In 2014, it is estimated that 68% of internet users will engage and consume all types of Social Media (eMarketer). That means that almost 70% of all consumers on the internet will be posting, blogging, liking, tweeting, retweeting, sharing, reviewing, etc. regarding everything from viral videos/content to brands/products. So what does this mean for car dealerships? Well Mr. Dealer, Social Media is here to stay and the need for embracing it couldn’t be more evident.
Developing a sound strategy for a car dealership can be tricky. I’ve heard it time and time again from Dealer Principles, GM’s, GSM’s, Service Directors, etc. that the biggest problem they have is combating negative posts or reviews, creating engagement, or driving new consumers to their pages. All of these issues can be combated with having a fine-tuned social strategy, customized around the core marketing objectives at hand.
Social Media Marketing, when executed properly, achieves far beyond traditional broadcasting messages in terms of brand awareness, measurable media and consumer engagement. The efficiencies are tremendous, not to mention the targeting layers that can be done are far-reaching and flat out scary! In the beginning, ensuring that the social efforts at hand are in line with real business outcomes truly set the campaign up for success.
There are (7) key pillars to follow that hold up a successful social media strategy for any car dealership:
Understanding Goals & Social Tactics
What is the end goal for the dealership? What are the marketing objectives? Managing expectations and Core KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) will help determine success.
Understanding what targeting and social channel truly makes sense for the initiative will help guide the strategy throughout the launch and management process.
Who is the target audience?
Establishing who the core target audience to go after and truly understanding their affinities, interests, etc. will help determine the targeting layers in the campaign.
This will also help segmenting data over time to truly know who the Social Audience is and how to optimize the winners from the losers.
The biggest thing with dealerships is ensuring that they are keeping up with the Joneses. After working in many other verticals, I have never seen a vertical that is so focused on what their competitor is doing and how they can beat them. This makes sense because selling cars is extremely competitive. Just think of how many Makes/Models are out there! Running a competitive analysis of the core competitors in-market will help the strategy/planning process of launching a campaign.
Ensuring that the dealership has its own voice, posting high-quality content, continually engaging with the fan base while creating an existing fan base will help beat out any dealership, whether they are down the street or 10 miles away.
Defining Reach & Frequency
Blasting out several messages that aren’t aligned across the board will not help you achieve any success. Use a sniper vs. shotgun approach when trying to determine how many ads/messaging and targeting layers you want to segment in a campaign.
Going after everything WON’T get you everything. Just think of that guy from High School or College that tried to go after every girl on campus…You know just as much as I do that his success rate was very, very low…
Continually Engage & Post New Content/Ideas
Do not, I repeat DO NOT let your audience hang out there with no response. It completely defeats the purpose of posting any high-quality content or trying to get your brand to resonate with your core consumers.
Posting new and fresh content will keep not only your core audience coming back to your social channels but a new segment of consumers. The last thing you want to do is become the Charlie Brown Teacher Voice, “Whamp, Whamp, Whamp, Whamp…” when posting the same content over and over again. It becomes noise vs. a message.
DO NOT SET IT AND FORGET IT!
Optimize, people! It’s not the biggest task in the world! It’s actually quite fun to see the fruits of your labor and pick out the winners from the losers. It’s 2014, and the Ronco Rotisserie “Just Set It & Forget!” approach will not make you a champion of digital marketing.
There you have it, simple easy steps to start honing in on your Social Media Strategy. If you need any more insights or want to talk Social Media passionately, please reach out! We are also here to run a FREE digital analysis to help determine how well you are doing and where there are areas of opportunity.