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Jim Bell

Jim Bell Performance Manager

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What's Your Brand?

 

So what is your brand?  I'm not talking about what brand you sell, but how are you branding yourself?  We all know Jared as "Superman."  Ricky Walters as UCR a.k.a., Used Car Ricky. Kathi Kruse as Kathi Kruse sitting in the convertible.  Tracy Myers is always in the Uncle Sam hat.  Jeff Kershner has the same picture on every site as his profile picture.  When we see "Think Tank Tuesday", we think of Paul Protratz.  The 'Everyday I'm Hustlin'" of course is Craig Belowski.  When we see that crazy girl behind the wheel, we think of Renee Stuart.  You see the PCG in red and you think of Brian Pasche and his crew.  So what is your brand?

A report was just released recently that an average Facebook user has over 600 social connections.  That is HUGE!  I also heard that 1 in 8 people on Facebook are looking for or are in the market for a new or used car.  That would mean that 75 of your "friends" are actually in the market for a new or used car.  Do they actually KNOW that you are in the car business?  

All of our employees for the most part have Facebook, but are they leveraging it like they could?  Here are a few things that they can do.

  •   Set up a "like" page and create their own brand.
  •   Post a picture of a used car that was just taken in on trade.
  •   Post something that is out of the norm that the manufacturer is doing.

I know that for me personally have been afraid in the past to post car stuff on my personal page.  I would come across a personal article and would be hesitant to share it just due to the fact that so many of my "friends" on Facebook are non-auto industry people.  I know that they have Facebook set up to put people in different groups, but to be honest, I am not going to go through all 900+ of my friends and put them in different groups.  Facebook was just a little too late to that party.

An easy way to get around it is just to set up an automotive page.  If your "friends" are real friends, they will probably like your page.  I did this just under a month ago just to push automotive related topics to that page and keep my personal page just to personal everyday life.  

What have you done to capitalize on social media? 

Kristen Judd
Great post Jim! I think sometimes we are so focused on "conquesting" that we overlook the grassroots outreach efforts that can begin within the dealership and close to home. Does your staff "like" your dealership's Facebook page and follow the dealership's Twitter account? Has the staff suggested to their social network that they "like" and follow? It's is always good to give people you know a gentle reminder that you work in the automotive industry. When it comes time to buy a car everyone outside the industry wants to have a friend in the car business...
Jim Bell
Thanks Kristen. You are right and the conquering part. We have to remember that people deal with people who they trust. Having a separate page or if your friends know that you are in the business, that should help. I know of several times when people know that I am in the car business and cometo me for advise if I am just too far away for them to deal with directly.
Chris Costner
Great read Jim and VERY true. It's time we stop hiding behind our businesses and work on our personal brand. After all, who will the client be engaged with? Who will they talk about? Stop waiting and get outside with the others: your customers.
Kathi Kruse
First let me say thank you for mentioning me :-) Secondly...what a great post! This subject is very near and dear to my heart. I can't stress enough the need to develop a personal brand. Be consistent and ABN (Always Be Networking). I think that's the part I like best about Social Media in that it's allowed us all to connect so easily and regularly. I was at BlogWorld last week and heard a lot about Google morphing into a knowledge channel. They are looking for influencers. Each and everyone of us is one. All we need to do is work it, baby.
Ricky Walter
I just wanted to say thanks again Jim. And I'm sorry for all those mean things I said about you. LOL Never in a million years did I think I would see the UCR Brand lumped in with guys like Tracy and Jared. To think that some kid from Alaska who blew up our Facebook page because we wouldn't sell him the GTR is what made me wake up is astounding. Thanks again. Great article. Hi Kathi!!!

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