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From: Jared Hamilton
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Kathi Kruse

Kathi Kruse President

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Facebook Marketing: One-Night Stand or Long-Term Relationship?

Facebook Marketing: One-Night Stand or Long-Term Relationship?It’s 1998.  You scan your inventory for the best cars to put in the ad.  You pay the local newspaper and cable company huge sums to run the ad.  Buyers show up on the lot with their checkbooks in hand.  The focus then was meet, greet, sell, then next up.  It was the equivalent of 50 first dates.

We've come a long way, baby...or at least the customer has.

My hero, Carl Sewell speaks about the $517,000 customer.  The average person buys 12 cars in their lifetime and the tab for those, including service, equals roughly $517K.  Establishing a long-term relationship with that potential repeat customer ensures you’ll be there for every one of those purchases.  The top salespeople know this.  They treat every customer as though they were going to do business with them for the rest of their lives.

It’s 2012.  Buyers aren’t showing up on the lot like they used to.  Some dealers are more concerned with wishing it was 1998 than reaching today’s customer with Social Media marketing.  Some on Facebook are more concerned with getting Likes on their Page than getting their message out to their existing fans.  It’s important to grow your fan base but only if those fans are potential buyers.  Buying Likes and running meaningless contests to get Likes will never increase your sales.

Facebook marketing has never been about getting in the face of a million strangers in hopes of landing 50 first dates.  It’s about building an amazing Page and giving your fans a reason to talk about your store.  You build an online community to mirror your existing offline community.  You want your message to reach the fans who already love you, engage in your content, and want to share how cool you are with their friends.

I hear a lot of GMs asking, “How can we get more likes on Facebook?” Whether you have 100 fans or 10,000+, your message will never reach your fans’ newsfeeds if they’re not engaging with you.  It’s never been about the number of fans you have.  What matters is the actions they take.

Social Media is an action-based medium.

You have to listen, talk and converse to get noticed and be remarkable.  A successful Facebook Page does not happen overnight.  It’s not  “build it and they will come”.  You can’t lurk and expect to close sales.

So which will it be:  50 one-night stands with people who don’t trust you, who may or may not buy from you again?  Or will you focus your efforts on cultivating those repeat buyers–the people who already know, like and trust you?  Social Media helps you turn one-night stands into long-term sales relationships. Everyone wants repeat buyers.  After all, Facebook is a referral-based platform and those existing fans are your best salespeople!

Kathi Kruse
Social Media Coaching & Training
www.krusecontrolinc.com

 

Jim Bell
I love this post Kathi. I like to look at is as quality, not quantity. I love it when I get calls from certain vendors saying that they can get x amount of likes by getting involved with games. I don't want likes from the other side of the country. (Those California folk are a little on the different side :) ) I will never see them in our store, so why try to connect with those people and pay for it. Get the local customer base and then get them engaged is the key. Love it as always.
Kathi Kruse
Yeah, them Californians are crazy! (I should know, I'm a Los Angeles gal born and bred). I totally agree Jim about fans NOT from your PMA. I think when the dealer body actually sees what you've known all along, they will agree. For now, those vendors can take advantage but that won't last forever.
Angela Trapp
Great article! What would be the best way to get our customer's engaged in our Facebook/Twitter?
Kathi Kruse
Hi Angela, That's the most popular question I get asked. Facebook and Twitter are marketing platforms and so it takes a clear, defined marketing strategy to be successful...just as it would with any other medium (TV, radio, print). I'd be happy to chat with you about it. Do you have some time in the next few days? Email me at kathi@krusecontrolinc.com
Keith Shetterly
AWESOME POST!!!

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