Marketing your dealership in the digital age requires an understanding of how to leverage social media.
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Fit to Print is a monthly summer editorial series that explores key topics and trends pertaining to the aftermarket segment's accelerated transition from a commodities to services orientation. "Raising Your Dealership's Social Media Profile" is the second installment of four in this series, each of which launches on the second Thursday morning of every month through September. (Click here for the previous and first installment in the series, "Can Seat-based Billing Save MPS?)
Researched, sourced and written by The Cannata Report, Fit to Print is presented by Clover Imaging Group.
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Quick, name a dealership that’s ahead of the curve when it comes to using social media and social networking? One of the first names that should come to mind is Impact Networking in Waukegan, IL. There’s plenty of lessons to be learned from Impact’s internal social media initiatives as well as the social media programs, including website design, that it provides to clients.
Kaitlyn Fisher is Impact’s digital marketing specialist. She joined the dealership five years ago after graduating from college. She specializes, as her title implies, in social media and e-mail marketing and frequently leverages social media to promote Impact’s events and webinars.
Fisher recommends thinking of social media as a way to generate leads from multiple channels.
“Whenever we do an event or anything that’s a gated piece of content, we use social media to get people to sign up and find people who we don’t have in our database already,” said Fisher. “We’ve found that sponsored social media is a good way to reach specific audiences or groups of people that we don’t necessarily have a relationship with yet or who would be a good fit for our content.”
One to one (1:1) communication via Twitter has also been effective for Impact.
“You can dive into keywords associated with the specific companies that people work for and reach out to them 1:1 and say check out this new piece of content,” observed Fisher.
Not surprisingly, Linkedin has been most effective for B2B initiatives because of the specific targeting offered by Linkedin’s paid messaging services for sending people, personalized messages.
“That’s good for promoting webinars and things like that,” said Fisher.
When embarking on a social media initiative, whether it’s the first time, or the fiftieth, it’s wise to manage expectations.
“Whenever we suggest doing a campaign or program on any of the platforms, narrow it down to one specific goal,” explained Fisher. “If the goal is to get leads, that’s definitely how we’re going to measure our ROI. We’ll still look at it from all angles—impressions, engagements, and sharing—just so we can learn from it. Even if it doesn’t get the amount of leads we want, we usually find something beneficial and have more data to better refine our campaign for next time.”
One reason Impact has enjoyed success internally and externally with social media is because there is what Fisher describes an active internal employee advocacy for the dealership.
“We have a really good culture and do a lot of sharing and engagement from the inside out,” noted Fisher. “When you have people who love the company, and then leverage content by producing it and sharing it, that definitely helps social media take off.”
If there’s one constant about Impact’s social media initiatives is that they are always evolving. The dealership’s latest social media initiative is posting more video content. That can be as simple as posting a video or piecing together static images to create slide shows so that there is more movement on Impact’s social media pages.
“We’re really trying to dive into that to make our pages more engaging and see how that affects our engagement,” said Fisher.
Currently, she’s posting those videos on Facebook.
Where is the best place to start with social media?
Fisher recommends defining what you’re trying to get out of it, who your audience is, and what you want your audience to do.
“Deciding if it’s going to be more of a lead generation platform for you or more for recruiting,” she added.
Then it comes down to figuring out how you’re going to measure success, and understanding the ROI needed to make it successful.
“Plan what you’re going to do, how you’re going to measure it, and define who you’re trying to reach and playing with the type of messaging that works with that audience,” stated Fisher.
Impact uses social media to learn more about its clients, particularly when they’re developing a new website for them or starting a new creative campaign.
“You can learn about your target audience based on looking at people in that industry, their Linkedin profiles, and their skills and interests,” stated Fisher. “Understanding your audience and the types of messages they’re responding to is an important first step too.”
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Series Installments to Date
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The Seat Based Billing (SBB) advocates have taken their show on the road to educate the imaging industry on the perceived benefits of SBB. Clover Imaging Group (CIG), Print Audit, GreatAmerica Financial Services, Supplies Network, and Office Document Consulting are all partnering with the Business Technology Association (BTA) to offer a three-city SBB Road Show, which kicked off on June 6 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Next up is a stop on August 15 in Las Vegas, Nevada, before the road show comes to a close on September 12 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Each session is held the day before a BTA event for ease of attendance. Learn more about and register for the SBB Road Show at sbbroadshow.com.
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Read "What Is Inbound Marketing and Three Ways to Use It Effectively," Clover Imaging Group's recent and related digital marketing authority paper right here, or begin with the following teaser below:
Have you seen Mad Men?
Of course you have. Hasn’t everyone? I ask because one of the defining characteristics of this show (besides the masterful acting of Jon Hamm) is how it portrays the olden days of advertising.
Newspaper spots, full-page magazine ads, radio and television commercials—even home letters.
These were all the bread and butter of advertising back in the day. And up until recently, going through ad agencies used to be the only way to spread the word about your business.
Not so today. In fact, the world of marketing has never been different than it is right now, especially with the rise of inbound marketing.
With its accessibility and proven conversion power, this new strategy is taking industries from every sector by storm. And if you want to survive in today’s market, a well thought out, quality inbound marketing campaign isn’t just ideal, it’s essential.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide answering the question “Just what is inbound marketing?” We’ll show you what separates it from traditional forms of advertisement as well as give you several tips (with real-world examples) for how to create an effective inbound campaign...
Click here to continue reading.
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