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Is your Store Social?
These days everyone KNOWS you have to have a Facebook Page for your store, sure. But how will that translate to Sales and the end goal of money in your pocket? When your average internet shopping customer decides to purchase a car, their first destination on the web is usually a search engine. It is not a social network. Your store's website should show in the search results before your Facebook page and customers will usually visit your website first to check out your inventory or get contact details. So where does social fit into this sale, you ask? In this series of blog posts we will discuss how social fits into some aspects of the sale and how you can leverage this (mostly free) tool to increase your impressions and future opportunities.
How to make your Website and Social Platforms integrate with one another seamlessly is extremely important. You need to make it very easy for the consumer to Like or Follow your Store. The best way to do that is to include social buttons or widgets on the home page of your website. You also need to appear as one online consciousness. A single company personality who interacts and connects with customers and potential customers. Now that your store is ready to go… what happens if your customer checks your website and sees you have a twitter or Facebook? Then instead of clicking the "Contact" link on your webpage, they choose to tweet you or Facebook comment on your wall instead?
Fielding Customer Enquiries on Social Platforms
Edward just posted on your wall or tweeted that he's looking for a 2009 Yukon. Now he's waiting... and waiting... and, yes, waiting. Today's consumer is extremely impatient. While he's waiting he's looking at other stores in his local area. Posting on their walls about his dream to own a 2009 Yukon. Consider you are Edward, and you've posted to 5 stores that you need a Yukon to complete you. The third store you connected with responds first. Where are you going to buy a Yukon today? The first store you posted to or the first store who responded to your post? The ball is now in your court. What you do next will determine whether or not you sell a vehicle today.
Your response time is crucial to your success on Social Media. Be certain you have at least one person monitoring your Facebook and/or Twitter feeds at all times. And I mean ALL times… not simply during store hours. The Twitter app and Facebook “Pages” app are extremely useful tools for this purpose. Even if the store is closed for the day, or the community manager monitoring the page/account can’t answer a question off hand, a reply is mandatory. You need to treat the customer the same way you would if they walked onto your lot, or into your showroom, and asked that same question. Even if it’s only to do a warm handoff to another department or to get the customers information for a follow up during business hours. This builds the relationship between your store and the customer. It can also create a sense of loyalty, for the customer, to purchase from you. If the customers enquiry goes unanswered they will simply move on to the next store that has the potential to answer their question or put a Yukon in their driveway.
Look out for the next installment to this topic which discusses engagement and building a positive social relationship which extends beyond the sale of the vehicle.
Alethe Denis is the Social Media Manager at iMagicLab. As an early adopter of Social Media and with her years in Retail and Management she brings a unique blend of real life experience and dry humor. Subscribe to her blog here at DrivingSales and follow Ms. Denis @Leafies42 on Twitter.