Does your digital marketing partner spend as much time keeping up with changes in social media, as they do keeping up with the Kardashians?  When there is down time at the dealership, does your in-house Facebook guy study Facebook for business, blogs, forums, groups and pages centered on the latest techniques available to market your cars online or ESPN updates?  Do you have a dedicated Facebook representative working with your dealership to optimize all of your ads and overcome issues? (Yes, that’s a real thing, and every marketer should have one.)

Ok, that was a lot of questions, but they’re good thought-starters.  If you answered, “No,” to one, or many, let’s talk about why it’s important to do more than just set-it-and-forget-it when it comes to your social media presence and marketing.

Facebook changes every single day.  A beautiful and frightening attribute of the world’s most popular social media platform is their fearlessness regarding change.  They test, tinker, toy with and try new ideas continually.  You can login to Business Manager at 3 pm and encounter a new button, feature, or field that wasn’t there earlier the same day.  Every dealer deserves an employee, or a partner, who is OBSESSED with staying on top of these changes; people who are plugged-in, with fingers on the pulse of the tools they use.

Focus Daniel-Son

It may seem like an exaggeration to say Facebook changes daily to those who only see the front-facing side.  You most likely will not notice an evolution until you are served a new ad type, potentially by a competitor. By the time you see the “next big thing” in digital marketing, it’s already too late.  Your competitors have already seen it.  Chances are, they are already pumping out compelling, creative marketing in the new innovative method before you even get to your laptop.

The perfect dealer partner should study every facet of digital marketing, with a heavy emphasis on Facebook ad campaign; that’s where the eyeballs are.  They should be whitelisted for working/beta solutions.  They should work tirelessly to build relationships with all partners who can help dealers sell more cars.  Relationships are everything.  They should be the squeaky wheel that gets the attention of Facebook and Google and have a personal liaison at Facebook to help optimize ads, overcome obstacles and analyze the effectiveness of each ad type.  Dealers reap the benefit of close, personal relationships between their marketing partner and the platforms (Facebook & Google), far more than the relationship between the OEM and the agency.  The OEM wants every dealer to thrive and be successful, obviously.  You need a digital marketing agency that offers exclusivity; one that ONLY wants YOU to succeed.  Tip the scales in your favor.

Beyond connections, pay attention to the type of company you partner with.  Do they benefit from the unique advantage of an earth-sized talent pool, employing the biggest industry rock stars or are they limited to just the talent in their local area?  Usually, the biggest draw in the brick-and-mortar agency’s zip code is the owner, and I guarantee you that he or she is not strategizing on your behalf.   Choose a partner with dealership experience.  Experience in sales, service, marketing, rental, commercial sales, vendor-side and everything else a dealer must factor-in.  Hire a partner who gets you, and gets your business.

Love your in-house guy?  Find someone to train, support and monitor him.  Have a big box vendor who’s doing a fine job?  Explore the difference between automation and hand-crafted, engaging, unique, quality content.   A one-size-fits-all solution will never move the metal like a dealer-specific strategy will.  Need to keep your OEM happy by using the manufacturer-approved partner?  Keep them.  Buy the base package solution, which won’t include off-site content, social signals, link-building or any personal touches, and bolt-on a robust, supplementary digital marketing solution from Dealer Authority as a turbo-booster.  Turn your base-model digital marketing strategy into a modded-out show-stopper.   You can’t beat the competition using the same tools, messages, and vendors that they use.  You need an edge.  You need Dealer Authority.