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DMEautomotive

DMEautomotive

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Facebook, and social media in general, is THE talk of the automotive industry.   Think of the number of presentations and sessions at NADA, Digital Dealer and other industry conferences directed at getting your dealership on board with social media.  It’s EVERYWHERE…and for good reason.   The reason of course is that the old school ways of marketing where you push your message out via television and radio aren’t as effective as they once were.  No ifs, ands or buts about it.  Instead, dealers may have more success and ultimately better sales leads when a consumer who is already learning about and shopping for the products and services they offer finds themand they will likely first find you and research you online.  How do they find you?  By having regular social media activity and great search engine optimization, people will be able to more easily find you, because people are searching online for you!
 
Not only are dealers trying to figure out how to operationalize and monetize social media to drive revenue but you’ll also find General Managers and other upper level management trying to determine the best course of action to deal with the ever-increasing popularity of social media and the use by their employees during the work day.  
 
According to a late 2009 study, 54% of companies surveyed prohibited their employees from any online social networking activities.  Let’s face it…the reasons behind this prohibition aren’t entirely implausible because there are risks associated with employee activity on social media.  One of the biggest concerns expressed by employers is about the use of Facebook and other social media networks hampering employee productivity (though studies have found the opposite to be true – Source).   Additionally, what an employee does online may:

• Hurt the employer’s reputation, or disparage the company or its officers;
• Disclose proprietary information (maybe even inadvertently);
• Result in vicarious liability for the employer (for example, supervisor harassment via Facebook); or
• Otherwise violate company policies.
 
(Source:  http://www.socialnetworkinglawblog.com/2009/10/considerations-for-employers-before.html)
 
So you’re probably wondering what are the benefits to advocating the use of social media by your dealership’s employees and how can you manage this activity successfully (and to your advantage)?? Have no fear…I’ll cover that in my next blog post.
 
 ~ Missy Jensen, Social Media Manager at DMEautomotive.
 
Bio:
 
Missy designs, deploys and maintains the social media initiatives for DMEautomotive in an effort to increase brand awareness, distribute company and industry news, provide updates on products and services and promote consumer engagement. Missy enjoys the process of learning; researching and watching projects come to fruition!
 
Prior to her transformation into a web specialist and work with DMEautomotive, she has 10 years of experience in the marketing and communications industry. Missy served as the Director, Handicapping & Communications for a regional golf association and helped successfully launch and maintain a cutting edge technology-based ticket resale program on behalf of the St. Louis Cardinals
 
Missy attended St. Lawrence University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Psychology. She also holds a Master’s Degree from Miami University in Oxford, OH. She can be reached at missy.jensen@dmeautomotive.com
 
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/missyjensen

Other Resources:
Click to download our white paper Navigating Social Media in the Automotive Industry
 

 

Bart Wilson
This reminds me of one of the first dealerships I was associated with. All of the salespeople were banned from the internet because it hindered productivity. It sounds as ludicrous now as banning employees from Facebook will sound in ten years.
Stacy Mueller
Absolutely Bart. Couldn't agree more. :)
Mike Sheehy
Can’t wait to see the next blog. Although Facebook can have its benefits, there are quite a few liabilities. It’s true that some employees might express negative emotions towards their company, but many also post personal information that can reflect on the company poorly. Along with controversial privacy settings, it’s tough to disclose information without banning it from work. However, if people really need increased privacy settings, do they really need to be posting the information in the first place? And is it still considered SOCIAL media? -Mike J&L Marketing, Inc. http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Louisville-KY/JL-Marketing-Inc/31166092696?ajaxpipe=1&__a=5
Bart Wilson
Any salesperson with a smartphone can access Facebook at work. You can't stop that unless you check all phones at the door. When you block Facebook at the dealership shows a lack of trust. Plain and simple. As for employees misusing and posting personal information, if you can't trust them to behave in a professional matter what do you think they're doing and saying on the lot?
Gary May
Let's all, yes all of us, stop talking about social media in the ways that it is discussed today. Face it, there's greater risk in leaving your home, starting your car, driving in traffic and working in facilities that work with/dispense/dispose of fluids including oil that are hazardous to our health and accident creators. OK?!?!?! Let's also stop linking bios, white papers, sales pitches and the like in B-to-B forums such as this. This is a place for questions, answers, assistance, motivation, support and some fun. Every shiny new object gets its headline, its fanfare and its usually over-beaten drum. The world. The entire world. It is driven by consumers now and what they (we) consumer. We are all consumers. Of content, of products and services. Of each other. Blogs and microsites drive more traffic than social media. So let's talk about branding and reducing advertising costs while increasing transparency and accountability. Let's talk about the proper use of social media when CRM systems are hideously underused. Salespeople are hired to create opportunities. AND to follow up on them. AND to keep in contact with them. AND to ask them for referrals. Social media doesn't create opportunities any more than a lost leader in the Saturday paper....the difference is that hundreds of millions of people are absolutely using one media over the other. Look at a source of eyeballs for what it is. Don't make it better sounding than anything else. Truth is, I'd rather have an event at clients' stores every month than post content daily. Its the current state of risk-adversity that has allowed, rightly, for social media to do so well and be very effective at an extremely low cost. Give me foot traffic on a showroom over 'likes' any day of the week!!!!!!! So simply put, the retailers (all retailers) that don't communicate openly, honestly, in a timely manner in the mediums that people are using WILL FAIL. It's not a matter of if, just when. The best Facebook, Twitter, Ning, LinkedIn, Merchant Circle, DealerRater, Yelp, Spoke, Naymz, Worpress, Typepad, Blogger, Jigsaw, Citysearch and all of the other pages combined can't match a process of engaging a prospect correctly and taking them to completely satisfied. Over the past three years (yes, three years) that we've been advising, talking with and doing 'social media' for dealers and OEMs hasn't matched or offset the failure that happens with 'hello' at dealerships daily. When our mediocre websites, under-used CRMs, painful-to-listen-to phone calls and all the rest is fixed, people will BEG to be an online groupie of your perfect automotive destination...until then I guess we'll continue to see pitches and convincing online...and a whole bunch of 'experts' in the forums and at events... Gary May IM@CS

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