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Does Facebook Actually Give You Value?

What are you doing on Facebook to provide value?

By creating a Facebook group, you'll be able to nurture the database that you already have, as well as increase the audience for your business.  Your new Facebook group will give you the opportunity to get feedback on products or services, engage with customers, and build top-of-mind awareness.

Watch Samantha explain the do's and don'ts of utilizing your Facebook group in order to build loyalty and improve your business.

We’d love to hear from you! Here’s how you can contact us:

Website: http://www.ppadv.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PotratzAdvertising

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Potratz

Instagram: @Potratz

Snapchat: PotratzAgency

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Why aren't dealers seeing enough ROI in Social Media

4 Tips for Bridging the Gap with Dealers and Social Media

The gist of the article was that dealers don’t see enough return on their investment in social media.

Why do you think this is?

Is this because people aren’t interested in their local dealers on social media, or is it because campaign effectiveness in social media lacks?

2014 survey of more than 10,000 active car buyers found that social media ranked far below dealer websites, web searching and the automotive news media as a source of information when they are shopping.

In the NY Times article, Hyundai of Huntsville General Manager Matt Howell is quoted as saying that personal relationships are more important than social media, and that he is yet to attribute any meaningful impact on his business to social media.

Could it be that this manager does not truly understand the role of social media, or is he simply taking the wrong approach?

In the aforementioned article, another dealer is quoted saying, “I don’t even bother wasting my people’s time posting all day.” By focusing on ads, including ones that target car buyers when they are near rival dealers, the dealer reported an increase in sales while cutting marketing expenses per car sold to $90 from $500.

Are Facebook Ads the answer to dealers’ woes with social media? What about producing quality content that engages people, like other brands do, which marketers continue to stress importance?

What is “quality” dealer content anyway?

Is it happy customer videos? Is it warm fuzzy photos and videos that make people feel good?

When I encounter dealers producing this type of content, engagement is low, e.g. single digits. This is no way to market your dealership. Do you see other local retailers do this?

No!

Which brings me to my point…

Dealers are local multi-million dollar operations that are unique in the retail world. You can’t really equate franchise dealerships to any other entities in an apples-to-apples comparison. However, they are franchises, they are retailers, and they do thrive on repeat customer business much like other local franchises and retailers, so many of the same basic principles do apply:

  1. Always strive to provide an exceptional customer experience that people will talk about
  2. Provide useful informative information that your customers will appreciate
  3. Offer your customers meaningful incentives and promotions
  4. Make sure your dealership is easily accessible across multiple platforms, networks, and devices

While all four of these suggestions are equally important, each of them requires its own strategy to achieve.

1. Exceptional Customer Experience

The customer experience is a byproduct of the integrity of the dealership, which begins at the ownership level and works it way through the fabric of the organization. Most dealerships in my experience do provide a good customer experience, but no organization is perfect. There is always room for improvement. Without this, everything else is in vein. If your dealership isn’t reaching or exceeding your standard on customer experience then you need to strive to be a change agent there or else move on.

2. Quality Relevant Content

This is a challenging objective, especially over time. My philosophy is that dealers need to lean on whatever resources they can to consistently provide quality relevant content. By “quality and relevant” I mean information that is published by the dealership on dealership resources, e.g. the dealership blog and social media profiles.

The information does not always have to be produced by the dealership, but the more that can be, the better.

Here’s a resource; check out Jason Stum’s Ultimate Blogger Resource Pack on his siteMarketPunch. Here you will find multiple resources that Jason has produced to give dealers powerful useful resources for producing blog content which of course can then be used in social media. This could be a terrific starting point for you.

3. Meaningful Incentives and Promotions

Take my word for it, people aren’t interested in videos of your happy customers and they aren’t interested in gimmicky information such as cute pet videos. People want to know what’s in it for them and when you can save them time and money and give them a great value then you don’t want to be shy about letting them know that.

Put together exceptional offers, make them look and sound fantastic, and then let as many people know about them as possible. The great thing about digital media today is that it gives us insights as to who might want to know about what, and when, and how. Leverage today’s advanced tools and data and partners to execute smart and effective marketing and advertising campaigns.

4. Multi-Channel, Cross-Platform

As I just mentioned, leverage today’s advanced tools and data and technology. Dealers today have access to incredible resources, giving you the ability to reach people across multiple channels and different platforms and devices. But you need to harness these resources through key vendor relationships.

If you are tuning out vendors because you don’t want to be bothered by the noise then you are doing you and your dealership a disservice. If that’s the case then you might want to consider avendor visit protocol.  You are not a data or computer technology company, you are a car dealership; you sell and service vehicles.

