On the surface, having your sales consultants promoting your brand on social media seems like a win-win. The idea that your dealership is getting that additonal exposure for free seems like a no brainer. And while it does not seem to be a bad idea, there are some things that your dealer ought to consider. One of those things is a social media policy. A policy that is put in place to protect your dealership. In addition to guidelines with regards to the OEM and FTC concerning the promotion of specials. That said, here are some of the other things to consider when it comes to your sales consultants promoting your brand on social media:
The Customers Should Be Directed to Your Dealer Website!
Think about it for a moment. The reason we spend money on advertisements, and paid social media posts is to have the customer visit the website; with the goal of their converting! But if your sales consultants are promoting your brand on social media - without creating call to actions - for the customer to visit the website, it might be missing the point. Not to mention, if you are not an ADMIN on the page, you cannot edit and or monitor the content that is being promoted by the sales consultants.
You Should Have ADMIN Access to the Social Media Page
You have a top sales guy using social media, all seems well until he takes all of your customers - ones who like/engage - with his social media page to the next dealership. Meaning that he can now promote his new dealership to those customers. Customers that your dealership paid to acquire as not all customers on their social media sites are customers in which they either paid to acquire or spent thousands of dollars advertising too!
I have seen this happen way too often. And trust me, if you think that they are not taking those customers - with the hopes of selling them - at the next dealership, you are sadly mistaken. This is not to say that customers do not otherwise have a loyal following. However, we have to remember at the end of the day, we are to be promoting the dealership, not the sales consultant. Most other businesses do not promote an "employe" by allowing them to run their own social media pages, so why are we? By having ADMIN access to their social media accounts, you can create a policy in which indicates that should they depart from the dealership - you retain full access to their account. At which point, they will no longer have access to the customers or content in which is linked to your dealership.
If You Think They Are Not Running Specials On their Social Media Pages. Think Again. Have You Checked to Make Sure They Are Compliant With the FTC?
We see it every day. Dealers who have specials that are not OEM compliant, or worse not compliant with the FTC. However, one thing that your dealer needs to do is make sure that if your sales consultants are promoting their own specials - which is not recommended - that they are in compliance with not just your dealership, but the OEM and FTC. However, this is not as easy if you do not have ADMIN access to their page.
Think about it, let's say one of your sales consultants offers the customer an "extra" dollar amount off of the vehicle to which people respond. However, when they get to the dealership and find out that the vehicle in which they inquired on is not eligible (despite there not being any disclaimer on the Ad on FaceBook) your dealer could be liable! That said when in doubt it is best for the sales consultants to share specials that are currently running on your dealerships website or social media.
Brand Image. Do You Want the Image of Your Dealership In the Hands of the Sales Consultants?
One wrong post or one inappropriate photo can lead your dealership into being in hot water. Not just with the customers, but with the public. I cannot tell you how many times sales consultants have promoted their dealerships on social media - even having their own pages - without many security settings. To which they have posted and/or liked inappropriate content for business. Where the customers have had their say in how they feel about it. The bottom line with this is why would you want to risk your dealer's hard-earned reputation by enabling anyone to control your brand's image? This is not best practice and something your dealership should consider.
The Bottom Line:
This is by no means to say that sales consultants and or your dealership should not use social media. What this is, however offering is that there are FTC compliance regulations, OEM compliance, and Dealership guidelines that should be adhered to, period. And if you do not have any access to your sales consultants social media pages, it becomes that much more difficult to manage the content that they are otherwise promoting without your knowledge or consent. All of which can put your dealership in a bad position! Instead of taking that risk, encourage your sales consultants to engage with your social media page, share your posts, etc. All of which can have a positive impact all while ensuring that it is compliant.
Do you let your sales consultants have their own social media accounts? If so, do you require that they give you ADIN access to their pages? If not, why? Do you know how many of your sales consultants past and current have their own social media pages?