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Be the Disruptor of Your Industry

Bring up Blockbuster or Toys R’ Us in conversation, and you can immediately evoke a sense of nostalgia. These companies were iconic, almost unbreakable brands that were ingrained into our culture. That was twenty years ago, when innovation in the industry was what exclusives you offered in a brick-and-mortar storefront. They couldn’t have possibly predicted the meteoric rise of Amazon and Netflix. These “disruptors” foresaw the changes in the market and rode the tide to their unprecedented successes. That’s because they learned that following new trends in the market was vital in the decade where we went from computers to computers embedded in our cell phones.

This level of innovation has cast a shadow over the automotive industry, still relying on age-old practices that predate the Blockbusters of the world. Dealerships have failed to seize opportunities that could lead them to the forefront of the industry. Does the future lack a sense of direction for dealers, or is the future of marketing already laid out before us?

If the automotive industry is going to survive the rise of platforms like CarVana’s and Cars.com, they need to find the same successes that brought Amazon and Netflix into our homes. That starts with “disrupting” the competition. Dealerships need to be proactive responders to market trends, finding success in social media campaigns and innovating new ways to engage customers.

That can be as simple as video calls to consumers, engaging with them as if they were already at the dealership. This personal level of intercommunication means that salespeople can walk the lot with customers at their convenience, and see their vehicles in perspective. Videos also bring immediate benefits to advertising and marketing teams. Changing strategies by personal engagement with customers, potential and current, means that dealers can keep in constant contact with leads. Even something as simple as a “Happy Birthday” video from the dealership continues conversations with customers.

Creating content on a daily basis is another way to innovate the industry. This could come in the form of videos showcasing new cars or vlogs offering a transparent look into the dealership. This shares with the customer that you are actively seeking ways to engage with your audience. Rather than put an ad on television, email your customers with enticing offers. Instead of cold calls, share a video on social media showcasing your dealership or your salespeople. Customers are attracted to faces and personalities, and keeping constant updates on your organizations lets your potential clients know that you’re confident about your organization.

Speaking on behalf of salespeople, branding your employees through social media offers an individual way to tap into your organization without intimidating customers. Let your salespeople have their own FaceBook or Instagram accounts, keeping contact with customers to reassure them that they have an ally within your organization.

Being an active participant on social media goes beyond these platforms. Job recruitment sites and Google reviews keep you engaged with your audience. Directors and managers should take charge, but allow other leaders within your organization to tackle these responsibilities. Show your audience that you are quick to respond to their needs, and that customer service goes beyond the dealership. This allows organizations to see where they stand with customer relations and have an active way to improve their standing with customers.

New companies offer instant gratification with their purchases, including new players within the automotive industry. A dealership doesn’t need to lose ground because these companies can thrive online: it simply means that dealerships can take an active role in an ever-changing market. There may come a time where brick-and-mortar dealers lose to the convenience of CarVana or Cars.com, but if organizations ensure that they are keeping up with these trends, they have a real shot at maintaining a competitive edge that extends well into the next technological wave. Personality, active engagement and constant contact can make dealerships feel a part of the 21st century.

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What does change mean to you?

I was live on Facebook...did you catch it? Learn why change is such a necessary evil by clicking the video below.

We’d love to hear what you have to say. Comment below and follow us on Facebook.
Website: http://www.ppadv.com
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It's simple. The Internet Sales 20 Group, this 9th installment of it, which is produced by Sean V. Bradley's company, Dealer Synergy, is much more than a "sales conference" or a "training session." This is an all out sensory assault on the Automotive Sales Professionals that are in attendance...
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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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How to be... Everywhere!

You have to be everywhere, but how do you maintain everything? Making sure your Yelp, Yellowpages, Facebook, Twitter, Super Pages, and YouTube are all up to date with your correct phone number, address, dealership name, and other important details can become an overwhelming task. Samantha will cover some tips to be everywhere.

If you want a copy of the Quick Tips Sheet, then email HardFacts@ppadv.com

I want to hear your ideas! Leave a comment here or connect with me on Facebook and share your thoughts.  You may get a free POTRATZ Coffee Mug Strategy!

