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Social Media Generates Sales -- CONTENT Baby, CONTENT!

Content is the answer to how to sell via social media. The easiest example is in the history of radio: Advertisers drew people to listen with interesting content and then did commercial announcements. This "hook'em and sell'em" device transited nicely to TV. And it's transiting to social media, as well! Give people a short and interesting mini-article, funny video, human-interest story, and THEN give them a link to your site/inventory/contact form/what-not.

My point is that we are all (or many of us, anyway) "doing it wrong"...Would somebody watch a thirty minute show about your dealership? NO. Would they watch a 10sec commercial on your dealership while watching a 30min popular show? Very likely. Will they keep you as a friend if you send them weekly content they are interested in,even if it ties (via link and even content) to your retail vehicle sales? SURE.

It's that simple: You monetize social media the same way you do the old media, by driving "viewership" with content and then culling leads from folks who are interested in your message.

I'm not saying this is where your own content should go, but you can imagine this being passed around Facebook . . . well, it was. This Suzuki dealer is now #1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGgmFQ-SMBw.

Not every TV advertiser bought time on The Gong Show or Jerry Springer. Foxnews gets viewers, too. Why do people pay attention to the advertisers?

Content, baby, content! Anyway, that's my $.02 of an answer. :)

Keith

P.S. Check out Ed Brooks' blog post http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profiles/blogs/facebook-p... about how the live news feed dominates Facebook now . . . guess what? That's CONTENT, baby, content of interest! :)

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Tags: media, sales, social, vehicle

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Comment by Scott Golembiewski on August 20, 2010 at 8:43am
"Consumers don’t want to “like” 1000 brands on Facebook, and they don’t want read the blog of their local dry cleaners. "

I agree with the first part of this statement, if the only intent in doing social media is to promote the brand then it's a bad move.

The second half however is making an assumption that a dry cleaning business could not create good content on a blog is completely wrong.

If they are just posting coupons and such then sure it wouldn't be good, but if they had a blog where they discussed things like "How we saved a $2000 Dolce & Gabbana suit" and it told a story about what happened and how they helped, that would be interesting to those who may be cautious about which dry cleaners to trust.

A dry cleaners blog would rank tremendously well if done with a little SEO in mind, so that's another great reason to have one - it'll send them more business.

There is no business out there that won't benefit by sharing authentic content, both good and bad about their business, it lowers the barrier and earns trust.
Comment by Keith Shetterly on August 20, 2010 at 8:28am
Internet 2.0 (Social Media) is to Internet 1.0: Facebook ads = PPC. Facebook news feed = SEO. If you want to get into, and STAY inside, a social news feed, it will be because of content. And it won't be "lookit me!" content. The facebook feed is the new TV, and "ignore" is the new channel selector . . .
Comment by Ed Brooks on August 20, 2010 at 8:01am
Here's a preview of what will happen if content isn't King: from SocialMediaToday, How the social media bubble will burst. In a nutshell, Bad Content.

"The social media bubble will burst when consumers get tired of companies’ inauthentic and unoriginal presences and promotions. Consumers don’t want to “like” 1000 brands on Facebook, and they don’t want read the blog of their local dry cleaners. The market will crash when consumers start ignoring bland, blatant attempts by late-comer companies who are now overloading our social networks and attention streams."
Comment by Scott Golembiewski on August 19, 2010 at 1:34pm
Make sure that you're creating remarkable content.

Remarkable content gets links - bloggers and other influential websites aren't going to link to your dealer website, get a blog.

Social networks like Facebook are good for sharing and directing people to remarkable content on your blog, but like Brogan mentions... it's not about you, its about posting to something remarkable and worth looking at,this is the key to building an audience.

Imagine yourself as the visitor landing on the page you just sent them to with a link, was it a waste of time or did it make them want more?

What more would that visitor want to know, what links should you place in the post, images, documents, quotes, etc. Look at your analytics - what search terms brought them there, perhaps you need to branch out with a new page of content based on the keywords sending traffic.

Try guest posting on popular blogs, when people read your writing they'll want to visit your site and perhaps subscribe to your RSS, have something on your blog that exposes your personality and respond to every single comment with a personal reply or welcome them.

Once you build out solid content, begin to rank, get links to your site from authoritative domains (guest posting), local credit unions, county websites, etc.

It's not impossible to do, it takes time and a lot of patience. The more diligent and methodical you are the better your results.
Comment by Ralph Paglia on August 19, 2010 at 1:11pm
There is also an informative presentation in PDF file format to download within the post I did on today's Automotive Nows Social Media Seminar.
http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profiles/blogs/moving-the...
Comment by Ralph Paglia on August 19, 2010 at 1:08pm
Ed Brooks - Thanks for the positive reference! http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/video/chris-brogan-dont-b...
Comment by Ed Brooks on August 19, 2010 at 11:37am
Check out Ralph's new post featuring great video from Chris Brogan. All about how NOT to do Social Media and confusing a sales pitch with real content.

Don't be that guy!
Comment by Keith Shetterly on August 19, 2010 at 7:34am
Exactly, Ed. What perfect example with Autotrader! Thank you.
Comment by Ed Brooks on August 19, 2010 at 7:06am
Keith,
It never ceases to amaze me how many folks put the cart before the horse. Their first thought is, "how can I generate fans?", not "what content will keep them?". AutoTrader started with an inventory of every car sold at a Manheim Auction, every car in an ADP system and every car in any Trader Publishing magazine. They knew that without inventory (content), they'd never attract and keep eyeballs. they got the content right first and the rest is history.

AutoTrader.com is still following that principle on their Facebook page and with their FaceBook Live Stream. They feed about one interesting story a day. It could be a story about a Jaguar XJ Sentinel armored car, or a bunch of high school kids building the most efficient electric car in the world. Fun, engaging, entertaining automotive content. And no oil change coupons!
Comment by Scott Empringham on August 18, 2010 at 9:47am
Another example of the new 2010 Lincoln MKZ - "Bunkbedded" over the Dealer's site, containing information from the Dealer within the video. We create the asset once, give it to all the participating dealers. http://fpcbb.com/walkaround.aspx?item=950

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