Questions:

  1. Is your dealership incorporating Social Media in its marketing strategy and if so then how effectively?
  2. If so, are you able to measure and/or justify the ROI accurately?
  3. Is your Social Media strategy focused on sales, service, or both?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ryan Gerardi

SOURCE - http://www.dealerrefresh.com/4-tips-for-bridging-the-gap-with-dealers-and-social-media/#more-20380 

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In This Week's Make Money Monday Sean V. Bradley discusses how to use social media as a way to connect to your prospecting. Many car dealers give up after not being able to connect the first time, Sean explains further ways to connect with them!
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While Twitter never grew to truly rival Facebook, it has affected our communication and our culture in the same way. People use Twitter for marketing, to connect with like-minded individuals, network professionally, broadcast news, and discuss anything and everything going on in the world.

The most powerful part of this is that everything is public. Meaning anyone has the potential to reach millions of people and grow an audience, if their content is worthy.

In this post, I'll give you the starter guide you need to use Twitter as a platform to grow in your industry through simply following and engaging with the right people.

Discover and Implement Industry Hashtags

One of the greatest things about Twitter is that, despite being a single giant community, it can be used as a way to connect with individuals with similar professional and personal interests.

The way this is achieved on a site with billions of public messages each day is through hashtags.

Hashtags are words (or an unspaced phrases) used to group or categorize messages on Twitter. (Other sites have since adopted the features. It was originally inspired by IRC networks, which used the hash symbol (#) to organize chats by topic.)

Let’s say you wanted to get involved in the SEO community on Twitter. The easiest way to do so would be to use the "#SEO" hashtag, but you might get lost in the noise, as it's a popular hashtag.

Using Twitter analysis tool, Hashtagify, we can find hashtags that are related to #SEO to stand out a bit more. A few examples might be #ContentMarketing, #Blogging, or #Content.

You can also explore these hashtags directly on Twitter to discover others that people are using. The more hashtags you integrate into your tweets, the more people you'll reach.

Once you've got a good list put together, start implementing them. If you tweet a post of blogging tips, be sure to add the hashtag #Blogging so the community can better discover your content. A user with zero followers can build from nothing by simply utilizing hashtags properly.

Start Following and Engaging with Related Users

Now that you've got an idea of how to get more involved in industry discussion on Twitter, it's time to start following influential and active users in your industry.

If you know a few of the most influential people in your industry, you obviously want to follow them first. But the next step is to see who they follow, and also who follows them. By doing this, you'll discover more influential people, and perhaps users who are looking to break into the scene.

Not every single person will follow back, but you can follow 1,000 people a day. The issue here is, if you don't have 2000 followers, Twitter won't let you follow more than 2000 people until you get to 2000 followers.

You have to follow the right people, engage, and get noticed.

Your goal should be to reach out to all types of users, not just the most influential. Those who get hundreds of messages each week aren't likely to notice you, but someone with only a few hundred or thousand followers will.

Make separate Twitter lists for influential and active industry users to ensure you're getting tweets from both sides. This also ensures their messages don't get lost in the noise of Twitter.

So go out and retweet their best links, reply to their questions, and generally make people notice you!

Take Time to Personalize, But Work on Automation

Twitter can suck up a lot of your spare time, if you let it. You could easily find yourself spending hours each day searching for great content to post and replying to other users.

Instead of spending a ton of time overthinking Twitter, work on automating as much of the process as possible. This means using a tool like HootSuite or Buffer to schedule tweets out in advance. 

Whether that means articles you've read, tips, quotes, or questions, it saves you the time and effort of having to interrupt your daily routine to tweet.

Of course, you should set time aside to retweet, reply, and follow new users each day. This should take less than 15 minutes of your time, so you can accomplish it consistently during a mid-day break.

Final Thoughts

Anyone can build a follower base on Twitter. But numbers mean nothing without engagement behind it. Don't let follower counts distract you from your true mission: networking.

You can build a name for yourself and rub shoulders with people you would have otherwise never been able to meet in person. It's a powerful tool when used correctly, and can open up opportunities you didn't know existed!

This post originally appeared on Wikimotive's blog on March 2, 2015. 

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Social Media Engagement is a Two-Way Street

The most amazing part about the internet and social media is that it has opened up communication between people and businesses that was never possible before. We now have the ability to talk to our customers and for them to talk to us in an interactive fashion, allowing for clear lines of engagement that can be both public and private.

For car dealers, this has translated into an incredible way for them to broadcast their messages and get feedback in real time. On Facebook, people can like, comment on, or share their posts when they appreciate them... and even when they do not. The world is completely different than it was a decade ago when the most powerful method of online communication, the email, was still relegated to being private.

This all means that dealers can receive interaction, but it also means that they're required to deliver interaction right back at their customers. Every day, we see dealers who are not taking advantage of this. People will comment on their Facebook posts, talk about them on Twitter, or respond to their blog posts and YouTube videos, but we then see many of the interactions going one way. The people are talking to the dealers but the dealers aren't always replying.

This is a big mistake because proper two-way communication breeds more communication. When people see your posts and also see that you're replying to the people that are commenting, it makes it more likely that they'll want to comment even more.

It also creates a proper feedback mechanism. A lot of dealers are doing this best practice on review sites, but then the same dealers are failing to engage on social media. When you allow social media to be a way for people to engage in a proper discussion on automotive topics, you're allowing them to help you get more reach for your messages.

