Social media seems to be in a constant stage of flux. The tactics and strategies that were in play yesterday might not work as well tomorrow… or may work even better. Keeping up with everything is both the biggest challenge and our biggest advantage; the industry is moving too quickly for the bulk vendors to be able to keep up.
Despite all of the constant changes, there are three things that have stayed consistent since pretty much the beginning of the social media revolution. For automotive social media in particular, it’s important to keep these in mind as they represent the past, present, and future of strategies that can help localized businesses such as car dealerships.
This is arguably the most difficult tip to communicate. It’s actually easier to be passionate on social media than to not be passionate. Unfortunately, many businesses tone down their thoughts and opinions rather than allowing the natural amplification to take hold.
Social media is not about advertising. It’s not about being neutral. It’s definitely not about fitting in. It’s about standing out. Passion is the way to make that happen. Let’s look at a couple of status updates that portray the same message but in different ways:
One that I saw on a Ford dealer’s Facebook page:
We are extremely excited about the new 2015 Mustang. It will be a worthy competitor to the Camaro and Challenger.
What we should have seen on the Ford dealer’s Facebook page:
The 2015 Mustang is arguably the most epic affordable sports car ever built. #EVER built. If anyone wants to bring their puny Camaro or lame Challenger by when our first Mustang lands, let us know. Head to head – let’s just say that it will be embarrassing.
Throw it down. Show passion. There’s nothing wrong with being polarizing if it fits in with your passions. That’s not to say that one needs to be over the top all the time, but showing pride in your brand is easy on social media. Be creative. Don’t push your passions into a hole. Utilize them.
If passion is the hardest to communicate, persistence is the hardest to establish. Many local businesses either try social media and fail, hire someone to do their social media who fails, or never really gets involved with social media at all. This is a big problem. Unlike other types of marketing and advertising that can be turned on and off easily, social media often requires momentum in order for the full effect to be felt.
It isn’t easy at first and this is where persistence really pays off. Don’t give up if the first couple of weeks don’t yield the results you were expecting. With that said, don’t continue to keep doing the same thing (or have someone else do the same thing) if it’s not working after a couple of months. It takes time, but it doesn’t take that much time to get it rolling.
By being persistent with your strategy, you’ll be able to make the right people see the right messages at the right time. Remember, people are on at different times, different days, and from different devices. When they’re checking Facebook, for example, there’s a chance that your message is too old to hit their feed. While you can’t spam the same messages over and over again, you can mix it up and stick to a fluctuating schedule (something that we feel is unique to our service compared to others in the industry) in order to reach a different audience throughout your marketing endeavors.
You can’t be afraid of being human on social media, even with your business. In fact, it’s better to have a persona rather than a generic feel to your messages and branding.
People like other people on social media. When they can see in your posts that you’re more than just a business posting ads all the time, they’re much more inclined to interact with you. Knowing that there’s a personality involved and person on the other end of the screen fives them a reason to talk to you. It’s much easier to go down that road than to try to stifle your personality to make your messages as generic as possible.
At Dealer Authority, we believe in personalizing the experience for everyone involved in our social media services. What we do for you is similar to what we’ll do for other dealers, but we, too, believe that personality, persistence, and passion are a part of our own delivery system. We’ll treat your customers in ways that they’ve likely never experienced online with a dealership. In fact, we strive to mirror what you’re doing at the dealership and apply it to a social media presence. We’re just looking for the right dealers that are willing to let us make them successful.