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Tag Archive: Facebook

Laura Madison

Salespeople Social Selling Under the Dealership’s Umbrella

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Social selling is sweeping the automotive industry. A quick search for the terms ‘social selling’ will bring a bounty of articles, training offerings, and tips for salespeople leveraging social media to win business. All this social media mania is leaving dealerships wondering how to empower and control their employees who want to participate in this social realm.

The best strategy for this social movement is NOT to ignore the power of individual presences on social media or to prohibit salespeople to use social to promote themselves altogether; the best solution, for both dealerships and salespeople, is to create a social media presence where salespeople can participate under the umbrella of the dealership. This allows dealerships to benefit from any brand equity created by salespeople but also contributes to a larger, more cohesive marketing effort. It’s both empowering and controlled.

Uploading Under the Umbrella

Executing on this strategy is relatively simple. For example, a dealership can encourage salespeople to upload personalized videos to the dealership’s YouTube page. Simple videos filmed by salespeople with a smartphone highlighting the best features of a top-selling vehicle or the changes to a recent redesign, can provide great visibility for both the salesperson and the dealership. This upload can be facilitated very simply by a marketing director or whoever is presently running the dealership’s social media sites.

Salespeople can also participate on the dealership’s Facebook page in a number of ways. An effective social media presence highlights the humans behind a brand, so featuring photos of salespeople and tagging them in these photos can be a powerful way to add a human component to a dealership presence and also become more visible to these salespeople’s connections. Another way salespeople could contribute on Facebook is by providing content to post to the dealership Facebook page, like interesting product or customer photos.  Mining salespeople for Facebook updates could add incredible variety to posts and allow a dealership to show the faces behind the business.

There are a few big benefits of executing on this umbrella strategy:

  •  Increased visibility. Leveraging salespeople to create content, including automotive related photos or short videos, can boost activity on social channels and exponentially increase a dealership’s online reach. The more active a dealership can remain on social media the more prospective customers they’ll reach over time.
  •  A human component.  The key to an effective social media presence is creating human connection. Consumers want to know the people, and the story, behind a brand. Incorporating content from salespeople and featuring them in posts adds a dynamic and human component to a dealership’s social channels.
  •  Improved search engine optimization. Increasing videos, posts, and activity on certain platforms can catapult the organic search engine optimization of a dealership’s channels. For example, salespeople uploading content to YouTube will boost the likelihood of those videos appearing on the first page results of a Google search.

This umbrella approach on social media will result in a less fractured, more cohesive online presence for dealerships and dealership employees. Creating an environment where salespeople can contribute to the dealership’s social presence provides a fierce and powerful online visibility advantage in today’s competitive automotive space.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/11/8049/

Laura Madison

Using Social Media to Eliminate the Car Salesman Stereotype

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Let’s face it; the public’s perception of a car salesperson is not pretty. Salespeople are regarded as sleazy, quick-talking, plaid-loving “professionals.” The negative stereotype was formed in a time when salespeople held all the cards—a time when information regarding pricing, the car-buying process, and the product was largely unavailable to consumers. Today, the consumer has the ability to research all aspects of car shopping and the industry is becoming increasingly transparent. The behavior that earned automotive salespeople this reputation has almost vanished, but this negative perception still plagues the automotive industry.

So let’s transform it.

Many dealerships today are staffed by millennials, veterans, automotive enthusiasts and people who are genuinely as interested in helping their buyer make a good decision as they are in making a paycheck. Car salespeople today are genuine, likable people. Our best way to communicate this to the public is by using social media to introduce the real people of our business. We can do this by allowing salespeople to contribute to dealership social media channels. Allowing salespeople to participate in the online movement is both empowering and innovative. You can encourage salespeople to do simple things that show they are helpful, caring resources rather than hungry, front-door vultures. For example, a salesperson could film a quick video off a smartphone of new features on a redesigned model or write up a quick social post that includes tips for the best test drive.

If salespeople can begin to brand themselves, provide guidance and context, and show that they are caring people, they have the opportunity to build themselves apart from the shadow of this terrible stereotype.

