Category Archives: Car Dealers

Will Car Dealers Leverage Social Media Advertising for Competitive Advantage in 2013?

Will Car Dealers Leverage Social Media Advertising for Competitive Advantage in 2013?

Car Dealers: Social Media Matters When Seeking Your Competitive Advantage in Local Markets

In 2012, more than 1.4 billion people around the world used social networks, up 19% from 2011. But although the worldwide social network audience is enormous, it is by no means unified. Within the North American automotive marketing landscape social media based advertising continues to mature and develop capabilities that are simply unavailable in other media channels. As social networking giants such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and others grow and develop increased business engagement models, their ability to attract marketing and advertising investments from the automotive industry grows.

The chart shown below shows five years of social media based advertising spend with fairly steady growth. I predict a faster rate of growth going into 2014 as the targeting, messaging and creative engagement models provided by social networks continue rapid development and increased effectiveness in achieving automotive marketing objectives.

 

US Online Social Network Advertising Spend from 2008 to 2013*:

  • $1.175 billion (2008)
  • $1.295 billion (2009)
  • $1.335 billion (2010)
  • $1.420 billion (2011)
  • $1.515 billion (2012)
  • $1.640 billion (2013)

Social Network Advertising Spend increases from another perspective*: 

*Data source: eMarketer

ADM Professional Community members have access to all the data and insights we publish about social media. You can learn more about social network usage around the world below, but you can learn a lot more by visiting the ADM Professional Community daily. Complete the “Sign Up” form on the upper right of every ADM page to submit a membership application and start the conversation with experienced automotive marketers and people selling more cars using strategies and their tactics within the social media universe.

Usage patterns are highly developed and predictable in some regions, and unstable and changing rapidly in others. And while many people use Facebook, not all social network users do. Facebook has shown many users how to get their most satisfying results from time spent online, this has driven an increased familiarity with online social media in general, and a cottage industry of social networks specializing in specific subject matters. Homegrown social networks, especially those seeking consumers, enthusiasts and influencers in automotive niches will play a larger role over time in most major markets in both the USA and Canada.

Countries such as India and Indonesia are rapidly becoming major usage centers for social networking, particularly via mobile phones, and will each see their user bases grow more than 50% in 2012. This phenomenon, combined with Facebook’s staggering growth in the region, mean that in 2012, the Asia-Pacific region will, for the first time, be home to more Facebook users than North America is. As North American automotive consumers have become more accustomed and skilled at using social networks via their introduction through Facebook, many of them have ventured outside of the social media behemoth to participate in User Generated Content (UGC) sites, specialized blogs and forums, as well as other networks.

In more mature markets like the USA and Canada, automotive marketers are looking to use the social media presences they have already established to deliver relevant content to fans. Social networks are making it easier for businesses, especially car dealers to broadcast changing incentives and promotional offers that create the deals which drive both sales and service recommendations across a wider network of users in real time with improved location and mobile targeting.

With Facebook’s New Ads Manager and the growing maturation of the platform comes an increasing effectiveness for their paid advertising models.  

This in turn enables car dealers to leverage user profile based targeting that delivers the right message to the right automotive consumer at the exact right time. More and more North American car dealers are using the growing platform maturity and advertiser responsiveness at Facebook for a competitive advantage over their neighboring dealership competition which has ignored Facebook’s emerging capabilities.

Data Sources: eMarketer, Facebook and MarketingCharts.com 

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

facebook

facebook (Photo credit: sitmonkeysupreme)

Branding versus Marketing on Facebook

Branding versus Marketing on Facebook

Facebook Logo

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that Facebook (and social media in general) is a communication tool. It’s a way for businesses to connect with customers and a safe venue through which customers and potential customers can interact with your business.

With that said, let’s look at the other two primary functions of Facebook: marketing and branding. Both are similar. Both are categories that can mean different things to different people and businesses. While it’s definitely possible to do both well on Facebook at the same time, the safer and less time-intensive strategy would be to pick one or the other as the primary goal (outside of communication, of course).

Here are the two basic options. There will be those who will say that it’s being oversimplified, but this isn’t a tutorial. It’s a way to distinguish between the two so that a business can make an intelligent decision about which mindset to take in their efforts. Once the mindset is established, the strategies can form.

