Professional Community for Car Dealers, Automotive Marketers and Sales Managers
First of all, I want to thank Mr. Bryan Armstrong for posting a link and article snippet on the Google+ Community titled "Automotive Social Media Marketing" which led me to an article... which referenced and led me one step further to the AT&T Networking Exchange Blog that I am re-posting for the benefit of ADM Professional Community members below.
My goal is to get our community of automotive marketing practitioners to think about where the car business is heading with our use of social media marketing strategies and tactics, in the hope of stimulating some valuable discussion and commentary.
For example, take a look at Jeff Bulas' (#3) prediction (more of a projection?) where he describes what sounds like car dealers connecting the dots between search engine marketing strategies and how they will begin to understand the correlation between sound content creation and publishing programs as part of their overall marketing strategy. There are few areas within the very large world of automotive digital marketing that has more effectively captured the attention of car dealers than taking action to ensure having their websites and published information show up in the Google Search Engine results which appear for their customers making automotive related inquiries... To Jeff's point, as more and more dealers grasp the connection between publishing "User Generated Content" as part of a daily Content Marketing and Earned Media strategy, their perspective on Social Media Marketing and how it delivers a Return On Investment (ROI) will evolve and become a lot more sophisticated.
All 14 of these predictions are well worth carefully reviewing and considering in your dealership's 2013 marketing strategy, but take a close look at Margie Clayman's (#4) predictions. Her words make a lot of sense and sound very likely to occur, at least to my admittedly biased ears... Here's a quote from Margie predictions:
"I predict that in 2013 small businesses will start seeing social media more as a tool and less as an entity unto itself. Instead of asking what social media is, they will ask how they should be using it and why."
What Margie says under the guise of a prediction makes a lot of sense, and is just plain good guidance, whether or not labeled with the "Predictions for 2013" moniker or not. As you read through these 14 so-called predictions, you will find that most of them should be considered good advice, and brimming with opportunity for competitive advantage.
All of the renowned and highly respected writers, speakers and practitioners whose "predictions" are listed in the article below are knowledgeable and obviously put serious thought into their answers to Cheryl Burgess's questions. I found that reading the predictions caused me to think and consider many of my own strategies and tactics, so as to be positioned for a competitive advantage in 2013... When it really comes down to why any of us would bother with social media and the marketing, engagement and communications capabilities it offers to car dealers; if there were no opportunity for competitive advantage, then why would we bother with it?
After you check these predictions out, please post a comment about which ones you found credible and ringing of truth, and which ones you considered to be more fantasy than fact... Finally, the question that Cheryl closed her article with, which I have boldened and highlighted in red font. I will echo to our professional network... What are YOUR predictions regarding social media and the way car dealers will use it in 2013?
Not The Same Old, Same Old Social Media
When Cheryl started this post, she wanted to share 13 Social Media Predictions for Small Business (including car dealerships) in 2013. However, for those of her readers who might be superstitious, Cheryl didn't want to jinx the New Year before it even began. So, she decided to go with 14 predictions instead. Cheryl suggests that there is no need to worry about doomsday prophecies from the Mayans or Nostradamus. As shown by their predictions for 2013, the experts Ms. Burgess consulted see only a bright future ahead for small businesses, car dealers and their ability to receive business benefits from social media marketing practices. ADM Professional Community members are encouraged to visit Cheryl's article on the AT&T Networking Blog for Small Business at NetworkingExchangeBlog.ATT.com/Small-Business.
1. Meghan M. Biro @MeghanMBiro – Founder and CEO of TalentCulture Consulting Group and the TalentCulture World of Work Community. “In 2013, for businesses small & large, I predict that the quality of online relationships and content will rise to the occasion in the vast sea of social media. Also, crowdsourcing will become a more active player in the mainstream social enterprise.”
2. David Brier @DavidBrier – Chief Gravity Defyer at DBD International, Ltd. – “In 2013, small businesses will need to strengthen their ties to their customers as the world keeps getting smaller. So much more is available than ever before. Thus, the competitive edge will be built on those relationships and bonds. In addition, small businesses can become the official ambassadors of excellent customer service in a world that’s going increasingly automated. As more and more “touch points” become “streamlined” at the expense of personal human contact, the companies with excellent personnel and live customer service representatives will outshine and outperform their competition.”