The more you comment back, the more new comments you'll get. The more new comments you get, the more people will see the posts that are getting the comments. It's a great way to increase your message exposure.

Perhaps the most important reason to reply to everyone who comments on your posts is that it's simply proper manners. If someone says "hi" to you in the grocery store, you'll usually say "hi" right back at them even if you don't know them. It's good form to reply to those who talk to you and that carries over to your social media interactions.

Dealers that are doing this well can take it to the next level. They can get involved with other conversations of a general interest to the local community and start to really express the dealership's personality. This is key on social media. After all, part of being "social" is interacting with as many people as possible.

The streets in the social media world run in both directions. Savvy dealers are making sure that they're not just seeking engagement from others but that they're being engaging as well.

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Going Viral.

How to Go Viral, A Mini Case Study on Social Rest. There’s a difference between creating sharable content, and creating viral content Most people will never know the difference, let alone determine which is more valuable. Fortunately for you, you’re reading this blog post, so I’m here to help!
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PODCAST - Use The Right Buzz Words

People think social media is super easy, and it is when you are using it for fun.  It's a totally different game when you're using it for business, things get more complex and the outcome is far more important. The object of social media will always be to drive traffic, not to drive sales (although it should be noted that traffic turns into sales!) To drive traffic you need to get engagement, and the easiest way to get engagement is to use buzz words! Buzz words help force engagement, and like you probably guessed, every social media platform has it's own set of buzz words! Take a listen to our Podcast to get some insight into which words you should be using in your posts!  We cover a lot, and if you are curious for more information definitely click the link to check out the original article! As always, feel free to comment things you would like to hear about next and of course enjoy!

PODCAST - Using Buzz Words

You can read the original article here - Words That Get Shared

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Auto Industry Failing to Tap Power of Social Media to Deliver Actionable Sales Leads, Says Report by CMO Council

CMO Council Report Finds Auto Ecosystem Marketers Looking for Better Ways to Integrate Marketing With Sales Generation and Sales Funnel Activities

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwired - Mar 3, 2014) - The auto industry ecosystem should do more to leverage social media as a platform for drivingbusiness leads into sales pipelines, argues a new report by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. Social media is stimulating extensive auto-related conversations and content that create major opportunities to identify likely buyers and engage them based on their preferences and purchase intent, according to the report, which is entitled "Turning Social Feeds Into Business Leads."

Developed in partnership with hoojook, Inc. -- a Silicon Valley social media intelligence company focused on the auto sector -- the new report finds auto industry marketers are in various stages of adopting social marketing strategies and practices. Most see social as a potentially powerful medium for understanding and engaging consumers, but they are early in the development of marketing and business metrics, as well as processes that integrate social media data more effectively in the sales funnel.

"Social represents an important marketing frontier for the automotive industry," said Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the CMO Council. "Senior marketers recognize its capacity to deliver actionable, real-time insights that can help drive overall marketing effectiveness. They also see its value as a dynamic channel for influencing brand preference and purchase. Now they need to take the next step by integrating social more directly into the sales funnel and using it as a new platform for delivering qualified leads."

There is plenty of evidence demonstrating the potential of social as a marketing channel across manufacturing brands, dealerships and aftermarket products and services. For example:

  • Thirty-eight (38) percent of consumers say they will consult social media in making their next car purchase.1
  • Twenty-three (23) percent of car buyers say they use social media to communicate their purchase experience.1
  • Eighty-four (84) percent of automotive shoppers are on Facebook, and 24 percent of them have used Facebook as a resource for making their vehicle purchases.1
  • Forty (40) percent of new car purchases over the next 10 years will be made by millennials.2
  • Ninety-four (94) percent of millennial car buyers gather information online.3
  • Clicks on Facebook auto ads climbed from 16 percent to 39 percent between October 2012 and April 2013.1

Based on interviews with senior marketers and executives from auto manufacturers, dealer networks, aftermarket service providers and B2B automotive solutions companies such as Autonation, Costco Auto Program, Nissan, Cadillac, Car MD, KIA, Aspen Marketing Services, Express Oil Change, Mazda, Snap-on, Dealertrack and DME Automotive, the report finds that senior marketers are highly interested in developing and using new systems and processes to leverage social more effectively for lead acquisition and acceleration. However, most say they are only in the very early stages of the process and often express caution about possible brand reputation issues when overtly marketing to individuals on social.

Nonetheless, the report argues that the use of social in combination with natural language processing and big data analytics, along with social's ability to deliver meaningful content and commentary in context, has the potential to make it a highly effective medium for identifying, segmenting and engaging consumers based on preferences and where they are in the purchase cycle.

