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I'm already regretting posting this before it's even written. It will likely go down as one of my late night rants that shouldn't have been posted, but hey, I've already started. Can't stop now.
There's a trend in the industry that has been disturbing me for a few months now. I've been hard at work on a new social media service that combines the experience we've had doing advanced social media marketing outside of the automotive industry with the core of our business in digital marketing for car dealers. What I've learned during this exploration has been disheartening.
It seems that the vast majority, both vendors and dealers, are missing the point when it comes to a social media presence. There is still a focus on getting fans regardless of why they clicked "like". There's still a trend towards posting humorous irrelevant pictures rather than taking the amazing base of content available in our industry and in the local area and making things interesting while still staying focused. There's definitely still a tilt towards the concept that social media is for branding only, that it's impossible to drive foot traffic or website traffic, let alone actually sell vehicles or service through social media.
These are all wrong. I've seen it. I know that, done right, a page with 100 high-quality Facebook fans can reach exponentially more local people with a relevant business message than a page with tens of thousands of "win an iPad" fans posting cat pictures.
Here's the point of this post and the question at hand: do you truly understand automotive social media? If not, do you want to learn? I spend many hours 7-days a week immersed in this stuff. I've done so for several years. I once thought that the misconceptions would fade over time, that the wrong strategies would be revealed as such and that they would fall from existence. It hasn't happened. If anything it's getting worse.
What say you, Driving Sales? Is anyone interested in discussing social media directly with me, either publically in the comments below or on the phone? I'm ready. I want to show what I've seen. I want to learn why the bad strategies persist. I really, truly want to help.