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The truth is, I think, that advertising is out of control.  Now, I *do* support, but really that's because I strongly believe in the idea that dealers need great chances for education.  And I think the line-up is very, very good, and better than any other conference this year.  And I think you should go!!

Yes, it's hard to support the conference with a straight face because of all the SPAM rules being broken here and on Facebook about it.  If you want to teach dealers about online advertising, don't you need to lead first by example?  Would we tell a dealer that SPAMming is ever the right thing to do?  I hope not.

If you're on Facebook in automotive social circles, you've had a hard time not seeing promotions for  I'm sorry, I meant OVER-promotions:  I've counted up to 58 in one day across the FB groups I'm part of--and which many are also part of, and across several.  It's just the way it is with those groups, many are part of mutliples, and that's thousands of irritants that the conference may well never get over.  SPAM is a dumb mistake, even with good content--because content shared past the author's release is the real pot of gold in social media, but to do that you've got to avoid being so bright in your own promotions that you fade out your point.  And then can't follow the rainbow to the gold.

Well, if you can forgive that transgression (and I think you should), there is great content AT the conference that you will need.  Really, I'll forgive much of that SPAMming in order to avoid the same-old same-old at other conferences.  So, attend.

While you are there, though, perhaps you can stop and ask the folks teaching social media at the conference whether this Social SPAMming was the right approach?  And should dealers do it, too?

And then judge that person's service and their session by the answer they give.  Because the truth is easy:  The SPAMing was obviously a dumb idea and set a bad precedent.

Thankfully, the conference is still the most valuable conference this year.  Just dim the SPAM and look for the rainbow!  The gold is there.  ATTEND!

P.S. These opinions are mine, not co-opted or paid for, and not associated with anyone else but lil' ol' me.

by Keith Shetterly, Copyright 2012
All Rights Reserved

Views: 1081


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Comment by Keith Shetterly on August 14, 2012 at 8:37am

For the record, and this is important to me, I really, really, really think that AutoCON2012 is going to be the best conference of the year.  If you can attend, you should!!!  I mean, what OTHER conference is there where you can criticize it before it even happens?  Try criticizing any other conference and see what happens to you--I've done it, and, boy wow, was I slammed.  Hats off to Ralph & Co. for taking it and trying to make it a positive.

Comment by Timothy Martell on August 14, 2012 at 8:20am

LOL @ Ralph, I could actually hear your voice when I read, "Just opt out for crying out loud!" As always, I love the passion. But I wonder... Do you really want them to opt out? How do you get them back? Don't you want them to receive all of your content?

I guess the real question this brings up is, are all of these groups actually valuable? If you're telling me that it doesn't matter if they opt out of one or two of them, then that must mean there is no value to those groups that isn't already shared in the others. Thus making the groups themselves, spam! 

The point of these multiple groups is or at least should be to share unique content on a specific focus. And if that is the case the advertising content of those channels should be oriented toward that focus and no overlap should occur. 

Gear social media workshops, speakers, promotions to the social groups.SEO with SEO groups... etc

If you're just sharing everything with everyone then this is not effective marketing. This is exactly the kind of s*** we tell dealers not to do! Keith is dead on! Lead by example! Run multiple campaigns with specific focus. Hell there are tools out there that do it for you! If you're just going to put everything in a big pot and blast it out to the world, then well... thats just lazy.

You're right Ralph, spam in social media is an oxymoron. Because once it happens...*poof* they ARE gone. And you NEVER get them back. I know it seems overly dramatic but that statement sends chills down my spine. Its what we spend enormous amounts of time focusing on for our social media clients at Wikimotive. Constantly working and refining to minimize our clients attrition rates in social media. 

Don't forget the law of diminishing returns, Ralph. Blasting everyone for the 58th time to get one more person to sign up might not actually be a win... 

My 10 cents...

Comment by Nancy Simmons on August 14, 2012 at 7:24am

My pleasure Ralph...What you see is what your get from me!  LOL

Comment by Ralph Paglia on August 14, 2012 at 7:15am

Nancy Simmons - Thank you for sharing your wisdom... Very well stated, on multiple levels.

Comment by Nancy Simmons on August 14, 2012 at 6:44am

I think Keith has some truly valid points... I agree with Tom G that the retargeting marketing proved to be amazing... No matter what site I was on, what Youtube video I was watching, there was AutoConn... cool and a great success story for dealers.  The 18 notifications from Facebook groups was a bit over the top.  The irony is, the members of these groups are the same groups of people...mostly vendors who were added to the group when the group was created....same people!  So, for that reason, the over-aggressive approach may have proven to be a detriment. (However, the target audience, dealership people, are not really affected by that as they do no belong to those groups).  I do believe that AutoConn will be something special...the lineup of speakers, presenters, sponsors, workshops....all great stuff!!!  I wish you all the best of luck...With Tom Gorham on the panel, it has to be awesome!!! My advice would be to tone down Facebook ...big time so that when you do post on Facebook, your allies won't mind sharing the content and it will be more credible shared from 3rd parties.  Because this is the first, you don't have testimonials, video of past conferences, etc to share... I would embrace for 2013 a marketing strategy which comes from the 3rd party, clear and omniscient, rather than the self-promotional approach!  I love that Keith is not afraid to say what many are thinking and perhaps are not bold enough to state!  Being true to your convictions is a character trait which I admire so much in anyone!  A "True to Convictions" SM Marketing Strategy should be the plan for '13!  Wishing you all the best of luck....Think BIG with a TrueSocial mindset!  You got the makings of something powerful!!!!

Comment by Keith Shetterly on August 14, 2012 at 6:44am

Thomas Kelly offered me to repost his comments from the Facebook discussion on this topic (bold added by me):  "Thomas A Kelly Good article Keith. I had my belly full when I was tagged in a few AutoCon photos and posts made directly to my timeline...without asking me beforehand...I gladly like, repost/share many AC mentions when made by folks that I trust and admire. Tom Gorham comes to mind and a few others. Lines have been crossed and I simply opt out. I have no plans to opt back in after the event is over as some have said they intend to do. The irony is so strong...that it's OK to break the rules....The end justifies the means?...the end to me is "best practices"...when I see "worst practices" implemented to encourage attendance for an event about "best practices".....well, I become it really about best practices or is it really about enriching the presenters? Thanks Keith.....- My opinion and a buck won't even get you a coffee."

For every person talking about it, there's many more--hundreds?--that feel the same way.

Comment by Keith Shetterly on August 14, 2012 at 6:39am

Hi William.  For me, I'm not self promoting, because I don't have a product (dog) in this fight; I'm simply pointing out what I (and others) see as a negative for the conference.  So, to be clear, yes, I spend time with dealers--years, in fact, until May when I took a contract to work with a company.  Thanks.

Comment by William Phillips on August 14, 2012 at 6:24am

Artists of self promotion and information are at it again. This time it appears to much.  If you make your living telling others how much you think you know and not actually spending time in stores proving you know it, this kind of useless stuff happens. 

Do any of you actually spend time with dealers or just all day on these posts and reading emails, printing your knowledge for the world to know?

Comment by Keith Shetterly on August 14, 2012 at 6:19am

Ralph, that wasn't at all what you needed to do.  Sigh.  Anybody else like to chime in and explain it?  Bueller? Bueller?  :)

Comment by Ralph Paglia on August 14, 2012 at 6:16am

I think it is ironic that I just syndicated this blog from Keith in the same way I have syndicated so much content about AutoCon 2012... The difference is now, Keith will only see it a couple times, because I eliminated as many of the Group types of redundancies as I could find.

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