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Joe Webb

Joe Webb Founder / Trainer

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Why Can't I Get Paid Just to Sit on Facebook All Day?

Social media is an important part of a corporation’s marketing mix when executed correctly. Businesses are recognizing the value of engaging consumers on social sites, promoting goodwill, having an online ambassador for their brands, and sharing quality content. Companies are dedicating these “social” responsibilities to others in their ranks, and, in turn, Social Media Management, in some locations, has developed into their own fully-realized positions.

In automotive dealerships, for instance, the tasks to develop a presence on social media have been primarily thrust upon their Internet Directors and Internet Sales team members. As these employees dedicate their time to these online sites, however, they often skirt their other responsibilities. Let’s face it… Facebook is fun. Instagram is fun. Twitter is fun. Vine can be even more fun. However, it is also difficult for a dealer to justify having a full-time person dedicated to the management of these sites. It is hard to account for the return from time invested on social networks, yet Internet professionals are enamored with the prospect of making it their full-time effort.

Joe Webb

You see, Internet Directors like their social media responsibilities for three reasons:

  1. Determining success rates on social media prowess is more subjective than, say, a BDC’s total appointment show rate.
  2. It is a welcome break from the daily grind of phone call handling, lead handling, report crunching, and IT snafus.
  3. It is a playground where they already enjoy spending their free time.

And that is the rub. Social media can be very beneficial to a company’s marketing efforts, but posting memes should rarely take time-precedence over handling inbound sales opportunities. These Internet Directors and ISMs that have been fulfilling their showroom/phone/sales duties for years often prefer to the unstructured nature of managing a Facebook page or Twitter account, so they wonder “Why can’t I get paid just to sit on Facebook all day?” They attempt to justify the need against their common sense, “If social media is SO important, why can’t I do it full-time?” Truth is, some can (and should) while others shouldn’t.

Having clients with their own Social Media Ambassadors for their stores, I see some that really get it. They dedicate their time to…

  • Opening up these social portals as their own mediums with which to engage, friend, and support others
  • Read up on best practices and actively find new ways to implement them
  • Focus on social metrics
  • Understand the nooks and crannies (and reporting tools) with each site
  • Listen online for conversations in which to insert themselves
  • Explore trending social apps such as Vine and Instagram
  • Leave their desk to engage on-site customers and create fresh digital media from those encounters
  • Survey consumers
  • Generate buy-in by educating coworkers
  • Shoot relevant videos
  • Incorporate the company’s marketing autonomously
  • And plan endlessly

Unfortunately, there are those that don’t get it. They don’t understand how to get the most out of their social media positions. Instead of all the tasks above, they foolishly…

  • Think it’s all about posting
  • Read other’s updates and posts without ever engaging
  • Converse with other industry friends rather than their own customers
  • Forget to celebrate their company’s own employees
  • Take an hour to build an unnecessary meme
  • Believe a Like, comment, or retweet signifies a job well-done
  • Consider all followers equal (whether they’ve done business with them for 10 years or if they live in Bangladesh…all the same)
  • (Worst of all) Waste time screwing around on their own personal pages, reading friends’ updates rather than the company site.

killing timeThat last one… that is the one that sticks in my craw the most and THAT is why I don’t always trust those asking “Why Can’t I Get Paid to Just Sit on Facebook All Day?” Most shouldn’t, because they don’t have the drive, the desire to learn, or the discipline to use the time for the good of the company rather than for themselves. They wrongly spend their work time on Facebook for personal reasons, but they have never spent their personal time on Facebook for business reasons. If that is the case, that candidate is the last person you want handling your corporation’s social marketing.

Before you hire a full-time Social Media Manager, or restructure a current employee’s job description to focus solely on this, make sure you have someone capable to doing the job to the level it deserves to be done. Not just the way the candidate wants to do it. If they’ve already been managing your social efforts in another role, demand to see the results before you turn them loose full-time on it. Social media can be profitable for a corporation, but not if the person managing their efforts is just playing at it.

Joe Webb

Eric Miltsch
Wonderful Joe. Most managers are bad at social personally, so they don’t even understand what the “social media” role should include. This person is simply the modern day version of the marketing communications manager; hiring someone simply for social media management isn’t necessary IMO – unless you’re a top 10 dealer group. I believe the real opportunity here is for a natural born marketing leader who has the ability to whip up an effective digital culture that leverages the dealership staff – not a singular effort.
Joe Webb
Easier said than done, Eric. But I agree. The core problem is when a dealer thrusts these added responsibilities on people whose pay is predicated upon their sales efforts. Inevitably, these Internet managers find the subjective nature of social media management as a more relaxed job duty so they incorrectly focus too much effort on that which has significantly less impact to the bottom line.
Eric Miltsch
Yea, it's a convoluted mix of responsibilities given to people with different skills & interests. It happens all the time - just like you & Bill portrayed in your De-evolution of the Internet Manager video - the tasks simply pile up and they don't even fit manager's skill set. Even worse, they're viewed merely as tasks and not part of an integrated marketing plan.
Alethe Denis
Great thoughts here Joe. I believe most individuals tasked with managing their stores Social Media didn't anticipate having these duties assigned to them. Given that the role is so loosely defined they probably haven't got a good idea of where to begin or how to track and measure progress. It is easy to be distracted and lose focus and extremely important to set goals and measurables on a social level. You can't just gauge progress on followers, likes and shares as you mentioned. Taking the initiative to do your research, and learn from others in the field is crucial, rather than just copying the types of content everyone else is posting and considering your job done. It's just as important to engage your existing online connections as it is to gain and reach new potential customers. It takes a certain type of personality to achieve that. Thanks for sharing!
Grant Gooley
Awesome post Joe! Love your comment “If social media is SO important, why can’t I do it full-time?” Truth is, some can (and should) while others shouldn’t... SO TRUE! Totally agree Eric, that it should not be a full time "One person" roll in a dealership. I strongly believe that the culture of the business should be social. #TheShift. However, like Joe said, "Easier said then done" I have had many challenges and still working at solutions as we speak :)

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