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Communities, we are all a part of one, whether it be the community within our local area, the one with family and friends, or our online communities, they all play a vast role in who we are and what we wish to accomplish, in life and in business.
It’s no secret that humans are social beings. It is in our nature to share our feelings of happiness and sorrow, to articulate our interests and pursuits, as well as to express our opinions and views. With the introduction and growth of social media, it has become even more apparent that what most of us want, is to not just exist in a community, but to actively be a part of one. The most difficult part, which many of us struggle with, is in knowing where to start.
Unfortunately, this struggle ends up causing one of three types of “blockages” to occur, whether it be a “sharing blockage,” when you feel stuck on not knowing what content is share worthy; a “writing blockage,” that leaves you feeling wordless and without any stories to offer; or an “off-topic blockage,” when you are sharing items that are not relevant to the type of audience you are seeking. For some, these “blockages” causes them to stop investing their time into social media, which ultimately makes them miss out on huge opportunities that social networking communities have to offer.
Remember, customers are looking for your dealership on social networks, if you are not there investing time in them, that may be the only factor they need in deciding whether or not to invest time and money in you. Therefore, before making any rash or quick judgement calls on whether or not social media is right for your business, analyze and assess your current state to see if you are indeed experiencing any of the three blockages mentioned. The key is to recognize, identify, and to adjust, in order to break-through the blockage(s) and to get your dealership back on the right social media track.
Once you have identified the type of blockage or blockages your company has to break-through, don’t give up, instead, break- right on - through them. This by no means implies that you “start over” it only suggests that it is time for your business to “Adjust.”
Adjust the type of content your dealership shares, the information you post, and its relevancy. This does mean change will need to occur, however, communities are used to change, therefore the ones you want (which is the keyword here) to stay, will stay. If you see a drop in number of followers, don’t panic, for your company is in the “Adjustment phase,” which means you are going to be building a “targeted” community that may result in having, none, all, or some of your already existing community in it. The important thing to remember is that of your overall goal; to have a community that works.
A “targeted” community is the same as a target audience, which is a formation of a specific group of people, of which marketing message; product, plan or program is aimed at. In other words, you want to attract people with the same interests as your business, i.e. what it sells, in order to build a “targeted” and relevant community for your company.
This is when the conversation begins. Success comes from starting out with a few words, intriguing questions, relevant images, informative videos, and useful articles.
Being that you are a Car Dealership looking to build a “targeted” community, your conversations on social networks should include, but not be limited to, the following:
Type of Topics:
Type of Content:
Type of “Targeted” Communities:
The key is in finding commonalities through conversations, resulting in stronger, more effective communities.
The quality of the conversation is also highly important, meaning, share content that has substance, is in good quality (picture sizes and videos) and post status updates or tweets that are long enough that others will want to engage with it, but short enough that will invite them to share it with their communities too. This means, putting time and effort into what your dealership is “Saying” or “Sharing” on its social sites and to not always rely on others to provide the content for you, i.e. – Google, you may need to devise a plan or team that can create content, i.e. – videos, photos, articles, and so on, on behalf of your company.
Quality of content also includes staying on topic, meaning, majority of the content you share should be car related, but not limit you from conversing about other topics. Being that you are a car dealership, then most of the time you should be talking about cars. This does not imply that you should only focus selling, by solely sharing promotions and discounts you offer, (although you can share these from time to time) instead, social networks provide you the opportunity to humanize your business and to provide great content that no one else, including your competition, is supplying. In order to create a “targeted” community, you must deliver “targeted” content.
Don’t be alarmed if at first you don’t receive any responses to the content you put out on your various social networks, but ensure that you don’t stop. Keep the content flowing no matter if you get 100 comments, likes, retweets, or none. There has to be activity on your part and a willingness to get involved in reaching out and in wanting to discover the shared interests your company has with others and vice versa, otherwise, the “community” will cease to exist.
Granted, building and sustaining a “targeted” community does not happen overnight, but it will happen, and growth of that community will occur, as long as your dealership keeps talking, sharing, participating and “targeting”, eventually, people with the same interest as yours will begin engaging back. It all starts with a conversation.