Tag Archive: facebook

Lock. Load. Engage.

Auto_Dealer_Social_Network_SmallOK. So you have your social media presence set up. You’re on the right track. You are on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TUMBLR, Flickr and wherever else you have found.

Now we have to build your fan base and followers. How do we do that? Through engagement, that’s how. Engagement is a tricky process, but will have great rewards if you do it right.

Engagement in this regard, means the interaction between the follower/fan and the dealership. Often it is a daunting task, but once it gets rolling, it will most likely steamroll, as long as you stick with it and continue to encourage engagement through creative ideas. I will be discussing things I personally have done in the past that have worked well. I invite you to try them and build from them. These will get you started and from there, you will hopefully run with it in a creative direction of your own.

Lock. Load. Engage. 

Firstly, contests are a great way to reward your followers. It’s also a terrific way to add followers. Have contests where the entrant must like your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter in order to qualify. Make sure the contest is fun and that the prize is rewarding. The bigger the prize, the more chance you have at earning the interest of new followers. A free oil change as a prize may earn you, say, 10 new followers while an iPad may earn you 500 new followers. Examples of some contests to do are: Recipe contest. Photo contest (Pets, Kids, Your make car, etc …). Fan of the Week contest. Get creative with it. The more fun and easier it is, the more interaction you will get.

I am a big fan of humanization of the dealership in social media. Car dealerships and auto sales associates are often spoken with and thought of with negative connotations. You can change that view of your followers. Show them you are “humans” like them. Show them you can have fun at your job. Tasteful humor is often a great ice-breaker in many situations. (I will go into that a little later.) How do you show them you are human? One of my favorites is candid shots. Employees of the dealership being photographed while working, doing fun stuff, extra-curricular activities (business appropriate) such as a sports league or work related event. These kinds of photos help show you are “real people” just like the customers, show you can have some fun and often strike up conversation and engagement. I’ve actually been told by co-workers that customers have been in the dealership and mentioned the pictures I took of them and uploaded to Facebook.

Everyone has seen the GM or Sales Associate on video telling them about themselves. Try something different. I have done in the past, “Get To Know Our Staff” segments, where the fan/follower, customer, employee, etc … ask the questions. I would take say the GM. Post his picture, name and position out there and have your followers ask questions of that person that they might want to know. Questions can range from “What is your favorite color?” to position specific questions like “How do I check my oil” for a service technician. The questions are then collected and asked of this employee while they answer on video. This is an interactive video where the customers are involved and helps them connect with individuals at your dealership. This was a success during the time that I ran it.

These are just a few successful methods I’ve used. Don’t be afraid to be creative. If you are a social media manager for your dealership or workplace, come up with some fun ideas and run them by your management team to get their approval, and get up and running!

  • this article was published in Social Dealership Magazine

So you want to be social?

facebook_fan_pageA few years ago, there were countless dealerships and automotive people saying “Social media is just a ‘fad’ and won’t last.” Well, it’s still here and it’s lasted. The dealerships that thought out of the box and jumped on board are reaping the benefits of it while the other dealerships are now scrambling and trying to create a social media presence. Sure, not every dealership did it well. Some made mistakes and had to learn from them. Some are better at it than others. The more willing and creative these dealerships and their Social Media Managers are, the more chance at success they have.

What are you talking about Jay? I created my Facebook page years ago. – Creating a social media presence is more than just creating the profiles and occasionally making some posts. Being social is about engaging and interacting with your audience on a regular basis: your customers, your potential customers, your fans and friends. You are creating online relationships. The best way for you to establish this is to have a person or team in charge of this responsibility. Hire a Social Media Manager (aka Community Manager), add it as a responsibility to your Internet Department or hire an outside company that specializes in Social Media.

Social Media has become a part of our everyday life for most and with the ease of access through smart phones & tablets, more people are on it and more frequently. Creating and maintaining a social media presence is about getting your name out there (brand awareness) and connecting with people. Use it to create and establish relationships with customers and potential customers. Use it as a customer relations tool. Manage your online reputation with it. Many use Twitter and Facebook to voice their opinion about an experience at a dealership, wouldn’t it be nice to show some feedback? Thank them for their business and positive feedback. Answer back quickly and try to resolve complaints. Use it to showcase your staff and vehicles (in a social & fun way). Run contests and be active in the community.

If you are not currently utilizing social media to its advantage, I would suggest starting off with the “Big 3” as I would like to call them. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Auto_Dealer_Social_Network_SmallFacebook is currently the largest and most popular social media website. If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest country in the World. I would strongly suggest starting here. Create and maintain a profile and/or fan page. Here you can share status messages, links, photos & videos. This is where you can most easily interact with customers and find potential customers.

Twitter is a “micro-blog” social media website where you post status updates within 140 characters or less. It may take some getting used to with the character limit, but if done right, it is a very effective way of getting your message out there. Communication and conversation is key.

YouTube is a video sharing website that is highly searchable being owned by Google. You are going to want to create fun, short, quality videos with a great title containing a few important, relevant keywords and relevant “tags”. Viral content can spread fast, so make sure your video is portraying the message you want it to in a fun and/or educational way.

Just please remember, Social Media is “social” … A one-sided conversation will have people tuning you out. Converse, interact, engage.

