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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Keith Shetterly

Keith Shetterly Owner

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Don't Be a Social SPAM Bully

We know now, in the car business, that what we do—wrong or right—with our customers on Social Media is very important to how they and hundreds of other potential customers see us. Well, what I’ve seen lately on Facebook is a lot of car business people disregarding how very important Social Media is also to how our peers, dealer peers, and dealer clients see us.  Our business can hang by a thread, albeit nowadays it’s hanging by a post and the comment thread. And it can be a doozy.

For example, what I’ve witnessed just this week is how common the eternally-obvious and ever-stupid practice of “group add bombing” has become with vendors in the automotive business. You know, overnight (literally) you’re added to groups you don’t recognize, and it turns out it is from a blind bulk group add effort by folks who are unashamed to drag whomever into whatever groups they instantly created for their own purposes. All done that way so that the number of the group members grow, so that some report on “social reach” looks good, and, well, I’m sure somebody has a pay plan that crushes the enormous and loud social media common sense against doing just this thing.

So, let me tell you more about the “social reach” of that practice: Not only is it exceptionally irritating to be added to a group more than once (at that point, you realize to check the “don’t let anyone add me again” button), but it is amazingly rude to ALSO be added to “new” groups whose only function is advertising for the business (auto vendor) involved. So you’re added again and again and again to groups, new groups, etc. And folks see it. And talk about it. And go to hating. HELLO SOCIAL MEDIA! That’s Social Media 101, maybe even Social Media 100.

And, oh, were it to just stop there. It gets worse: Next, when some businesses in question get angrily called out ON SOCIAL MEDIA for this practice, instead of just explaining themselves and apologizing, and stopping there, they consistently begin to complain themselves, petulantly and loudly, about the posts against them right there ON SOCIAL MEDIA. And drag out stuff like “remember, the car biz is a small world”, “I know your businesses’ owner”, “We secretly know your principal and/or GM”,  and because … because … <INSERT SOCIAL SPAMMER EGO FIT HERE>. What in the world are they thinking? Do those secret principal clients of these businesses have any idea how whiney this hugely PUBLIC practice appears to the giant SOCIAL MEDIA AUDIENCE as it’s happening ON SOCIAL MEDIA? Do the owners of this business perceive how lame they look pulling out this kind of trash on to the street OF SOCIAL MEDIA to not only current clients but clients to come?

Ugh! I really want to help them, but they just have to STOP. Social Media in this case is NOT about tattling to some Big Daddy Dealer, it’s about how you LOOK to hundreds, if not thousands, of clients, potential clients, peers that can refer business, and . . . your COMPETITION.

Social media doesn’t demand perfection. It does, however, demand as much positive attention as you can give it. Making things negative, threatening, SPAMing, and/or just disregarding the social media amplifier of negative behavior (folks drive REAL slow past your Social Media Car Wreck, doncha’ know). . . creates things like this blog.  And the reaction?  I hope for a positive one.

I’ll let you know. :)

Keith Shetterly
keithshetterly@gmail.com

Ed Brooks
From my understanding, participants' bosses in the Facebook group that precipitated this post are right now receiving phone calls from a principal in . They didn't like being called out.
Jeff Glackin
Great post Keith!
Craig Darling
Excellent overview... and I can't believe that people can't see your simple logic... perhaps they will after reading this... Ya think? lol
Tom Gorham
Well said Keith and I was an observer of the car crash that inspired you to write this article. I was in awe at the social ineptitude of what were supposed to be "social media experts". I don't personally know anything about them but learned a lot from their responses to the controversy. I felt sorry for them, not because of what others were saying, but because of their own reactions to that... crude and rude. It exposed their own lack of understanding about Social Media and disqualified them from the "expert" category they had claimed for themselves.
Jaime Poulin
Love all that you write about Keith. As a nearly 30 year car guy but a relative newbie to all things digital, I am learning the ins and outs of Social as well as other avenues of increasing net awareness, branding, driving traffic, and frankly, enjoying the internet for the wonders that it can bring. I was a part of this "add bombing" controversy generated this week by a poor, misguided and woe-be-gone spammer in "our" sector. Although I will admit to enjoying a little "car wreck" menatlity of enjoying the skewering of those involved, it really does cast a sad light on one of the easy abuses that reigns dominant in social media. It is way too easy to "create" yourself in to something you are not. And even easier to fool enough people in to believing your ruse. Yes, eventually, the charlatans are found out, but many are able to profit in the interim until the masses reveal them for who they are. It is both a good and bad thing how quickly someone can reinvent themselves, and how quickly they get found out.

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