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Employees are the key to social networking.

Stop trying to make a social network on your dealership's website with Facebook and Twitter accounts. If the stats on word of mouth marketing and social networking are correct, your dealership already has it's own HUGE social network inside the dealership, your employees. They are the key to your success in social networking. 80% of their friends will trust their opinion in products and services. Focusing on your employees social networks will and can put your dealership's messages, vehicles and services in front of 4,000 of their friends tomorrow.
The average Facebook user has 200+ friends. If your dealership has 100 employees and only 20 of them use Facebook and/or Twitter, there are your 4,000 friends. Because I'm a car guy and you only want to believe half of what I'm saying, that's still 2,000 friends. The average dealership Facebook fan page has 150 fans that turned off their Facebook emails because your spamming their Facebook account with boring factory video's and updates. Team dealerMouth

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Tags: blog, dealer, facebook, mouth, networking, social, twitter

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Comment by Scott Rainville on March 2, 2010 at 8:29am
Well put Jay. You have answered the question every dealer manager in every department should be asking, "Do the customers connect with the dealer principal or the person that fixes their problem?". I have been researching Facebook pages inside and outside of the auto industry to determine way to start a conversation on a Facebook Page. What I have noticed is people will "engage" on human interest stories the most. Tips and tricks need to come from people they trust, not people they necessarily recognize (ie your commercial spokesperson). If you do not know what is going on in the lives of your employees and working with them to put them out in front, you are probably not getting "quality time" with your customers. Facebook is a relationship tool and all the policies point towards a quality experience rather than quantity numbers. If you spend 15 minutes a week discussing what is going on with your employees you will have the beginnings of a great Facebook strategy.
Comment by David Johnson on February 26, 2010 at 9:00am
While I believe that "People" are the key to social networking every dealership should have a fan page, one that they use correctly. In fact with the new way Facebook shows their news feed, by default a dealerships fans will only see updates from fan pages or friends that interest them.

Facebook users show interest by commenting or clicking the like button, so if a dealership is only spamming, and not getting their fans to engage, then what they are posting will never been seen, unless of course they switch the default settings, and most people don't.

While this change caused a lot of frustration 3 or 4 months ago Facebook only had our best interest in mind. In effect, they did did away with spammers bothering you in your news feed. Having said all that a dealer should work hard to post updates that get their fans to engage, not only that but their employees as well.

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