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Jeff Cryder

Jeff Cryder Digital Communications & Marketing Director

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Social Media Strategy: Asking the "Why" Question

 

I wrote this little piece on my other blog, Social Blade and thought it might be helpful to those dealers getting serious about Social Media Marketing in 2011...

Too often I see my fellow dealers jump into the Social Media pool without fully understanding why. Which can be mistake since the why question tends to be the most important one to answer. The how and what are easy, but we tend to shy away from the why because it’s hard to think about and difficult to answer. Or worse, we don’t know the right why questions to ask. Here's a sample of "why" questions to ask yourself:

Why are we on [Insert Social Media Platform]?

Why are our customers on [Insert Social Media Platform]?

Why would our customers follow/like us online?

Why are we investing our time and resources?

Why are we monitoring conversation?

Why are we directing conversation?

Why are we creating conversation?

Why are we measuring ROI?

Why should we synergize our Social Media, SEO and Traditional Media Marketing?

Why are our competitors… [Insert Above Questions]

Keep in mind the answers to why questions will be unique and specific for your dealership. But, You’ll find having the ability to answer the why makes the how and what that much easier. For the Why is what will determine the two.

Arnold Tijerina
Great activity. I could see how that would be productive rather than dealers doing social media because they know they need to but don't understand why.
Larry Bruce
Ok here are my answers to the above questions lets hear yours: Why are we on [Insert Social Media Platform]- to build our list Why are our customers on [Insert Social Media Platform]-to engage with friends Why would our customers follow/like us online? - to get information about dealership, offers and personnel Why are we investing our time and resources? - beacuse we want to engage our customers Why are we monitoring conversation? - to help Why are we directing conversation? - to inform Why are we creating conversation? - to learn Why are we measuring ROI? - because this is still a business Why should we synergize our Social Media, SEO and Traditional Media Marketing? - Because markets are conversations to get to the conversation you need to be found and to find others Why are our competitors… [Insert Above Questions]- Who cares. Don't worry about your competition you do what you do and let them do what they do.
Jeff Cryder
Thanks Arnold and Larry for your comments. Larry is response to your comments here are the answers to my own question. These answers are exactly what I came up with for my own dealership, Lebanon Ford. Hope you both had a great New Years! Why are we on [Insert Social Media Platform]?: We utilize Social Media channels in order to connect and engage with users. To seek out the online influencers around our market area, build relationships with them through our various social marketing initiatives in order to convert them to become brand advocates. This allows us to leverage those relationships to broaden our reach into their communities. We’re also on as a means to disseminate the unique content (information, entertainment) being developed by our Social Media team as ways of starting conversation and making impressions. We will utilize these tools to create an online local B2B network to be leveraged to the benefit of our customers and theirs through our Ford Life reviews. Our main goal is to become not only an influential voice in our market areas, but to become an industry leader. Make impressions to build expectations, relationships and ultimately trust. Why are our customers on [Insert Social Media Platform]?: To connect with new people; to stay connected with friends and family; general socializing; consume information Why would our customers follow/like us online?: Receive discounts; customer service outlet; to discuss and debate industry related topics; to be informed on industry related topics; to get involved in our “Drive One for a Week” program; to be connected with like-minded interests. Why are we investing our time and resources?: Edelman’s latest Trust Barometer study found, consumers trust other consumers more than any other entity. The problem is, the energy has changed and consumers now have the ability to by-pass business to communicate with other consumers. We [car dealers] need to be in those spaces to help monitor, direct or create conversation. If we choose to ignore this energy change, we do so at our own peril. Why are we monitoring conversation?: To be a part of our conversation, as well as our competitor’s conversation. Why are we directing conversation?: To help aid the conversation. Why are we creating conversation?: To become a leader. Why are we measuring ROI?: To ensure we’re effectively publishing content. Effectively monitoring, directing and creating conversation. As well as effectively converting these conversations. Why should we synergize our Social Media, SEO and Traditional Media Marketing?: We know on their own our Social Media tools [insert here] are not important. It’s how the tool is implemented into our entire network which makes them effective. Each piece of the puzzle feeds of one another to build energy and momentum. Why are our competitors… [Insert Above Questions]: **I recommend a non-isolationist strategy in order to have a clear understanding of your competitions capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. Understanding your enemy allows you to exploit them and out maneuver them for your gain. Make them react to you and follow your lead. In business as in war understanding your opponent’s centers of gravity is just as important as understanding your own. If we agree Social Media is the DNA of a brand, and that the DNA of a brand could be considered a center of gravity then we can deduce understanding “why are our competitors… [insert Above Question]” as a priority. Check out Clausewitz’s On War and Sun Tzu’s Art of War.

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