"The technology now exists to process and analyze social streams -- not only to understand broader consumer attitudes and reputational issues, but also to identify, segment and profile individual consumers based on where they are in the purchase cycle, their preferences and needs, and even psychographic characteristics that influence how they want to engage with brands and service providers," said Shauli Chaudhuri, CEO of hoojook. "Consumers are using social media to find product recommendations, access dealer reviews, voice complaints, display preference, consider peer opinions, capitalize on coupon offers, and engage in ongoing dialogues with their favorite automotive brands. We believe the auto industry will benefit greatly from data-driven analytics to identify potential customers and social content delivery systems that bring automotive OEMs, dealers, aftermarket service providers and other members of the ecosystem closer to the consumers who are looking to make purchases."

The full strategic report is available for download today and features valuable insights, including:

  • Campaigns focused on cars generate much higher consumer engagement and interest than other social media initiatives, such as charitable causes.
  • Reputation management is seen as potentially the most critical aspect of social marketing, with consumer-generated content and commentary having a huge influence on purchasing decisions.
  • Marketers view social as most effective when integrated with other channels and marketing approaches; many view social analytics as an invaluable source of insight for other digital and offline marketing efforts.
  • Facebook is widely regarded as the most powerful social channel for automotive, but marketers say other channels can be more effective, depending on the need and strategy.

To download the report, please visit http://www.cmocouncil.org/r/social-feeds-into-business-leads

Source: http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/auto-industry-failing-tap-power-social-media-deliver-actionable-sales-leads-says-report-1884480.htm

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2-to-1: The Magic Ratio for Twitter Image Marketing

Epic 1967 Mustang

Let's state this for the record. I am not convinced that using the new image features on Twitter is the best way to go when it comes to marketing your business. It still smells too much like spam and if it's not handled properly it could do more harm than good.

With that said, there are definitely instances when it could do VERY well, particularly when it comes to gaining exposure and picking up more Twitter followers. The key is making sure you're keeping a 2:1 ratio aspect ration for your images.

They are displaying that way regardless of the size or shape of the image when seen in the screen. They can be enlarged, of course, but that's so old school. With the new Twitter feed displaying them inline without a click and the fact that they've added the engagement actions under each post across all of the platforms, it makes sense prevent people from having to click to see the whole picture.

Look at the example below, a tale of two Tweets. As you can see, the top image that I just posted fits perfectly into the frame that Twitter gives us. The one below it forces you to click through to see it. It doesn't matter how compelling the message is, only a handful of people will click to find out what the punchline was. They're much more likely to skip right past it, particularly if they're like the majority who check Twitter on mobile.

Proper Proportions on Tweets

If your images are twice as wide as they are tall or close to that ratio, you'll be able to get the most impact out of your Twitter image marketing. Don't go out and make a bunch of ads at that ratio. Again, this can be abused and you'll turn more people off than ever before if you spam the system (and feeds). Keep it legit and everything will be just fine.

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Check-out these Tweet themes to help your business drive more results this season.
Mondays
Ask followers which holiday products or services they want to see more of, then reply back. 

Tuesdays
Count down to Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas by offering Twitter-only sales to entice followers. See how
Wednesdays
Share photos of your business giving back to the community during the season. 

Thursdays
Create 6-second Vine videos with how-to content and to reveal new products. Download Vine

Fridays
Promote a community event or joint offer with business partners leading up to Small Business SaturdayLearn more

Do even more with Twitter Ads to expand your community of followers then amplify your Tweets to extend beyond current followers to reach more customers. 

Set your business up for success this holiday season by advertising with Twitter.
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http://www.makemoneymondays.net
http://www.dealersynergy.com

Make Money Mondays With Sean V. Bradley - "Twitter Jacking"

You will be shocked to find out that you can convert your competition's clients and prospects to yours by "Twitter Jacking". Thats right you can use Twitter to sell cars! 

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Papas 300

There have been valid business reasons to use hashtags for years. Twitter started it off. Pinterest added to it. Google+ mastered it in many ways. Instagram, Tumblr… the list of social sites on which hashtags are relevant is long. Facebook was the last major holdout. Now that they’ve joined the bandwagon, it’s go time.

Mastering the use of hashtags takes practice, testing, experimenting, and more practice. Thankfully, there are few things you can keep in mind that will make the journey much easier. Here are some basic techniques for using hashtags that should help you find your own strategy pretty easily…

 

Send a Message through Emphasis

This is hands-down the easiest and arguably most effective use of hashtags on a regular basis. It’s also, oddly enough, the most misused or underutilized. In the example above, there are no major hashtags that people search for or click through to on a regular basis. They aren’t designed to market anything in particular. They’re meant to make the words themselves stand out in the text and to enhance the message itself through emphasis.

Notice the words that are hashtagged – affordable, beauty, performance, reliability. There aren’t a whole lot of better words to use in a description of a used Chysler 300. It makes the message stand out in the stream and helps to punctuate the overall message of the post itself.

 

Latch on to Trending Topics

This is the most used technique to use with hashtags and is also arguably the least useful, especially for a local business. Trying to “trend surf” can be dangerous as some businesses have found it. It also means trying to stand out in a very large crowd. However, that doesn’t mean they’re useless.

