Category Archives: Suppliers

How MySpace Started Its Rebirth by Alienating Its Most Loyal Customers

How MySpace Started Its Rebirth by Alienating Its Most Loyal Customers

  How MySpace Started Its Rebirth by Alienating Its Most Loyal Customers

MySpace was, in many people’s opinion, the social network to be on for many years. In fact, in 2006, MySpace surpassed Google as the most visited website in the United States. The decline of MySpace began in 2008 as Facebook rose in popularity and became the newest social network of preference for many. MySpace’s user base has since declined from a peak user base of 125 million to its present day membership (as of June 2013) of 25 million. In 2011, a group which included singer Justin Timberlake, purchased MySpace and they vowed to revive the network.

MySpace has been focusing on attracting business presence and musical talent in addition to revamping the look and feel of their site. It appears that in order to achieve their goal, they felt it was necessary to delete “user blogs which had been maintained for upwards of six or more years,” according to this recent article in SocialNewsDaily.

While many users abandoned MySpace in the mass exodus that occurred between 2008 until now, these users remained loyal and continued to visit and use the site to record and share their daily thoughts and activities. This of course angered those fans that remained loyal; not just because of the loss of six or more years of their digital life; (which some users maintain as sort of a digital diary) but because they felt as if they are unimportant to the site they remained loyal to.

As one user wrote, “You have stolen six years of blogs and something that is priceless to me and cannot be replaced.”

MySpace has a long way to go and a definite uphill battle in its attempt to gain back market share and attention away from other more popular sites. By alienating their most loyal customers and deleting their loyal user’s content, they may have taken a huge step backwards. Big business and music talent certainly want publicity but what good is a social network that has no audience?

While MySpace may yet have to acquiesce and restore the blogs of their customers, they did at least recognize the importance of their customer base, even if only in words, when they made the following statement:

“Change isn’t easy and there has been a lot going on lately. We understand that this information is very important to you. Please understand that your blogs have not been deleted. Your content is safe and we have been discussing the best ways possible to provide you your blogs.”

The point is that loyal customers are the foundation of any business. Building your business on a solid foundation is extremely important. By threatening the instability of that foundation, MySpace may find itself in a position whereby the companies they want to attract have no reason to be there. A social network is, after all, not social if nobody’s at the party. Similarly, no business can survive without customers.

Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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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Automotive Avenues of Denver Publishes Hand Written Customer Testimonials

The Automotive Avenues Customer Testimonials are from “Comment Cards” used at time of delivery, and then scanned for display on the Automotive Avenues Community site as images in their Original Hand-Written Format. This is an automated slide show that appears on top of a column full of Automotive Avenues customer reviews and ratings direct from DealerRater.com.

Automotive Social Media Marketing Wins Over Another Skeptic

I just finished reading “Social Media Gold: Ratings & Reviews” by Lance Loveday and was struck by his article’s conclusions, which correlate highly with several observations I have made about Social Media Marketing. Since early 2008 I have been saying that once you build your “Social Media Infrastructure”, which in my case is generally a hub and spoke design, you then must work diligently at Reputation Management… Why? Because as I have been showing dealers for over 2 years, the consumer ratings and reviews when managed properly will drive more actual business, faster and more effectively than any other component of social media marketing.

In his article, Lance describes seeing the presentation embedded below at a conference… What really caught Lance Loveday’s attention were the eye-opening statistics on just how effective ratings and reviews are. He was so positively impressed he took notes, which Lance claims is something he rarely does.

