If you are an Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community member
, then you inherently understand the power of social media... The fact that you are reading this blog post is validation of social media's inherent capabilities! The ADM Community is pure social media
in all its glory, along with many of the other sites that seek visitors from those that work in the auto industry. We know that ADM is filled with a cornucopia of User Generated Content (UGC)
and lots of "How To" information within the member posted blogs and forum discussions. In fact, this social media site has a wide variety of information showing members how to use Social Media Marketing as a tool
for achieving a variety of car dealership business objectives
... Plus, if you have been using either ADM or any of the other automotive professional sites
for awhile, think about how much personal and professional value you have gained from engaging with experienced and successful people working at other dealerships and elsewhere within the car business.
Useful to both experienced automotive digital marketing and Internet Sales Management professionals
, and for those who are just now getting into either the car business, or switching to an Internet Sales Manager role
, there are many high value online automotive social media marketing resources
available. Here are a few blogs, communities and professional networks served up on social media platforms that I like the most:
1. The ADM Professional Community
2. Jeff Kershner's DealerRefresh
3. Jared Hamilton's DrivingSales
4. David Kain's Automotive Idea Exchange
Many of us have benefited from our involvement with these sites and other automotive professional site like them. How is this possible when you consider that there is no direct costs in joining them? We get to benefit from the fact that most of them are specifically targeted to people working in the car business who have experienced the personal benefits received from helping others succeed. The contributors to these sites understand how participation can help improve their ability to attract, hire and retain top performing professionals... Help improve their own job performance from feedback received on the content they post... The power of getting hooked up with the right professional networking... They know that a rich and robust content rich social media network
in the form of professional community gives all of us the compelling evidence needed to transform many of the dealerships we work in, or with.
And, on top of all that, social media sites have even been the source of revealing the secret to getting any woman (or man) we want just by reading the blog about those rare and hard to obtain human pheromones that drive those of the opposite sex we encounter wild with passion! Yup, social media revealed what all those rich and famous celebrities keep trying to hoard only for themselves.... Am I convinced that social media is a big deal? Hell yes!
Many ADM members have reported, and the people who work in dealerships that I visit and work with tell me that they find it difficult to get management to listen and take social media seriously... How do you convince a Dealer Principal or a General manager that social media is important when they have difficulty justifying small investments in any type of people or processes needed to effectively handle leads, or any of the other digital marketing necessities that are needed to take advantage of the single most popular tool used by car buyers for far longer than the emergence of social media as a marketing force to be reckoned with?
Does the dealer principal you work for fail to see the importance of social media?
Does your General Manager think that creating a "Web Branding" strategy, or generating "Top of Mind Awareness" of your dealership among online car buyers is a waste of time?
Did your IT Manager get approval to spend thousands of dollars for a WebSense Internet Filtering Server, for use as a means of blocking dealership employee access to Facebook, YouTube and MySpace? Does that same server block access to Gmail and Yahoo email accounts?
Have you ever been the subject of snide remarks after being "busted" while using Twitter to find car buyers?
Has your dealer, General Manager or any member of your dealership's management team ever seen any one of more than a dozen video clips on YouTube that present the facts on how important social media has become?
Last week I was looking for some of those "Did You Know" video clips for one of our ADP executives who is making a social media presentation at NADA. While slogging away on Google search I inadvertently found a presentation on Slideshare.net that caught my eye with it's "What the F**k" headline. As it turns out, this clip is an updated version of a presentation that has been around quite awhile... Long enough to have been revised a couple of times, spawn several versions (including a "Clean" one) and even have a special anniversary version created and distributed... It is titled: "What the F**k is Social Media?".
Apparently It was quite the rage in social media marketing circles when it first appeared in 2008.
I couldn't resist the urge to go though it using the Slideshare.net presentation viewer, and I was very impressed by how the "Director" that created the presentation slides uses a mixture of comedic profanity, taking several well worded jabs at those "People in Power" (such as many General Sales Managers) that provoke many of us to ask "How did such a moron ever get into such a position of power?
"... Ms. Kagan uses a blatant "in your face" approach, citing the overwhelmingly compelling facts, then quoting recognizable big name marketing experts to build a case for utilizing the marketing horsepower growing generated by the mnost popular media channel in human history... Communication tools that grow more powerful each and every day with the increasing popularity and mass adoption of so many different sites within the "Social Media" space.
2009 was a genuinely crappy year for the car business, most would agree it was the worst year since the auto industry shut down for World War II. But it was also the year that will forever be known as the "Tipping Point" that revealed to anyone working in the car business, at least anyone that was paying attention and not completely in a coma from shock induced by economic conditions... how significant social media has become. Sites such as Twitter
have emerged as simply the most cost effective means ever invented for getting information distributed to people you have a connection with!
Here's the reality of what happened last year, what many people might mistake for hype or as the next fad to quickly fade away is actually the auto industry awakening to what many other commercial verticals have already learned... In 2009 the car business finally learned in mass about the power of blogging, while the Real Estate industry has been using blogs effectively for over 5 years!
Anyways, enough of the soap box preaching, in the presentation viewer embedded below, Ms. Kagan displays a series of facts that have grown to even more powerful levels since this version was last updated, but which are still mind boggling at their Summer 2009 levels shown here... Kagan is brilliant in her use of an approach that creates ample supplies of Bart Simpson "Doh!" factor in "What the F**k is Social Media".
Since I doubt that most Dealers and GM's have ever seen this presentation, I am thinking about using it to open my workshop sessions at the NADA conference. The 2 workshops are scheduled for Saturday February 13 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM and on Sunday February 14, 2010 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM and both will focus on social media marketing and reputation management for car dealers... It would be great to get some feedback from anyone reading this, but please hit the arrows in the embedded media player and go through the whole thing before forming any harsh opinions. I have embedded the Slideshare.net player below, which makes it easy to go see the author's original post if you want to: