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2018-05-17 An Effective Social Media Program is Powerful -Social Media Marketing 101

By Mark Dubois

 

As a 20 Groups moderator, consultant and trainer, I keep an ear to the ground on what BHPH dealers nationwide are saying and thinking.

Social media marketing has become one of the most talked-about subjects in our 20 groups.

Discussions range from simple questions like, “Why is social media marketing critical to my business?” to more complex questions, like, “How do I maximize the results of my social media marketing program?”

Those are great questions. The difficulty comes in finding answers.

Many dealers still wonder if social media is just a fad. “Social media is not a fad,” said Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics. “It is a fundamental shift in the way we communicate.”

Data from Socialnomics indicates 93 percent of buying decisions are influenced by social media.

Many dealers explain they are simply overwhelmed by the sheer number of social media platforms to choose from. And while mastering social media marketing is essential to your business, it can be tricky since every platform has its own quirks and best practices.

Here is a brief description of some of the most popular social media platforms:

Facebook is all about engagement – engaging pictures and short posts that tell a story and prompt “likes” and comments.

YouTube is a video-sharing service that permits users to watch, like, share, comment and upload videos.

Twitter is the listening site. Use it to join conversations and be viewed as the go-to person in your subject area.

Instagram is a visual site, used for trendy talk and eye-catching pictures and visuals.

Apps like WhatsApp and WeChat are used to connect users via text, voice and video.

Pinterest is used for avid bucket-listers who “pin” things that interest them.

The frontrunner among social media platforms for what most dealers are looking for is Facebook.

Dealers who use Facebook want to attract followers, engage and interact with followers, provide useful content, encourage testimonials, share stories, post pictures and create a sense of community with their business.

All those steps take time, effort and knowledge.

The power of an effective social media program cannot be overlooked. When it comes to testimonials and posts from your followers, statistics show 78 percent of consumers trust peer recommendations, compared to just 14 percent of consumers who trust advertisements.

Navigating your way through the maze of social media options and available platforms can be a daunting task.

But you don’t need to be an expert in all social media platforms. The key is to select a social media platform that will reach your target audience and become an expert in that field of social media.

The growth and popularity of social media has been staggering when compared to older forms of media.

Statistics show the number of years to reach 50 million users has accelerated with each media platform.

Radio took 38 years to reach 50 million users. Television took 13 years. The Internet took four years.

Facebook reached 200 million users in less than one year.

The question of whether social media is just a fad has been answered by statistics, participation and results.

For BHPH dealers, the opportunity to engage with customers and drive business to your front door through social media has evolved at lighting speed.

As Erik Qualman said, “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media. The question is how well we do it.”

 

Mark Dubois is a moderator for NIADA Dealer 20 Groups and an auto industry veteran with more than 35 years of experience. He can be reached at mark@niada.com.