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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Gary May

Gary May President

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Digital Signals: Hate The Player Or Hate The Game?

 

No matter how much it’s discussed, there are still massive amounts of misinformation in addition to retail kick back in regard to social media in general and what it does specifically for car dealerships. However the simple question still remains the same: why?
 
It’s almost 2013 and some social signals are already making a significant impact on local search queries and a couple networks are absolutely affecting search engine optimization. Almost nobody at the OEM level, not one of the existing enterprise social media providers and most vendors have demonstrated proper use, understanding or leverage of social to benefit you. It’s sad, however most dealers aid in this continuing and continue to buy “services” from them…
 
If you’ve simply hired a social media company to “manage” your social network content, you’ve likely made zero or near-zero impact on local search as well as branding, defending SERP positions and a list of other benefits. We see this continually via mediocre dealership Facebook pages, auto-feed only Twitter accounts, automated blog posts copied onto hundreds, yes hundreds, of other dealership blogs and copied Pinterest photos; the result? Complete disconnect from people on their networks.
 
“But it’s not selling cars!” or “I don’t care about that social garbage, that’s not what we do”, or “When it shows results, we’ll jump on it properly” responses demonstrate that what’s happening in digital simply hasn’t sunk in. Yes, there’s lots of talk, just very little good action, let alone great. So are you going to hate the player or hate the game?
 
Most simply want to hate the game, not who’s doing it at the dealership or outsourced to (aka the player).  Some hate the player recognizing that the game is not to blame. However, it’s neither. Our focus continues to go, inexplicitly, to BS “traditional” marketing especially when there’s a sunny financial or industry volume report.  There’s a near blanket of ignorance put toward the largest, yes largest, shift in media consumption. And we all do it. Well, over 90% of us.
 
How can you book an airline ticket online after checking Kayak or Travelocity, or buy a pair of boots you’ve never tried on before with glowing reviews, or even do a stock trade on your phone, tablet or computer followed by sharing your gain on Facebook and then turn around and ignore what’s happening with the socialization of media and search?
 
Digital signals are unavoidable. More importantly, everything we do affects how others consume products and media, let alone search.
 
So hate the player if you want, or hate the game if you’ve got a louder voice or bigger fist, but when you finally decide to pay attention, make investments, educate staff properly and turn the tides in your favor, don’t complain if it’s too late or that someone else is eating your lunch. It’s already happening.
 
 
 
Best Practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results
 
You can read more IM@CS posts here on DrivingSales.com or on our blog
Cassie Allinger
Nice points here Gary. I feel your frustration, and yet, it still doesn't surprise me. The issue here isn't ignorance towards the value of social business practices, but rather a strong resistance to change, which has plagued the auto industry ... for longer than i can put into words. It doesn't really matter what the new ground-breaking tactic or strategy is as long as that resistance is still holding strong. With that said, your closing remarks are right on the money: invest, educate & don't complain. :)

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