Facebook for Branding

This is becoming the more common practice among businesses because it is more open in form and more singular in goal. More importantly, using Facebook as a marketing tool is considered by many to be harder (depending on your business type, of course). Many, particularly those who are engaged with individual customers on a daily basis such as car dealers and realtors will opt for this approach because it gives them the freedom to simply be entertaining or informative without having to put the time into crafting an appropriate marketing strategy.

It’s the easy road, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any less rewarding.

Using Facebook for branding is all about getting your name, logo, and general message out there. The general message is often abstract – it’s not talking about a sale or a particular product but rather trying to convey a company attitude with the message.

This strategy can use popular images, interesting (and sharable) facts, or funny concepts to will encourage liking and sharing. While some take the road of using ideas that are completely off topic, I’m a firm believer that it’s possible to stay focused on either the local area, the industry, or both with every post. In other words, a car dealer shouldn’t be posting pictures of cats. They should be posting pictures of cars, videos of cars, and images or discussions about the local area.

The branding message is easier to spread because it doesn’t involve marketing. There’s no goal of direct conversions or clicks to the website. It’s all about getting the brand out there as much as possible.

The downside, of course, is in proving ROI. Without direct marketing applied to the messages, it’s a leap of faith that by getting interaction and engagement around content that does not lead directly to a lead or a sale but that keeps the name and logo of the business in mind, that there are intangible benefits that are happening.

Facebook for Marketing

Unlike using Facebook for branding, the marketing strategy is trickier. It’s easier to mess up. There’s a risk of actually doing damage to the Facebook account by being too “spammy” with the posts. Those who are not ready to take a little heat on their path to get more conversions should not even go down this road.

However, if your goal is to achieve demonstrable ROI and take what you can today in a concrete manner, this is the right approach. It will rely on Facebook ads. There’s no way around it – unless you’re marketing something that resonates while also being productive such as a funny T-Shirt company, you’re very unlikely to get away with a hardcore marketing message without the use of ads.

Thankfully, Facebook ads are cheap.

Using a marketing strategy on Facebook does not mean that it’s all business. While some I have spoken to on the subject (including a VP at Facebook) have said that businesses can find success by only posting once or twice a week and promoting those marketing posts, I’ve found that a mix of interesting or entertaining content with the marketing messages can be beneficial.

People aren’t going to Facebook to see marketing messages, so yours has to be truly valuable. It’s not about putting up a picture of a car and calling that marketing. It’s about generating messages that they can only get through Facebook. For example, having Facebook-only sales events can be effective with next to zero risk. If people come to the store as a result, awesome! If they do not, then the expenditure was minimal. If they aren’t successful, you shouldn’t give up. You simply need to tweak the message, adjust the advertising, or go through a series of “fun” posts to set up the marketing posts properly.

Don’t Forget Communicating

Regardless of which path you choose, remember the number one rule: Facebook (and social media in general) is about communication. It’s about talking to your customers and having them talk to you. It’s about giving them a venue through which you can be completely open about your business and hold public conversations with unsatisfied customers as well as the happy ones.

Which way fits best with your business? That’s the only real question you need to ask to get started down the right path.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

English: Graph of social media activities

English: Graph of social media activities (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Web Connected Car Buyers Spend Over 3 Hours a Day on Social Networks – Automotive Marketing

Web Connected Car Buyers Spend Over 3 Hours a Day on Social Networks

Social Networking Eats Up 3+ Hours Per Day For Car Buyers

American automotive consumers aged 18-64 who use social networks say they spend an average of 3.2 hours per day doing so, according to new research released by Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange (OTX).

Factoring in survey respondents who don’t use social networks, the survey finds that the average online American Car Buyer spends 2 hours a day social networking from a computer, tablet and/or mobile phone. Unsurprisingly, American Car Buyers who are social networkers aged 18-34 self-report spending more time than their older counterparts, and women outpace men in consumption, also.

Specifically, among American automotive consumers who are social network users:

  • 18-34-year-olds report spending 3.8 hours a day
  • 35-49-year-olds report spending 3 hours per day
  • 50-64-year-olds report spending 2.4 hours per day

In terms of the gender difference, female social networkers spend almost 40% more time daily with social media sites than men (3.6 hours vs. 2.6 hours), a finding consistent with earlier research from MyLife and from Burst Media showing women to be more active than men on social media.

Some other interesting demographic gaps emerge from the Ipsos research. Those include:

  • Social networkers with low household income spending more time than those with high household income (3.7 hours vs. 3.1 hours) 
  • Those with low education levels spending more time than those with high education levels (3.5 vs. 3) 
  • Business owners spending almost 50% more time than those who don’t a business (4.4 vs. 3) 
  • Senior executives and decision-makers spending 40% more time than those not in that position (4.2 vs. 3) 
  • Unemployed social networkers spending 3.5 hours a day on social media, versus 3 hours for the employed. 

The study breaks down actual hourly estimates per day, with some striking results. For example, roughly 1 in 5 users aged 18-34 claim to spend 6 hours or more per day social networking.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

English: Semiotics of Social Networking

Content Marketing – Automotive Professional Community

Content Marketing – Automotive Professional Community

 

Content Marketing

Local Small Businesses or Fortune 500 firms alike, that plan on using Content Marketing as part of their overall Online Strategy must challenge themselves in developing a campaign that underlines the outreach of useful information through accessible channels for maximum conversion.

Before any Content is created there are 4 influential steps in developing your Content Marketing Strategy. 

  1. Research
  2. Editorial Calendar
  3. Content Creation
  4. Distribution

Research : 

As with any strategy, the most important course of action is research. A lot of research is the best way to grasp a hold of who your readers are and will be. You need to think in terms of who your audience and what websites do they visit and often engage with.When you are thinking of your audience it is important to note the target demographic and their particular behaviors.

One of the best tools in performing content marketing research is Google’s Keyword Tool. Using this tool will allow you to learn about what keywords drive your industry nationally as well as locally. Most Small Business Owners do not know even this even exists but with a little elbow grease you can achieve 1st Page RankingsYou want to think of Keywords as your way of maximizing your contents:  

“Search Engine Visibility”. 

Social Media Marketing is playing a major force in how Content Marketing is being shaped. Being able to listen in on conversations is a great way to stay ahead of the curve. Social Listening is just that, it allows you to see fill in the, “Content Gaps”.

It is important to create a content marketing editorial calendar to plan your communications to current and prospective customers.

The 2nd step in your Content Marketing Strategy includes laying out what your message will be based on the day, the month and your mood.

1. Remember The Past

First thing first, you are going to need to do a little research and see what has worked before and what has not worked before, for your company and in your industry. 

Before you start piecing your content calendar together,
 you need to ask these questions:

What type of content did you deliver this year?
What method of content distribution did you use?
Next ask yourself in a quiet room, What Worked…and What Truly Failed ?

The Future is always Tomorrow but the seeds are to be planted today. 

By thinking about where you’ve been the next logical step is to think about where you will go next. Deciding the next 12 months content road map is a difficult process. As you envision where your company will be in the next year, you can think of the content marketing calendar as your guide – a month to month breakdown of what your online marketing and offline collateral efforts will consist of.

So here you are, asking yourself a few more questions in a quiet room,

  • Where do you see your business in the the future?
  • Where do you see your business in a year?
  • What type of clients do you want to service and help?
  • Are there new services that you can offer for more sales?
  • Are you doing everything you can to build your database?
  • Is your staff properly trained in conveying your brands’ message?
  • Can you see new opportunities that you may have overlooked?

2. Tag Team,  You Are It – Idea Brainstorm

Gather a group of your employees in a meeting room and meet with for a purpose. Depending on how big your company is you will have different teammates from different sectors. For our purpose we will talk about a small business – owner, manager, creative, etc. – anyone you think of value who would add insight into how you could best build content for your business. Maybe your accountant or your janitor.

You never know who might be creative. 

The Idea Brainstorm, is a perspective that will not only create a spark but will give you the opportunity to see it from their view, from their – “Panoramic Point of View” – you not only see it from their shoes, but also see through their eyes. This Idea Brainstorm not only gives you ideas from which to pull content from but but also an opportunity to hear what your employees are saying. There are times when a group gets together and becomes energetic. This energy sometimes produces ideas that generate millions of dollars.

Always be listening.   

 

Remember, this is a session where ideas can be different and formless, go with the flow and allow different people to communicate. Whoever is in charge, ultimately guides the Idea Brainstormand directs it to stay on course for time restraints.  This person will ideally be in charge of gathering all the raw ideas after the session, and creating a structure within the calendar template.

Questions for yourIdea Brainstorm

What content would I like to see if I was a customer?
What are we missing that we can improve on?
What content will be created  (i.e.pr, social media, graphics, video, local seo marketing,  interviews, etc.)
Any old content you can re-hash for the upcoming year?
What new methods of distribution can be more effective?
Is there a way to integrate offline marketing in to online traffic?
Who is going to write the content?

3. The Editorial Calendar Plan

So you have met with your teammates and gathered intelligence on how to effectively build the proper content that markets to the correct demographic. So now is the time to start working on the calendar. You can start with a simple piece of paper and jot down the day.

If any holidays are in that month make sure to note that and also note it three weeks ahead. In fact, lets go ahead and mark holidays with the colour blue or any colour you desire. 

Some people recommend using a monthly calendar, but to be honest the best possible and effective way to to use content marketing is to look as far ahead as up to 12 months. This will give you a specific plan for the year you can relate to whenever.

Add the info to the Content Marketing Calendar

Take your monthly sheet of paper from step 3 and start with the first day. Plot your information on the calendar as well as online for maximum usage. You want to be consistent as well as keep the info simple and direct. Remember to add Conferences, Bills, Holidays, Birthdays and any other information that may provide content.

Repeat this for Each Month (12x)

Now that you content scheduled for each month, this will allow you to automate some of your online marketing using a service like Sendible or Aweber. This will save you future time but also give you more time to do more social engagement online.

What’s great about your Automated Social Marketing, is that you can schedule what information you want posted on what day and on what page.

It also can determine the frequency as well as where the information gets distributed to.

As long as you are prepared with a constant stream of content built up, this will help you on the Search Engines. You will be providing your customers and potential clients, a formal introduction as to who you are and the type of information that can formulated from strategy base on your business.

 

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

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7 Things to Accomplish in Social Media in 2013

7 Things to Accomplish in Social Media in 2013

2013

A new year represents beginnings. It is a time to reflect on what was missed and make plans for improvement. This year is going to be a crucial one for many businesses with uncertainty in the economy, fluctuation in the social media sphere, and an awakening that is happening for many that social media is here to stay and is something that they need to master.  Competition is getting stronger thanks to this awakening.  It’s no longer an option to try out social media. The test drive phase is over. Either you’re in or you’re out. If you’re in, here are some things that you should strive to accomplish in 2013 that will make your social media strategy shine above the competitors:

  1. Get on the Google+ bandwagon before it becomes a bandwagon – In 2011, I said that Google+ had potential. In 2012, it started showing signs of having influence over searches, placement of reviews in the local section, and an increased engagement level on the social networking component itself. In 2013, it will go from an option to a “must have”. We saw this sort of necessity budding with Facebook in 2008 and Twitter in 2009. Google+ is different because it’s accelerating faster than any of its predecessors. Get going now or you may fall terribly behind.
  2. Make quality content the highest goal for website improvement – We’ve discussed it several times over the last few months and we’ll continue to discuss it for as long as it remains important. High-quality content is the key to both search and social more than it has even been in the past. Unique, important, entertaining, and informational content that can get the inbound links and social shares to your website can be your secret weapon in 2013.
  3. Consolidate your social media posting strategies – This is a challenging one to discuss and deserves its own blog post in the near future. There’s a difference between posting the exact same content to all of your social profiles and pages at the same time and consolidating the strategies in a way that will make the whole greater than the sum of its parts. It’s not that you will cross-post everything you have. It’s that you’ll want to make sure that everything from website content to Facebook posts to Pinterest pins are pointing in the same strategic direction.
  4. Get visual – The written word is harder to promote than the visual message. All of the major social networks love images. Most hate links. That doesn’t mean that you can’t try to make links a part of the message, but all too often it’s the only part. This has to change in 2013.
  5. Post higher quality instead of more often – If given the choice between crafting and promoting a single piece of content on Facebook and Google+ that truly resonates with the communities or posting a lot of good but not great content, I’ll take the former every time. Your posts have to pop or they’ll go nowhere.
  6. Grow your targeted following ONLY – There was a time when it was okay to get a boost on followers by targeting the whole world. It’s easier to get local followers to a big account than one that is tiny. Things have changed, though, and now it can actually damage the effectiveness of your accounts by being too large with untargeted followers. Tighten it up, prune when necessary, and stop trying to inflate your numbers.
  7. Build a true personality with your social profiles and stick with it – This is not a call to become the cat-picture poster of Facebook. There are plenty of those. It’s a call for businesses to personalize, to make sure that there is humanity within their social media posts. It could be regular promotions of a local charity, funny videos made by the business that can quickly become “a thing”, or just staying business-focused but with a real person expressing real ideas and offering real advice in their industry.

