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Tag Archive: Social Networking

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/

Twitter and the Auto Industry: How to Succeed in Social Media Marketing With Really Trying

how to succeed

Twitter is a powerful social networking platform and one that has become a go-to choice for businesses of all sizes and industries.

In recent months, Burger King and Jeep’s Twitter accounts were hacked and became the subject of many articles and conversations, online and off. In Jeep’s case, “Hackers replaced the brand’s thumbnail image with a Cadillac emblem, background images were replaced by a photo of men in a car branded with McDonald’s logos, and nonsensical posts began to flow into the account’s news feed.”

As Tanzina Vega and Nicole Perloth write, “The attacks raised questions about how easy it is for accounts to be compromised on Twitter and what brands can do to prevent future attacks.”

Twitter Safety Measures

Joel Gratcyk offers four points regarding how to safeguard your Twitter account:

  • Make a strong password
  • Only authorize trusted apps
  • Don’t leave your device logged in and unattended
  • Don’t use open Wi-fi without protection

Twitter Password Guidelines

As Joel says, there are no guarantees on security but the password hints below from StrongPasswordGenerator.com should help keep you safe.

They suggest the following guidelines for creating strong passwords:

  • at least 15 characters
  • has lowercase letters
  • has numbers
  • has symbols
  • is not like your previous passwords
  • is not your name
  • is not your login
  • is not your friend’s name
  • is not a dictionary word
  • is not a common name
  • is not a keyword pattern (such as qwerty, asdfghjkl, or 12345678)

Twitter: Onwards and Upwards

It’s not always easy for a business to rebound after hacking episodes such as the ones experienced by Jeep and Burger King, nor is it easy for the public to forget. (I should add that both have done a terrific job.) And, for businesses who might have been on the fence about creating a presence on Twitter, they may feel especially wary now.  But, Twitter’s positives are too great to dismiss—namely, cost-effective, far-reaching ways to engage in two-way conversations with prospects, customers, and others in the auto industry.

By practicing the kind of safety suggestions discussed above, you should be able to focus your attention on the ways Twitter can help serve your business.

Ways to Use Twitter

Let’s take a look at some effective Twitter messaging tactics along with examples of tweets:

1. Share company newscompany news

2. Announce new product features autoblog

3. Provide customer support boch honda

4. Offer your perspective
perspective

5. Promote special offers
autoguide

6. Share links to articles you recommend
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7. Post jobs

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8. Integrate with Facebook and collect customer photos with a call to action
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9. Share a product video
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10. Congratulate customer on new purchase
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11. And, last but not least, mix-up the type of content you post

How are you using Twitter? What type of messages work best for your auto dealership? Let us know in the comments below.

Now that you’re thinking about your social media execution, how are you doing responding to your Internet leads? If you’d like to improve your Internet close ratio to 20% or more, consider attending our upcoming Internet lead management training in Dallas next month, presented by Automotive Internet Management. Call 866.756.2620 to learn more!

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2013/03/twitter-and-the-auto-industry-how-to-succeed-in-social-media-marketing-with-really-trying/

Under-the-Hood: Car Dealerships and LinkedIn Company Profile Pages

Today’s article is considerably longer than our typical posts, but Debbie Hemley has put together a very informative article that will help your dealership maximize LinkedIn, offer ways to engage potential customers, and learn how to attract talent to your dealership. It’s worth taking the time to read; in fact, you may want to print it and refer to it frequently!  –Garry House

LinkedIn logo

If you’re like many business people out there, LinkedIn may have been your first foray into social networking.

When it gets right down to it, LinkedIn made it easy for even the naysayers among us to adopt by replicating what we were already doing offline: networking with colleagues; maintaining our resume with positions and job skills; joining professional groups; looking for jobs; answering and asking questions of someone in our field.

About LinkedIn

LinkedIn was first launched in 2003 as a social networking website for people in professional occupations. Today the company reports having more than 175 million registered users in more than 200 countries and territories.

In November 2010, LinkedIn allowed businesses to list products and services on company profile pages. On October 4, 2012, they rolled out newly redesigned pages. In a crowded social media marketplace, many companies have been diverted by the constant barrage of new and shiny social networks, and inadvertently may have overlooked the potentials of LinkedIn company pages.

How can your car dealership maximize LinkedIn? What ways can you engage potential customers? How can you attract talent to your dealership? Read on for ideas on addressing these issues.

#1 Maximizing LinkedIn

More than 2 million companies have set-up a LinkedIn company page for their business.

As LinkedIn explains, companies can benefit from a company page for a number of reasons:

  • Company pages give your business more exposure and visibility to your products or services.
  • LinkedIn allows company pages to have followers. This allows your page followers to keep track of your company news, updates and announcements of new services.
  • Your company’s products and services can easily be added in your LinkedIn company page. You can also add videos to each of your product or service listings. This gives you the ability and opportunity to showcase what you can do and what you have to offer.
  • Company pages also have recommendations just like your own profile. Satisfied customers can recommend you, your product or your service. You’ll be way ahead of your competitors if you have these strong recommendations.

