If you think it’s the software, you’re mistaken. Social media marketing is unlike many other types of digital marketing because it is much less reliant on specialized software and more empowered by creativity and personalized strategy. I understand why agencies rely on software, but it’s not something that we would ever recommend.
In our industry, the car business, we believe in learning what we can about a dealership and customizing their social media to fit their market, personality, brands, selling style, and community involvement. One does not simply pull out a generic set of deliverables and start checking off the boxes. True automotive social media strategy requires diving in and building a strategy around the dealership.
Perhaps the most important factor in designing a strategy is to keep it fluid to adapt to changes in the local market. A perfect example popped up late last week. A dealership had been doing very well with their campaigns but saw a challenge from other brands popping up. They were selling a popular brand but the data was showing that less popular brands nationally were selling more cars in their area than they were.
Social media has many purposes. Sometimes, it’s all about driving targeted traffic to the dealer’s website. That’s the core of what we do, but there are times when the need arises to pull a play out of the old social media playbook – excitement and buzz. While we believe that buzz is something that’s a side effect of a strong social media campaign rather than a focus, we knew that in this particular situation, we had to focus a bit on making people aware that they should consider this particular brand.
Under normal situations, we find that “sizzle” happens in the standard course of building campaigns, but their situation required that we turn up the heat. We adjusted a couple of their campaigns and redirected some budget to get the word out that this particular brand was hot and needed to be at the top of mind.
Personalization requires that you toss out preconceived ideas. That’s not to say that you don’t follow best practices, but they don’t always fit into a particular situation. For example, it’s a best practice to get the word out about reviews. Most review sites get very little traffic. They’re great for letting people know that it’s good to do business with you through the star-ratings present in Google, but most of the people who read through these review sites skip passed the 5-star reviews and search for the bad ones. They’re looking for dirt. Social media is ideal for getting the actual words of positive reviews out in front of people.
This best practice works for many, but not all. Some are having reputation challenges and the last thing you want to do is to highlight your reputation if it’s bad. Just because something is a best practice doesn’t mean it’s best for everyone.
Social media is a wonderful way to drive traffic and interact with the community. The way to maximize it is to rely on real solutions and strategies rather than software and bulk posting.