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From: Jared Hamilton
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Joe Webb

Joe Webb Founder / Trainer

Exclusive Blog Posts

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People Don't Want to "Like" You

You are a dealership.  Most people don’t like the thought of visiting you.  Through the years, a good majority of everyone who drives cars has had a frustrating experience at a dealership.  Maybe not yours, but they’ve had a bad taste put in their mouths by others.  They don’t want to be your friend, they just want to be serviced by you.

I don’t believe that in all of my (coughing) years I ever heard a normal person stand up for a car dealership’s reputation as another besmirches it in conversation.  I’ve never heard “Hey!  You leave XYZ Motors out of this.  They are great people – the lot of them!”  No.  Doesn’t happen.  When a dealers’ name is raked over the coals by an unhappy party, it is commonly accepted as unfortunate and realistic.  So when you ask someone to “Like” you on FB, is it for reasons personally worthy to a customer? 

My guess is, short of thinking they are going to win an iPad/TV or receive coupons for service, many could honestly go without seeing your customer reviews, pictures of happy customers, videos of salespeople, and alerts of the “big sale”.  These things don’t carry much weight with most.

Try to tap into what people REALLY care about.  Get your dealership involved in the community.  Sponsor Little League teams, attend the Chamber of Commerce meetings to network, give to charities and participate in their local events, get involved in the local schools and help run food drives, car washes, etc.  Give, give, and give to the philanthropies in your area.

Then… simply document (film, photograph, and blog) all of your involvements.  Be a spectator to the events and video your participation.  Those are the elements worthy of being shared socially.  People don’t want to “Like” your dealership, but I guarantee you that someone in your community feels pretty strongly tied to things such as Breast Cancer Awareness events or the local Special Olympics.  THOSE are organizations close to their heart.  Your dealership likely will never be.  However, if you can just tap into (and honestly serve) those entities that are meaningful to some, you will at least be in the right company.  You will start feeling more goodwill toward you because you yourself have given something back.

I’ve accomplished a lot in automotive retail, but I am more proud of the hands I’ve shook and the smiles I’ve made happen when participating in local community events than any metric I’ve reached.  If you want to make a difference and be “Like”able, then start by serving the community’s efforts before your own.

Ron Terry
Joe... Thanks for the good ideas.
Timothy Martell
Just sounds like more "old car guy" speak. I guess it makes sense. Many vendors (myself included) began life in the car business so it is easy to believe that everyone really hates car dealers. It's certainly a fun joke, "lawyers and used car salesmen at the bottom of the sea", but this is anecdotal and not reality. It is very much akin to the cynicism about good people vs bad people. Do you generally think that given the choice, if no one could find out that more people would do the right thing or the wrong thing? When surveyed most people believe that "other" people would do the wrong thing, yet when surveyed about morally questionable behavior people overwhelmingly choose the high ground. The same is true here. As car dealer's we hear about consumers negative experiences far more than we hear about good ones. But it is foolish to believe that is representative of the majority of our consumers experience. Yes you should be involved in the community and yes you should note that in your social spaces, but all the data shows that this statement is incorrect. Consumers DO want to like you. Why would they want to like Starbucks anymore than their local dealer if not for coupons or specials? It's coffee. Sure, people can be really picky about their coffee, but how many people will passionately defend their coffee maker? Starbucks is one of the most successful companies marketing on Facebook today. Let's not lose sight of that word: marketing. It's about ROI not campfires, s'mores and hippies. Anyone telling you you can't make a buck marketing on Facebook simply doesn't know how. I think many of us have accomplished much in automotive and most of us would agree the philanthropic causes we've had the pleasure of taking part in over the years are some of the most rewarding. But cynicism is no excuse to give up before you try.
Mike Elmore
Here, Here! Great post Joe
Joe Webb
I'm with you, Tim. There is a reason that you are successful in your company - managing FB for dealers - because YOU know how to market and engage on FB. Certainly you must agree that far too many dealers are mishandling their FB pages, am I correct? Of the plethora of dealers that have friended me (that I haven't yet dropped), a good majority are still posting updates based on Specials, sales, give-aways, etc. My purpose for the blog is to alert dealers that they need to be more "Like"able by getting away from solely "customer acquisition" posts and more about personal, "customer retention" and community involvement posts. A local event might have 5000 people interested in it within the impending weeks beforehand, but there is not a real time-crunch to friend a dealership... and not near as many people that find it as worthy as a local event/charity. I believe dealers need to ingratiate themselves in with these other organizations to have a more positive, far-reaching influence. Forgive me for being an old-school guy drowned in car sales cynicism, but I DO believe that people generally feel more positively about a charity, philanthropy, holiday or entire community than they do about a car dealership. We have yet to change our dealership cultures enough to be thought of as highly as non-profit oganizations. Regarding Starbucks, a large percentage of their customers visit them Daily - and only them - for their coffee fix. Dealerships are not visited near as frequently by their customers as Starbucks so our ability to become a regular part of their lives isn't an option. People would much rather "Like" someone that is a part of their lives than liking an afterthought company you see once every 6 months.
Timothy Martell
Yes I agree with what you are saying. I think that what is making me crazy these days is the generalization used. YES most dealers SUCK at engaging on FB. But I would say many people writing, speaking, etc are equally sucking at explaining their case. There seems to be this all or nothing tone and yet in most cases when I make an argument, people respond as you have here. What becomes challenging is when dealers say, "Well I keep reading online that you just can't market on Facebook". The reality is that very few people are MARKETING on Facebook. They are alienating people on Facebook via BAD marketing. No question that when given a choice between ANY brand and a charity (or personality) there will choose one of the latter. As far as the Starbucks comparison, this is only partly true. Yes, people satisfy their coffee fix daily. Yet Texas Hold'em Poker is the #2 FB page in the world and it is growing at nearly 500k per week. Converse, Windows Live Messenger, Friends (You know, that TV show that ended 7 years ago?!), Disney Pixar, and Abercrombie & Fitch all have MILLIONS of fans (Likes) on Facebook. None of these necessarily touch peoples lives on a daily, monthly, or EVER basis. Frequency of consumer touch is not the metric by which successful FB marketing is measured, but whether or not the content being shared is valuable in the consumers mind and then as a result of that value effecting the consumers decision to do business. It's marketing 101. Why would the OEM's spend Millions of dollars advertising on TV? After all consumers only spend money on a new car once every couple years. By that logic they would all be justified of only advertising at the Super Bowl. Marketing 101: 1) Advertise where the people are 2) Create a message that will resonate with the highest # of people There are over 750 Million people on Facebook. It's part 2 that few have yet to master...

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