It’s time to get on target with Social Media. Here are four Secrets to get you started and engaged.
1. Social Media is Affordable but Not Cheap
If you’ve looked into Social Media you may have found the tools available overwhelming. There is not a shortage of tools and the good news is most are free or cost very little and really can help your dealership or automotive ad agency. For instance along with the microblogsite Twitter, there are over 100 free tools that enhance its use. If you think Social media is affordable your right but it isn’t cheap it’s extremely time intensive. Especially the time needed for you and your staff to get up to speed. It is my experience that turn key programs are a better fit for dealerships. If you’re starting from ground zero consider getting help. Remember, the cost of not getting started in Social Media will be very expensive.
“The cost of your social media education is going to be great but if you don’t invest in your education now it will be costlier later.”
2. Don’t Get Faked Out! Knowledge and Experience can’t be faked.
Have you ever fallen into a trap by your automotive ad agency or staff telling you, “sure we can do that” when at the time they didn’t have a clue, but , they thought they could figure it out. You cant’ fake Social Media. To be successful in social media you wont be able to fake it. The best test is to see if your automotive ad agency or staff have done it for themselves. If they haven’t you have to ask do they understand it or really believe in it. Michael Gass a social expert give some great advise “If I were a prospective client the first place I would check to see if an agency truly understood social would be to check out their agency blog. I would be able to determine quickly if you are walking the walk or just talking the talk.”
Eric Kintz, a Hewlett-Packard marketing exec and blogger said: “I think they [agencies] are somewhat helping. But they need to show how social media has helped them further their own agenda. So if an ad agency comes to me, I’d ask if they have their own page on a social network site? Are they posting videos on YouTube? Do they have their own blog? And how has it helped them in their own business?”
3. Motive Matters
Advertisers and their ad agencies are looking at social media, the first mass marketing media that isn’t supported by advertising and wondering, what is in it for me? How do I make money through social media?
Radio, TV, your newspaper exists because of advertising. It exists to please the advertisers.
“The net wasn’t invented by business people and doesn’t exist to help your company (agency) make money. It is entirely possible it could be used that way but it doesn’t owe you anything. The question to ask isn’t how does this help me?” The question to ask isn’t, “but how does this help me? The question to ask is, “how are people (the people I need to reach, interact with and tell stories to) going to use this new power and how can I help them achieve their goals?”
4. Learn to Listen and Observe.
From my listening are learning let me give you a little secret. People read differently online than they do print. They tend to scan rather than read word-for-word. Plus you need to begin a conversation you need to lead with “benefits” to the consumer to read your blog . There are many other things that you will only “get” as you become involved in this space that’s what makes it so exciting and a great opportunity for you.
Barbara Bacci Mirque, executive vice president of the Association of National Advertisers, ANA, recently observed that,
“More and more advertisers are leading their agencies into new media, not the other way around,” and that ”clients are the ones who are personally and professionally experimenting with new media forms and directing their agencies to look into them.”
“When I started out in this business in the mid 80’s as an assistant product manager at The Frito-Lay Company, we expected our advertising agencies to be innovative and inform us about what was hip and cool – now it appears to be the other way around,” she wrote in the ANA blog.
What is Ron Wheeler’s motivation?
I’m a participant because I’m a believer! I have to understand emerging media and the changes occurring in the advertising industry through new communication technology for my own professional survival. We are in revolution that is as big as television was to the advertisers. The growth Social Media is blowing by the growth of any media in our history.
It’s not too late to get started and get a significant competitive advantage. My informal research of dealership attempts at social media indicates they are traveling down the wrong path. There’s a desire but no clear direction how to really execute.
There are many additional resources within my blog that will be of help. If you have questions, please feel free to email them to me.