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There’s a problem I have been seeing a lot lately among businesses who are late to adopting social media. They are excited, just raring to go (which is admirable) but they have no perspective on what they’re getting themselves into.

They look up every possible social network and just start registering. Now, I’m a big proponent of social media as part of a successful automotive seo strategy, but it needs to be approached cautiously.

If you’re new to social media, or if you’re feeling overwhelmed by your current social presence, here are a few ways to get everything under control:

1. Start small. Social media is a great tool, but only if it is being used actively. I’d recommend you start with just Facebook and Twitter. These are the big two (if you want to start with just one, make it Facebook). Get in the habit of posting regularly and, even more importantly, get in the habit of interacting with fans and followers. When businesses spread themselves too thin, engagement is what suffers. Don’t let this happen to you. Stick with just one or two social networks until you truly feel you’ve got the time, knowledge and energy to expand.

2. Have a voice. This voice will largely depend on who is in charge of your social presence. If you have a talented, funny writer on your staff, then I’d say have them take charge of social media. Just be sure they have a firm grasp on business appropriate humor as well as your clientele’s sense of humor. If you’re in a more serious industry, then make sure the tone matches your business. For instance, an automotive dealership will be friends with pretty much anyone, so they can by funny but need to focus on mass appeal. A more tech based company will probably focus on IT related humor. A funeral home probably shouldn’t be making jokes at all, because for some reason a sale saying, “We’ll urn your loved one’s business!” doesn’t go over well. (If you have a better funeral home advertisement joke, by all means share it here.)

3. Post consistently. If you look through my blog and others here, you’ll find plenty of advice on the best times to post. If you really want to get the most out of social media, figure out the schedule that works for you and stick to it. Sporadic posting can hurt you and over-posting can be even worse. Keep it to a strict schedule and never slack on your content. Once you can do this for one or two social networks, then you should look into expanding further.

Original post about social media can be found on Wikimotive's blog under the title, "3 Tips to Avoid Social Media Overload."

Views: 214

Tags: 3 tips for newbs, automotive, seo, social media, wikimotive

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Comment by Timothy Martell on December 16, 2012 at 12:43pm

LOL. Tom, I'd be a terrible politician. There is no PC in me. :) Unlike Mr. Obama, I could not have calibrated those words better.

Comment by Tom Gorham on December 16, 2012 at 12:35pm

"Just because everyone is excited to go, doesn't mean they should puke on every social network out there."  LOL  Really Tim, so colorful, but I agree with you.  In the strategy I put together for the employee I mentioned, I laid out the responsibilities that go with it.  Whatever he does has to fall within the guidelines of our policies regarding social media and reputation management.  One of the reasons our store has a great reputation is that each employee has had it drilled into them what that means.

Comment by Timothy Martell on December 16, 2012 at 11:56am

Thanks for all the great feedback, Tom and Ralph! Ralph, there is no question that dealers with strong contributions from staff achieve the best results. But that still apply's to the advise here. Just because everyone is excited to go, doesn't mean they should puke on every social network out there.

If a dealership has strong buy-in from internal personnel, it should still be focused on mastering one social network and then another, rather than signing up the dealership for 12 social networks and everyone only posts every other day to each... 

Comment by Tom Gorham on December 16, 2012 at 11:10am

This guy already has many of the pieces started by doing walkaround videos, checking and responding sometimes on our Facebook page, and getting photos and reviews from his customers.  Now we will set up a blog for him and start tying all the pieces together and interweaving them with applechevy's assetts.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on December 16, 2012 at 7:59am

Tom Gorham - That is actually a great example of what I was referring to... Maybe there are better ways, but I swear that the dealers who are experiencing the greatest success with social media driven sales and service business are the ones with the most employees participating.  I also see this in dealerships with well staffed BDC departments and the 6 to 10 people in the BDC are all active dealership social media participants whenever they are on duty.  It seems that there is a benefit from all the activity coming from a diverse set of users.

Comment by Tom Gorham on December 16, 2012 at 6:31am

BTW, happy Sunday guys!

Comment by Tom Gorham on December 16, 2012 at 6:29am

Ralph, that reminds me of Ryan Leslie's post about becoming the brand within the brand.  I liked it so much, I attended his online webinar about the subject a week later.  I then downloaded his webinar and sent it to all the sales staff and managers.  A day later one of the sales staff, a true pro and moneymaker, requested that I assist him in creating a larger online profile.  I've drawn up a strategy for him that will benefit him and the dealership.  I can't wait to implement it and watch him become a star.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on December 16, 2012 at 3:24am

As much as I respect the advice posted, the dealerships that I see achieving the greatest levels of success using social media are also the same stores where more of their employees are participating in their social media initiatives. The dealerships I see where one person or a very small number of people are "allowed" to participate never seem to get much in the way of results.

It seems to me that getting more participation on social networks with your employees should be the first order of business...

Getting engagement and participation with your dealership's suppliers and their employees should be the second initiative...

Then, when you get some activity, content and genuine social engagement going with employees and suppliers, start inviting the customers... Who the heck likes being the first people to show up at a party?

Comment by Tom Gorham on December 15, 2012 at 6:40pm

Tim, I think you are right on target.  This is excellent advice.  I love the pic.  When you begin, you are faceless untill you are able to define your image.  Make sure the person or people you delegate this responsibilty to are able to create the image you actually present to the public.  Hmmmm, if that real image is not so good, work on that first.

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