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A "Maven Says, Maverick Says" Edition
Maven says: Throughout automotive conference season, one message rang clear: the days of having a single person to handle your company’s social media are over. When you think about it, this makes sense. After all, social media is just brand management with better icons, and brand management is and always has been a company-wide job. After all, a single person cannot possibly know the in’s and out’s of every department, and to expect them to act as a single liaison creates an operational bottleneck that won’t do in the social media real-time world. Instead, the future of social media will be about cultivating an A-team of “brand advocates” across all departments, each of whom is trained to engage in social media interaction.
For those of you dealers who are shaking your heads because you’ve heard so much about the importance of a dedicated social media specialist; don’t get me wrong. The social media maven role is still critical. It’s just that the role needs to evolve from solo act into operational linchpin: training content contributors, checking for quality, and spreading the love to make sure brand citizens are able to contribute meaningfully to social media while still keeping their day jobs.
Maverick says: Long live the Brand Advocate. As I had preached throughout my career as e-Commerce Director, we as dealers need to look out for our internal champions in our departments– or as I have dubbed them, the Brand Advocates. As Jade had mentioned prior, it is indeed essential to involve representatives from your profit centers in your Social Marketing approach. Once you’ve identified your team, set up a weekly meeting to discuss the latest Customer Delight Campaign or Dealership Charity Initiative – these are the stories your “Social Media Maven” needs to retrieve via social team meetings to use in the blogosphere. Because the majority of the dealerships in the U.S still do not employ the idea of a pure “Digital & Social Media Marketing” the workload to create context for one person alone is too heavy. By engaging your employees and offering them an active role in the dealership brand, they will obtain pride of ownership. These designated Brand Advocates will then be on point to win over new Dealer Evangelists (fans rather than just customers.) It is time to embed this idea now-utilizing all the necessary social channels where you know your “fans” are – and then begin broadening your footprint through your Brand Advocates. Do not forget, people still buy from people, and the more Brand Advocates you have, the more customer evangelists you will have raving about your dealership!