The easiest way to make them effective is to latch onto national campaigns associated with hashtags that are relevant to business. For example, a Toyota dealer would want some posts with the hashtag #Toyotathon when the event comes around. Local trending hashtags can also be useful. For example, #Travelers and #Golf were both trending in Connecticut at the beginning of the Travelers Championship held in Cromwell, CT.

 

Personalized Hashtags

If you can make this one work, you’re a winner. Many big brands fail miserably at this. They can turn into debacles that allow the trolls of the internet to desecrate a brand and their message. However, it’s worth noting as something to explore when you have something really strong to promote.

The essence is this – make and spread a hashtag that is attached to your brand, then ask (hope) people will use it in a positive fashion. No need to go into the gory details here, but this backfires much more often than it works. Still, businesses will continue to try it and occasionally some of them strike gold.

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Hashtags work. They should not be overused. They should not be utilized for spamming. Put in the proper context, they can be great ways to highlight your message and get it exposed to a wider range of potential customers.

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Speaking in an Empty Room

I was consulting with a potential client yesterday and started looking at their Facebook and Twitter pages. Once a day, every day, they would post a question that had very little to do with anything at all. "What was the last movie you watched?"

Once a day, every day, they wouldn't get a response from anyone. It was awkward in a social media way. There was no engagement. The reason was easy to find - their 3000+ Facebook fans had not been engaged with their page for a long time (meaning that nobody was seeing their posts in their news feeds) and their Twitter profile had 40 followers.

"I've heard you say that questions drive engagement," she told me as I started pointing out the challenges. She was correct - I have said that many times before and it's true. The problem is that questions do not work if nobody is listening and they're not the right way to get people to listen.

I don't envy her. She took over a Facebook page that had been getting updated by RSS feeds for over a year and a Twitter account that was autoposted from Facebook. The remaining followers and fans were spam bots. Nobody was listening. It was an empty room.

There's an old saying that says, "fake it 'til you make it" and that applies in this type of situation. There are still people who will visit the profiles because they show up in search and are linked from the website, so one still has to post quality content during the rebuilding period (stage one in our three stage process), but questions aren't the answer (pun intended). At this stage, it's important to show those who do visit the pages that you're posting quality content, but you don't want to highlight the fact that nobody is paying attention at that point.

Statements, facts, pictures, videos, and occasional links work best at this point. Through ads and engagement-driving posts, you'll be able to get your following back up and engaged. Once that happens and you're on to stage two, it's time to start asking questions again. Until then, avoid them.

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Post More than Just Links to Twitter

Tweet

Stop the madness! I, unfortunately, might be part of the cause of the recent trends happening on dealer Twitter profiles and for that, I am truly sorry.

For years, I've been harping on the concept that Twitter is something that no dealer should avoid because of how quick and easy it is. There's no huge investment of time required to have a strong Twitter presence. This advice and the advice of others has been turned into something that it should not have been, namely a willingness to completely automate Twitter. Please stop.

Twitter doesn't take much time, but it should take some time. Rather that go over the long list of things that you should and shouldn't do on Twitter in an extended format, here's the bullet points. Rather than try to convince anyone, I'm just going to state what I believe and let questions come in if there's need for further clarification. Just trust that I makes these statements with reasons in mind. They're not just spewing out of my mouth (or any other area) randomly.

  • Don't feed from Facebook. It's all too common nowadays to take automatically post whatever you put on Facebook directly onto Twitter. This is a bad idea.
  • Minimize the other feeds on Twitter. In an ideal world, there would be no feeds populating your Twitter account, especially your own blog, because it just doesn't save a ton of time and it limits the effectiveness. With feeds, you can't craft hashtags, you can't personalize the statements, and you aren't truly vetting the links.
  • Post more than just links. Sadly, links get much lower engagement than purely text posts. Express an opinion. Give an interesting piece of information. Tell a little story. Ask questions. The posts with no links get much more attention than those that do have links.
  • Don't use Hootsuite to post images. Hootsuite does not post images through Twitter directly and therefore they're not inline. They're just a link to the image itself hosted on Hootsuite. Your images should be through Twitter itself or through a tool that uploads the files to the native Twitter feed such as Bufferapp.
  • Include @replies to people. It's very easy to see if a Twitter account sucks or is automated because they aren't talking to others.
  • Retweet, but not too often. It's good to have other faces on your page, which means a direct retweet. This can be done through some tools such as Hootsuite or Bufferapp. Make sure it's a true retweet rather than one which is a mention.

Twitter is definitely the easiest of the social networks to manage and monitor. Done right, it should take less than 5 minutes a day. That doesn't mean that it's easy to skip days. That, my friends, is something you absolutely shouldn't do.

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This post originally appeared on Automotive Social Media.

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Relevant Questions

During a discussion with a potential client, something came up that surprised me. It shouldn’t have considering the types of information that are floating around the internet and being spread by “gurus,” but it did.

“I post pictures to Facebook and links to Twitter,” she told me.

