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Chris Theisen

Chris Theisen Director of Digital Communications

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Where are your social postings driving traffic to?

Im starting to see (thanks to advanced searches) more and more local dealers in Indianapolis post updates to their FB pages and tweet about something OEM centric. Most of them are centered around some award an OEM has won, a new marketing program the OEM is pushing or a video. While some of these are pulled via RSS from non OEM and non dealer sites (mind boggling) most of them at least go back to an OEM branded video on YouTube or a Motor Trend type article. While this is a step in the right direction compared with dealers that just post inventory updates and annoy the few people that are listening, it still misses the boat big time.

While one of your goals socially should be to get conversation going about your products and brand (more on that later) one of your other goals is to drive traffic and leads. Posting RSS feed content and OEM branded stuff is great for conversation but absolutely horrible for driving traffic and leads through web entities that you own or have control over. Why on earth would you take the time to build and engage a community only to drive them to the Chevrolet YouTube page? Thats like the locally owned cell phone store that happens to sell Sprint based cell phones driving business to Sprint.com Doesnt make much sense does it?

Car dealers do it ALL the time. I understand wanting to piggy back on the content and marketing of your OEMs, it makes complete sense. How is the easiest way to do this and not drive traffic away from you? Blogging. Repurpose their content into a quick and easy blog post such as this one I did on the new Chevy Cruze Guys Night Out video. It took me a half hour total to do the post and shove it out on our social channels. Also note I didnt auto post it out using a feed system or auto post from the blogging platform. I posted it on our FB page and tagged the Chevy Cruze account. I linked to it with a tweet that included this text "Guys now that you are growing up, or are grown up, have you ever done this before?" Brings in more clicks than Chevy Cruze Guys Night Out video right? Dont have a video? Take that Motor Trend truck of the year article and use snippets and quotes from it wrapped around your keywords and content. 

Moral of the story is this; you are on the right track but......If you are going to take the time to link your FB and Twitter account, setup feeds, read OEM blogs and watch OEM videos please take the time to undo all of that and use the content properly. Your community, and your bosses, will thank you. 

 

P.S. As I stated earlier here is the more on your branding part. Your brand is your dealership not what OEM vehicles you have. If you sell Chevy post some Chevy stuff but let people know you have used cars and service and and and. By just auto pushing OEM content you brand yourself as the Chevy store, not the place to go whenever someone needs a car regardless of make and model. 

Jeff Cryder
Amen Christopher! I told the Ford Regional Social Media "man" to cut off our RSS feed from the OEM months ago. He thought I was completely nuts... In all seriousness though, it makes you look like a complete robot. I second Chris, take the press releases the OEMs send out, write an article about it on your dealer blog, then disseminate it through your Social Media outlets. You start conversation plus you gain traffic. It's a win, win.
Jeff Cryder
Also, people love "Infographics". They're great for re-purposing and starting conversation. However, like argyle you must use them sparingly.
Chris Theisen
I knew there was a reason I liked you. RSS feeds through OEMs are better than doing nothing but alot less than can be done with a little effort and knowledge. Ive started to dig Infographics personally but havent really leveraged or thought about them for business, I might do that one. Argyle is a delicate thing not sure if Im at an expert argyle use level yet :) Just like you state the OEMs are there to drive traffic to your entities and showroom, NOT the other way around.
Cobalt An ADP Company
Jeff-love the argyle analogy. So true. Chris, thank you for bringing up a very important point about social media that is often overlooked-the need to be strategic about where you drive traffic. However, I think what is even MORE significant is your point about adding original insight to third-party content. So many times you see people retweet or re-post content with no additional insight or editorial, and this practice is really contrary to the spirit of social media. There's nothing wrong with distributing great third-party content, but make sure to add a personal spin so you can build your own brand in the process. Great post, thanks.
Chris Theisen
Thanks for chiming in Auto Social. It pains me to see people so close to taking a big step in their online presence only to fall back on whats easy and automating efforts. People want to follow your small business because of what YOU have to say or who YOU are, not what the PR stuff OEMs pump out. Search engines knock you for duplicate content, why not social channels ;)

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