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The Scariest Part of Social Media: Change

Oil Change

We all get our oil change. It’s a relatively constant thing. Most people are comfortable with getting their oil changed regularly. Some cars tell you when it’s time. Most people have a sticker on their windshield that tells them when it’s time. Heck, our internal clock often reminds us.

Now, imagine that you don’t know when it’s time to change. Instead of the 3000-5000 miles, your car doesn’t have a set time. It just decides that it needs to be changed. Imagine that your car doesn’t tell you, that you have to check it every now and then.

What if the type of oil changed regularly. You might need 5W-30 this time. Next time, your car requires 15W-40. Then, you hear that your car actually wanted the 5W-30 this time and the 14W-40 needs to be drained immediate – that doesn’t start working until next month.

For those mechanically minded, imagine that the configuration of your engine itself moves between oil changes. This time, you have to do it like normal but next time you may have to put it on a lift and change it from the bottom, or your car spontaneously develops a way for you to change the oil from the cabin of the car, but it must be moving at over 30 miles per hour at the time for it to work right.

This is the world of social media. I’m not trying to scare anybody. It’s just a statement of the way things are. What worked yesterday may not work today but may work again tomorrow. Today, text posts work best on Facebook. Two months ago, it was images. There are those who say that they’re seeing an increase in the engagement on images again and a decline in text post engagement.

Pinterest was nowhere to be seen a year ago in automotive social media. Today, it’s a big thing. Tomorrow, it could be dead again, replaced by Scoop.it or Overblog or any of the up-and-comers in social media. It could be replaced by something we haven’t even seen yet.

Instagram was a neat app a year ago. Once Facebook bought them, they became more of a thing. Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, and even Apple are constantly in the market for social products of some sort (though Apple hasn’t pulled the trigger just yet). When they buy them, what happens? Do they improve? Become more relevant? Get ruined?

Techniques, strategies, best practices – they all change constantly in social media. Again, I’m definitely not trying to use fear tactics to tell can’t do it on their own. You can. It doesn’t take a lot of time or energy to come up with the right strategies, to track the changes, and to play with the various dynamics involved in a strong automotive social media presence. I’m simply saying this: if you’re going to do social media for your dealership, be sure to stay on top of things. Make it a priority to read, study, and test.

I was asked by a peer why I hadn’t written an automotive social media book yet. I told him that by the time I made it to chapter 6, chapter 2 and 3 would be obsolete. Social is moving. It always has and it always will. Keep that in mind when pursuing your own strategy. If the scariest part about social media is change, the worst thing that you can do is get complacent.

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