There is a distinct correlation between reputation management and social media marketing. They often play in the same venues and there is a certain level of cross-pollination possible between the two practices. However, to say that reputation management and social media marketing are aligned is like saying that service and sales at the dealership are aligned. They are similar and complimentary, but they aren’t the same thing.

You wouldn’t have a salesperson rebuilding transmissions. You wouldn’t have a service technician reporting to the New Car Sales Manager. Why would you have a reputation management company managing your social media?

There’s a reason that we do not mingle the two disciplines. They are different strategies. They require different skill sets to manage properly. The team that we put out there to handle social media marketing for dealers is a completely different team from the one we partner with to work on reputation management.

If you want to put a nail into a board, you should use a hammer.

This all stemmed from a discussion I had with a dealer who said that they had a company doing their social media. I looked at their various pages and learned very quickly that very little was happening. Sure, there were posts going up to fill the pages, but nobody was seeing them and there was no benefit being derived from them. Social media is not a checkbox item. It’s not something that you can say, “we have someone doing that” but not know what they’re doing or what’s driving their strategy. For many, it seems to have become a hole that needs to be filled by someone so they’re turning to reputation management companies to do it for them. It’s not doing them any favors.

Yes, there are mandates by some OEMs to have reputation management supplied by certain vendors and there’s nothing we could do about that whether we agree with it or not. However, having the same company attempt to deliver a cohesive social media strategy is giving up. It in no way helps the dealership use social media for what it’s intended to do – increase business by driving traffic to the website and improving the brand exposure of the dealership. It’s a shame that this is happening because the gap between “good” social media and truly effective social media is extremely wide.

If you are not seeing a tangible lift in your sales as a result of social media, please let us know. We’d be happy to demonstrate the distinct differences between checkbox social media and a complete strategy to take advantage of this wonderful marketing venue.