It’s hard to limit this list to 7. I actually had to cut off three of the tips I was going to give because they were too hard to try to fit into a list; they deserve individual blog posts of their own.There are so many other things that businesses should do in 2013 to make their social media shine like never before, but it’s better to start with a handful of achievable goals rather than be flustered by the failure of taking on too much at once. If you do these things, you’ll get better this year.Thankfully, nothing on the list is that hard.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

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Dealers Should Post Fewer Links and More Interactions, Text, and Images on Twitter

Dealers Should Post Fewer Links and More Interactions, Text, and Images on Twitter

Twitter Links

The automation of Twitter for businesses continues to become the norm.

As micro-blogging, interaction, and expression get replaced by RSS feeds, Facebook feeds, and post scheduling that is all dominated by links, links, and more links, the power of Twitter is being replaced by the easy alternatives to actually, well, using the service.

This is a huge mistake for most. There are some who are simply overwhelmed by social media and internet marketing in general and anything that they can check off their list with minimal or zero effort is a good thing. For those who actually want to find success on Twitter, it’s not going to work with zero effort. Thankfully, Twitter is a platform that can work very well with minimal effort. There has to be some, just not a ton.

Post fewer links

When I first started using Twitter over five years ago, the site was loaded with communication. Links were in fewer than 20% of the Tweets in my feeds. It was mostly about, “look at what I’m doing here” or “I really like pickles”. Now, links dominate Tweets. For news sources and other publications, this is fine. For super-active accounts that talk to people regularly, this is fine. For businesses who are not super-popular on social media, links should be used sparingly.

Again, it comes down to time. If you simply don’t have the time to come up with 3 or 4 good, solid unlinked Tweets, interactions with everyone who reaches out to you, and proactive interactions with new people the way a proper Twitter strategy should look, then getting something out there on a regular basis is better than going completely stagnant. The effectiveness of the “bail out” strategy is minimal, but if it’s all that you can afford from a time perspective, so be it.

It’s it’s at all possible to tone down the links and get truly engaging with your posts, you’ll get much more out of the service for your business.

Talk to people

It would have been hard to imagine in the days when I was first getting started on Twitter that there would be a need to give this advice, but that need is here. Twitter is first and foremost a communication tool. Most businesses are using it strictly for broadcasting. The paradox that many fail to understand is that if you talk about yourself less and talk about others more, your messages about yourself will reach a greater number of people. In many ways, it’s about earning the right to broadcast.

Those who use Twitter regularly can smell a feed-driven Twitter account in seconds. They can tell when an account is strictly being used to broadcast and when it’s truly being used for communication. When someone is strictly broadcasting, they better be a publication like Mashable or a celebrity like Oprah Winfrey or the message simply won’t be heard.