Here are the notes that Lance posted on his blog:
• NetShops research showed that products with reviews had 26% higher sales
• Letting users sort results by user ratings helped PetCo increase sales 41%
• Products with reviews generally have a lower return rate
• Bass Pro Shops indicated that users who viewed Top Rated products had a 59% higher conversion rate
• Including ratings & reviews in emails had a huge lift in email CTR
• Items with ratings on internal SERPs got a 100%+ higher CTR than those that didn’t
• Better SEO is a side benefit of incorporating reviews (more keyword-rich copy on the page)

In his article, Lance goes on to say that he can believe in results such as increased sales and higher web site conversion rates… From what I can tell, the presentation was some sort of epiphany for Lance which brought around another non-believer to see that social media is worth the effort. Actually, in my opinion unless you build the entire system out the way I have seen it done by a handful of dealers, even the ratings and reviews aspect of Reputation Management is pretty tough to drive business from… The key is to amplify the positive reviews so they are 100x as widely shown and seen than the negative reviews… But, to explain how that works is getting too far into the secret sauce of what I have been working on diligently for two years! If you are going to NADA, please be sure to attend my NADA workshops in the ADP conference room at the convention center so you can see exactly how all the pieces fit together. In the meantime, check out this slide show:

Your Users Trust Each Other, Not You: Why and How to Implement Ratings and Reviews
Ralph recommends for car dealers: Slides 38-44, 90-93

Lance Sees Social Media SEO Impact

One of the last treasures that Lance Loveday stumbled across is the significant SEO impact that a properly executed Social Media marketing strategy delivers… Like so many others that get blinded by the dazzle of search engine results, Lance was forced to reassess his opinion of social media marketing when he realized the SERP impact that it generates as a byproduct. Lance also found out the when user ratings and reviews are part of a web site’s actual structure, they receive better organic rankings… This of course leads to what? More traffic (doh!). Lance does go on to admit that a lot of the SEO impact is intuitive (thank God) and simply makes a lot of sense. If a dealer has more social media profiles and account pages with relevant content, photos, videos and consumer reviews and ratings, well it stands to reason that searches for related topics may turn up more than one of these pages… It all seems quite annoying to me that people actually have to have the SEO thing pointed out to them. This is what makes me think there is always something smelly about anyone who asks for money to improve a dealer’s SEO results… It is the sites and the content, stupid, not some black magic witchcraft… That’s what drives the search engines… If you got more web sites with more good stuff that people find interesting, you get better search engine results.

Is there a science and methodology that can be used to emphasize or make your websites rank better? Sure there is… But more than half of what drives SERP rank originates from WHAT HAPPENS ON OTHER WEBSITES, BECAUSE YOUR SITE IS NOT CREDIBLE! It stands to reason that if you have created dealership accounts and profiles that are properly populated and proactively managed in accordance with the stated purpose of each of these social media sites, that those profile pages will get ranked (can I get another Doh!). Want proof? Go to the ADM Members section and start copying member names from their profiles, then open another tab in your browser, go to Google and search for those names… Uh huh… See what I mean? The ADM Community is just another social media site and it is relatively tiny compared to thousands of others that have more than an automotive professional focus. Yet, the biggest complaint I get is from members who cannot understand why their ADM Profile page ranks higher than their dealer’s website which also has all their information listed within it. That’s because social media sites are popular and when people search and find a social media profile page, they tend to click on it more than they do car dealer website pages, by a factor of several million to one! Do you still think your dealership should stay away from Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and the thousands of other social media sites? If you do, let me know who you are so I can send you my proposal to sell a very pretty bridge that goes to Brooklyn, NY… Chump!

As Loveday points out; “a page with more content will likely outrank a page with less.” (f&%$ing brilliant). Loveday goes on to state his opinion that “pages containing ratings and reviews make better linkbait”. Now why would that be? Common sense tells you that it is the same reason why people like to read movie reviews, or listen to the Republicans respond to a Democratic politician’s speech… As humans, we love to see what other people like ourselves think about, and are willing to write or say about somebody else, their work or their products.

So like many other posts on ADM have told you for the past two years… Get proactive and start driving reviews and ratings from your happiest and most loyal customers. Then, the real question is this; Do you have more HAPPY and SATISFIED customers than the ones you manage to piss off? because the angry ones will find a way to spread that poisonous negative word of mouth… As a car dealership you must be proactive and effectively remind, encourage and remind your happiest customers (repeatedly) to send their surveys back to the OEM… Ooops, excuse me, I meant go to your ratings and reviews web page of choice and submit a top-box rating with a nice description of why they are giving your dealership that top box rating. Personally, I prefer DealerRater.com, but there are at least 3 others that get indexed by Google.