If you haven’t already set-up a company page, you’ll want to back up for a moment and get started. If your profile isn’t 100% complete, e.g. lacks products and services listings, recommendations, doesn’t include an image on your home page—take the time to go back and fill in what’s missing. You’ll be glad you did! We’ll discuss the new features in more detail below.

Newly Redesigned LinkedIn Company Pages

mercedes new company page-med_

If your dealership is one of the 2 million companies who already has a company page, you’ll want to make sure you take advantage of the newly redesigned pages. You can now include a header image (646×220 pixels) that represents your dealership, showcase your dealership on your overview page with products and services and career opportunities, share status updates and job opportunities with targeted updates, and reach out to mobile users on LinkedIn’s new mobile and iPad apps.

Viveka von Rosen offers the following suggestions worth noting:

#2 Ways to Engage Potential Customers on LinkedIn

There are many ways to use LinkedIn to engage potential customers. Below are eight tried and true ways.

Groups:

Kerry O’Malley
suggests joining LinkedIn groups where your potential customers hang out; check in regularly to see what discussions you can contribute to; make yourself known within the group.

Search LinkedIn groups to find the ones of most relevance to you. When in doubt, check out groups your colleagues have joined to find any you may have missed.

Contact Lists:

Erin O’Harra, a LinkedIn representative, suggests importing your existing contact lists from your e-mail client to find out which of your contacts are already on LinkedIn. LinkedIn automatically recommends people you might know based on your details and existing contacts, and you should regularly scour through your existing contacts for people you might want to connect with.

Answer questions:

Amberlie Denney
suggests the LinkedIn “Answers” feature as a good way to help you display your expertise and establish yourself as a thought leader. You can answer questions from other LinkedIn users on specific topics that relate to your products or services, and you can drive readers to your website’s educational content or blog posts as well.

Targeted Content:

DealerOn
writes: With 90% of auto buyers employing the Internet to do pre-buying auto research, you have the potential to engage them with targeted content. Research shows that 67% of your potential buyers will actually visit your dealership website to get to know you, prior to visiting your showroom. You need to make sure what they find makes them want to get to know you offline.

Post updates about your content on your company LinkedIn page, drive traffic to your website, blog and showroom.

Promote Company Car and Van Deals:

Mark Paddock
suggests that for Fleet sales departments, knowing how to use LinkedIn to contact potential customers is one of the most valuable skills to possess. LinkedIn allows sales people to find and connect with the decision makers and people with influence within a business they are trying to sell to.
“Connecting with the managing director of a plumbing company with ten vans on the road and engaging them before you call, means the sales people only ever call “warm leads.”

Keep Employee Pages Up to Date:

HubSpot
recommends keeping your employee page up to date. From your company’s overview page, you can see a list of all current employees. Remove any past employees that no longer work for you. Simply click on the triangle on the side of the person’s name.

Refresh Dealership Info:

HubSpot also suggests taking the time to update your dealership profile and keep it up to date with any recent blog posts or new vehicles that will hit the market.

Products and Services:

This recommendation is also from HubSpot.  Add your most popular products and services. Under your company overview page, there is a products and services tab.  Add your most popular products and services as well as receive recommendations from your peers.

mercedes products and services-small_
#3 Attract Talent to the Dealership

Since potential candidates will also be checking out your LinkedIn company page, it becomes an important place to ensure that you’re demonstrating in the business description, reasons why your dealership is a great place to work, e.g. years in business, great reputation in the community, received award for great service, staying power.

As Garry House points out, “There seems to be a persistent perception that automotive sales is a job of last resort, and we have allowed that perception to exist and grow…When we convince someone to choose an automotive sales career (or when a qualified applicant drops into our lap), he needs to clearly understand that he’s not settling for a second-rate job. Automotive sales is a challenging profession that a person can and should be proud of.”

Garry recommends emphasizing the rewards of the work: unlimited income potential, independence, sense of satisfaction, and personal growth. You can make that clear on the careers tab of your company page. If recruitment is an ongoing high priority you may also want to check out the Premium Career Pages and recruitment ads.

Final Thoughts

With social networks being the moving target they are, it’s always good practice to keep up with new features. One easy and interesting way to keep up with LinkedIn is to read their blog regularly where you’ll keep abreast of network news and learn new tips.

How have you used LinkedIn company profile pages for your dealership? Share your experiences in the comments below. 

Join us in Atlanta next month where Ron Wheeler of Wheeler Advertising will show you how to integrate social media best practices like this into your marketing strategy.  Click the link below or call 866.756.2620 to learn more!

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2012/10/under-the-hood-car-dealerships-and-linkedin-company-profile-pages/