That was the sum of their strategy. In a way it sort of made sense – rather, I can see how someone can make sense of it – but it’s not a proper strategy and definitely isn’t the way to take full advantage of these networks.

Yes, Facebook likes images and Twitter likes links. That much is clear. The challenges are many, but the most important ones can all be summed up in one word: fatigue. People get sick of seeing variations of the same themes over and over again from a page or profile they follow. It’s easy to see that a picture of a hot classic car can get a ton of engagement and it’s even easier to fall into the trap of constantly posting hot classic car pictures from that day forward. Unfortunately, it doesn’t leave room for business-relevant posts and it turns your fans and followers off.

There are four primary Facebook post types (not including special post types like Offers):

  1. Pictures
  2. Text
  3. Links
  4. Videos

Now, there are variations that go along with some of them. For example, pictures can be broken down into albums and each album plays differently with the algorithm based upon posting source, success of previous posts in that album, posting frequency, etc, but those are the four basic types.

Twitter has even more distinct options:

  1. Pictures
  2. Text
  3. Links
  4. @Replies
  5. Pure Retweets
  6. Quote Retweets
  7. Vines/Videos

Dealers must mix it up on both networks to find the highest level of success.

 

On Twitter…

A Twitter account that posts nothing but links will be the most unfollowed account type out there. When you mix it up on Twitter, you’ll reach more people. Many don’t even look at any posts with links in them, preferring conversations. In fact, text posts (particularly those that properly use hashtags) are by far the most engaging.

Pure Retweets give your Twitter profile itself a look of diversity, as do @Replies. When people visit your dealership Twitter page and see that you have Retweeted others and that you’re talking to other users, they’ll be much more inclined to follow you and engage with you.

Pictures and videos go inline, so posting them directly to Twitter (or through tools that allow native embedding – Buffer does, Hootsuite does not) allows people to see the content without clicking away from their stream. This gives the content more exposure than simply posting a link to it hosted elsewhere.

 

On Facebook…

There was a time not too long ago when images ruled completely on Facebook. They’re still the most prominent today, but not in how the algorithm treats them. They run a close second to text posts, the content that gets presented the most to people in their news feed.

Does that mean you shouldn’t post links or videos? Of course not. You just have to use those types sparingly. I do not believe in posting formulas or generalizations, but if I were forced to give a baseline frequency of post types, I’d recommend 50% images, 30% text, and 10% each for links and videos. Again, this isn’t a standard or even a best practice. It’s a starting point from which you’ll be able to find the formula that works best for your dealership.

Everyone has different strengths, different fans, and different personalities. Finding the right mix is about testing, retesting, and then re-retesting. The key is to have a mix. Don’t go stagnant. Go bold. Do it right. Find success.

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Article originally appeared on AutomotiveSocialMedia.com.

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Twitter Tweet

There’s a case against Twitter and Pinterest that is being waged by some in the automotive industry. They’ll say that there simply isn’t a good return on investment, that they aren’t worth messing with because it’s just too hard to find a benefit from them. This is true until you look at one major factor: time.

Twitter and Pinterest require very little time to maintain and keep vibrant. Before we get into the ways that dealers can streamline their efforts to make them more suited for a proper ROI, let’s first take a look at the three major aspects of them that make them worthwhile:

  1. Time Driven Algorithm – Unlike Facebook and Google+, the Pinterest and Twitter feeds are completely time driven. When you post something, it appears in the feeds of your followers immediately. Over time, they move down. This is a good thing for their purpose because they’re ideal for getting real-time engagement.
  2. Communication – At the end of the day, they are great as communication tools. Twitter allows you to communicate with people about ideas and events while Pinterest allows you to communicate visually.
  3. Google Loves Them – If there’s one major reason to improve your Twitter and Pinterest posting habits, it’s Google. From a social signals perspective, they are adored.

Now that we have that covered, let’s go over a proper posting and monitoring strategy that can streamline it down so they aren’t a waste of time.

 

Quick Visit Twice a Day

Three minutes. That’s all it takes to keep a strong Twitter and Pinterest presence. If it helps you sell on car a quarter, it was worth it. If it helps you get your pages indexed and ranked better so that you sell more than one extra car a quarter, you’re seeing better ROI than anything else you could have possibly done.

Log into Twitter. Check for and reply to Direct Messages. Check for and reply to @replies. Post something. It’s 140 characters. It doesn’t take much effort.

Log into Pinterest. Check your recent activity. It will be mostly repins of your posts, but see if there are any comments. Pin or repin something. It’s easy.

That’s it.

 

Tools

For Twitter, I prefer Buffer. It’s super quick, there’s no need to mess with timing because it uses a queue, and it shortens all of the links for you as you post. The best part is that it can be a Chrome or Firefox plugin which means that you don’t have to visit the app itself. As you’re browsing throughout the day, you can Buffer it very easily.

Regardless of which tool you use, be sure that you keep your queue relatively full. While I don’t recommend planning your Tweets weeks in advance, you can definitely stay ahead of the game so that on days when you simply don’t have the time to mess with it, at least you have content going up.

