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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Quick Notes About Facebook: Remember the Basics

FacebookAs an industry, we have advanced to the point that many dealers are really starting to take advantage of social media, particularly Facebook. I've been doing audits of both KPA and non-KPA dealers in preparation for a big announcement next month and the results were surprising in both directions.

The first surprise was in how many dealers are not only "getting it" but have advanced to start doing some things I had never seen before. Mind you that I spend more of my waking hours engulfed in search and social than I do in the "real world" (being married to a loving wife who makes sure I don't forget to eat or shower is a blessing), so when I come across such freshness being used by dealers, it's very encouraging.

The second surprise is when I come across the very basics getting missed. In an effort to fix that, here's a quick list of some of the mistakes I found in my adventures. The fact that these aren't getting done means that someone needs to wear a dunce cap: ME! It seems that I have done the industry a disservice by not making sure that these types of mistakes were completely eliminated.

  • - Use a custom Facebook URL. If you have enough Likes (it's been a while but I believe the minimum is 25) then you can change your page URL one time to something unique. Go to facebook.com/username/ as the admin and change it. Keep in mind that dots and capital letters are important, but they all redirect. In other words, if you type in facebook.com/tkcarsites it will still take you to facebook.com/TK.Carsites. Choose wisely - you only get one shot without major hassle. Make it branded - don't try to do an SEO play here.
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  • - Post daily. I cannot stress this enough. Use tools like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to schedule posts for your days off. EdgeRank is important for how high your posts show up on users' walls and breaks from posting will push your EdgeRank down.
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  • - Be professional. I know that Facebook is about fun and sharing, but be mindful of what you're posting. I saw way too many inappropriate pictures, many of which were actually branded with the dealers' logo on them. Your dealership is a business. Don't try to be "one of the guys" by posting scantilly-clad women or funny-but-offensive images.
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  • - Reply, darn it! If someone takes the time to ask a real question on your wall or in one of your posts, answer them. I actually saw a post about a special where someone asked the dealer in a comment whether their certified preowned vehicles came with a better warranty than regular used cars. Two days later the same person replied to her own comment by saying, "Nevermind, XXXXXXX at XXXXXXXXXX answered my question and sold me a car today. Thanks anyway!"
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  • - Diversify. Your Facebook page shouldn't be a one-trick-pony. While it's great to post testimonials, for example, don't let them be the only thing on your page, especially if you're only getting two or three a month.
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  • - Interact with other pages. This one might not be a Facebook basic, but it's easy and works for those who are active. Your page can like other pages. When you like other pages, you can interact with them and post on their walls. This is great locally as you can get some branding and publicity to a different audience by posting on their walls. Don't spam, but if it's appropriate then go for it. For example, if you're having Stan's BBQ bringing smokers to your big tent sale, you should definitely post a thank you on their page, conveniently posted the day before. "Thank you Stan for being the grill master at tomorrow's big tent sale at XXXXXXXX Motors! Can't wait to give away some of your amazing ribs!"

These weren't the only things I found, but they were definitely the ones that stood out. Facebook and social media in general is really starting to emerge as an ROI based form of marketing and communication. Dealers are making strides and it's a wonderful thing.

Just don't forget the basics.

Jeremy Alicandri
JD, Do you have any dealers using Facebook Direct Advertising? We just signed up, we have a dedicated rep that works with us, so far it's productive.
Bryan Armstrong
Great reminders JD. 1 more I might add, I still see many Dealerships that are PERSONAL not FAN pages.
JD Rucker
@jeremy - we have a few dealers using it with good results. Nothing fantastic, but cheap enough to keep going with it. @bryan - good one! Yes, I did see that a few times but forgot to mention it. Facebook gives users the ability to turn a profile into a page. Anyone faced with that - ping me and I'll walk you through it.
Chris Costner
Thanks for the "heads up" JD. What are your thoughts on the free "Facebook Offers" that are available?

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