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From: Jared Hamilton
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The Single Most Important Thing to Keep in Mind About Automotive Social Media

Advice

Over the last several months, really since speaking at the Digital Marketing Strategies Conference in Napa Valley earlier this year, one of the themes that we've been focused on is this:

"What happens on your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media pages is not nearly as important as what happens on other people's Facebook, Twitter, and social media pages."

Every few months I need to remind myself to continue to preach this point. Dealers and businesses in general always migrate towards focusing on their own pages and profiles when working automotive social media. While it's important to maintain a strong presence through our own pages, the real bang for the buck is what happens off of our pages.

Think about two scenarios:

1) A happy customer buys a new car. They're pumped, young, tech-savvy, and you ask them if you can take their picture for Facebook. They agree. You line up the car with your dealership's sign in the background. They stand next to the car, leaning on the door and smiling like a kid in a candy store with a credit card in hand. You post it to your dealership Facebook page. Mission accomplished!

2) A happy customer buys a new car. Everything is the same as above. The difference is that instead of asking if you can take their picture with your camera, you say, "I noticed you have a smartphone. I know you're excited so if you want to tell everyone on Facebook, I'd be happy to take your picture with it!"

In the second scenario, the mission was truly accomplished. Why? Yes, people will visit your Facebook page whether from your website or simply as avid followers. However, you're not blowing them out of the water or getting new peoples' attention by posting it only on your own page.

When a happy customer posts the picture on their page, the real magic of social media happens. Now their friends and family see that they bought a new car and that they bought it from you. Do the math, here:

  • >>> 140 People: Average number of Facebook friends
  • >>> 17 Months: Average buying cycle within an American household
  • >>> 8.24: The number of people who are friends with your customer on Facebook who are actively in the market to buy a vehicle today.

Where is the real juice in social media? Is it on your Facebook page? Is it on your Twitter profile? To some extent, the answer is year, but just as flossing will do very little if you don't brush your teeth, posting to your own Facebook page and Twitter profile will do very little if you don't get your customers to post about you on their social media profiles.

Gary May
Put so well, especially on the heals of the DrivingSales Executive Summit presentations of Gary Vaynerchuk, Jared Hamilton and Jeff Cryder to name a few. The sooner dealers understand this and execute properly, the more their efforts will return regularly and significantly. Great stuff JD!
Jim Bell
Great tip JD. If you get the customer to engage on facebook or twitter, the more likely there will be a bigger and better response from all of those friends.
Dave Wasserman
Dealerships have lots of people in their stores everyday. A cheap and simple way to increase your social media followers is with signage. My dealer client used a company called Social Media Decals http://www.socialmediadecals.com to add a variety of decals and stickers around the dealership. Customize with QR codes too. All for under $200.
Tony Harris
Thanks JD. 100% agree with your thought process here. Simple yet exponentially effective. Cheers, T
Bryan Armstrong
Great advice and a timely post!

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