A quick note about automation – I never recommend feed posting. In other words, setting any RSS feed to autopost, even if it’s your own blog, is a mistake. From sources that you don’t control, feed posts means that your posts aren’t manually vetted. People can tell. It also means that if someone makes a mistake and posts something that is either inappropriate or a mistake, your feed posting program will get it onto your Twitter feed regardless. I remember seeing a car dealer Tweet a post that said something to the effect of “Empire Avenue verification post 2342hkhk!kj32&hh”.

Regarding your own blog, you should be posting it to Twitter manually. It’s your content so you should highlight it appropriately. Use hashtags. Ask for feedback. Make the title more Twitter-appropriate. It bugs me when people auto-feed their own blog posts because it saved them seconds while costing them an opportunity to truly highlight the important content appropriately.

Lastly, don’t feed your Facebook page posts onto Twitter or visa versa. Not everything that goes on Facebook is appropriate for Twitter. More importantly, it simply doesn’t save much time. If you post something to Facebook that also works on Twitter, do it manually. Seconds, folks. That’s all it takes.

* * *

They don’t take much time. There’s simply no reason to not include Twitter and Pinterest into your social media strategy. Done properly, they can enhance more than just your social presence. They can help with your website rankings, your blog traffic, and the general perceptions that people have about your dealership. We didn’t even get into the more advanced ways that you can use these sites to promote your business. At this point, I’d be happy if dealers were simply using them on a regular basis.

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The Social Media Statistics for 2013 across Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest provide us with an interesting opportunity to review where we may want to spend our social media dollars and time in the coming year. Quicksprout recently published the below infographic outlining the major differences between the three social networks with some key statistics you should be aware of.

With Facebook a clear leader in terms of user base, dwarfing Pinterest (to be fair Pinterest has not been around as long), and doubling the user base of Twitter, you might assume that the largest social network is the best option for your content. However looking a little deeper, Facebook does have a slightly older user base than Twitter and Pinterest which may be of relevance to you if your target audience is between 35 and 54 years of age, however Twitter and Pinterest may be a better fit if your audience is between 18 and 35 of age.

Of course gender is always a key consideration when weighing up social media statistics, and Pinterest is certainly a good option if you’re target audience is women. Boasting the highest female user base, especially if you’re looking to sell online, Pinterest has a strong higher education and high earnings base which is sure to prove valuable in an e-commerce scenario. On the other hand if you’re marketing to men, you may want to look at Twitter or Facebook as the social network of choice in 2013. Both Facebook and Twitter boast similar user base statistics and present an excellent opportunity if your target audience is middle class male workers with University qualifications, so check your selling point.

With the previous target audiences in mind, when it comes to igniting e-commerce spend online, Facebook is king, however recent statistics have shown there is growing value on Pinterest. A driving factor which defines this is the visual nature of both these social networks, and is something Twitter has not fully embraced thus far.

When it comes to time spent online in 2013 across social networks, it’s quite astounding to note that Pinterest users spend over an hour on average which is almost unheard of. When compared with Twitter’s 36 minutes and Facebook’s 12 minutes, this is unusually high, and presents an unparalleled opportunity for those looking to sell, especially in the home and entertainment industries. Although Pinterest’s time on site is very high, it should be noted that both Twitter and Facebook users’ time on site is excellent and not to be discounted.

In summary 2013 is shaping up to be a changing year in the online social media landscape. The Pinterest user base and relationship with online spend is likely to grow, Facebook is likely to roll out more products changing the landscape time and time again, and the Twitter user base is likely to grow, however Twitter needs to counter the issue of visual content quite quickly to compete in the e-commerce space. When considering where to spend your social dollars, be aware of your target audience, and wherever possible take the time to improve the visual nature of your content and you should begin to see some great results.

Source: http://www.jobstock.com/blog/social-media-statistics-2013/

While I was studying this evening I happen to run across this very valuable information in regard to Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. As we all know Facebook is a clear leader in terms of user base but equally relevant like the article states Facebook does have a slightly older user base however, Twitter and Pinterest may be a better fit if your audience is between 18 and 35 of age.

In the automotive industry we can't unfortunately just spend all of our energy on just one media site it's imperative that we have a strong presence on all the aforementioned sites. In some industries your target market may be a certain age however, in the automotive industry our target market is all age groups.

It's imperative for dealers not only to just place emphasis on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. But it's also important to have exposure with the other sites like YouTube, LinkedIn, Craigslist and online classified ads just to name a few. Dealers are really dropping the ball when it comes to building brand awareness which will give a competitive advantage to the dealers that have a strong exposure on all these sites. It's like what Sean Bradley says when teaches about Googleopoly. Your dealership must dominate the first page of natural Google when consumers begin the research and buying process.

Last but not least some very intriguing information that I wasn't aware of was the amount of time that users spend on Pinterest versus Facebook and Twitter. Very compelling when you look at Pinterest users that spend over an hour online versus Facebook 12 minutes and Twitter users at 36 minutes.

