Professional Community for Automotive Marketers, Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
EDITOR NOTE: Based on an article by David Griner, a social media strategist for Luckie and Company
The answer is easy: human nature. And as we all know, humans (and especially car guys) are constantly beset by malicious temptations. So as a service to the ADM Community, we've decided to break down the Seven Deadly Sins that make social media go sour for car dealers who did not see it coming.
(Click on the tips below to learn more from this article's source.)
Here's our take on what the above linked research tells us...
So keep it in your pants and truly get to know the first people who connect with you or your dealership's "brand". In return, they might just love you enough to visit the dealership in person, or send you a referral.
2. Gluttony: Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Once a dealership decides to take a seat at the social media table, they often dig in with gusto. The downside: They want (or want their service provider) to be everywhere at once, spreading themselves across the Web instead of being strategic and focused. You don’t need accounts on all social networks — just the right ones... Say, the top 340 out of thousands.
3. Greed: It’s hard to shake hands while you’re reaching for someone’s wallet. We’d all like to make some gross profit, kill a few bears and move some metal through social media, and if your dealership is strong, it’ll happen. But if all you do on your Twitter feed or Facebook page is spout off about this weekend's memorial day BIG SALE messages, no one’s going to stick around. Be human, be a real person and simply be yourself. Be helpful... Answer some questions. Be a good listener. Then the sales and gross profits will come to you. Think of social media as "Zen Selling" or as I have said to several dealers, social car sales is like selling cars by accident!
4. Sloth: Always avoid the temptation to “set it and forget it.” Starting a blog, building a Facebook Fan Page? or creating a presence on a social network? That’s easy. Keeping it alive and growing? That takes commitment, adaptability and good-old elbow grease. You would never open a storefront, then close shop two weeks later because of low turnout. Go for the long term, and plan accordingly.
5. Wrath: There are a lot of people out there itching for a punch in the nose, but you’re not the one to give it to them. Once you’re active online, you’re bound to get a few critics. Some will offer valuable feedback. Some will shout obscenities (tell them to come down and meet your friend, the used car manager). You won’t have a hard time telling the difference, so focus on the ones who deserve a response. And no matter what, never lash out. Your scathing “private” e-mail will probably end up on 100 blogs before breakfast, and the Internet has a long (if not infinite) memory.
6. Envy: Don’t be dissuaded by other people “doing it better than you.” Someone will always have more followers, more blog comments, more write-ups in Digital Dealer. Focus on who you are and what your dealership has to offer, not on what the other guy is doing. And when you must steal an idea (because hey, it happens, I do it all the time), find a way to make it so much bigger and better, no one can even recognize the original.
7. Pride: Stay humble, rock star. Successful social media really is easier than you’d think. If you plan ahead, pace yourself and listen more than you talk, you’ll strike a chord with your dealership's existing customer base and in-market shoppers will see you taking care of customers and become raving fans and customers for life, like what Carl Sewell does at Sewell Lexus in Dallas... Showing the market, and prospective car buyers that you enjoy conversing with and helping previously sold customers will open new opportunities and enhance your dealership's (and your own) brand in ways you never imagined. But don’t let it go to your head. There’s always more work to do!