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The truth is, I think, that www.AutoCon2012.com advertising is out of control.  Now, I *do* support www.AutoCON2012.com, 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 www.AutoCON2012.com 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 www.AutoCON2012.com.  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 www.AutoCON2012.com 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 www.AutoCON2012.com 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  www.keithshetterly.com
keithshetterly@gmail.com

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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.

Comment by Keith Shetterly on August 14, 2012 at 6:15am

Philip, exactly one of the key things that was missing was audience participation "Make the audience part of the game and allow us to root for you by setting an attendance goal and updating us on the progress in the ads."

I'm reminded of the parade scene in the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"--there is huge audience participation because in the story the character INVOLVES the audience and plays to them.  Maybe because I had an entertainment company for years I get this better than most, but getting people participating and talking about you is the true key of social media.  Getting folks to opt out on you is, well, . . . a fundamental marketing error.

Comment by Keith Shetterly on August 14, 2012 at 6:11am

Ralph, you never, ever want to have someone opt out from SPAM.  I don't need an apology, my friend, I just need you guys to understand that you don't WANT folks to see you that way and don't WANT folks to unsubscribe.  This is a fundamental misunderstanding, either by me of what you just wrote, or by you of what social media is!  I'm shocked either way.

And it wasn't just a few of us.  And it wasn't just you.  It was you and Brian and you and Brian and you and Brian and you and Brian.  And you and Brian.  

You attended the party of Social Media, and you interrupted every conversation and dropped your business card into every drink.  Why make yourself that pariah?  The real key to social media is content that gets passed around--become the buzz at the party, not the guy who gets told "buzz off!" at the party.  Because when that takes hold in social media, via opt outs you never even know about, you can't easily get it back.

Thanks!

Comment by Ralph Paglia on August 14, 2012 at 5:57am

Stephen Jackson - The retargeting, contextual targeting, behavioral targeting and search, display and video advertising that was and is being deployed to promote AutoCon 2012 has been highly effective from a metrics and performance perspective, especially on an ROI basis... After the conference, we will take a deep dive into the specific campaign numbers and point on some of the tactics deployed.  This is something I will collaborate with Brian Pasch to prepare. He and I have been working together pretty much a daily basis for the marketing and advertising campaigns that support AutoCon 2012.

In my opinion, the collaboration between Brian and I has been remarkably effective.

Speaking of which, has anyone seen the tall narrow display ad we published in Automotive News on Monday 8/13?

Comment by Philip Moore on August 14, 2012 at 5:47am

Kudos to Ralph and Brian for getting this conference into the collective consciousness.  That's not an easy thing to do in this age of oversaturation.  However, I have to agree with Keith that the volume starts evoke a sense of desperation.  I'm sure there will be plenty of folks in attendance, but if you are going to advertise this heavily, make an update on registration part of the message.  Make the audience part of the game and allow us to root for you by setting an attendance goal and updating us on the progress in the ads.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on August 14, 2012 at 5:27am

Keith, First of all, let me apologize for sending far too much AutoCon 2012 promos, articles, videos, images and the like your way... Secondly, as part of putting action to back up my apology, I took a fair amount of time and corrected several mistakes I had made, which may have led to you and quite a few other people I consider to be professional friends receiving redundant post notices. I included you and a slew of other automotive professionals in far too many overlapping Facebook Groups, and the like... You should notice far less "spam" originating from my own user profiles and the groups I admin in the future.  That is certainly the hazard with having a few dozen people that you want to include in "everything".

However, I would like to point out that any user of any social media channels, or at least the few I am familiar with (about 100), can easily "unsubscribe", "Leave a Group", "Block" another user profile etc.  So, despite the case you make, there was always the option to "Opt Out".  I have said this before and I will say it again; since most social media sites provide a wide array of settings and options to control the posts you are exposed to and the email you receive, the concept of "Social Media Spam" is an oxymoron... Just opt out for crying out loud! (or maybe before you cry out loud) 

I had one Facebook user send me an email, text message me, call me on my cell and post in several places his request that I "Unfriend" him on Facebook because of content I was syndicating out from here, the ADM Community... Unfriend me yourself you idiot! What is 2 clicks away, and easily found eluded this social media genius, and instead he put so much effort into messaging me, that it dwarfed hitting the "Unfriend" tab himself.  

There REALLY is no excuse for putting up with unwanted content posts on your own personal wall, or in your email inbox... Just "click" and **POOF** it is gone! 

I have been doing it for years... It is remarkably invigorating, and easy to undo if you change your mind down the road.

Comment by Keith Shetterly on August 13, 2012 at 7:14pm

SPAM on social media is a negative; you get invited off a Facebook page, and there's twenty people already ignoring you.  The positive, however, is this discussion, which can be posted tweeted and in support of AutoCON2012 is more valuable passed that way than any SPAM on social media.  It's not a lesson learned, to me, except that even those who know better will try anything if they feel it's needed.

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