3. Jeff Bullas @jeffbullas – Account Director- Infinity Technologies, Social Media Marketing Blogger, Speaker and Strategist – Author -”Blogging the Smart Way – How to create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” “Google has realized that people voting for content they like with Retweets, Facebook likes, plus +1′s and comments is important and increasingly relevant in what they serve up in Google search results. Google+ was launched just over 12 months ago to capture those social signals, and today the Google +1 button is used over five billion times every day. In 2013 you will see small companies starting to realize that social media is also important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Companies will begin to understand that social, content, and SEO are linked and more integrated than ever.”
4. Margie Clayman @MargieClayman- Vice President of Client Services, Clayman Marketing Communications, Inc. “I predict that in 2013 small businesses will start seeing social media more as a tool and less as an entity unto itself. Instead of asking what social media is, they will ask how they should be using it and why. In the end, this will increase the effectiveness of their social media marketing efforts.”
5. Jon Ferrara @Jon_Ferrara – CEO Nimble, Inc. “Nearly every small business is experimenting with or planning on using social media because they understand they need to go where their audience is. Listening and engaging and being discoverable online is critically important today in growing their businesses. 2013 will be the year Social Media moves out of Community Management and Marketing to Social Selling and Customer Engagement.”
6. Sam Fiorella @samfiorella – Partner at Sensei Marketing and Author of Influence Marketing “Small Businesses in 2013 will tire of broadcast social media campaigns and messaging and invest in monitoring tools like Jungoo.com, Shoutlet.com or others to better segment their audience, effectively target influencers and accurately measure the impact of those efforts. Next, employees—the businesses’ biggest brand ambassadors—will become trained and empowered to become actual influencers across social channels.”
7. Mike Johansson @mikefixs – Lecturer in Communication at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and Social Media Strategist for Fixitology LLC – “2013 is the year that small businesses finally acknowledge that social media needs to be part of the daily workload. Depending on whose numbers you believe, somewhere between 20 and 25 percent of small businesses use social media for customer engagement, customer service, community building and selling. In 2013 small businesses will realize they either get on that bus or they’ll be waving goodbye to the opportunity to be in front of people … and some, if not all, of their business.”
8. Wendy Marx @Wendy Marx – President – Marx Communications-“In 2013, for B2B small businesses it will be more use of content marketing, especially content curation, as a way of engaging customers. Small businesses will make greater use of LinkedIn as the platform continues to expand its offerings. Finally, the coming year will see a greater integration of social media into all marketing practices so it becomes a part of a small business’ way of doing business.”
9. Steve Olenski @steveolenski – Sr. Content Strategist at Responsys – “In 2013 I think (and maybe it’s wishful thinking) that more and more small businesses will begin to dive into the visual side of social media, (i.e. Pinterest and Instagram). I have said this a million times, but you have to look at your computer/mobile screen the way you do a TV. People do not read TV, they watch it. Consumers want to see something—not just read it.”
10. Tom Pick @TomPick – Digital Marketing & PR Consultant – Webbiquity- “In 2013, small businesses, and larger ones too, will get more sophisticated about their measurement of social media results. They will view social media marketing tactics within the larger framework of their overall Web presence—how it supports what they are doing in PR, website optimization, search advertising and other areas of marketing. Their measurement will be less about direct, linear ROI and more about how social sharing and engagement fits into and enhances their overall web marketing and lead generation strategies.”
11. Alex Romanovich @AlexRomanovich – Managing Partner - Social2B, Inc, Adviser – The CMO Club – “SMBs will continue to test social media, while more aggressively increasing their budgets allocated to social media in any form. By now, the SMB community is seeing some positive results via social media and will continue to test the channel, conversions, ecommerce or social commerce, etc. For the first time, SMBs will start paying even closer attention to metrics and analytics—they will want to know more about their conversion rates and ROI, although they will continue to be challenged by the complexity and growing pains of the social environment. SMBs will also use more social networks—besides LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, SMBs will continue to discover Google+, Slideshare, etc.”
