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Static Social Media Products and Services are Destined to Fail

Over the past couple of months, I've been working on a standard operating procedure for a comprehensive social media marketing service. It has been a while since I had to develop an overarching strategy rather than one that was individualized for a business or organization, so my daily reading of the industry trends and changes has had my eyes bleeding by the time the kids get ready for school. My fingers have bled as well... from making adjustments to the SOP as the industry continues in its unending state of metamorphosis.

In the worlds of search marketing, there are needs to stay on top of things. Google and Bing make changes to their algorithms. Consumers make changes in their searching habits. Devices make changes in how they present the data. It's pretty rough trying to keep up with search. However, keeping up with the changes in search is a piece of cake compared to keeping a social marketing service fresh and operating properly.

My conclusion in putting together this SOP is simple - keep it general and fluid. It must be allowed to grow and adjust based upon the changes that are made by the social media sites and the users themselves. Here are a few examples of activities that may have been a part of a social media SOP if I made it last week:

  • Post an image to Instagram and have it feed through to Twitter.
  • Sponsor one post a day on Facebook that is business-oriented.
  • Get people to +1 your Google+ business page as well as recent posts.
  • Post to Pinterest three times a day and feed it through to Facebook.

These would have all been valid actions in a standard operating procedure last week. Today, they are all obsolete.

Social media moves way too quickly for concrete practices. Any full-service company that wants to run your company's social media needs to demonstrate the ability to stay informed about the maelstrom of changes that happen every week as well as the ability to keep a fluid service that moves with the trends and the changes themselves. If they're offering a social media service that is static, that is using techniques that have been "proven to work for a long time", then they do not understand the very nature of social media and should not be trying to run yours for you.

Views: 383

Tags: Content Marketing, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Standard Operating Procedure, Twitter, digital, fluid, marketing, More…social media, static


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Comment by Alexander Lau on December 13, 2012 at 8:16am

JD, interesting article.

Yes, this stuff constantly evolves, what works one day might not the next, etc. Here is an interesting article: The Science of Instagram: How to Get More Followers and Likes, from the same guy that creates CrazyEgg (usability testing heatmap tool) and KISSMetrics.

I've been preaching this social media strategy for some time and that group's overall wares (all strategy based). It's helped me and vastly.

Another good tactic, especially if you're using WordPress for your blog. Push your blog RSS feed out to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. through a tool like Be careful not to annoy your social base with too many blog posts, instead make a plentiful number thoughtfully crafted. That original, relevant and informative content can do wonders.

Comment by J.D. Rucker on December 10, 2012 at 2:40pm

Bill and Jerry - If social media is a small part of the overall marketing strategy (which it is for most dealers) than a 20-second scan every morning of Alltop's Social Media List is plenty. The most popular content of the day will be posted in the top left corner so it's easy to see what's changed in the last 24 hours without spending minutes bouncing from blog to blog. Otherwise, just check ADM daily as well - anything major and I'm sure someone will have posted here about it.

Chip - month-to-month is definitely the best way to go. One thing I don't want taken from my article is that I'm recommending not having an SOP at all. It should be solid enough to stay the course but flexible enough to adjust to changes.

Joe - You should advise your dealers to dump all other forms of marketing and post to Pinterest all day, every day. Tell them to include a cookbook in the glove box with every car purchased.

Comment by Joe Webb on December 10, 2012 at 7:23am

Thank goodness I don't have to advise clients to post to Pinterest three times a day.  I would be flogged.  Sure, I had seen a study a few months back where they said the dollar value of a Pinterest repin is $10 to a retail location, but I believe it is rather hard to justify to most dealers today.  Whenever I mention Pinterest to dealers, most remind me they're selling Acuras not cookbooks. That being said, I believe there is a place for everything above, but the consistency of one site changes far too frequently to rely on it solely.

Comment by Chip Dorman on December 10, 2012 at 7:16am

The more things change the more they stay the same...

Every professional marketeer knows that they need to test, test and test some more.

Social Media is no different. While the social media players and customer behaviors are constantly evolving, you can still collect and roll-up metrics for exposure, engagement, traffic, etc. And social media doesn't have to cost a gillion dollars either. It's perfect for leveraging content you should be creating for all of your other marketing efforts anyways.

Can you say Content Marketing?

And of course all your content should be created, formatted and coded with SEO/SEM in mind.

If it makes you feel any better JD, our SOP is to set goals for traffic, eyeballs and engagement for all of our social media channels. Then we create the content, post it, measure results, and then adjust our goals. In other words, our Social Media Strategy remains static from month to month, but our tactics are constantly changing.


Comment by Jerry Grinkmeyer on December 10, 2012 at 6:15am

Bill asks a good question...what's working today (realizing that it may well not work tomorrow!)?

Comment by Bill Kurzeja on December 9, 2012 at 10:50pm

I couldn't agree more. So what steps do you feel need to be taken in order to have the right approach at social media? 

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