Here are some quick ways to establish that you’re communicating on Twitter rather than broadcasting:

  1. Send @ – If you’re a standard business account that is getting a handful of interactions directed at you per day, reply to all of them. If you’re more popular, reply to the ones that are personalized. In other words, no need to reply to retweets unless the sender added their two cents to the conversation.
  2. Retweet often – A decent account should retweet 5+ times a day. A more active account can get away with fewer but should be retweeting at least once a day. This isn’t the “RT @…” style, though those should be worked in as well. These are the direct retweets by pushing the retweet button directly from Twitter. This is important because it adds different avatars to your stream. When visitors see that you’re retweeting others, they’ll be more likely to assume that you’re actually listening to the outside world rather than working inside your own little Twitter broadcasting box.
  3. Start or join conversations – You’re an expert in your industry. You can chime in on conversations that are happening regarding your industry, your local area, or even the world in general. That doesn’t mean that you should butt in and start spreading your wisdom in one-on-one conversations, but it does mean responding to people’s Tweets or even starting the conversation with them directly. You can see in their Twitter streams whether they’re replying to people or not. Be sure that if you start a conversation, it’s with someone who will reply back to you.
  4. Split your times up – This is all very easy stuff, but doing it all in one block per day isn’t the best way to do it. It’s better than nothing, but the preferred method would be to do it at least twice a day. A best practice is to do it first thing in the morning when you’re done checking your morning emails and then again shortly after lunch. You don’t want to do it at the end of the day unless you’ll be checking your stream from home in the evening because you’ll want to be timely with your responses when people engage back at you.

Once you’ve established that you communicate properly through Twitter, you’ll have room to post occasional self-serving links. If all you post is links, your message will get lost in the mix.

Post pictures and unlinked text

Twitter has a great filter feature for mobile images. Use it. Before we recommended Instagram but that didn’t work out so well, so Tweeting images directly through the Twitter mobile app works great.

If you use Buffer or any of the other posting tools that upload images directly to Twitter (Hootsuite doesn’t do this, FYI), scheduling images through a PC is another way to get your feed flowing with engaging content. It’s not as good as mobile uploads as people love to see real pictures taken by real people associated with the business, but it’s definitely better than nothing.

Text posts are great as well. They can be sayings, quotes, opinions, or anything that has nothing other than possibly hashtags linking out from the Tweet. This is particularly useful when posting about local area events and asking questions. One note: if you do ask questions designed to get a response from your followers, be sure that you’re available to respond to their answers. Don’t drop a question in the queue and walk away. Again, timeliness is important, even for a business Twitter account.

Twitter is the one component of social media strategies that has been botched by most over the years. It’s hard to get real followers. It’s harder to get real engagement.

It can, however, prove to be extremely useful if you put the effort into it. Again, and I cannot stress this enough, the effort that’s required to take a Twitter account from decent to great really isn’t that much. It’s for this reason that if you have a little extra time every day, Twitter is a good investment of it.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

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Twitter Cards Make Video Marketing Easy as 1-2-3 Tweet! – Automotive Social Media Professionals

Twitter Cards Make Video Marketing Easy as 1-2-3 Tweet!

Joe Schwartz

Joe Schwartz Describes How “Twitter Cards” Are Making Video Marketing Much Easier for Car Dealers

Twitter Video Cards

Twitter Video Cards

When marketers think of social media as a promotional channel, Facebook continues to be the network of choice. Of course, this trend may be the result of people sticking to a platform that feels safe. After all, Facebook remains the largest and most influential social platform on the web today, so much so that it claimed the most-searched term award for the fourth year in a row.

Twitter Users
Twitter Users

But other social networks shouldn’t be ignored, especially with sites like Twitter implementing new features regularly. According to eMarketer’s “US Digital Media Usage: A Snapshot of 2013,” Twitter user-ship grew significantly in 2012, but only 15 percent of the U.S. online population will engage on Twitter next year. Therefore, brands that want to drive traffic from a variety of social channels must learn how to engage users on whatever network they prefer. For many people, Twitter remains the most influential social hub, and brands may discover that video content thrives on this platform. 

According to the source, Twitter’s user base increased by 14.2 percent in 2012 to reach 36.3 million monthly active members. To reach those prospective and current customers, brands must develop social media marketing campaigns that make branded content enjoyable and simple. With Twitter Cards, video marketing may be the easy solution.

Online Video Viewers
Online Video Viewers

According to eMarketer, online view viewers reached 178.7 million people in 2012 to make up 56 percent of the nation’s population, and 73 percent of American internet users. As for mobile video viewers, 73.3 million people watched video content via their mobile devices in 2012, reaching 22.9 percent of the country’s population and 29.6 percent of mobile phone users. Thirty-one percent of the U.S. population and 40.4 percent of U.S. internet users viewed visual media from their tablet devices this year, making video content marketing a necessary practice for many brands.