12. Gary Schirr @ProfessorGary – Assistant Professor – Marketing, Radford University - “In 2013 savvy small businesses around the globe will learn valuable photo and video-editing skills to help drive their social media marketing efforts. Using their own cameras, smartphones and tablets, small businesses will leverage newly found creative skills to create content that impacts their audience. They will also solicit visual content from employees and customers. Small businesses will develop an eye for visual content marketing opportunities while learning editing tools such as iMovie, MovieMaker, Photoshop and PaintShop to help energize their business marketing approach.”
13. Deborah Weinstein @debweinstein – President & Partner, Strategic Objectives “2012 saw a major surge in mobile adoption rates, and 2013 will be all about the apps that lead to social sharing. Mobile is an effective brand building tool for small business given its powerful ability to geo-target consumers and promote local sales. In 2013, we will see a focus on quick, easy and highly visual apps, including Instagram, Viddly, Cinemagram and Keek. These apps are the ‘140 characters’ of visual, social sharing. Small business can use these free, easy-to-use tools to get the message out to their audience on such a short, quick-consumption platform.”
14. Patricia Wilson @brandcottage – President/Founder BrandCottage - “The biggest shift we will see is in content creation. It is relatively easy and inexpensive to create beautiful photos and videos for social media. Small business are beginning to reach their comfort level with social media and will employ more tactics with Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and other social nets.”
Check out the original source of this post:
The following Automotive Social Media Infographic gives us some historical perspective on where the car business was with our use of social media back when we were headed into 2012... A lot has changed, so what will 2013 have in store for the ways in which automotive marketers seek to gain a competitive advantage via innovation and more effective use of social media channels?
Great post, Ralph Paglia. It inspires me to want to make some predictions of my own :-)
Ralph, great post!!! I give it three exclamation points!!! I especially like the infographic and how it illustrates the brand within a brand aspect of social media with stand-alone Chevy, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac at once overlapping and in harmony within the whole GM platform.
I predict the same will happen within progressive dealerships with sales staff (and service?). As Sam Fiorella stated, "Next, employees—the businesses’ biggest brand ambassadors—will become trained and empowered to become actual influencers across social channels.”"
Interesting view points, I see a bunch of overlap and agreement, which is always good.
I like what Tom Pick @TomPick had to say. “In 2013, small businesses, and larger ones too, will get more sophisticated about their measurement of social media results. They will view social media marketing tactics within the larger framework of their overall Web presence—how it supports what they are doing in PR, website optimization, search advertising and other areas of marketing. Their measurement will be less about direct, linear ROI and more about how social sharing and engagement fits into and enhances their overall web marketing and lead generation strategies.”
I couldn't agree more with Tom. SEO CRMs are already measuring social (sharing) signals and how they convert (also important, in fact most of these tools want you to import your Goals / Conversions from Google Analytics and the like). Shares, Like and Recommendations are being measured by Google in their index decision making. That's not going to stop any time soon and probably will overtake inbound linking in terms of importance.
Additonally, I've found Gary Schirr @ProfessorGary comments to be interesting. “In 2013 savvy small businesses around the globe will learn valuable photo and video-editing skills to help drive their social media marketing efforts. Using their own cameras, smartphones and tablets, small businesses will leverage newly found creative skills to create content that impacts their audience. They will also solicit visual content from employees and customers. Small businesses will develop an eye for visual content marketing opportunities while learning editing tools such as iMovie, MovieMaker, Photoshop and PaintShop to help energize their business marketing approach.”
Yes, it no longer takes a multimedia genius to go out and take a decent picture or find a stock image and edit it within Photoshop, etc. Most smart phones contain cameras, video and audio capture software with a one-click social share mechanism. There's free online image editors out there as well.
I'd love to see a take on this article, rather research: FORRESTER: Facebook And Twitter Do Almost Nothing To Drive Sales.
