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Had I not experienced this first hand, I’m not sure I would’ve believed it.
A car dealer said to me, “Social Media doesn’t make me any money”. This was his objection to adding Social Media as part of the marketing plan for his dealership. I remained calm and replied respectfully, “Just because you believe that, doesn’t make it true.” Apparently, he would rather be right than rich.
How willing are you to give up your misconceptions to close more sales?
Social Media is exactly where small businesses (aka: car dealerships) make money. I didn’t want this post to be about another reason to jump into Social Media–I’ve got plenty of those. Instead, let’s talk about some successes that people are having to illustrate how misconceptions harm your business.
Continuing to sit on the fence about Social Media costs you money. It’s no longer a question of “If”. It’s simple: if you want to make money on Social Media, you need to be asking “How”.
Here are 3 clear examples of how people are making money on Social Media:
1. Conversation Converts to a Sale. A local New York dealership has very high engagement on their Facebook page. They’ve built their fans by sharing highly-relevant content and supplementing with cheap, effective Facebook Ads. Their community manager puts her attention on the local community and they pay her back by liking the page and conversing with the store regularly. They’ve built up a trust level with the fans and just the other day, one of them reached out to say they were in the market for a new car. A few days later, their conversation resulted in a sale.
2. Facebook Delivers the Ideal Buyer. A client (Mike) asked if he could allocate ALL of his marketing budget to Social Media. His reasoning was his realization that every customer he gets from Facebook is happy, engaged and ready to buy. Mike develops these lasting sales relationships prior to any fan visiting his store. He builds genuine trust so the customers feel comfortable working with him. While it’s important to focus time, effort and a budget on Social, your marketing plan should be well-rounded. After all, your already-existing database is full of repeat customers who have family and friends!
3. Listening Leads to a Sale. This dealership community manager was listening when their competitor wasn’t. For several months, she’d been building their Twitter following, engaging in conversations and publishing valuable content to the store’s audience. Once the store’s credibility was established, the community manager started using Twitter Search to look for conversations people were having about dealership service departments. She soon came upon a conversation going on around their competitor’s store. She introduced herself as the store, was human, interested and helpful. Through a simple one-to-one, the customer set an appointment to service their car the next day.
There are many stories just like these. Social Media is marketing. If you put together a winning strategy, along with a budget, the very same things can happen for you!
Please don’t tell me that Social Media doesn’t make you money. It makes money all the time. The difference is knowing HOW. It’s a new medium for dealerships and it requires experience and training. The only thing standing between you and these successful examples is action. How much longer are you willing to wait to make money on Social Media?
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