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Paul Potratz

Paul Potratz COO

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Does Your Dealership Have a Social Media Policy?

Many dealers are hesitant to let their salespeople use Facebook because they expect employees to waste too much time chatting with their friends, playing Farmville, etc. This concern is understandable when you want your salespeople to be on the floor selling, following up to leads over email and phone, and making the most of their time. But you can’t ignore the fact that the majority of your potential leads are using Facebook and it is a legitimate tool for automotive advertising.

Instead of banning Facebook, there is a better way that still gives your salespeople full potential to connect with leads. At Potratz, we encourage the dealerships we work with to ask their employees to sign a social media policy, agreeing not to play games, chat (except for with customers), view videos unrelated to the dealership or vehicles, etc. Also, dealership servers let internet managers monitor employees’ usage, so managers can warn those who are wasting time on Facebook instead of doing work-related activities.

Also, be sure to have employees post on your dealership’s main Facebook business page instead of setting up their own. They should post from their own personal profiles, but should not set up their own business pages for themselves for people to “like.”

Facebook sometimes will merge pages with similar names, so if someone created a page for “Smithtown Ford” and a Joe at the dealership created another business page for “Joe at Smithtown Ford,” Facebook could merge those pages and cause your dealership to lose content that requires a hassle to get back (this is not hypothetical and did happen to one of our clients!). Of course, keeping everything focused around the main page keeps the most “likes” on the page and the most attention focused toward that one page for the dealership as well.

If you’re hesitant to let your salespeople use Facebook, sit down and write up a social media policy and give them access. You’ll see your leads go up as they are able to connect with customers on a more personal level.

Eric Miltsch
Paul, I remember this question being asked to us on our NADA panel from 2 years ago - we were all (You , me and Tom White Jr.) in agreement that a policy should be created. Here's a great resource that takes all the pain out of creating a policy; starting from scratch is tough - you'll have yours created in about 5 minutes. http://whatdidericsay.com/2010/03/social-media-policy-generator/
Paul Potratz
Thank you Eric, I will add this link to our site. I missed seeing you in Orlando
Eric Miltsch
Thanks man...totally bummed about my flights. See you soon...
Jeff Cryder
Keep in mind you don't want to stifle social media usage. So, make sure you make the wording in your policy is short, sweet and promotes the professional usage of social media on company time.
Stacy Mueller
I could not agree more with the suggestion to have a social media policy in place. It could be as simple as making it part of the employee handbook. For a clean, brief and to the point example of a social media policy, you can check out ours at http://slidesha.re/ecDAP7.

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