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For the last week, I have spoken to several dealers, a couple of vendors, and members of our team about how to position social media properly so that dealers will be able to take full advantage of it. We blogged about it, prepared a webinar, and adjusted our upcoming presentation at DSES to make sure that we're getting the word out about the tangible, measurable, ROI-based aspects of social media.
There was a lot of bad press going out and I felt the need to combat it.
The first thing that got me riled up was the infamous "nobody shops for cars on social media" post on Automotive News. Then, it was an article here on Driving Sales that got me even more excited about teaching on the subject. It was a comment, just a single sentence, that completely changed my perspective. I'm now endorsing the concept that most dealers should abandon social media.
"Shhh. Craig. Don't tell anyone about the dark posts. We don't want them to get too popular :P"
It hit me like an 18-wheeler. Robert Karbaum's comment made me realize that this isn't something for mass consumption. If too many dealers were aware of the ROI that properly targeted, masterfully crafted dark posts pointing to killer landing pages bring to the table, their effectiveness would be diluted.
The vast majority of what goes on with automotive social media is pretty much worthless. We know of one other vendor that is even remotely doing it right and I've seen a mere handful of dealers taking advantage of it. This is a good thing. It's a good thing for people reading this article. It's the reason that we're currently at 14/14 on our free trials converting into paying clients.
I now realize that this isn't something that needs to be given to the masses. It's not something that can benefit the industry as a whole. The proper social media strategy that actually does sell cars is only effective because so few dealers and vendors understand how it works.
There are many things that I'll post about in the future and many topics that we'll all discuss, but this is one of those that doesn't need to be broadcast to the general automotive industry. There's no need to let the cat out of the bag. It can't be let out. If it ever did, then it wouldn't be a cat anymore. It would lose its effectiveness.
Thank you, Robert, for making an extremely valid point. Social media has a power that cannot be matched by any other advertising venue, but only when utilized properly. If everyone knew that, then it would no longer be as strong.
In essence, I was being Syndrome from The Incredibles.