Notifications & Messages

Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
Hey - It’s time to join the thousands of other dealer professionals on DrivingSales. Create an account so you can get full access to the articles, discussions and people that are shaping the future of the automotive industry.
×
Kathi Kruse

Kathi Kruse President

Exclusive Blog Posts

Morgan Auto Group Rises To Number 28 In Automotive News' Top 100 Dealer Group Used Sales Ranking

Morgan Auto Group Rises To Number 28 In Automotive News' Top 100 Dealer Group Used Sales Ranking

Morgan Auto Group moved up 25 spots in this year's "Top 100 Dealership Group Used-Vehicle Sales" supplement published by Automotive News. The…

Top 5 Luxury Cars for Any Type of Terrain

Top 5 Luxury Cars for Any Type of Terrain

Many automotive companies make luxury vehicles that can be driven on different terrain. If you like to take road trips to cities, forests, hiking trails, a…

My Dealership Story - Kristy Elliott

My Dealership Story - Kristy Elliott

Meet Kristy Elliott, the Dealer Operator at Sunshine Chevrolet and check out her dealership story. Learn how Kristy came from the non-profit world to …

Start With Why - David Mead at DrivingSales Presidents Club

Start With Why - David Mead at DrivingSales Presidents Club

DrivingSales was so excited to have David Mead as a keynote speaker during Presidents Club. David works at the Start With Why foundation with Simon Sinek, …

You Have a Position to Fill – Who Do You Hire?

You Have a Position to Fill – Who Do You Hire?

As much as you try to avoid employee churn, you’ll always need to hire someone. It might be to replace a staff who’s moved on in their care…

Why Putting Social Technology Before Strategy is Risky Business

Why putting social technology before strategy is risky businessFor the past few years, I’ve been either a participant or an attendee in just about every automotive retail marketing conference.  There are a lot of great minds today helping dealers acclimate to the ever-changing world of Social Media.  The one drawback to all of this information that’s being thrust on dealers is that very little of it focuses on the core component to Social Media success.

I’ve seen countless dealership Facebook pages that have a steady stream of updates talking about themselves.  Users are bored with this.  They’re bombarded with so much noise already so it’s a challenge to get people to like your page and engage with your posts.  You feel it personally too, right?  It’s not very likely that you’re ever compelled to like or comment on some advertising message.

Technology is what makes Social Media available.
Strategy is what makes you successful.

Technology is simply the tools you need to build your Social presence.  Strategy is the design, chassis and the materials that get people to buy.  You won’t see much interaction on Social Media without a clear content strategy.  All the tools in the world won’t help you have meaningful conversations with your customers.  You cannot achieve full marketing potential (ie: sell cars, parts and service) without these 4 deliberate and strategic steps.  And they must be in this order:

Culture

The world of auto retail, like many other businesses, is shifting into Social Business. Customers are voicing their opinions on Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and Google Places about the products they buy.  In his book, “Smart Business, Social Business” Michael Brito writes that social business forces an organization’s cultural change.  We’re seeing now the increase in sales when a company truly cares about the community and wants to meet the demands of the customer.  Cultural change must come from the top down and meet in the middle from a bottom up approach.

People

Employees at every level need to change their thinking, embrace new technologies and shift their focus from traditional advertising messages to building relationships.  Of course there will be resistance.  Some will rush to defend the status quo, and this is normal.  The key is designing and implementing an internal process that welcomes feedback and rewards participation.  Social Media marketing cannot truly succeed without employee buy-in.  They are your conduit to your customer.  They are your first resource for awesome content.

Process

Get a system that works for you, not against you.  Provide targeted education so your staff feels comfortable about Social networks.  It’s revolutionary but so were the telephone and email when they first appeared.  Help your staff learn how to communicate with the customer on the platforms where the customer is.  Institute a process so front-line personnel understand 2 things:

  • How to be aware of relevant content when it comes their way
  • How to foster sales relationships by asking for online reviews and referrals.

In addition, implement a Social Media policy to ensure marketing consistency, employee  and protect the organization.

Technology

Now we can talk about the tools you’ll need to expedite your Social marketing campaigns. Here are a few I use:

  • Google Reader helps you consolidate relevant, recent and local content to share.
  • Bitly.com shortens URLs so you can post them on Twitter. (They provide QR codes and cool analytics too!)
  • Hootsuite is a Social Media dashboard that allows you schedule out posts at optimal times for best engagement–freeing you up to devote your time to listening and interacting with your fans/followers and write blog posts.
  • Post Planner offers a white-label Facebook App to schedule your posts right inside Facebook!  Your posts are branded with your dealerships’ ID, you can post photos, and they give you engagement-rich status update suggestions.
  • Refollow is a tool to help you grow your Twitter following.
  • TweetAdder also grows your Twitter following using more advanced automation tools.

You can’t automate conversations on Social Media.  Human interactions happen spontaneously. How do you want to be known online?  Your well-planned strategy carries out your mission.  Technology is only the facilitator.

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

 

Chris Costner
Great points Kathi and right on time as I too am beginning to see more of the "me stream" happening again rather than the authentic / genuine content that I am sure was doing very well. What that tells me is the strategy is being set aside and laziness is taking over. Thoughts?
Kathi Kruse
I totally agree with you, Chris. Somehow people think that the "coolest" tool or app is the answer to successful Social marketing. Ha! I too am seeing a lot of broadcasting these days. I think it goes back to a lack of education on what Social Media is capable of. I also see a lot of concentration on tools at the "auto conferences", not much on content strategy and shifting culture.

 Unlock all of the community & features  Join Now