Automotive Social Media Marketing Professional Network

Visit and join the Automotive Social Network at http://www.AutomotiveSocial.com

The Community, or professional network at Automotive Social Media Marketing Network has been created to serve as an online exchange for social media marketing and reputation management “Best Practice” content, a place for groups of like-minded professionals and to serve and showcase its members. The Automotive Social Media Marketing Network, will showcase relevant and valuable content as the subject of email notices sent to all network members, as well as be a central distribution point for relevant Automotive Social Media Marketing content to be syndicated across multiple relevant social media channels based on specific topics, format and subject matter. This network reserves the right to restrict and manage the membership roster to ensure that members are qualified automotive social media marketers who are actively employed in the automotive, retail, marketing. advertising or social media industries, and have the ability to engage in this network with other members without EXCESSIVE influence from any individual company, business or special interest. The role of an Automotive Social Media Marketing Network Member will be to participate, comment, blog, discuss, reference, assist, enhance and contribute to this network’s mission… Being an online professional exchange network focused on the strategies, tactics and proven best practices that car dealers and auto groups can use to leverage social media as a tool in achieving marketing communications, customer relationship and reputation management objectives.

The objective for this network of social media marketers is to achieve a broad based collaborative professional social network that will be somewhat unique among social media sites that seek to attract automotive professionals as members and participants. By becoming a member of the Automotive Social Media Marketing Network, you have an opportunity to engage in an experiment that may become a demonstration in successful social media professional collective management of an actual social media site!

Dealership Advertising Budgets Should Include Automotive Social Media Marketing

With the rapidly emerging predominance of User Generated Content (UGC) activity on Social Networks, photo and video hosting sites, and various types of blogs as a percentage of total consumer online activity, it would seem to be only a matter of time before car dealers realize the necessity of creating online dealership communities made up of members who contribute to site content, dialogue and the exchange of information and assets. Despite the low cost, and even no cost access to various Web 2.0 User Generated Content sites and resources that all dealers have access to, there are costs involved to do it right, and there is a lot of time consuming work to get it right. Let’s face it, nobody works for free and neither do people asked to get a dealership social marketing strategy off the ground and put into place… And then there is maintenance. The fact is, conventional old school advertising campaigns don’t engage people any more, they just interrupt whatever customers are doing and at most, if done really right, they entertain customers. By approaching the tactical implementation of a social marketing strategy with a relatively small monthly budget, dealers can:
1. Have a dedicated URL that enhances SEO for their Dealership Community
2. Remove advertising on their Community site and use the space for their own ads
3. Enroll in a Dealer Review program and use filtered content widgets and RSS feeds for Reputation Management
4. Sponsor various contests and awards to encourage customers to actively participate in the dealer’s community
5. Use Search Advertising to attract customers and drive dealership community enrollment
7. Sponsor various events and club activities that are announced on the dealer’s community site

From what I have seen so far, the most successful dealership UGC communities will attract and engage a healthy mix of existing dealership customers, dealership employees, dealership suppliers, OEM field staff and prospective dealership customers from various sources of traffic. I will use this article to display a list of dealership community sites that I believe best represent this emerging form of online customer relationship and reputation management. As time goes on, my intent is to keep this article updated with the addition of more dealership Web 2.0 UGC community sites as they are created and I find out about them.

