the audience will pay attention to your branding? Or would you just run your commercials on the most popular TV shows where the audience already exists?
Why try to move the mountain to you, when you can get to the mountain with ease?
The most compelling and influential thing you can do with social media is to provide relevant and self propelling content. Ok, Paul…great tip, but how do I do that? You create advocates that will send the content on your behalf. When you receive a personalized message from a friend, you look at it. But more importantly, if it is fun and entertaining you share it. Content created with the sole intent of being fun, entertaining, relevant goes viral, and that’s where the magic happens.
Having your brand and your message go viral is the holy grail of social media, and it’s right at your fingertips. Viral messages reach the unreachable consumer. Consumers are changing and there are a growing number of consumers who pride themselves on limited exposure to marketing. Here’s what that customer looks like: They opt-out from mailing lists, they TIVO thru TV commercials, they have Sirius/XM radio and they unsubscribe from all email marketing. Know anyone like that…are you like that? This person would never dream of “Liking” a business Facebook page. But you can still reach them through viral marketing.
Get creative. Send your customers something they will be compelled to share without you asking. Find a viral marketing company that understands this equation and you will have a completely different feeling about reaching customers through digital marketing.
Anyone that says you cannot sell cars using Social Networking is living in 2011.
Paul Moran is the president of Vboost, Inc. For more information, visit www.vBoost.com.