There are dealers that are putting effort into social media and those who are not. Both of these categories of dealers are perfectly acceptable; social media is an all-in or all-out thing. There are strategies that work for those who are putting in the time, money, and effort to make it a business-driver and there’s a strategy that puts very little time and effort with zero money that is actually a valid “presence” strategy. It’s the in-between that bugs me.

All of this stems from a conversation I had with a prospect. They were putting time, money, and effort into their social media, though not a lot of any of the three. They were in-between – not doing enough to make an impact on business but investing more effort than someone who was simply covering social media as a necessary component of marketing with minimal effort attached. The problem with being in-between is that the results are no better than if they had gone with a basic presence. They could be saving their money, time, and effort, plug in a minimal strategy, and achieve the same results.

When I explained this, they told me that they had hired a company to “handle” their social media. This company was charging a pretty decent amount of money to yield no results. Were there daily posts? Yes. Was anyone seeing these posts? No, not really, other than the occasional Facebook “boost” that drew irrelevant views in news feeds with useless content. There was no tracking, no business strategy, and no personalization of the message that is required to truly reach the community in a meaningful way.

Nobody should be “handling” a dealership’s social media. They should be using incredible strategies and proven techniques in order to make a difference in the business level of the dealership. Otherwise, a dealership is better off having a minimal presence and putting their effort and budget towards something more worthwhile.

Social media has the unique ability to target people specifically by their intentions. You can use social media to get in front of people who have declared their intention to buy the vehicles that you sell. It should be a no-brainer to take advantage of this hyper-targeting ability, but so few even know that it’s a possibility to do so. Most vendors know the potential, but as long as dealers are okay with a mediocre presence, there’s no reason for them to offer it. Dealers must know. They need to be aware that there are better ways to make social media work that go beyond a basic presence.

Don’t let anyone “handle” your social media. Instead, make your social media sing. Make it drive actual business to the dealership. It’s possible. It might be rare, but it’s not hard.