Do you find that your social media marketing isn’t returning the love you’ve been giving it? You’re not alone. Social media has become much more complex for dealers and it doesn’t live in its own silo anymore. It must be integrated with all your other forms of marketing.
Marketing is one part creative, one part execution and one part analysis. Failure has to happen in order to get where you want to go. However, failure rates with social media marketing are pretty high. Many dealers jump to the conclusion of consummate failure without fully investigating where their opportunities lie.
I did a presentation recently at a car dealer conference about ways to get traffic, leads and sales through social media. The audience was very quiet and as a speaker, you always wonder why. Could it be that I just wasn’t that engaging? Naaah! Could it be that they were lost in thought or frustrated about how to overcome the hurdles it takes to be successful at social media marketing? Probably.
In the end, they had a lot of questions about social media marketing that informed me of where they are in their process. Many have come to the table thinking social media marketing is simple and/or free. Publish a few pictures of items for sale, along with a few random quotes from famous people, and the leads and sales will flow in, right? Um, not so much.
Everyone is looking for that “turn key” solution and many vendors are happy to sell you theirs. The problem is, is that there’s no such thing as a tool-based “magic bullet.” No piece of software will get you to the Promised Land. Tools (technology) only support a solid system. Without a system and action plan, you’re wasting your money on tools.
Fact: Social media marketing is a lot harder than it looks.
Especially in the last year or so, the difficulty quotient has separated the wheat from the chaff. This business of online marketing requires a lot of skill, experience and knowledge. If there’s one thing the audience learned from our discussion it’s that you can’t appoint just anyone to handle your online presence.
If your social media marketing has run-aground and the results you hoped for aren’t coming to pass, consider these components as you set sail on your next endeavor, next post or next campaign.
1. Start with a System
Once you understand that marketing is a system, things get a whole lot clearer. A proven social media marketing system will help you gain more customers, more profit and more control over your business.
A marketing system will help you:
Approach your marketing logically and practically
Get very clear about how to spot an ideal client
Understand the perfect way to make your business stand out in the crowd
Know the secret to creating content that attracts eager buyers
Utilize the precise formula for creating the most profitable customers
Know how to build a total online presence that makes your brand the obvious choice
Know how to turn social media participation into sales
Know where to invest your dollars and where to avoid
Quickly gauge the effectiveness of every move you make
2. Create and publish engaging, relevant content.
How do you know if your content is relevant?
Increased social traffic
Higher quality leads
Creativity takes courage. Leverage the power of your expertise and the expertise of your employees to create content that’s ideal for your target customers. Develop trust and don’t be afraid to show your brand’s true personality.
3. Grow your audience and boost your engagement.
Here’s your first cue to look at social advertising. Facebook has created a valuable ads platform and as part of building your foundation, you must leverage ads to grow your likes and encourage engagement and conversation. Carefully and thoughtfully created, “Promote your page” and “Boost your posts” ads can achieve results quickly.
4. Recognize and Respond to Organic Leads
High on the list of skills for your marketing manager is the ability to spot a social lead and help convert it. Very often, leads happen in the comments section of Facebook posts, Tweets, Instagram, LinkedIn and/or Google+.
As questions get asked, skillfully answer them and reply with another question. For example;
Social Lead: “How long is this special on for?”
Marketing Manager: “Until the end of this week. What type of car are you driving right now?”
Social Lead: “2011 Nissan Altima”
Marketing Manager: “That’s a great car. Are there any questions you have about your next purchase?”
Social Lead: “Not really. I guess I just need to drive a few to see what I really WANT to buy or what I can afford.”
Marketing Manager: “We always recommend “Try Before You Buy.” Can I make an appointment for you?”
Can you see how this exchange was helpful, non-threatening and savvy?
5. Advertise for Paid Leads
One of the strengths of social media marketing lies in social advertising. Facebook ads are the most popular, and rightfully so. Done right, Facebook ads can bring very lucrative results, even with a small budget. You can target small groups of interested buyers without spending on those who will never buy from you. Advertising to people who already know you offers better results.
Succeeding at Facebook ads represents a whole new dimension to the difficulty of social media marketing. It’s easy to spend money with Facebook ads so don’t go at this half-heartedly. You can drive traffic to your site and convert fans into customers but it’s not going to happen without a system of creative campaigns, expert guidance and goal setting.
Is social media marketing complicated? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes, if your goal is to drive traffic, leads and sales. Just don’t underestimate the effort it takes. Anything worth doing is worth doing well.