Beyond the Salesperson

Social media is a portal that allows us to revise negative perceptions even beyond those of salespeople’s. Customers are all online gathering information and doing research before they ever walk into a showroom; why can’t dealerships begin to be the ones to provide this valuable information to their local car buyers?

Dealerships could use Facebook pages to provide answers to frequently asked questions or highlight product comparisons, instead of using them (often unsuccessfully) as an advertising platform. Providing value and sharing information about the product allows people to make real connections to the dealership and the cool things they sell.

These are only a few examples of how dealers can use social media to make people more comfortable walking into the showroom. Social platforms provide an incredible avenue of communication that could transform the way the public perceives the automotive industry. The tools and the audience are online; it’s just a matter if the automotive world is finally going to make a move and take action.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/09/using-social-media-to-eliminate-the-car-salesman-stereotype/

Ron Wheeler

Plant Your Dealership all Over Cyber City

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Freeway locations have proven to be very powerful sites to place a business. The reason is traffic.  Daily traffic counts are higher on freeway locations. As a result of the traffic and the impressions, you make more people aware of your business. When these consumers decide it’s time to shop for a car, you end up on their shopping list due to the exposure.

Not every auto dealer, however, has the opportunity or resources to make this type of move. But this is only half the equation. If recent holiday shopping has proved anything it’s this:  Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now one in the same. Everyone is participating in both. Why? Because the consumer says so, that’s why!

So moving forward, you must make a concerted effort to pay attention to the traffic pattern of your cyber customers.

Take out a map of your city and change the main roads to these names:

  • Google Search
  • Google Display
  • Pre-Roll Video
  • Google Video Search
  • Facebook Ads
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Mobile Search
  • Google +
  • Re-Targeting
  • Custom Facebook Audience

Keep going if you wish; there are more!

Your customer is traveling Cyber World as they wish; you have no control over the traffic pattern. Your goal is to plant your place of business where the traffic is.  Unlike your physical world, you can plant your flag on every major thoroughfare.

For years and years, businesses have studied maps and traffic patterns to try and decide the best location for business. The traffic count numbers are available for just about every intersection. Even with all of this information, people in the same community have different driving habits. They may live in the same neighborhoods, but all have unique driving patterns to get them to their daily destinations.  Most fast food chains have this figured out.  No matter what path you take, you come across a given franchise over and over.

You have to approach Cyber City just like the franchise business has done for years on the streets of every city in America. It’s the same people, but they’re traveling on the Internet every day and taking many different paths. No traffic pattern is the same. Every user is unique.

So the simple fact is, you can’t ignore your Cyber City and there’s not just one magical location—there are many, many, locations!

The costs aren’t prohibitive. In fact, most dealers could place their business all across Cyber City for $5,000 to $10,000. Moving forward, you should place your business at all the critical intersections ensuring you end up on your consumers’ shopping lists.

Learn the lessons of the freeway location and replicate it on the Internet. The good news is, it’s even better in Cyber City. You can place your message on every path the consumer chooses to take. With recent advancements in technology, you can place your business in front of your target audience everyday with your unique message.

Location, location, location…. You may or may not be happy with your current physical location, but when it comes to the Internet you can turn the tables and have a presence at the very best locations in Cyber City! Remember, your potential customers are driving through Cyber City every day and if you’re not there, you’re missing them.

Ron Wheeler of Wheeler Advertising and Social.Motive is a frequent guest contributor to the Up To Speed blog. Ron is the instructor for “Advertising in a Complex Marketplace: Integration is the Key,” an exclusive educational program sponsored by the NCM Institute.

Learn more about Advertising in a Complex Marketplace

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2012/12/plant-your-dealership-all-over-cyber-city/

Auto Dealerships: Getting an “A” For Social Media Effort

How should an automotive dealership’s social media performance be evaluated? Is it simply how many fans and followers they have or is it something more intricate?

While some dealerships seem to be caught up in a fruitless cycle of “Like me, like me, please!” one could make the argument about where likes will get them in the long run.

