Hello my Friends:
I am proudly presenting my colleague Louise Smith and her guest post in conjunction with some thoughts of mine.
GUEST POST: Louise Smith and VJ
Of great interest to you is the acquisition of new customers, the engagement of your existing customers, promoting customer loyalty and driving revenues. Social Media works “with” your Owner Marketing email campaigns – to do just this. Relevancy and value are keys to successful email campaigns and social media. Here are some ideas:
In your email campaigns:
Implement links/buttons into your email campaigns to promote and link to your social media sites as well (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn). VJ’s thoughts: May be the customer is not ready right now to jump on your inventory page or visit your dealer URL, but he would like to see what else you are talking about in the future. Capture them!
Integrate (brief) teasers in your email campaigns about your social media postings such as your involvement, following or supporting local groups, charities, teams, events etc. VJ’s thoughts: An old PR rule is “Do good things and talk about it” – so do it and brag modestly!
Have so called “Calls-to-Action” in your email campaigns that promote postings of events and happenings that your dealership is involved in (Car Clinics, Open House, Charity/Fundraiser car detailing etc.) – then link these activities to your social media page with more information about events. VJ’s thoughts: Create RSVPs for customer evening events, make them feel important, make them your V.I.P.
Keep up the core premise of successful email marketing: right time, relevant messaging, of value to targeted customers. VJ’s thoughts: When tailoring your sales messags think about the three categories according to a study of Nielsen Online: Baby Boomers love monthly and quarterly cash-back savings — Generation X is looking for convenience factor (Loaner cars, Play area, Business center, WiFi) — and the Millenials just appreciating Specials and Deals in what is “Cool and In” with instant gratification!
On your social media postings:
You need to be relevant, give value, share information, follow/support your “locals”, be conversational, embrace the fanatic fans and respond to the problems in a timely manner. VJ’s thoughts: Best example: Toyota, where were they the whole time when the issues of their recalls occurred. Now they are pumping millions of $$ into national ne page print-ads and prime time T.V. commercials.
Who to follow or to be-friend? Support your local teams, organizations, chamber, business groups, consumer groups, community events. VJ’s thoughts: Reach out to them and let them know about your ambitions for them. Tell your local community that you are supporting them and you will steadily talk about their deals (barber shop and the retiree Wednesday haircut for $7)!
Not sure what to “tweet”? – You can start off by re-tweeting relevant information about happenings in your community, great news about your brand, events etc. – share local business news. Is a neighbor business or a good customer who is a local business owner offering “specials”? You can support these in brief tweets or postings. VJ’s thoughts: Has a customer of yours “pimped” their ride and is this possible share worthy? Post it with a testimonial from them. Did you solve a problem for a customer – turning them into a satisfied customer – share it!
Always include a sign-up for email actions on Social Media site and promote a value (like free car wash, a special price for the next oil-change) of signing up for email sign-up. VJ’s thoughts: Allow your customer to decide if they want to follow you. Permission based marketing has since decades the highest ROI.
Call to action value of your service coupons on your website. VJ’s thoughts: Involve each of your profit centers – Service, Parts, Wholesale Parts, Bodyshop, and even Finance!
Keep your postings current. VJ’s thoughts: Please, it does not make sense you are telling on your website “follow me on twitter” and a customer who then finally follows you will see that your last post said “Happy Thanksgiving”, even so it is now March!
Be authentic in your postings, and do not speak about politics, race or use “bad” language. VJ’s thoughts: It happens and I showed it numerous times on my speaker sessions: ” Wow, the customers are so crappy today. Is it full moon or what?” – YES, this is an original twitter post I grabbed and just imagine when I would be a customer of this dealership, and had visited them today for an oil-change. How would feel? Really CRAPPY after reading this, right?
Be conversational, sharing and relevant! VJ’s thoughts: That means with all due respect – NO INVENTORY FEEDS appearing in your twitter stream. I see frequently tweets or facebook posts which are stating “Just uploaded a YouTube video of an 2002 Ford….” and a second later the next tweet says “Just uploaded a YouTube video of an 2004 Buick…” Come on, please!
Here are a few links that you may find as great resources:
- www.drivingsales.com ideas and help in establishing your social media plan
- www.dealerrefresh.com find out what other dealers and automotive peers are doing in Social Media
- www.SocialMediaBuzzer.com hands-on Social Media practice advice from an ex-dealer/e-commerce director