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Cheating with Emotions is Technically not Cheating on Facebook

I ran across an obstacle with a dealer's Facebook page the other day. They were heavily supporting the local chapter of the March of Dimes and had some great pictures and videos compiled by the staff. None of this was on their website, Facebook page, or anywhere in their social media presence.

"We aren't doing it for the exposure. We're doing it for the charity," he said.

When we do good things, it's in our nature to want to feel like we're doing these things for the benefit of the recipient rather than for some self-serving reasons. Most do not like to "toot their own horn" about the good things they do in the community and within society in general. Doing so sours the experience and makes us feel like we're not properly motivated.

This couldn't be further from the truth within a dealership environment. Showing support doesn't end when the check is written. There is exposure for the charity, awareness of the cause, and the influence as a community leader that comes into play. For these and other reasons, dealers who "hide" their good deeds are doing a disservice to those they're trying to help.

 

Exposure

Sharing exposure is good for everyone involved. If, as in the case of the March of Dimes dealer described above, you're goal is to help raise money through an event, then the dealership and the charity benefit from getting the word out as much as possible. This should be put on the website, blasted out multiple times through social media, and be very visible within the store itself.

Exposure helps to get people to know what's going on. They can't help out by donating themselves if they don't know where or how to donate.

 

Awareness

After the event is over, some say that it's time to stop posting (if they were posting from the start). Posting pictures, videos, or stories describing the event and the charity around it seems like "tooting" since the time to donate is over. This couldn't be further from the truth.

There are two primary tools that charities can use: money and awareness. Just because you're done with the money component doesn't mean that you shouldn't participate in raising awareness after the event. Dealers should latch on and increase the publicity levels of the charity well after the checks are cashed and they've moved onto the next event.

 

Leadership

This is arguably the most beneficial of the three primary reasons to expose your dealership's participation with charities. If you're dealership is doing business right, you're already a leader in the community. If the dealership is new or hasn't done things right for the community in the past, these charitable events are a great way to get started.

As a dealership, your influence in the community can be strong. People can look up to you as a strong local supporter of the community. Businesses can look up to you as an example to follow. When you're leading by example and getting involved in the community or through charities, you have the opportunity to inspire others to do the same thing.

At that point, you're not just a business. You're a leader.

* * *

Post your activities regardless of how "self-promotional" they seem. If your dealership is operating from a sincere perspective, you're doing more harm than good by hiding what you're doing in the community.

Views: 232

Tags: charities, facebook

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Comment by Cathy Nesbit on October 26, 2012 at 12:05pm

That's a great way to put it J.D.!

Comment by J.D. Rucker on October 26, 2012 at 9:16am

Thanks Diane!


Cathy and Dan, perhaps the best argument to make with reluctant owners is to point out that Facebook is loaded with meaningless crap, pictures of cats and bacon-wrapped everything. Any time there's an opportunity to turn a portion of the 1 billion eyes that focus on Facebook towards a good cause, a meaningful endeavor, than it's not just an option to share good deeds. It's a responsibility.

Comment by Cathy Nesbit on October 26, 2012 at 7:30am

The owner I work for has been a huge charitable giver since the 80's when he opened up. He is the same way, not a horn tooter. I have made it my job to toot his horn for him. He still tries to hide stuff from me! He does so many great things for the community. I'll take pics etc when I can and make mention on social media (cause that's where I work). Even if the wording is like, .."today we did this or that or Mr. Robinson provided this for that"...then I might even say something like, "and it's a good thing I was there, cause he wouldn't have said a word!" He does so many good things for the community & I'm glad they have me to speak up for them because they are happy to never tell.

Comment by Dan Fontaine on October 26, 2012 at 6:48am

Funny, I was just speaking about this with my boss the other day when trying gain support for my movember team. If we had one or two people participate at each location and do a donation match (with a cap) I felt it would be great way to raise awareness and show our support, through putting it our sites, social, newletters and more,and  raise more money towards movember than if we didn't participate and donation match.  I got the  " we don't do charity for recognition " you referenced here JD. Still working on it and hopefully that I get some of my Colonial men to join up, there is still time. I am forwarding this article. Thanks JD! 

Comment by Diane Anderson on October 26, 2012 at 6:27am

What an awesome article, very thought provoking! Thanks for taking the time to post.

Comment by J.D. Rucker on October 26, 2012 at 6:10am

Thanks Tom and Meaghan. I hadn't thought of that one, Tom.

Comment by Meaghan Walker on October 26, 2012 at 6:09am

Great article JD!!! 

Comment by Tom Gorham on October 26, 2012 at 5:34am

JD, the title of this post nearly through me off, but I really got into the article.  I might add that some dealers fear that if they publicize their charitable contributions, they will be beseiged with requests.  But you make some excellent points as to why that publicity actually helps the cause more than just the dealer's money.  You're right; it's leadership.  Thank you!

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