With Americans using Twitter more often this year and video media becoming a prominent marketing material, businesses that want to build brand exposure and grab consumers’ attention must produce consistent visual content, and publish output on the microblogging site. Together, video marketing and social media marketing may drive higher conversions in the new year, and help marketers reach new audience segments online.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Twitter Compliment Card

Twitter Compliment Card (Photo credit: 13stock)

Static Social Media Products and Services are Destined to Fail – Automotive Marketing Professional Network

 

Static Social Media Products and Services are Destined to Fail

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been working on a standard operating procedure for a comprehensive social media marketing service. It has been a while since I had to develop an overarching strategy rather than one that was individualized for a business or organization, so my daily reading of the industry trends and changes has had my eyes bleeding by the time the kids get ready for school. My fingers have bled as well… from making adjustments to the SOP as the industry continues in its unending state of metamorphosis.

In the worlds of search marketing, there are needs to stay on top of things. Google and Bing make changes to their algorithms. Consumers make changes in their searching habits. Devices make changes in how they present the data. It’s pretty rough trying to keep up with search. However, keeping up with the changes in search is a piece of cake compared to keeping a social marketing service fresh and operating properly.

My conclusion in putting together this SOP is simple – keep it general and fluid. It must be allowed to grow and adjust based upon the changes that are made by the social media sites and the users themselves. Here are a few examples of activities that may have been a part of a social media SOP if I made it last week:

  • Post an image to Instagram and have it feed through to Twitter.
  • Sponsor one post a day on Facebook that is business-oriented.
  • Get people to +1 your Google+ business page as well as recent posts.
  • Post to Pinterest three times a day and feed it through to Facebook.

These would have all been valid actions in a standard operating procedure last week. Today, they are all obsolete.

Social media moves way too quickly for concrete practices. Any full-service company that wants to run your company’s social media needs to demonstrate the ability to stay informed about the maelstrom of changes that happen every week as well as the ability to keep a fluid service that moves with the trends and the changes themselves. If they’re offering a social media service that is static, that is using techniques that have been “proven to work for a long time”, then they do not understand the very nature of social media and should not be trying to run yours for you.

 

via Static Social Media Products and Services are Destined to Fail – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

 

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Official Facebook Best Practices Guide for Car Dealers – Automotive Social Marketing Professionals

Official Facebook Best Practices Guide for Car Dealers

Facebook Best Practices Guide for Car Dealerships
 
Increasingly, social media influences how we buy and own cars. On Facebook, car dealerships can reach in-market consumers through their news feeds and friends.

 
Download the official Facebook best practices guide and learn how to:

  • Create a Facebook page for your car dealership
  • Get more fans to like your business on Facebook
  • Engage Your audience with high quality content
  • Drive more car sales with our most recent solutions
Are you an automotive professional who is new to Facebook?
 
ADM Professional Community Members can download the PDF file of the Facebook Best Practices Guide for Car Dealers by “right clicking” and choosing your browser’s equivalent of “Save As” here:

Source: Facebook recently created a “Facebook Best Practice Guide” for Car Dealerships that Patrick Workman wanted to share with the ADM Professional Community:

Feel free to share this with dealers and if you are a dealership supplier, with any of your clients, or include it in any newsletter or blog post…

Facebook for Automotive Retailers

How do I customize my Facebook timeline or Page URL address?
Where can I claim a Facebook username?

Customize the address for your timeline or Facebook Page by choosing a username. You can get one at: http://www.facebook.com/username.You can choose a username that Facebook suggests or create your own. Select Check availability to see if the username you want is available. If it is, click Confirm to confirm your choice.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

 

Facebook is Making Free Marketing on Pages Less Powerful – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

Like Google has done with giving more SERP page 1 real estate to sponsored links and other revenue generating content, Facebook will as a business necessity continuously look for ways to convert anything of value for businesses and brands from the “free” or “Earned Media” realm and migrate the process or practice into the “Paid Media” fee based Facebook Advertising manager application and Facebook marketing services… To me, there is nothing wrong with this, and I have been aware of the strategy and have embraced it since I started working with Facebook on the Ford Digital Advertising Program in 2008.  Heck, it is sort of like the ads you see on ADM and other sites managed by my company, Automotive Media Partners, LLC… On a much smaller scale, of course… But that is why you see advertising on these sites, because ultimately if a network or website is to move beyond a “hobby” and towards a revenue realization model, you have got to stop giving away valuable marketing, communications, branding and advertising to transition into generating a fair income for the business owners… Facebook is no exception!

