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There has been a lot of buzz on social media these days. I have made my position pretty clear, social media is a support mechanism to your dealerships message not the primary carrier of the message itself. To that end I have studied a lot with a guy by the name of Chris Brogan. I met Chris in NY a few months back read his book Trust Agents liked what it had to say so I struck up a conversation with him one night, little did I know I was talking with a social media rock star. As I have had conversations with him and commented and read his blog post I more convinced now than ever that social medial is one of the core channels of communication and will be become the primary way customers will check out your dealership to determine if they want to do business with your store.
What does this mean? Well as some people may have read my recent post on Communication Channels, Levels of Interruption and Marketing Effectiveness, another post inspired by a Brogan post, I categorized then scored all the channels we as marketer use to communicate with customers, also gave examples of how primary communication channels could use support communication channels and message support channels to strengthen the trust in the message with the customer and your store.
CONCLUSION: Social Media is most definitely a message support channel.
1. Stop think of social medial as Facebook or a Blog, its much more than that. Think about how you can let customers comment on your offers and message how much more impact that will make when people see that real customers have taken advantage of the offer and liked it. Customer engagement is social media.
2. Create Fan pages on Facebook for your stores sales, service, parts and body shop. Then start putting up some content. Facebook groups are dead but Fan pages do rock! Have all your salespeople become fans and engage in the conversations.
3. Create helpful YouTube videos with salespeople and management as the main charter some suggested messages: Using the electronics in certain makes and models, how to get the most out of the stores service dept., what to bring with you that will help in credit situations, what is covered under the manufacturer’s warranty and what and extended warranty can do for the customer. SHARE them on your website and on Facebook.
4. Uses short codes for customers to get more information text-4-info on an offer, text-2-join our twitter, text-2-vote on our next promotion, text-2-feedback on your service experience. Mobile is an reactive engagement vehicle not a proactive marketing vehicle.
5. Use Facebook and YouTube to put a personal face on the dealership and its employees, talk about your families, community involvement, let your customers know that real people work here.
In the end the amount of social engagement you can create will reinforce your message make it infinitely more credible and without it you will not be able to be verified and if I can’t verify there will be too many others I can and I will go there.
What ways have I missed here, how else can we use social media to make the buying experience FAST, FUN and EASY?