Website: http://www.ppadv.com

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

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

Instagram: @Potratz

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Why are Instant Articles beneficial? Facebook provides a guide to Instant Article configuration so that you can use their content management system.

• Instant Articles are 10x faster than traditional mobile web articles
• They’re read 20% more often 
• Clients are 70% less likely to leave the article once they’re there.

Watch this week's Hard Facts now for more info!



Website: http://www.ppadv.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PotratzAdvert...
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Potratz
Instagram: @Potratz

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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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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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facebook-offers-auto-dealers 

Facebook Offers For Auto Dealers

As an auto dealer, you are probably used to hearing that you should be on Facebook. It gives your brand more visibility, it's an opportunity to connect with customers, and so on. But you might also be frequently reminded that, when it comes to selling cars, Facebook is anything but effective. Experts claim that only a small percentage of car shoppers use social media as part of the car buying process. But what if there was a way to change that?

There might be a real solution, and it's called Facebook Offers. Read on to find out more about this new tool, and how it can bring more sales to your dealership.

How Do Facebook Offers Work?

ddpavumba/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

ddpavumba/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Facebook Offers is one of the ad tools offered by Facebook to owners of business pages. Currently, Facebook is lagging behind Google when it comes to online ads, so Facebook Offers is clearly a way to gain a bigger share of the market.

The way Facebook Offers work is very simple. Once your dealership's page has at least 50 likes, you can create an offer, which is exclusive to the people you choose to receive it. It's easy to think of it as a modern version of а direct mail pamphlet, which comes with a 20% discount coupon, for example. You upload a photo with a description of the offer, and you can either put a limit on how many people can claim it or you can make the offer limitless. Then you pick a budget, and depending on the dollar amount you enter, you can get an approximation of how many people will be reached by the ad.

Target the Right Audience for Best Results

sheelamohan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

sheelamohan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

But here is by far the best thing about Facebook Offers. What makes Facebook Offers especially suitable for your dealership is that you can be very specific not just about the number of people, but also the type of people who will receive your offer.

Facebook will give you a very specific set of criteria to fill out, with which you can target your specific buyer persona, so your money won't go waste. For example, you can make your offer available only to people with a particular make or model of car, people who have driven the same car for a certain number of years, people who tend to go to dealership with a certain frequency, or many other specifications. Because Facebook is partnering with data brokering companies, the available criteria reach far and wide and can get so specific, that you'd be surprised how useful the results will be! And you don't have to worry about your clients' privacy, because the algorithm works with anonymous data, without revealing their personal information.

How to Use Facebook Offers in Your Dealership: 3 Strategies

digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Once a Facebook user likes your offer, they can “claim” it, after which Facebook will send them an email containing instructions on how to redeem it at your dealership. In order to tempt the maximum number of people with your offers, make sure you come up with something creative. Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Target people with cars older than 5 years, and make your discounted cars available only to them through a Facebook Offer. People buy a lot of new cars -- even though not all of them plan to, a tempting offer often makes them change their minds.
  • Offer to do a routine check for free, since your target buyers' vehicles probably have a high mileage by now. How about people who tend to visit service shops rarely? Send them an offer explaining the benefits of regularly changing a car's oil, along with a 25 percent discount if they come to your dealership for an oil change? Or the air filter? The possibilities are many, you just need to be creative.
  • Accompany each offer with a curious educational fact to make it more appealing. Or make a contest on your Facebook page, awarding a Facebook Offer to the winner. And this will have the added benefit of increasing engagement with your page.


Conclusion

Facebook Offers is definitely a good way to harness the power of social media for more than just brand-building. If you are not feeling confident about running ad campaigns, you can always use the services of a dealership consultant.

Have you used Facebook Offers yet? Was your campaign successful?

And what other ways are you using to keep your social media audience engaged? Share your experience by leaving us a comment below.

