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When it comes to measuring and tracking online and trying to determine what your return on investment is with social media, you first need to ask yourself why you want to participate in social media in the first place. If the answer is to build your brand, achieve top of mind awareness, position your dealership as a well respected organization and valuable part of the local community, or simply to develop and maintain a base of customers who are loyal and following your dealership's activities in the social web, then you are in it for the right reasons. Currency in social media is found in both relationships and content... With both yielding substantial Return on Investments made by dealers in social media marketing and reputation management when done correctly, consistently and with a genuine intent on being transparent and forthcoming.
Still, dealerships cannot improve on any type of marketing activities if they don't measure. For many automotive marketing professionals, the way they track and measure their Social Media Reputation Management activities is by measuring associated traffic, the sales they can attribute to social media, and the impact their work has on SEO "Footprint" and ranking.
Here are some free tools that can help automotive digital marketing professionals:
The next step is to measure your success by asking whether you were able to build more relationships with your target market through your efforts online. You can reach out to your target market by typing in keyword searches in the connection section on social sites. For example, on LinkedIn you can use the "search people" tool.
Then, form stronger relationships with these contacts to convert them into fans. One of the best ways to build stronger relationships is to engage with automotive consumers and enthusiasts through conversation.
Facebook allows you to set up a dealership "Fan Page" and use it to share syndicated or direct placement content, videos, photos, auto industry insider posts and more. This is an excellent way to build a base of dealership raving fans online.
No matter how your social media efforts and results are measured, Car Dealers still need to be able to determine whether or not a social media program is raising the bar, moving cars, driving people into your service department or otherwise making an impact. This largely depends on the dealership's social media objectives. Because these objectives dramatically differ based on the organization, it's impossible to agree upon standards. That doesn't mean, however, you can't measure ROI at the social media marketing campaign level by implementing a few key measurement systems. --