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From "Push" to "Pull": How to Market to Your Social Customer

By Kathi Kruse on Mar 16, 2012

automotive social media kathi kruseOutstanding content is at the heart of every Social Media success story.  Whether it’s Facebook status updates, Twitter messages, or Blog posts, when your customer is interested in what you’re publishing, they will come back for more.  In fact, they’ll look forward to what you’ve got next.  How does a busy dealer, with a traditional sales and service team begin to attract and engage the Social customer?


Awesome Content Strategy

Content marketing is new for auto dealers.  We’re used to advertising to the masses and watching the results walk into the store.  Today, people walk into your store alright, but they’ve been online an average of 11 hours researching everything about you.  The sales relationship no longer starts with an Up.  It begins months before you ever see them and it’s built on trust using Social Media.

The old way of advertising was to “push” marketing messages on the audience.  Consumers’ resistance to that model is what made Tivo a household name.  We have to stop interrupting what people are interested in and BE what people are interested in.  Dealers must evolve from advertisers to content marketers.  Great content attracts, beguiles, entertains and informs.  It’s what connects you to your community and keeps them engaged.

Brian Solis of Altimeter Group posted a study recently about the transition businesses must go through in order to stay top-of-mind with today’s consumer.  Due to shifts in consumer attention, dealers have to move beyond short-duration “push” advertising to longer term, often continual, content-driven “pull” campaigns. To do this, it requires a dealer to develop internal processes for content curation and strategy.

Develop Who and Why. You have to know who you’re trying to reach and why.  Identifying your target audience and the kind of information they’re looking for is essential.

Own Your Social Media Content.  Not participating in your content curation and letting a third-party “handle it” is the same as allowing another person speak for you.  Are you willing to take that chance? How do you know they aren’t posting the same content on other dealers’ Social Media? Someone in your store should be in charge of content strategy, creation, approval and governance.

Measure Your Success.  Social Media is only valuable if you use it to meet specific marketing goals.  How will you know if you meet those goals? Tools like the newly-enhanced Facebook Insights, Hootsuite and Sprout Social are all key components to analyzing your progress so you can clearly see your next steps.

You can’t build a great house with a bad foundation.  Take methodical steps to organize these integral parts of your overall content strategy. Social Media is a marketing platform.  It’s a place for consumers to see what you’re all about.  When they like what they see, they buy.

Have you developed a strong content marketing plan that works for your business?

Kathi Kruse
Social Media coaching & Training



Kathi this is a great read. Thank you for sharing and highlighting the importance of building a strong foundation along with a strong content marketing plan. It seems so many out there still today are just "winging" their social strategy and hoping for some type of result. Thank you for sharing the "analytic tools" for everyone to measure what they are doing. Great post.

Mar 27, 2012

Thanks Chris! Yep, #1 rule is know your audience. #2 is know yourself/your brand. I, too, see a lot that are "winging" it. No wonder they think Social Media doesn't work. Winging it never sets you up for success. The strength comes from within the operation. A great system involving employees will help dealers create great content!

Mar 27, 2012

Kathi, you should write a Social Media Bible. I would preach from it daily! Thanks for another great post and the tips. :)

Mar 27, 2012

Haha...Hallelujah! Thanks Brian :-)

Mar 28, 2012

Oops, I mean Bryan :-) (It's early here in So Cal, my fingers aren't awake yet).

Mar 28, 2012

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