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Carnival Stuffed Animals

Social media icons and signs that say “Like us on Facebook” or “Follow us on Twitter” aren’t nearly as common in brick and mortar stores today as they were a couple of years ago. Many companies who tried to make it work (or are still trying) found that the presence of signs didn’t do much to improve their following.

Today, it can be different. Many people use their mobile devices to stay active on social media, much more than they did a couple of years ago, but even with this the old school follow/like signs still won’t work. They can, but not if you don’t give them a reason. Thankfully, this is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to increase your following. To do it, you have to make it worth their while.

One car dealership I’ve worked with has found strong success by using the concept in their service department. They’ve gone so far as to give three reasons for people to follow them on Facebook (they aren’t as hip on Twitter yet but I’m trying to get them interested). There’s a sign at the pay counter that says, “Get a 5% discount just for liking our Facebook page.”

In the “small print” under the offer, they write, “We post 4 or 5 times a week and we won’t annoy you with bad jokes or links to our blog. Instead, we post Facebook-only service specials and only the best of the best cars for sale from time to time.”

It works like a charm. Their numbers are constantly rising. Then, the take it a step further with the third incentive in even smaller print below the second line. “If you like us already and still want the 5% discount, just post that you’re here and that you ‘like getting my service done at [dealership name] because _______.”

Signage is the least used effective way to get fans, followers, engagement, and endorsements. These are people who are already doing business with you and if they like the way they’re treated, you should encourage them to let their friends know. It doesn’t have to be a discount. It does have to include a reason. I know one non-dealer that has stuffed animals, the small ones you see at the carnival, stacked on the wall with a sign that says, “Get your kid (or yourself) a stuffed elephant or moose by becoming our Facebook fan.”

Be creative. Be fun. Make a promise about how your social media profile brings value to your followers and then deliver on that promise by making your pages and profiles awesome.

People won’t like or follow you without a reason.

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Can Facebook come up with one original idea! OMG, like seriously!

Facebook has always wanted to edge in on Twitter’s Interest Graph.

The idea is, it’s a boon for ad dollars, as Twitter’s real-time stream taps into the immediate sentiment of the crowd. Facebook’s Friend Graph, while powerful, isn’t designed for immediacy.

At least, not yet. As was previously reported by The Wall Street Journal, and as I’ve verified through sources of my own, Facebook plans to launch its own Linkify’d version of the hashtag, allowing users to connect common themes and trending topics around the social network by adding the simple hashtag symbol to a status update. Clicking through sends a reader down a rabbit hole of information, all connected to the hashtag being followed.

“We don’t comment on rumors and speculation,” Facebook told AllThingsD.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Facebook already hinted at something like this at its News Feed redesign event last week. Breaking up the entire feed into separate verticals — like photos, music, and the entiresharing stream instead of only some shares — was the most Twitter-y thing Facebook has done yet. I’m surprised they didn’t introduce the linked hashtags throughout the service at the News Feed event.

But drilling down on the hashtag specifically is a direct affront to Twitter, potentially dipping into Twitter’s valuable ad dollar territory.

Look at it this way: Imagine the power, Twitter would say, of an advertiser sticking an ad in a user’s face at the exact time they want to see it. If a user follows a hashtag about, say, #desserts, a company like Hostess could sell ads against anyone who searches that hashtag, sticking a promoted tweet for their delightful pink Sno-Balls in front of everyone following the hashtag. It’s a practice that’s slowly catching on for the advertisers who can understand it (but not every brand is totally up to speed on how to best advertise on Twitter).

Facebook, on the other hand, can’t tap into that trending sentiment quite as effectively. While the company does attempt to place relevant ads in the News Feed and lower-right-rail to reach its users, it would do better to let people dig deeper into trends across categories. So blatantly ripping off Twitter makes some sense here.

And Facebook has hinted that this could be a reality for the site. In January, the company debuted Graph Search, the nascent way of digging deep into Facebook by making connections through the Friend Graph. Also, Instagram has used hashtags for some time, though that seems to have grown out of the language of Twitter.

Essentially, edging in on Twitter’s advertising territory by offering a better way to connect ads to users could spell trouble for Twitter.

But there’s a glass-half-full way of looking at this.

One of Twitter’s largest issues has been its difficulty translating just how normal people are supposed to use the hashtag in the first place. When on-boarding new users, they’re faced with a litany of “at symbols” and hashtags, a language of Twitter’s own that isn’t immediately clear. Not to mention the difficulty of letting users know how to use hashtags effectively in search and discovery; right now, Twitter’s search and discovery tab has improved, but it has long been terrible.

So Facebook’s widespread adoption of this language could actually bring the lexicon to the masses, essentially introducing a billion newbies to a gnarly language — one which Twitter is still trying to figure out how to introduce to users.

Remember, Twitter: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Just hope that this rip-off is to your advantage.

Source:allthingsd.com


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