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nada-logoAs was posted on one of the official NADA Blogs, the convention will be a social media "tipping point" for many. Dealers are ready to make the jump into Web 2.0 and what better venue to learn and choose a social media partner than in a place where EVERYONE is selling social media services? While it's a good idea to take advantage of what the NADA Convention presents as a place where everyone who has services will be pitching them, be warned: there are good ways and bad ways of engaging in social media, and both sides will be represented at NADA. Believe it or not, it isn't easy. As simple and straight-forward as social media as an entity is, there are pitfalls that dealers must avoid. Here are a few of them:
  • Mass Account Creation without Management - There are benefits to creating dozens, even hundreds of social media profiles to help cross-link and generate strong search engine reputation management potential, but there are also times when this can be a detriment. Stagnant accounts can be viewed poorly by engaged members and therefore cause negative responses for the dealers. If you can't handle the accounts (or worse, attempt to automate posts) you can do more harm than good.
  • AutoFeeds of Inventory and Specials - In the car business, we are so used to marketing and advertising by getting our names and vehicles out to as many people as possible. In social media, particularly on Facebook and Twitter, feeding inventory or specials as status updates is the easiest way to be labeled as a spammer. It's about conversation, engagement, and connections. Having a tab that has your inventory available on Facebook is fine, but feeding the items directly into status updates or wall posts will not only give you a bad reputation and make you lose fans and followers, it can even get you banned form the sites in extreme cases.
  • Cross-Platform Content - There's a right way and a wrong way to post content across multiple social media sites. Posting the exact same content on all of them is the wrong way. Here's a brief example of the right way: shoot a video testimonial and post it to YouTube, then embed the video on your blog with a few paragraphs about the experience, then post the blog onto your Facebook fan page describing what it's about, then post the blog, video, and Facebook update on Twitter at 3 different times. It sounds like a lot of work, but it's really only 15-30 minutes if done with the right tools, the right way.
  • Training vs Management - This is a personal decision each dealer must make. Do you want a service that manages your social media completely, one that trains you how to manage your own social media, or a hybrid that helps you manage your social media while giving you the freedom to do it all yourself sometimes while knowing that it will be taken care of if you're not available. Companies should offer variations of each - one size does not fit all in automotive social media.
There are other things to watch out for, but those are the biggies. I will be available for questions and consultation at the NADA exhibit hall in room W102A (one level down from the expo floor). We are holding social media workshops there with our partners at KPA. These are STRICTLY INFORMATIONAL - no pitching or discussion of products will happen during the workshops. For a complete schedule of our events, please check out the NADA Expo events calendar.

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