I had thought the days were behind us. Call it a hope, but I believed that the majority of businesses who were active on social media had pushed beyond the plague that once filled our feeds - the worthless post. I was wrong.
It was while auditing an account that followed numerous car dealers on both Twitter and Facebook that I came across the reality of the situation. There are still plenty - over half from the sampling of several hundred that I examined - that were posting the type of "content" on social media that drives people to unfollow, block, or simply ignore them. Recently I've been posting some advanced business social media tips, but it's time to take a step back and go over one of the basics...
If you're going to ask people to do anything at all on social media, whether it's to click on a link, share a post, or engage in any way at all, give them a valid reason to do so.
Don't get me wrong. I realize that social media is still new to many. I realize that not everyone is learning the best practices that it takes to make it successful. I was simply taken aback by the numbers of businesses that were making this profile-killing mistake. In the example above (not the worst example, mind you, but after seeing so many this was the one that was closest to the top for a quick screen capture), the dealership is asking people to do something. They want their fans to browse the inventory of a particular new vehicle. The chances of anyone clicking on this link are miniscule compared to the chances that they'll see this post and unfollow the dealership.
The same thing is happening on Facebook. In many ways, it's worse because people are much more stingy with clicks that take them away from Facebook than they are with clicks that take them away from Twitter.
This needs to stop...
Give them a reason
There are much better ways for a dealership to use social media than to try to get clicks to the inventory, but if you must do it from time to time, make sure there's something enticing to make it happen. For example, a Tweet might say...
- The 1st batch of next generation #Mazda6 just rolled off the truck. [link] #SmokinHot even in December!
- Our biggest sale of 2012 starts next week. Get a head start by browsing the #special inventory [link]
- New incentives just hit for the #Nissan #Sentra. Claim dibs on yours, #Atlanta! [link]
Social media is about now. If people wanted to browse your inventory, they'd go directly to your website or find the car they're seeking on Google. There's no chance that seeing a Tweet or a Facebook update telling them to click to your inventory for no reason will ever work. Give them a reason.
Of course, posting links to inventory is not a best practice. It's something that should be done sparingly (if at all) and only when there's a valid reason to do so. Your goals with social media are many, but two of the basics are (1) improve your branding for future considerations, and (2) catch people in market with something compelling.
Compelling. Give them a reason. Otherwise, the seconds it took to post a meaningless update could have been better spent reciting a limerick.