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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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PODCAST- Facebook's Organic Reach Plummets

Lately, you may have noticed a decline in the amount of people that are seeing your posts. This is because Facebook has changed their algorithm, which has decreased your posts organic reach. Why are only 1.2% of the people that like your Facebook page seeing your business posts? Find out in this weeks podcast! Inside this 3 minute podcast is also what we feel you should be spending to pay for boosting or promoting your post!
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Facebook Advertising: Get Over It!

Each and every day I am talking with auto dealers about ways to leverage Internet marketing to promote their dealerships. Most dealers do recognize the importance of search and social media today which means I spend little or no time educating about the importance of these things and more time discussing actual tactics and strategies we are going to utilize.

When it comes to Facebook, just about every dealer agrees they need to marketing there. What’s peculiar though is how each person believes this should be done, and specifically how probably at least 2 (or 3) in 5 dealers are opposed to paid advertising on Facebook.

What is Paid Advertising?

Paid advertising on Facebook is the practice of placing real dollars behind posts and targeting specific Facebook users based on their expressed interests on Facebook. The benefit of doing this is so that you can reach people beyond the reach of your dealership page. In effect, with paid advertising you have the ability to reach just about any Facebook user on the planet, which is nearly 1.5 billion people.

Example of a Sponsored Facebook Post

Example of a Sponsored Facebook Post

Why the Opposition?

As one who used to be opposed to paying to money to reach people on Facebook, I understand why there might be opposition to this. The idea of paying money to advertise in social media always seemed wrong. And if you watch the video below you might really struggle with the idea of doing so.

Mind Shift: From Social to Traditional Media

Maybe the way to overcome this is to not view Facebook as social media and instead a traditional communications medium such as radio or television.

A primary difference between traditional and social media is how the content is published, or better yet who is creating the content. On television the content is created by professionals with serious capital and resources behind it such as equipment, talent, and studios. On Facebook, the majority of content is made by the average user.

A similarity between traditional and social media is that people entertain themselves on both. For a social network to support advertising the way Facebook does, I think it’s fair to say that it becomes more of a traditional medium.

The Misconception

A misconception I see is that it’s a bad thing for brands to have to pay to reach people on Facebook. The social network was designed and intended for people to connect with and communicate with one another. Brands that want to reach people there can can pay, alas advertise” to do so. There is nothing wrong with that. Quite frankly, it’s a terrific advertising strategy.

Facebook Marketing Tips for Auto Dealers

Organic Tips

While paying to advertise on Facebook is a good tactic, this doesn’t mean there is no use in your organic strategy. In fact, if you have your employees share each piece of content published to your page, Facebook will recognize this as content shared from a person and not a brand and thus get your content natural extended reach. For more great tips, check out this infographic from Shortstack called the Facebook Quilt.

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Are you Spamming Facebook?

Facebook announced recently they are changing their spam algorithm. 

 This is great for the "consumer" but could get tricky for business owners. I've always hated when people "baited" for likes, comments or shares by adding the tagline - "Like if you Agree" or "Share if you Love your Honda," but all of the research I've done has shown that posts that use those bait lines get 4x more engagement then  posts that don't.  WAIT! Before you run to change your social media strategy, you should probably know the new algorithm is designed to mark posts using "engagement baiting" as spam! 

What does that mean?  If Facebook deems your post as spam, they'll remove it from your audience's news feed, in short they won't be seen... and if your post isn't going to be seen, is it worth posting at all?

So how do you circumnavigate this algorithm change, but still get people to engage with your post?  Create engagement worthy posts!  What are engagement worthy posts? That's a topic for another day, come back soon!  

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The new business layout that Facebook will be rolling out is very important to pay attention to. There are a few alterations that will really help manage and stand out on your Facebook page.

The new streamlined look will make it easier for viewers to find the information they want. The right side of the page will have your wall posts, which means at all times on your page the viewer will be able to see your posts. The left side of the page is where the business information will be located.  

The best addition to the new layout will be the addition of 'Pages to Watch' which will allow you to watch other Facebook pages to monitor how and what they are doing. This is a great way to monitor what other dealers do on Facebook and to make sure you are doing enough to stay ahead of your competition.

To read more about this click the link below!

Facebook's New Business Layout Link: ---> Click Here

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