Should OEM's be more active in helping their dealers in social media? I have my own opinions, but I want to start by asking the question and seeing how the community at Driving Sales feels.
Stop, think about how you currently feel, then read on.
As I've stated in previous posts, social media is a personal experience that is best handled on the local level when it comes to automotive. When I posted Car Dealer Social Media Basics: YouTube
, the idea was that dealers would be able to have all of the tools that they needed to put together a proper video marketing plan. Brian Pasch did the same with Car Dealer Facebook Page Tips
, and Paul Rushing showed us Automotive Blogging Advice
- both of which are self-service, do-it-yourself style posts that dealers can use.
My next question is: "Why are we having to do this?"
Shouldn't the manufacturers be putting out a gameplan for their dealers? Shouldn' t they be offering training, support, and resources for their dealers to use when they're ready to take the plunge into social media? I posted a long and "ranting" post about OEM's and Social Media
that didn't quite address the problem, but at least brings to light that there is a problem. Do manufacturers realize it exists? Do dealers?
Vendors certainly do, and many are starting to take advantage of it. I often get sickened by some of the things recommended, but then I get equally impressed by many of the ideas that vendors are pouring out there for dealers. The biggest problem that dealers face today when it comes to social media is recognizing what is real and what will hurt.
That's the challenge. Unlike other forms of marketing, social media done wrong can do much more damage than any other form of marketing.
It's here where I would love to see the manufacturers get involved. They have resources that dealers do not in determining what social media strategies make sense and which ones do not. While I do not advocate an iron-fist-approach to dictating social media from a corporate level, I do believe that some guidance is desperately needed.
Will it happen? Of course. It should have happened already, and in some places with some manufacturers the ball is rolling.
Now, back to the original question: How active should OEM's be in their dealers' social media?