  • this article was published in Social Dealership Magazine

Facebook Photos Gets A Flickr Makeover

facebook logo.pngFacebook Photos is receiving a makeover. Improvements include hi-res photos, photo-download links, bulk tagging options and an elegant lightbox interface for viewing images from anywhere on the site. These upgrades will more than likely help Facebook Photos compete with Flickr. Flickr has had the advantage over Facebook for quite some time, due to the fact that Facebook photos were best for capturing memories of places, people and events through small images and mobile snapshots. With the changes, Facebook Photos will more than likely attract photographers, models, graphic design portfolios and others that want to display their portfolios to the world.

Photos will be uploaded and downloaded in sizes up to 2048 pixels wide or high, compared to the current 720 pixels that larger photos get resized to. Each photo will now also have a link to download the Hi-Res JPEG files.

The site’s new bulk tagging options will allow the uploading individual to temporarily group images and tag friends by simply clicking on thumbnails.

The lightbox user interface will now be displayed anywhere on Facebook you clock an image. In your News Feed, in an album, on your friend’s Wall. A hovering black box displays the photo with minimal navigation controls and relevant social features.

facebook lightbox

Now, while this is an upgrade from the current Facebook Photos, a few questions come to my mind. With the hi-res photos being uploaded and displayed, the download capability and the amount of new users this might attract, will Facebook servers be able to handle it? Will it strain the servers and slow down the speed of the sometimes already slow site?

We also hope that there is a privacy setting where you can prevent your pictures from being downloaded. Will we as users be able to opt-in or out of the hi-res upload and download feature?

Source: Mashable

Twitter Surpasses MySpace

twitterAccording to new data from comScore Inc.Twitter passed MySpace in traffic from unique users by a small margin last month. Twitter had nearly 96 million unique visitors in August, up 76% from the same period last year, comScore said. MySpace, meanwhile, dropped 17% during the same period, to 95 million unique visitors last month.

Keep in mind, this data does not account for the visits that Twitter receives from third-party applications and websites such as TweetDeckHootSuite and Seesmic. With this reasoning, Twitter’s actual reach might be higher than the numbers from comScore imply. A newly revamped Twitter website interface is hoping to bring those third-party users directly to Twitter.com which should increase the number of unique visitors the site receives now and in the future.

Also according to this data, Twitter has now become the third ranking social networking-type service in the world behind Facebook and Windows Live. Facebook grew by 54% to 598 million unique visitors in August, and Microsoft’s Windows Live Profile, which integrates with the company’s web-based email and other services, had more than 140 million visitors. Facebook has a strong-hold on the #1 social networking-type service in terms of traffic by unique users.

“Any comparisons between MySpace and other Internet services are irrelevant as MySpace’s mix of offerings is uniquely different and specifically focused on audiences under the age of 35,” said Rosabel Tao, a MySpace spokeswoman, in a statement.

Twitter is a social publishing and news discussion platform more than anything, while MySpace is attempting to position itself as a destination for young people to discover new music, movies and games. Both appeal to brands that want to reach new people, but they’re very different tools for very different kinds of brands.

Carolyn Penner, a Twitter spokeswoman said in a statement: “While we generally don’t comment on third-party statistics, the growth measured by others doesn’t surprise us. We’re seeing 370,000 new accounts a day.”

Twitter’s growth and milestone of passing MySpace is hoped to be used to woo marketers that could use the service to target relevant ads to consumers interested in real-time information about breaking events and other topics. Twitter has already cashed in on its numerous users with Promoted Tweets, and now it will reach out to businesses with the “Promoted Accounts” system, which allows companies to buy visibility among their target market’s “Who to Follow” suggestions.

Source: Wall Street Journal | Mashable


          

Drive Traffic to your Website

Website TrafficAs a web designer I frequently get asked: “How do I get traffic to my website?” and “How can I get my website to come up on page 1 of Google, Yahoo or other major search engines?” Well, there are many methods of driving traffic to your website. When these methods are combined and implemented successfully, you will reap the benefits of search engines and traffic. Most people do not understand this process. It is a hard and time-consuming process, it will not happen overnight. The following methods will be suggestions to help you in your quest for website traffic.

First and foremost, you need to have your title, keywords and meta tags in your website correctly done. Each page of your website contains different content so they should be labeled as such in the title, keywords and meta tags.  Website pages should contain between 10-14 keywords at the most. Please refrain from repeating keywords or trying to “trick” the search engines. The major search engines and their “spiders” have become extremely smart and too many keywords or tricks will actually work against you rather than in your favor.

I am going to pretty much list the methods here and in future posts, I will go into much more detail for each in future posts.

Social Media and Bookmarking:

  • Blog(s)
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • MySpace
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • YouTube
  • Stumble Upon
  • Foursquare
  • LinkedIn

Place your link in your e-mail signature

Every e-mail you send out (or is forwarded on) will have the potential of someone visiting your website.

Use your link on all printed media and advertising:

  • Business Cards
  • Brochures
  • Flyers
  • Billboards
  • Signs
  • Vehicle Graphics

Reciprocating Links (Affiliates)

Exchange links with quality businesses and websites.

Business Directories

  • Google Maps / Google Local
  • Yellow Pages
  • Super Pages
  • Yellow Book

E-mail blasts and/or newsletters

Send e-mail blasts to clients/customers and opt-in subscribers with relevant information. (Company News, Sales, etc .. )