Professional Community for Car Dealers, Automotive Marketers and Sales Managers
Hi all. I have been posting a lot more content lately, including daily tips from my travels on internet marketing. I've been rotating between here, DrivingSales, and DealerElite and wondered if that's the right approach.
I know many of us are members of those three and others and I personally don't like seeing duplicate posts across all of them. There are exceptions - industry news, webinars, poll questions, etc - but for the most part I write a post for one network and see what happens. I might repost the content on another network in the future if it's relevant, but I like to post one type of content here (anything controversial or "groundbreaking"), another type of content on DrivingSales (comprehensive How-To posts, normally), and something entirely different on DealerElite (quick, dealer-centric tips and tricks).
Am I crazy? Should I be posting everything on every network every time? I see more and more duplicate and/or regurgitated content hitting all of the networks at the same time. Is that the best way to go? It obviously makes for increased exposure of a message, but I don't believe that just because we're all automotive professionals that we go to each network for the same reasons.
Tell me I'm right. Tell me I'm full of crap. Tell me something.
J. D. - I have done both, and tried variations based on certain content going to selected sites based on some type of reasoning on my part... This is certainly no secret to you and many others. I have at times posted content published exclusively on ADM, then syndicated the headline, first 200 characters and an image all packaged up with a link to a Facebook Profile, Page or Group along with a tweet linking back to the ADM article. I also routinely send blog posts by email to Posterous, Blogger, Wordpress and other blog platforms from my iPhone that do not appear on ADM... Sometimes I know that content has been posted to too many of my profiles and social media accounts, to the point where I have gone back and deleted the posts from my wall, profile, etc.
However, with all that said... Posting the same article or content to multiple auto industry specialized communities and forums, such as the four you identified, is a practice I have personally shied away from after doing it a lot several years ago. My feeling was that there was little positive to it and potentially a "respect" issue for the founders/operators of the other networks.
So... Obviously I have a biased perspective, but I do find myself doing a lot more of what you described, posting different types of content to different places based on the appropriateness of the fit.
I also find myself limiting content syndication activities to reduce the amount of duplicate email alerts sent to twitter followers, Facebook Group members, etc.
At any rate, you have raised a thought provoking issue with your post, and I appreciate it more than most people because I have done what you describe to extremes in every direction... One content in one place, one to many, copy and pasted duplicate content, syndicated to many, as well as to few.
Ultimately, just like managing content marketing for dealers, if those of us who publish to the automotive community do a better job of placing the right content in the right place in front of the right people, we will be more successful than those who simply shotgun content anywhere and everywhere. The problem with shotgunning everywhere is that we end up irritating the very people we are seeking to connect with.
I think you have the right method, personally, JD. I think there is a lot of cross-membership (if that's the right word) in all those communities and if the same thing is posted on all the sites, the only real value a blogger has to a particular site is the unique content posted to it.
When I worked in a dealership, I first joined the online community here on ADM. I didn't really visit any others so I was only exposed to the people in this community. I think, for the most part, that may be true for a lot of the dealership viewers. I could be wrong but I can guarantee you that IF they venture outside their first community, and all they see if the exact same content on all the other sites, they won't bother visiting them anymore, and just go back to the initial site they started on assuming that they aren't missing anything.
Now, I understand why people post on all the sites - exposure. You can still have exposure on all the sites, however. Just post unique content to each one, as you describe. I do, however, think you should mix-up your posts more than what you describe (these types of posts for that site, etc.) and post different types of stuff on every site. Maybe rotate through the sites, if you feel like it, and post your newest article on whatever site is on the "site up-list". The reason I say this is that Im sure (as I explained above) there are members of each site that DON'T go to the other sites so if you only post certain types of articles to a particular site, then that member would only get to see that side of you. In example, if you only post comprehensive "How-to" posts on DrivingSales, isn't that neglecting that there may be some ADM readers that need a "How-to" article? (You get my point.)
Either way, all your stuff is great and Im sure that every site is happy to have your content. This was just my 2 cents.
Arnold - Very nicely stated... We appreciate your insight.
Thanks, Ralph. :)
@Ralph - Syndication is good for exposure, particularly if you have smaller networks or niche networks through which to draw in the readers to the primary content. Full posts - that's the part that concerns me. At the very least I hope to post some things here, some things there, then re-expose them on the other networks spaced out over time.
I check the sites simultaneously in most situations. It's rare that I will check just one - I do my automotive industry checkups all at once. I may be odd, but it works for me. Love your style, Ralph - keep us informed!
@Manny - I would never be able to catch up to Grant. He's a rockstar. I'm a groupie :(
@Arnold - Right, right, right, and right. Agreed 100%.
Thanks, JD! You know what would be an interesting experiment though....
Take a long comprehensive how-to article and put "Part 1" on ADM, "Part 2" on DrivingSales, etc. so as to spread the whole article through all the sites.
It'll get you exposure on all the sites. Get unique content to all the sites.... and may bring new members to each site, as well (at the very minimum, interested viewers will follow the post).
I'd love to see how that played out.
I've done it twice. The first time it worked well - a 17-part article across all of the networks, big and small.
I did another a week or two ago - not as successful. It was probably because it was done about Twitter. Seems like dealers don't like Twitter much anymore. I did 7 good tips and fed them into each other with each leading to the next on a different site. It didn't track well - none of the videos got triple-digit views.
hmm.. ok then. That settles that. :)
I'm puzzled about this because when I post the same article on different sites, I get different people engaging on the article...with different perspectives.
The more frequent issue is posting an article with no feedback...except from industry vendors or insiders.
Meaning, you write a post to help dealers and the only people that respond are other community writers, community moderators, or vendors.
I recently shared this concern on another community site and the need for community to engage the content that is shared. Communities are a 2-way street. Oddly enough, the people that responded to the post, were mostly writers, moderators, and vendors...and very little dealers.
So, as much as we say the unique content rules, I would cringe at seeing who are the most frequent responders on any community...are there 30-50 people that make up 80% of all comments in any community that has 5,000+ members?
Brian, your post "may" be helping dealers even though they don't engage. I agree that, as a writer, it's nice to get feedback, comments and questions on blog posts but it's not always going to happen.
Oh to be Seth Godin... alas, there are not many people that can write a paragraph or two and have it go viral.. every day.
Brian - I have been studying the issue you describe for a long... long... time. You see the metrics from various sites, so I suspect you have noticed that the vast majority of unique visitors are NOT members. This site, for example gets between 10,000 to 25,000 unique visitors each month, with many of the member visitors entering the site over 20 times a month. BUT, there are months where I feel confident in saying that over 10,000 unique visitors are not members, and they cannot comment or post unless they complete a very long and arduous registration process designed to weed out the spammers and less committed visitors... Plus, new members must be approved before they can comment or post, and ADM averages about 5 member applicants a week who are not accepted because of blatantly bogus membership profile data.
With all that said, beside the fact that getting somebody who is working hard to sell and service cars to take time to contribute typed in content is difficult, to say the least, a lot of people in the business simply cannot be bothered with doing what it takes to be authorized to contribute... And it is so much easier to simply glean out anything useful and give nothing back in return.
I have found from personal experience that for the most part, the people in the auto business who contribute their time and energy to share lessons learned, experience and insights on ADM or any other online community, are generally some of what I consider to be the best people in the car business.
It is a process of self selection... The 80% who take, do so without shame, guilt or being identified... While the 20% who give back to their professional community do so without malice or hostility to the 80% who don't.
Who would you want to work with?
I want to work with all of you guys. Then again, I'm biased.