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Take your pointer finger and your thumb and spread them out as far as you can. That represents the gap between good and great when it comes to most automotive digital marketing practices such as SEO. Now, take you arms and spread them as wide as you like the image above. That represents the gap between really good automotive social media and great social media.
If we tried to demonstrate simple "good" instead of very good, the gap would be wider than Shaquille O'Neal's wingspan and "good" is where a good portion of today's car dealers are today with their social media. It's a dramatic improvement from just a couple of years ago, but there's a long way to go.
Keep in mind that this is not a completely biased opinion. My company does SEO and we'll readily admit that having a good presence through SEO is not very far off from having a great one. With social media, the differences are exceptionally clear.
Good social media means having a strong presence. Posting on Facebook several times a week, keeping it relevant to the dealership and the local community, participating in meaningful communication, perhaps throwing a little money at it - these are the things that make for a good social media presence.
To be great, you should be taking advantage of the immense amount of data that social medai sites give us and then properly target the exact right messages to them in order to bring people to your website and to drive shoppers to your showroom floor. The biggest challenge is that so few are truly taking advantage of the medium in a great way that for many, it's simply a mythical beast. Many have tried social media vendors, hiring social media specialists, or putting a good amount of effort into social media without seeing a meaningful return on investment.
It's out there. We've seen it. Great social media that actually drives business is not a myth. It's really not even that hard to find. Unfortunately, it's much easier to find poor practices or bad strategies that are allegedly supposed to be good that it has made many dealers lose faith.
The same was true about SEO a few years ago. Dealers were thinking they were getting great SEO, only to find out that the methods being sold to them were little more than fancy reporting and technobabble designed to keep the $500 invoices paid for as long as possible. Today, more dealers are able to recognize bad SEO, good SEO, and great SEO, which is why the gap between them is tightening. "Good" is judged on a sliding scale and as more dealers and vendors get better, the bar is raised.
This should be happening very soon with social media. That's our hope. As more dealers move forward with their social media practices, hearing of things that really work and trying them at their dealership, it's likely that the bar will be raised for social just as it has been with SEO. The gap is wide today, but in the future it will be narrowing. That is when those who started early at doing the right things or working with the right people will truly see the benefits of their decisions.
Who at Driving Sales has seen something extraordinary? Something great? Something that's much better than good? Please post your experiences in the comment section below.