Many dealerships are coming to realize the importance of a social media presence. Dealerships fall into a wide spectrum of social media proficiency; some are dominating the social sphere with their innovative and creative strategies while others are just trying to break into the terrifying, buzzword-filled world that is social media. I generally encounter dealers who know they need to be posting, but don’t know what that looks like, and more importantly, the extent to what it entails.
For many dealerships, especially those who don’t have teams or individuals dedicated to managing their social media presence, the thought begins with, “I know I need to be on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, but where do I begin?” While searching for answers, many dealerships fall victim to classic social media myths, and, as my father says, “The greatest lessons you learn come from seeing what NOT to do.” Here are the greatest myths, and the ways to “bust” them to take you from a social media amateur to a powerhouse.
Myth: “We don’t need it. It’s not our thing.”
Mythbuster: “It’s everyone’s thing.”
Ninety-nine percent of the time, social media IS your thing. Facebook and other platforms are no longer places where the most tech-savvy individuals are gathering; instead, 74% of all individuals who use the internet are using social media sites. And it’s not just the young kids. Eighty-two percent of people 30-49 are on these sites, and 65% of people age 50-64 are liking your photos and sharing posts. When evaluating whether your dealership is to be trusted, the majority of people look first at your website, then your social media sites. If you’re lacking content or presence, many people will move along to someone who’s a little more in touch.
Myth: “Let’s start posting.”
Mythbuster: “Don’t post until you have a strategy.”
Perhaps the greatest myth is that the best way to be on social media is to just BE on social media. Many dealerships sign up for a page or an account and just start posting. This is the best way for you to communicate a convoluted and disjointed image of your dealership to the world. Even though you may be the most organized dealership, if you aren’t organized online, people will view you as out-of-touch and irrelevant. Before you do anything else, you must establish a strategy that will define how you will communicate your brand online. This strategy involves pinpointing your target audience, defining your voice and discussing how to engage with content.
Myth: “Just let the young kid do it.”
Mythbuster: “It’s a team effort.”
While most younger employees may have social knowledge that will help with tackling the complex social guidelines and trends that surround social media, your online presence shouldn’t be handed off to someone who is new to your dealership. Your strategy needs to involve the principals, directors and managers so that your online presence is intertwined with the initiatives and company values that are most important to your dealership. Your strategy should capture what is most unique and true about your dealership and then communicate that in creative and concise ways to your audience. A young employee may know which hashtags to use or who to follow, but they likely don’t know how to best communicate your brand through your social media. In addition, when leaders in your dealership are involved in your social media, it stresses the importance to the rest of your employees.
The world of social media is constantly evolving to include new technologies, new updates and new trends. We understand that it can be overwhelming to try and tackle such a complex beast. Like many dealerships, you have a million other things that take precedence over posting a few pictures on Facebook, but I'm here to tell you that social media has more power than you might think. If you’re at a loss for how to differentiate the myths from the truth, reach out to companies or professionals that manage social media (ahem...) to give you the boost you may need. I'd love to hear your comments below if you’ve encountered any other social media myths!