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David Johnson

David Johnson Social Media Aficionado

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5 Things You Need To Know BEFORE Designing Your Social Media Strategy

 

#1 Social Media Is A Force Multiplier

Stop looking at social media as an add-on, in order for social marketing to be truly effective you must first work to integrate it into your daily processes. Instead of seeing social media as a separate identity, one that needs a separate strategy before it can be implemented fully, you need to see it for what it is, a force multiplier.

In military terms a force multiplier refers to an attribute or a combination of attributes which make a given force more effective than that same force would be without it, that's social media exactly!

So, instead of thinking in terms of new goals, in which a social media strategy would be used to reach, think in terms of how you can use social media, alongside your other marketing efforts, to reach your current business goals.

#2 Never Let Tactics Dictate Strategy

Too many times we look at Facebook as the strategy, when in fact, because it's a tool, much like the phone and email, it's a tactic. As such, remember that it's NEVER okay to let a tactic dictate how you develop your strategy, instead, your strategy will dictate which tactics you use.

The Difference Between Strategy and Tactic

Tactics are the day-to-day activities that are repeatable and clear-cut, they are comprised of the basic components that define the actually strategy.

Strategy is the big picture, it's the overall plan, comprised of tactics, that gives direction towards meeting goals and objectives.

#3 Think Laterally

The "lateral" that I am referring to is the conversation that is happening between people. With traditional advertising you have only one direction that communication can flow: out from the dealership.

With social media you are able to influence the conversation, the lateral communication that is happening between people in different social channels. So, when designing your strategy always think in terms of how you can get people to talk in a positive manner about your dealership.

#4 Connect With Social Objects

Too many times, as marketers, we think about how we can create a social object, that is a purpose, cause, or past time that people want to socialize about and around. Instead, take a look at social objects that people are already congregating around and find a way to connect it with your dealership.

While that is easier said than done, you do this by becoming part of the community, a contributor that adds to the overall enjoyment of the social object. If you live in a collage town, maybe it's the local football team, live in a family friendly city, maybe it's education, it could even be a local charity or fishing, the ideas really are limitless. What can your dealership connect around?

#5 Don't Go At It Alone

While developing a strategy for the dealership, don't go in thinking that you don't need any help. A proper social media strategy will affect each and every department in the dealership and as such, each department should have input into how the strategy is structured. I refer to this group of people at the Strategic Response Team or the SRT.

The SRT is comprised of at least one person from each department in the dealership, even detail and office staff. The reasons are plenty, but I feel the most important reason is creativity. The creativity of the group will always be better than the creativity of the individual.

Have you created your strategy yet? Wait, don't tell me you've gone into battle without a plan for success, you do know that's suicide right? Tell me I'm wrong in the comment section below and that you do indeed have a strategy...

Brady Irvine
I LOVE this. As with any type of marketing, the message is they key to success, not the method.
David Johnson
Absolutely, which is why having a strong content strategy is so very important to "getting your message" out. Thank you for the comment.
Lindsey Auguste
These are excellent tips for any company, but especially for a dealership getting started in social media because it's a good overview wrapped into simple goals. Too often people think that social media IS the strategy as opposed to a tool within the broader strategy. This is a well timed post considering all the people who came home with new, fun tools from NADA.
David Johnson
I didn't think about that but I agree! Coming back from NADA dealers have a ton of tactics to use but without a strategy to dictate their use and end goal they are pretty much worthless.
Paul Green
In my market, the select few dealers that even use social media in their marketing do nothing but use it as another place to list their inventory. At our dealership, we've tried to offer people a compelling reason to connect with us on social media, whether it's advice about the car industry, or just talking about local events. Every so often we promote a special deal or promotion, but we try not to be pushy.

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