Teachers can affect our eternity. In fact, it’s hard to tell where the influence stops, if at all, even many years later. On today’s social web, our values appear front and center. As the saying goes, reputation is everything and there are social media lessons to be learned from our days in gym class.
Not every teacher has a profound effect but most of us remember what it was like in PE. My teacher was a short, spunky lady named Mrs. Betty Bruno. I was a cheerleader in high school (I know, you’d never guess it…LOL) and Betty was our PE teacher and coach. Mrs. Bruno’s leadership took us to many championships.
The best teachers teach from the heart and Mrs. Bruno’s lessons continue to resonate in my world today. I learned each of these from Mrs. Bruno. Let me know how many resonate with you.
- Failure is not fatal. But failure to change might be. Marketing in the social era can be scary, especially if you’re new. People don’t know what to post or where to even start. The smart thing to do is begin with a strategy (not tactics). Then, keep failing until you succeed. Whatever you do, don’t do nothing. You need to be where your customers are, and that’s social media.
- If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere. Look around and you’ll see lots of noise urging you to, “Buy our social media solution.” Don’t believe everything you hear. Social media and managing your digital reputation takes hard work, commitment, talent and a budget. There will be obstacles but none that can’t be overcome. Once you’re on the right path, you’ll find your sweet spot.
- Enthusiasm is everything. Social media succeeds because we are social animals. Sharing great information with other humans is embedded in our DNA. Enthusiasm plays a major role in a dealership’s culture. Empower your employees to create content for your social channels. An enthusiastic team is contagious. Customers will catch it and spread the awesome.
- Teachers teach more by what they are than by what they say. The same is true for your dealership’s brand. It’s no longer viable to just advertise low prices or great service. Your brand is what consumers tell each other it is. Social media affords you the opportunity to show proof of what makes your store unique – to illustrate why customers continue to choose you over the competition.
- Never mind what others do. Do better than yourself, beat your own record and you’re a success. Many dealers still put a lot of weight on how many Facebook fans or Instagram followers their competitors have and they judge themselves by it. What matters today in social media is a highly-engaged audience who want to talk about you to their friends. It’s better to have a smaller, engaged group than thousands of followers who’ll never think about becoming customers. Keep score on yourself. Set goals, track KPI’s and measure your progress. That’s how you succeed in social media.
- People rarely succeed unless they’re having fun at what they’re doing. Oh, I can’t begin to tell you the facial expressions I’ve seen when some managers bring up the subject of social media. Whether you agree or not, having fun on social media is one of the keys to success. Drop your preconceived ideas and go have some fun!
- Experience is a great teacher. I had a client last week that got their first “hater” on their Facebook page. We rode out the storm by remaining patient. Very often, just having faith that your regular, engaged fans will right the ship is all that’s required. It worked this time and they proved to themselves that social media can boost company image. In the future, there will be other haters, but each time you experience these situations, you become better at recognizing how to handle them.
- Don’t limit yourself. What you believe, you can achieve. With a developed social media strategy, you can engage customers on social media. Many dealers and individuals I talk to say they “Have to be on social media because everyone else is.” While that’s true, they’re limiting themselves by not making an investment in strategy. Isn’t your store worth more than half the effort?
- It’s not where you start but where you finish. Social media is a seismic shift for all of automotive retail. It’s turning dealership operations upside down because things must be deconstructed and restructured to accommodate customers’ expectations. Wherever you are right now is a good place to start. It’s a moving target and taking swift action matters. Don’t just stand there. Ready. Set. Go.
Author: Kathi Kruse
Kathi Kruse is an Automotive Social Media Marketing Expert, Blogger, Speaker, Coach, Author and Founder of Kruse Control Inc. Born in the heart of Los Angeles to a family of “car people”, Kathi’s passion for the car business spans a 30-year career managing successful dealerships in Southern California. Kathi is the author of “Automotive Social Business – How to Captivate Your Customers, Sell More Cars & Be Generally Remarkable on Social Media”.