Find more videos like this on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community (ADM)

Check out the following dealership created online UGC communities based on Web 2.0 site platforms… The recently created Automotive Avenues Dealership Community was was built by an ADP Digital Advertising team Marketing Analyst, Tom DiSanto:

1. Ford-Community.com
2. SandersonCommunity.com
3. San-Tan-Ford.com
4. TysingerCommunity.ning.com
5. Beck Toyota Scion Community at BeckToyota.ning.com
6. The Upstate Honda Enthusiast Community – Breakaway Honda; Greenville, SC
7. The Boston Cadillac Community created by ADM Professional Chris Fousek
8. My Jeep Community at MyJeepCommunity.com from Westbury Jeep in Westbury, NY
9. The Boston Honda Community at HondaGallery.ning.com created for Honda Gallery of North Reading, MA.
10. The Acton Toyota Community is a great example of getting dealership employees to participate.
11. ADM’s very own Amy Rothenberger has created an exceptionally well designed Mazda Community site.
12. A new Online Automotive Community at www.FordCommunity.com is from Rich Ford of Albuquerque.
13. Check out www.MyDubSpace.com created by ADM’s own Ken Nix!
14. Check out the 7 Store Kenny Ross Auto Group Community at www.KennyRossCommunity.com which is set up with all the optional Ning Premium Services including ownership of the Advertising space and revenue stream.
15. Gallery Honda in North Reading, MA: www.Boston-Honda.com
16. Gallery BMW stores of Norwood and Norwell, MA: www.Boston-BMW.com
17. Gallery Volkswagen of Norwood, MA: www.Boston-Volkswagen.com
18. Gallery Mazda of Norwood, MA; www.Boston-Mazda.com
19. The Automotive Avenues Credit Union affiliated dealership in Denver, CO; www.Automotive-Avenues.com
20. The Ancira Auto Group in San Antonio, TX is one of the most successful dealer groups in America to embrace Social Media Marketing and Reputation Management, in addition to over 100 social network profiles and blogs, their core online community is at www.AnciraCommunity.com with over 200 active employees participating!

Non-Animated Versions of Advertisements used by Automotive Avenues to Drive Community Enrollment:

MyDubSpace.com is an online social network of new and classic Volkswagen, Owners and Enthusiasts.


The Tysinger Auto Group Community in Virginia Beach, VA

The Tysinger Community site is very impressive. Richard set it up for his dealership’s customers, employees and suppliers… There are so few people that really understand the value in creating an online dealership community when it is not just to sell, sell, sell today! I know that Tysinger’s customers, the dealership employees and the suppliers that the Tysinger stores use will appreciate the work on Richard’s part.

It would be great if Richard would publish on ADM anything that he sees or notices in regards to making a dealership Web 2.0 type site work or not work… I will participate as much as I can, and will be sure to let anyone in Tysinger’s area know about their dealership community, and their efforts at carving out a new customer relationship development and management model…

For the SandersonCommunity.com site, I downloaded about 10,000 names and email addresses from their ILM, then uploaded them into the Ning invite system and sent them out… If I had to do it over again, I would have broken up those 10,000 emails into 10 separate files and spaced out the invitations at 1,000 per week for 10 weeks.

The Ford-Community.com site is one of the better examples I have yet seen of a dealer leveraging the power of DealerRater.com’s customer review data feed that pushes positive reviews to dealer designated websites… Perfect for the Web 2.0/UGC applications such as a dealer community built on the Ning platform.

Other great examples of Reputation Management by Car Dealers using DealerRater.com Certified Dealer Tools within their community site include the New York metro based Westbury Jeep’s www.MyJeepCommunity.com and the Automotive Avenues Credit Union vehicle sales dealership in Denver at www.Automotive-Avenues.com

Wendell Dossett is an active ADM Professional who has created an online community for his dealership’s customers, employees and suppliers. The Beck Toyota Scion Community is one of many newer dealership sponsored communities and holds a ton of promise, especially given the social networking characteristics of the typical Scion owner… We are looking forward to hearing from Wendell about what works and what doesn’t with this new genre of dealership website.

To learn more about the Automotive Social Marketing and Reputation Management Solutions from the ADP Digital Marketing Team please complete the online form available by clicking on the image below:



THIS ARTICLE WILL BE UPDATED PERIODICALLY WITH ADDITIONAL DEALER COMMUNITY WEB 2.0 SITES ADDED TO THE LIST ABOVE

Find more videos like this on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community (ADM)


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