PALO ALTO, CA - JULY 06:  Facebook CEO Mark Zu...
PALO ALTO, CA – JULY 06: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (L) watches a demonstration of the new Facebook video chat during a news conference at Facebook headquarters July 6, 2011 in Palo Alto, California. Zuckerberg announced new features that are coming to Facebook including video chat and a group chat feature. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Since the early days of Facebook when I was privileged to work with Tom Chisholm (he took his FB stock, cash out and retired at end of 2010), he explained that the whole strategy around Facebook Pages for businesses was to give them away at no charge so as to drive demand for advertising within Facebook without those ads sending FB users outside of Facebook. To this day, you will find that any FB advertising that links to a site outside of Facebook does VERY poorly, especially compared to how impressively effective similar ads are when they point to a dealership’s Facebook Page or an App within it (formerly tabs).  That is not the consumer, it is by design and built into the algorithm… Facebook makes sure that siphoning traffic away from Facebook is more costly and generates a lower ROI… Before you get irritated, I would do the same thing with my networks if I could easily make it happen! It makes ense from a FB perspective to encourage traffic coming into Facebook and all engagement and even business activities occur within the Facebook platform… Since FB is so eager to help companies develop their own business generating apps on the Facebook platform, it is difficult to criticize their strategy.

Take a look at last week’s cover story in Automotive News about “Dealers Getting in Your Facebook” featuring Rick Case Honda and an interview with Richard Bustillo about his $2,000 a month Facebook Advertising budget… I convinced Richard to invest in Facebook Advertising starting last March and his campaigns within Facebook continue to generate more revenue and profits than any other $2,000 he spends on non-Facebook advertising media. It is satisfying to go from convincing a dealer to try it, and then to where it is the last part of his advertising budget he would cut!

Here is an excerpt from the Automotive News Interview with Richard Bustillo:

Dealers get in your Facebook

Stores post ads directly on site’s news feeds

Richard Bustillo of Rick Case Honda says Facebook is taking advantage of new opportunities to reach customers by putting ads directly in news feeds.

Richard Bustillo, general manager of Rick Case Honda in Davie, Fla., believes Facebook has finally cracked the code to help dealerships sell vehicles and service.

Marketers have long viewed Facebook as an online cocktail party — fine for socializing but weak for selling cars.

Now that’s changing. Rick Case Honda and other dealerships are starting to take advantage of Facebook’s huge potential to reach customers on the users’ digital home turf, by putting ads directly into their customers’ news feeds.

Technical improvements introduced in September allow dealerships to take their customer lists — with just names and e-mail addresses — and find those people on Facebook. The “custom audience” feature allows dealerships to push ads directly to Facebook users’ news feeds, the must-see center column of the home page that consists of a constantly updated list of posts by a user’s Facebook friends.

Facebook users are more likely to look at news-feed ads than those in the more common ad location, the right side of a Facebook page, the social media giant says.

“Facebook is starting to understand what we need to sell cars,” Bustillo said.

In June at Rick Case Honda, an employee-pricing-for-all promotion on Facebook contributed to a strong month — 615 new vehicles sold — the most of any Honda store nationally for the month, Bustillo said.

Facebook played a key role in the campaign’s success, he said. The store took its customer list with thousands of names and e-mail addresses and identified who were Facebook users. It then delivered to their news feeds the employee-pricing offer, Bustillo said.

Facebook also has improved the ability of dealerships and the factories to put promotional videos in front of car shoppers, Bustillo said. Facebook users are three to four times more likely to click on a video than a static ad, the company has found.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20121029/RETAIL07/310299951#ixzz2BP…

via Facebook is Making Free Marketing on Pages Less Powerful – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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