Social media teaches dealerships to do new business the right way,
the way they should have been doing it all along.
I owe Mack Collier, author of the blog, The Viral Garden, for the inspiration for this post. He provides some straight talk regarding the lack of growth to individual and company online communities.
Many dealerships also struggle with building an online community. I’ve discovered a number of them that have the attitude “if I build it, they will come” but that isn’t the case. There is a lot of work involved to generate traffic to an online community of your best prospective clients.
Below are five reasons dealerships have or will have problems building their online communities:
1. You are thinking of income first (and your prospective clients aren’t dumb, they can sense it.)
Many dealerships are anxious to sell. Generating income for their dealership is first and foremost in their minds before paying their dues and earning their way with social media.
We are in a business where relationships are important. People want to work with people they know, like and trust. I’m a strong advocate that a dealership can build and sustain a pipeline of new business leads for their business through social media, but it must be done the right way, with the right motive and with genuine transparency to be effective. Social media can show you how. Be a friend first.
2. A lack of value/benefit to your audience.
Your audience will be your judge and jury as to whether you have an appealing position, post titles that spur interest or content that is beneficial.
You can’t blame your audience if they don’t respond! It’s your responsibility to figure out what is appealing and what isn’t. You have plenty of tools in social media to provide you the information just use them!
You will need to dig deeper to figure out how you can best be of value and benefit to them. Remember, you cannot be of value if you are constantly leading with your agency’s capabilities, accomplishments and awards. It’s not about you or your dealership it’s about them.
3. You are waiting around for your audience to find you.
My blog is well optimized for my target audience. With the keywords my audience uses to find my blog as a resource, I am dominating the first two pages of Google. But, search comes in a distant third generating traffic to my site.
I generate the most traffic from the use of repurposing my blog posts and my networks through Twitter.
Secondly, I generate traffic from my email newsletter and an opt-in strategy for sign-ups. I also will receive a good bit of traffic through my comments on popular blog sites. The point is, I am not sitting around waiting to generate traffic to my blog through search. I’ve been proactive in reaching out into a number of online communities where my target audience resides.
4. Lack of appreciation for those that are helping promote you.
There are scores of people that are willing to be of help to you online but they’ll be quickly turned off if you don’t show appreciation. Your dealership’s credibility rests upon what others are saying about you. Be sure to show your love to those who go out of their way to promote your company. Always be willing to reciprocate.
5. You could care less about the prospective audience you are trying to reach.
Matt really hit the nail on the head when he wrote about the reason why many companies and individuals are having a problem building their online community,
“You don’t give a damn about the people you are trying to reach.”
Matt said it first and I totally agree, “The key to successfully building an online community is to genuinely care about the people that you want to reach.”
If all you want out of social media is to make money, then social media is not for you. Don’t waste your time and effort.
But, if you are willing to be transparent, open, honest and caring then social media can teach your dealership how to do new business development the right way. The way we should have been doing it all along.