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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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TK Carsites

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Stop Posting Happy Customer Pictures on Facebook

Boring pictures are boring

Too often, dealers and other businesses are given intangible ideas that they’re supposed to use to try to master Facebook. They’re told to “be engaging” or “be a part of the community” on Facebook, but what does any of that really mean?

From both an esoteric as well as a straightforward perspective, the idea of making your posts “resonate” may sound like another one of those intangible concepts that don’t really say much, but once you understand the way that EdgeRank and Facebook advertising work, you’ll see that getting true interaction and spreading the brand on Facebook is actually a very concrete and sustainable strategy. It’s all about understanding why certain messages work and others do not.

To truly resonate, a dealer must “touch” the audience in some way with every post. As we’ve discovered through research and testing, a wasted post can do more harm than not posting at all on Facebook. You have to bring value to the table because Facebook has been taking spam protection and news feed quality very seriously since October of last year. It doesn’t take many spam reports or post ignores to tank your EdgeRank and make your posts invisible for all intents and purposes.

 

Why Happy Customer Pictures Are Bad

There are many dealers that are making one huge mistake with their Facebook page. They’re posting images of happy customers who just bought a car. There are definitely ways to make this work and any general rule will have exceptions, but the vast majority of those posting these images are doing more harm than good with them.

Boring pictures do damage to your EdgeRank. It’s that simple. If you’re posting a lot of images of smiling customers who just bought a new Ford Focus, there’s a pretty good chance that anyone who sees the image is going to pass it up in their news feed. What many dealers (and even vendors) do not realize is that every time someone is presented with a post on Facebook and they pass it up, the chances of them seeing the next post are reduced. The chance of other people seeing your posts are reduced.

Your posts should not be the type that people can simply pass up. If they don’t know the people standing in front of the car, there is very little chance that they’re going to engage with the post in any way. By posting these, you’re basically saying, “any of our fans who know these people, this post is for you and everyone else can ignore it.”

If they ignore your post, you hurt your chances of future posts being seen in the news feed. This cannot be stressed enough. You cannot waste posts. If you want to post pictures of happy customers, you have to get more creative. It’s hard because you’ll have to get your customers and your sales team to do things that are likely outside of their comfort zone.

In October we posted a story about customer photo types that aren’t totally boring. It was a good list, but the changes that were happening at Facebook at the time have made even these pictures too boring. They’re better, but probably not good enough for today’s EdgeRank. Here’s an example.

Better. Not good enough. You cannot risk people passing up too many of your posts if they simply don’t resonate. I said that it cannot be stressed enough so I’m going to say it again: when people pass up your posts without engaging in some way, Facebook registers this and it hurts your chances of appearing down the line in their feed.

If you absolutely have to post happy customer pictures, make them extremely creative. Make them of general interest. Before posting, ask yourself if you would like the image if you saw it on your news feed. In general, these types of posts should be avoided.

Robert Cunningham
JD, How do videos of happy customers with their cars compare? Suggestions/examples of extremely creative photo posts of this type? A recent one of Denver Broncos' TE Jacob Tamme (area native) & his wife with their sales consultant & new Ford Explorer got lots of likes & couple comments & shares. So, it's no longer good to get the visibility of those who see, don't interact, but have impression made on them? Robert Cunningham www.Facebook.com/stuartpowellfordlincolnmazda robertc@stuartpowell.com
JD Rucker
Celebs are a different story, Robert. The way that affinity works on Facebook, if they see but don't interact, it reduces the chances of them seeing the next message. When they pass over a post, the next post that your page puts up will be lower on their news feed, if it appears at all.
Russ Chandler
Interesting perspective. We don't actually "Post" our happy customer photo's but actually add them to an album that comes through followers feeds. When we take the picture with the customer we ask the customer to tag themselves in which happens a little over half the time. This we all of their friends see their photo and generally interact with the photo, even tho its just been added to an album opposed to being posted. Of course we do post the extra special ones like Amanda Perez(local celeb) or a Santa looking gentlemen buying a red Lincoln MKZ on Christmas. We've always got a lot of interaction like this without flooding our page with redundant posts of happy customers like you say. We are more interested in the customers friends and family seeing them with their new car then showing off happy customers to other fans, getting both is okay as long as it's not over intrusive.
Ben Robertaccio
Interesting story. This definitely expands to the broader range of photos that dealers are posting on their FB pages. The dealer that posts picture after picture of their inventory runs a huge risk. There are many other cases where redundant and/or boring photos get posted daily.
JD Rucker
Russ - that strategy would work very well and I've recommended it before to a dealer group without success. I sat in a room with 60 sales people, gave them the talk tracks and everything they needed, got buy in on why it was important, then watched as 2 pictures were tagged over the next month. It was a disaster. If you're able to get 50% (heck, I'd take 20%) then you're definitely ahead of the curve. I always have to be careful of general advice versus advice that I give to exceptional dealers. You guys are doing it right for certain. Ben - Absolutely. The algorithm is fickle. You have to keep it interesting.

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