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Quick Social Selling Hacks for Automotive: Twitter and LinkedIn

Leveraging social media for sales is no longer an option. Facebook is the go-to channel for dealerships these days, but Twitter and LinkedIn are invaluable resources for sales professionals willing to put in a little time and effort.  The greatest resource sales professionals in any market can have is a vast network of supportive, and mutually beneficial professional partnerships. Social selling strategies will help you develop that resource.  Still not convinced?  Here’s a few numbers to inspire you:

If you’re convinced social selling is important, but you just aren’t sure how to begin…I’m here to help!  Social selling works because it is customer centric. The majority of the marketing your dealership does will always be very product centric.  There is an over-abundance of information about your product online.  Customers do an average of 16 hours of online research before they purchase a vehicle, and this research will largely be product-focused.  Approaching customers with more of the same information without a relationship, isn’t likely to result in more sales.

Capturing today’s customer, automotive or otherwise, requires something different.  Successful salespeople become experts at effectively connecting a customer’s wants, needs and desires to their product and brand.  They understand the power of cultivating relationships with potential customers through asking questions, listening, and looking deeper to discover how the product they offer intersects with customer’s stories in a meaningful way.  The bottom line:  Social selling offers you the opportunity be the human face to your brand.*  

Sales guru, Zig Ziglar once said, “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”   I think adopting that philosophy as your guide for all content marketing and social media interactions will not only result in effective online engagement, but will help social selling become a personally gratifying experience as well.

Before we talk strategy, let me share my top 3 tips for successful social engagement:

  1. Think like a customer.  Automotive dealerships, along with other B2C businesses are discovering the need for customer centric rather than product centric sales strategies.  It is no longer enough to have the best product if you aren’t able to create an experience or invite your customers to a story they want to tell.
  2. Engage as much as you post.  Find others who are successfully capturing an audience and do what they do.  Chances are pretty good they are not only posting regularly, but they are tagging others’ in posts, sharing and replying to others’ posts, and more.  Comment and thank posters who help you in some way.  What you give will come back to you.
  3. Be a champion of your community.  If your dealership is involved in supporting local charities or giving back to the community in some way, share it! Then, seek out others who support similar causes.  Follow them and help spread the word about their efforts, then ask for their help the next time your dealership is having an event for the same cause.  If your dealership has yet to discover the power of giving back, take matters into your own hands.  [And stay tuned, because I will be blogging about these ideas in a future post.]

Twitter and LinkedIn: Social Selling Power Tools

Twitter

Twitter is an information powerhouse.  I have said more than once that I have learned more from Twitter than I learned in college.  Twitter indirectly provides you with the opportunity to be mentored by the best in every business, and it offers you the opportunity to connect with a large pool of potential buyers.  A recent partner study by Twitter and Datalogix revealed:

  • Households with Twitter users were 2 times as likely to purchase a new car as the average U.S. household.
  • Auto brand Twitter followers were nearly 3 times as likely to purchase a new car.

Make sure to link to your dealership in your profile and use industry relevant hashtags, but after that, avoid more than the occasional sales post.  Instead, position yourself as a resource.  Discover the hashtags and accounts car shoppers follow and show up.  Answer questions twitter users ask about the car buying process, makes and models or any other area of expertise without looking for anything in return.  A small investment of your time being of service to someone will make a lasting impression.

Twitter Social Selling Strategy Starters

Twitter Bio Tips-You in 160 Characters – Create an engaging Twitter bio with these stellar tips.

Twitter for People Who Still Don’t Get Twitter – Invaluable tutorials for Twitter newbies.

Sales for Life Blog Post – Check out this great post and do what it says.

Twitter Analytics Tools to Improve Engagement – Discover tools to understand how Twitter works and reach your audience more effectively.

LinkedIn

As of July 2015 LinkedIn had more than 380 million users. Sales professionals who want to be successful need to learn to leverage the power of LinkedIn.  Most sales professionals can immediately see the value of LinkedIn for B2B markets, but let’s take a look at how a robust LinkedIn presence, both for your personal brand and your dealership, has the potential to grow B2C marketshare as well.

  • 84% of LinkedIn members will engage with a salesperson when they are connected through a friend or colleague and offer value(InsideView)
  • LinkedIn members are more than 2x more likely to trust information provided on LinkedIn than other social networks for decision-making. [LinkedIn Study]
  • 65% of consumers do not find it creepy to receive a LinkedIn message from a salesperson with whom they have connections in common. (Hubspot)

LinkedIn Social Selling Strategy Starters

How to Build the Perfect LinkedIn Profile for Social Selling – Animated infographic with excellent information from the folks at Sales for Life.

How to Use Your LinkedIn Feed to Create Real Time Conversations – Good news:  Twitter hasn’t cornered the market on real-time interaction.

Staying out of LinkedIn Jail – Avoid sales tactics that get you blocked or banned on LinkedIn with this article.

The resources I’ve linked you to will help you with social selling on Twitter and LinkedIn whether you’re just getting started or have been building your network for a long time.  I’d love to hear from you and invite you to share your best social selling tips in the comments below, or email me at kristin@motofuze.com.  Start paying it forward online, and prepare to reap the rewards.

#StrongerTogether,

Kristin

*For more information on customer-centric marketing, I recommend the book, The Difference, by Bernadette Jiwa 

Views: 399

Tags: B2C, linkedin, sales, selling, social, twitter

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Comment by Kristin Huntley on October 29, 2015 at 7:50am

Thanks, Ralph!  I sincerely appreciate your encouragement. It's a customer experience economy now, so dealerships having these strategies in place will be the difference, especially with Millennial shoppers.  I have spoken to sales pros who work at dealerships where Facebook and other social media channels are still blocked internally!  There is nothing more confusing to me than hearing about a GM telling his millennial employees (with 1000 Facebook friends) to go call customers!  No one even buys a vacuum anymore without asking their Facebook friends for recommendations, so it makes so much more sense for dealerships to encourage sales and every other person working at the dealership, to give some attention to personal branding.  The reach they have collectively far outweighs the reach of their brand, and it's a much more credible source in the minds of shoppers.  Social selling is how dealerships will begin to create a shopping experience that makes sense for today's consumer.  No one has time to do it the old way, and they will go where they can have the experience they want.

Thanks for building this community and giving me a place to share and learn!  

Comment by Ralph Paglia on October 28, 2015 at 2:11am

Thank you to Kristin for an excellent info packed article... Since 2005 I have run across a steady stream of automotive sales professionals who no longer take "fresh ups" on the floor, because they have their own steady stream of car buyer appointments set up via a variety of social media channels. I remember going to Midway Nissan in Phoenix at the request of the GM to try and document the process one of their sales pros was using to sell a consistent 20+ units a month from his efforts on Facebook. Then there is Rob Melloy at Melloy Nissan in Albuquerque... After I spent a few visits training, coaching and mentoring the dealer's grand son, he partnered up with two sales people who were full-time dedicated to handling his social media driven appointment shows... These two sales pros deliver over 40 units a months from Rob's social media driven customers, plus there are plenty of other sales from the overflow! In my opinion, the successful automotive sales professionals of the future will use social media networks like we always wanted to use CRM applications. Only they will be far more effective because the customer is using the same social media CRM app!

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