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Kathi Kruse

Kathi Kruse President

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6 Powerful Content Strategy Pointers to Get People Talking

Content Strategy“Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant.” ~Mitch Kapor, Founder, Lotus Development Corp.

I’ve spent the last few weeks training a dealer group and their employees on Social Media content strategy.  It’s quite a leap for most employees as their job has never required them to consider how they want to be perceived by the buying public.  As a matter of fact, it gets overwhelming for most folks.  In this age of Social Business, it’s more important than ever to be a savvy content publisher.  It’s harder than ever to filter out all the noise to find what your brand and your audience is looking for.

It’s important that when people Google your business, you’re not the only one talking about it.  You do this by developing a process to foster “evangelists” for your store.  Good news!  You already have part of that in place through CSI and your front line personnel.  The next step is to utilize Social networks to get customers to talk for you!

Think Reputation Not Ranking.

How do you want to be known? What makes your store different in the market place?  Maybe you’re a legacy dealer who’s 4th generation.  Perhaps you’ve won the President’s Award for the last 6 years.  Those are examples of great achievements.  But how does your customer talk about you?  What do they say to their friends and family about their experience with you?  Achievements are always great but what matters more is a solid online reputation.

Think Connection Not Network.

Putting technology before strategy is quite dangerous.  There are a lot of cool tools out there to facilitate a better network.  However, you can’t skip planning, listening, education and go straight to engagement.  You’ll come up empty handed.  Automation is there to support your efforts, it’s not the guts of your campaigns.  No one will connect with you if you’re not real.  Human connections are what drive sales.

Think Loyalty Not Proclamation.

When you proclaim yourself the “biggest and best”, you better deliver on that promise because your claims mean nothing when customers have friends and family who’re telling them otherwise.  Find out who your loyal customers are and reward them.  Get them involved in telling your brand’s story.  Show the world how loyal customers are treated and you’ll have many more coming your way.

Now let’s talk about 3 key strategies to grease the wheels of those conversations.  We talk a lot about engagement in Social marketing.  What that all boils down to is providing super-interesting content on each platform where your customer spends their time.

Think Consistent Not Arbitrary. 

Is your content consistent with your brand?  Recently Coca-Cola did a very controversial guerrilla marketing campaign where they paid people to stencil Coke’s logo all around New Orleans during the Final Four.  Many questioned the sanity of a big brand defacing property in and around the historic French Quarter, especially when it was later revealed they didn’t even have permits to do it.  What’s disturbing for me is that the stunt wasn’t really consistent with Coke’s brand.  It sounds like something more consistent with Red Bull.  Your content is YOUR message.  Be consistent, be remarkable.

Think Assurance Not Panic.

Block Out Time.  Content curation takes time.  Anyone who’s had to create something knows that it has it’s own time schedule.  Devote a minimum of two hours per day to trolling for content.

Do Your Homework.  Spend time reading blogs on Social Media marketing and topics that are important to our industry.  Read blogs on subjects that interest your customer.  Add those blogs by RSS Feed to your Google Reader so you’ll have a treasure trove at your fingertips.  The time you spend now will ensure your success later on.

Think Smarter Not Harder.

Brainstorm with a Coach.  Marketing content creation should never be done alone, especially if you’re new.  The collaborative process with a content strategy coach works quicker and is more effective at reaching your sales goals.  An experienced Social Media content strategist will get you up to speed and on your way to self-sufficiency.

Reputation, connection and loyalty spurs conversations.  Be consistent, self-assured and smart in your Social Media content strategy.  Get people talking about you.  There’s no better way to the sale.

Kathi Kruse
Social Media Coaching & Training


Chris Costner
Great information Kathi. It seems to me that a majority of dealers are focused on strategy with very little interaction and execution. Would that be a correct statement? These platforms will allow the public to see who we really are as a dealership more than any traditional website will ever do. If a customer walks into our showroom, there isn't much time to think and we then engage. I see our social platforms as a "3D" showroom and the customers are already there waiting on us. It just a matter of joining the conversations or starting one of our own. Would you agree? I'm interested in your thoughts. Thanks for the great post once again.
Bryan Armstrong
Kathi, Trying to convert the BROADCAST mindset of most Dealers is nearly impossible. Especially when there are STILL so many so-called Consultants that advocate that "More is Better" and that contests to spike your followers is the only way to achieve success. I'd rather have 2,000 ENGAGED Fans than 200,000 contest entrants. Most don't understand either that the ART of conversation and content curation IS going to eat up a number of hours each day and the payoff will not be immediate. That's a hard pitch and most will not give you the time nor latitude to do it correctly. Thanks for being a beacon of reason and hope!
Kathi Kruse
Hey Chris, thanks for your comment :-) I think the majority of dealers are putting technology before strategy. Some provider sells them on the "tools" not the content. They skip over planning, listening and education to get to engagement and then wonder why their Facebook page is a ghost town. That's why I advocate one person in the store to manage things--so they can be the hub that connects the brand, the staff and the customer. That position requires content strategy ability and focus so they can provide a place prior to the sale where people feel connected. People no longer buy what you sell...they buy who you are. Cars, service, parts and everything else. We learned in this economic climate that it's not enough to be the lowest price. Customers want a connection, they want to know they can trust you. Taking time to build that is what it takes now. Dealer may not see that but their customers do!
Kathi Kruse
Bryan, we should start support group, buddy! We can rant about the most egregious Social Media marketing we see and learn from it! I too get very disillusioned by the lack of dealers action when it comes to Social. I was talking to someone the other day who, like me, saw the future a few years ago and started offering a product that was way ahead of its time. We both pulled back then and are just now starting to see opportunities where our ideas could fly. The thing we realized is that a few years ago we didn't have the customer's behavior on our side. People don't want to buy cars they way they've been forced to. The "under 30's" don't even care about going to the dealership for repairs anymore. I saw a stat that said of dealership Used Car purchases, 9% come back for service--that's very scary. So, we have customer behavior on our side this time. The factories better wake up and hammer this home to their franchisees. I don't mean to sound like a know-it-all, it's that I watch my own behavior and I see the shift. #circleoftrust dude!
Jim Bell
Love it Kathi. How many dealers will claim that they are the best in the industry in their market and they actually suck? I've seen it happen several times over the last few years. Great points that we all as dealers have to take into account.

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