So how then should we go about assessing an auto dealership’s use of social media? In this post, we’ll take a look at several factors: ability to meet consumer needs, potential for helping to drive sales, ways to ensure that you’re leveraging location-based marketing, and making it a priority to optimize all of your social sites for search engines.

Meeting Consumer Needs Via Social Media
When the IBM Institute for Business Value looked at the top reasons why consumers interact with companies via social sites in the first place, they found 12 compelling reasons:

  1. Discounts
  2. Purchase
  3. Reviews and product rankings
  4. General information
  5. Exclusive information
  6. Learn about new products
  7. Submit opinions on products
  8. Customer service
  9. Event participation
  10. Feel connected
  11. Submit ideas for new products/services
  12. To be part of a community

If your auto dealership is already on sites such as Facebook and Twitter how would you say your content is measuring up to these consumer needs? What adjustments can you make?

From Consumer Needs to Sales
In an article earlier this year, Dealer Communications, took a look at the strategies of Red McCombs Ford and Artioli Dodge who are “seeing a direct impact on sales from their social media campaigns.”

They found that the two dealerships had five things in common:

  1. Post regularly to their social networks
  2. Post a variety of content, but with a strong automotive focus
  3. Track which content users share and engage with
  4. Engage with consumers in-market looking to purchase new cars and services
  5. Automate the management and measurement of all social media activities with a social media platform

How are your efforts currently ranking in these five areas?

Local-Based Marketing and Auto Dealerships
In-market engagement is key for auto dealers. Eric Miltsch writes, “One area of opportunity for automotive dealerships is the ability to leverage location-based marketing service activity to increase engagement, drive loyalty and improve overall exposure. Foot traffic has always been difficult to monitor – location based services provide another opportunity to connect with this unique segment of consumers.”

To do business locally, companies can submit profile data to a number of local directories (e.g., YellowPages, SuperPages, etc.)

One easy way to get started is through Get Listed, where you can quickly see which sites you may have already claimed your page on and by clicking on the link, you can add your business info to better optimize your social searchEric Vreeland at HubSpot has compiled an extensive list of 50 business directories for local marketing.

Optimizing your Dealership for Local Search and Search Marketing
Neil Patel writes that local businesses or ones that target audiences in a specific geolocation will want to move beyond general guides for search and social optimization. Neil offers a number of strategies for local search that dealerships can make good use of:

  • Focus on industry-specific terms and geo-specific terms
  • Optimize your website for local search by adding locally optimized title tags and meta descriptions
  • Have the best Google Places listing possible
  • Build profiles on other sites to build citations for local SEO
  • Get local reviews when you add buttons to your website and encourage reviews
  • Build links from related local businesses and local bloggers
  • Optimize your social pages (Facebook page, Twitter profile, LinkedIn page, Google+, etc.) for local

Final Thoughts:
Social media can be seen as both an art and a science—whereby creating the right mix of content that prospective customers will not only see but will truly engage with, will think so much about that they’ll go on to share with their friends, and will help get people through your doors!

Will you get an A for effort on your next social media report card? Let us know what’s working for you and what aspects you’re feeling more prepared to change. 

Debbie Hemley is a social media blogger who writes regularly about social networking platforms. She’s a regular contributor to Social Media Examiner, GigCoin and a number of other sites. You can follow her on her blog, debbiehemley.com or via Twitter @dhemley.

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2012/07/auto-dealerships-getting-an-a-for-social-media-effort/

NCM Institute

Automotive Dealerships and the Rising Need for Social Media Community Management

In the beginning—of social media, that is—the management of your automotive dealership’s presence on Facebook or Twitter might have been handled by one of your millennial generation team players. They’re young and live online most of the time anyway. Right?

Well, that kind of thinking might have been okay in the year 2007 or even 2008, for that matter. But in 2012, when social media has matured to the extent it has, the responsibility for managing your online presences needs to go to someone who is proficient in social media, marketing, communicates well, and knows your dealership inside and out.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the sample job description of a community manager, roles and responsibilities, and tips to make sure your existing or prospective community manager has what they need to get the job done to represent your dealership on social media platforms.