"Social tactics are not meaningful sales drivers. While the hype around social networks as a driver of influence in eCommerce continues to capture the attention of online executives, the truth is that social continues to struggle and registers as a barely negligible source of sales for either new or repeat buyers. In fact, fewer than 1% of transactions for both new and repeat shoppers could be traced back to trackable social links." - Sucharita Mulpuru at Forrester Research
I find it interesting that I don't see word-of-mouth or referrals on that list. I think you get the results you measure. If you are looking for direct measurable ROI from an action you took, you will get these kind of results. I think it lacks depth. Where did the direct visits and organic or paid search come from?
If someone told me (perhaps on Facebook) a certain dealer was great, might I search for that dealer or go directly to their website?
Tom, most of the research DOES REFLECT "Word of Mouth" but it is not described or specifically measured that way... Let me explain; When we were going through hundreds of pages of research into social media and reputation management provided by the Ogilvy Agency for Ford, I noticed that in many cases when customers cited "Their Father" or "A Friend", other customers, family and coworkers, when we looked at HOW those "word of mouth" communications were being conducted, it was via a wide range of media... Email, SMS text, Facebook posts, messages, Tweets, comments on posts, forwarded articles from mother to daughter, etc. In almost all cases, the respondent did not attribute the influence to the medium, they assigned attribution to the person who used the medium.
Here is what we learned... If you are somebody the consumer knows, regardless of how, or what tool you use to communicate one-to-one, and you identify yourself, then YOU get attribution by the customer NOT the medium used. When mom sends you an email telling you to never buy an Acura because the people at the dealership were rude to her, you do not say you received the information via "Email Marketing", you say you got it from your mother! Same for when she uses social media messaging or posts a comment on your wall.
However, when the communications are "senderless" such as advertising that is from a business, or blog posts not authored by a person, but instead by a business. Those forms of messaging tend to be attributed to the medium rather than the sender.
Let me give you another example closer to home... If I describe one of J.D. Rucker's blog posts, or I say "From the Trenches", we think of Tom Gorham... Or J.D. Rucker... Not Apple Chevy or KPA... We may not even attribute receiving the information from ADM, we will cite their names; we got it from JD Rucker or Tom Gorham. This is also an example of when there is a "relationship" between the sender and the receiver.
There is obviously a lot of value in communicating as a person instead of as a company or business with a logo and no face. I believe this is something that social media has accelerated and enhanced, and will continue to do so... In the future, each of our own personal brands will become more important as the brands we represent become less significant in deciding whether or not to do business with you.
Ralph, thank you! You illustrated my case perfectly. Studies that don't show attribution to Social Media miss the point. They are not measuring it. They are measuring direct ROI from media rather than from the source. In other words, as I said, they lack depth.
In the real world in which I live, the salesperson doesn't probe when a customer says they were referred or that they heard good things about the dealership. "It doesn't matter where they heard it or what medium they heard it through."
It matters to me! I want to know the thread that led ultimately to the purchase. Call it big data, or call it whatever you want, it is the road to sales.
If you're referring to the graph, it's showing the effectiveness of driving sales through email marketing, paid searches, etc. versus social. Word of mouth and referrals aren't on there, because it's a measurement of digital marketing, specifically. I believe they are tracking whether a potential lead or customer bounces from a social media outlet to a website. The entire path analysis.
The entire point of Forrester's research, social isn't driving sales. Direct visits, organic search, PPC, E-mail marketing, etc. are pushing it. Granted, the entire E-commerce approach is much different in the automotive industry and much more difficult to measure than a digital download (simple). Very few people go to a dealer website and actually purchase online. They look, detail their potential purchase and then come in to the dealershp, so you're right, it's hard to quantify unless you have a decent CRM in place with contributing, cooperative sales people (indicating which marketing method brough the customer into the dealership for purchase).
Here's an interesting white paper from the same group, based upon social maturation and measuring it's value: http://success.adobe.com/en/na/programs/products/digitalmarketing/o...
Interesting report, Alexander. However in the appendix, there is another Forrester report listed that looks very interesting:
Thanks Joe! Will indeed give this a read.