Social Media Community Manager: A Look at the Job Description

Businesses may define the specific job responsibilities differently to meet their particular needs. One job description we came across that covers the essentials very well states:

The Social Media Community Manager is responsible for all of the company’s communications across social media platforms.  This person will develop all social media strategies, editorial calendars, and tactical plans, ensuring consistency in messaging, and that all messages, measurement and content are relevant to target audiences and the company’s objectives.  

The Community Manager both defines content needs and leads the development and production of new content.

In another case, this company outlined the responsibilities of the job this way: 

Develop a comprehensive social media and community management strategy leveraging your background, experience and knowledge of social media trends and emerging technologies
-Partner with individuals across the company to strategize and educate the team on relevant social media techniques to drive adoption and increase thought leadership
-Manage the day-to-day activities for Facebook, Twitter, Company Blog, LinkedIn and other social media sites
-Research and write content for social media channels
-Track and analyze performance of social media programs and activities to drive continuous improvement
-Manage web and Facebook advertisements
-Interact with our PR team
-Monitor trends in social media tools and applications and appropriately apply that knowledge to increasing the use of social media at the company

In Deborah Ng’s recent book, Online Community Management for Dummies, she writes: “The community manager is the mouthpiece of the organization. You ensure that both members and management are learning as much as they can about each other. In some cases, you need to add updates on the community’s discussion page. It also means sending out newsletters, writing blog posts, articles and press releases, and making announcements on Twitter and Facebook. You then report the resulting comments, both positive and negative to the proper channels.”

By now, you can probably get the gist of the expected roles and responsibilities of the social community manager. Let’s dive in a little deeper to what can be considered, the art and science of community management.

Pamela Vaughan of HubSpot provides these seven helpful tips:

  1. Exercise the 80/20 rule: Share non-promotional content 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time promote your brand.

  2. Encourage internal involvement: Enlist help from multiple contributors on your team. Consider creating a blog topic/ideas pools, assigning content topics, and allowing teammates to focus on topics that play to their strengths as much as possible.

  3. Balance time appropriately: let your analytics be your guide. Focus more attention on the platforms that are generating more visits and leads. Ensure that you’re spending your time efficiently rather than stretching it across multiple social networks.

  4. Share remarkable, targeted content based on needs/interests of individual communities.

  5. Schedule social media content: Monitor your social media presence daily so you can participate in discussion, respond to your communities’ conversations, and track their reactions to the content you share.

  6. Optimize for lead generation: Mix in links to downloadable content, crafting clear and enticing calls-to-action, and using social media real estate to drive community members back to targeted landing pages on your website where you can capture them as leads.

  7. Implement goals and track success metrics: Use marketing analytics to conduct weekly and monthly audits to measure often and accurately.

Recommended Resource: HubSpots free ebook, “How to Monitor Your Social Media Presence in 10 Minutes a Day” covers the basics for how to monitor social platforms with help, too, from the tool Hootsuite and includes with a helpful 10 minute schedule for checking Twitter chatter, how to scan Google news and blogs, filter and flag relevant industry-related questions on LinkedIn and Quora, and scanning Facebook and Google+ for wall comments.

Final Thoughts:
Most businesses would probably agree that you wouldn’t randomly put content up on your website without thinking through the goals and purpose of the what you would like to communicate. The same thinking pertains to social media community management.

The community manager for your dealership needs to be able to monitor social media activity so they can have a handle on the best messages to communicate, optimal days/times for posting and updating. And in addition to being the mouthpiece of the organization—they also need to be the ears and eyes, reporting back to management what they are hearing on the social networking platforms.

But here’s the catch: to be effective, the community manager also needs to be in a direct line of communication with senior management. They need to receive the support and respect of the organization and not have social media relegated to a nice-but-not-so-important-role for the organization.

If you’re going to create presences for your dealership on social networking platforms, you’ll need to put your best face forward 365 days a year. To do that, you’ll need to have a social media community manager who you’ve empowered to work for you to get the job done.

How has community management being working at your dealership? What steps can you take to make it a more effective and successful process?

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2012/06/automotive-dealerships-and-the-rising-need-for-social-media-community-management/