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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.

Vine Video Clips Generate High Engagement on Twitter

Vine Generates Surprisingly High Engagement Rates on Twitter

Marketing Research Report Shows That Tweets With Vine Uploads Create “Surprising” Engagement Rates

Socialbakers calls the results “surprising” and even “amazing” considering that Vine is so new – it was only just introduced to Android, having previously only been available to iPhone and iPad users.(The Socialbakers data is based only on iPhone and iPad engagement.) Now, Facebook isreportedly exploring video for Instagram.

In research released last month, Unruly Media shared some other findings about Vine (some of which may by now be obsolete given Vine’s growth trajectory, but interesting nonetheless). Based on data from more than 10 million Vines collected during a 1-month period, Unruly Media found that:

  • 5 tweets per second contained a Vine link;
  • Weekends were the most popular time to share Vines, by a sizable margin;
  • Most Vine activity occurred between 10-11AM EDT; and
  • Branded content accounted for 4% of the top 100 Vines tracked, compared to only 1% of content in the Unruly Viral Video Chart Top 100 Most Shared Videos that was branded.

About the Data: The Socialbakers data is based on an analysis of more than 30,000 tweets containing YouTube and Vine links posted over a 1-month period by selected brand profiles. The time period was May 5-June 5, 2013.

Socialbakers’ formula for Twitter engagement rate is based on replies, retweets, and favorites. The formula is listed below:

Twitter Average Tweet ER = ((Replies + Retweets + Favorites on a given day / # of tweets made by profile on a given day) / Total Followers on a given day) x 100

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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Erin Ryan Shows Simplified Version of Adding Google Author Rank to Your Blog

A Simplified Version of Adding Your Google Author Rank to Your Blog from Erin Ryan and the Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

A Simplified Version of Adding Your Google Author Rank to Your Blog

Anyone who is not SEO savvy or a coder may encounter difficulty when wanting to add your Google Author Rank to your blog.

There are tons, and I mean TONS of articles out there that try to tell you how to add it in a difficult way and after sorting through it myself, I thought a simplified version of how-to add your Google Author Rank to your blog was necessary.

Firstly, you must know that you need to have a Google+ account prior to claiming a Google Author Rank as it will verify your blog and help it get seen more and allow you to be recognized as an author by also putting a face to the name by adding your associated picture.

As your blog should be setup as a Google+ Business page and your blog’s URL is inputted, you will see a button that reads “link website”. This is when it gets a little complicated; a code will then appear and tell you to add it to the Head of your blog, which is great, if you knew where that was.

Let’s be honest, most of us bloggers, blog to blog. We are writers, artists and right-brained. Asking us to touch our Editor section within our theme is like asking us to do math without a calculator. Since each theme on WordPress varies it makes it even more difficult to locate. On this blog for example, I use the Intrepidity Theme which is not as straight-forward as to where everything is as perhaps Genesis does but is a great theme nonetheless.

After much hoping and wishing and copying and pasting without messing up the code. I finally found that it verified my website once I posted it within the home.php section of the WordPress editor for my theme prior to the end code.

What My Page Code Looked Like:

a href=”Your Page Generated URL” rel=”publisher”>Google+</a>

After jumping for joy and seeing the green checkmark appear on my G+ page (not profile). I then went and added the + sign before my name and hyperlinking it with the URL to my G+ profile (not page) with the ending including real=author…I know sounds foreign right?

Here is what it should look like when hyperlinking first you add +Your Name and then hyperlink it with

Google+ Profile URL HEREposts?rel=author

The Code needed:

<a href=”Google+ Profile URL HEREposts?rel=author“>+Your Name</a

Once it is clicked on you should be directed to your Google Plus Profile. You are now able to use that code in any author box or bio no matter the site you are writing on. You can see exactly what I mean by looking at my author bio below.

[NOTE: It will take a few days before you will begin seeing your image next to your writings]

You will need to preferably use an author box for the coding, since this works easiest. Secondly be sure to verify your Author Rank via e-mail and check through the Google Webmaster Tool. Make sure you follow the directions exactly.

Now Exhale.

[Google Author Rank image via 4mat]

via A Simplified Version of Adding Your Google Author Rank to Your Blog – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Car Dealers Must Respond To Millennials On Social Media – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Car Dealers Must Respond To Millennials On Social Media

Millennial Car Buyers to OEM’s and Dealers:
Respond When You’re Being Spoken… “About”

An example of this confusion and possibly a double standard when it comes to online monitoring is that roughly 6 in 10 respondents aged 18-54 want companies to listen to what they say about them online (4 in 10 of the 55+ crowd). While at the same time, about half of the survey’s respondents think that consumers should be able to talk about companies online without those companies listening in. This desire for privacy increases for the 55+ age group, of which 59% do not want companies seeing what they post about them online.

But wait… There’s more (confusion) in these survey results!

Between half and two-thirds of respondents want companies to respond when they’re being discussed online, while the same survey reports that more than 6 in 10 also say that companies should only respond to online comments made directly to them (i.e. on their Facebook page, tweeted to them, etc.) You should download the PDF file of the report and take a look… In my opinion, what we are seeing is the variance based on where and what types of social media these comments are being made that reference a car company, make or dealership by name.

In an attempt at trying to poke fun at their own report’s findings, the authors note that the takeaway for automotive marketers and others who handle social media strategy is that they should be “telepathic.” Perhaps “empathetic” would be a better choice of words and not so much in jest… The next-best advice given is for marketers to:

  • Automotive Social Marketers should go beyond listening
  • Try to understand what consumers are saying
  • Consider the conversation’s context  
  • Deliver mutual value when engaging  
  • Show how listening can be a relationship-building tool rather than an intrusion

 

Other Findings:

  • Despite holding all these varied opinions about social media privacy, less than three-quarters of respondents (ranging from 62% of 18-24-year olds to 72% of 45-54-year-olds) know that car companies  or dealership employees might be listening to what they’re saying online.
  • Roughly 4 in 10 respondents aged 18-54 feel that dealerships and car companies listening to online conversations are intruding. That rises to 54% among the 55 and over demographic.
  • Attitudes regarding whether companies should monitor online conversations to improve products and services vary significantly among age groups, ranging from 40% agreement for the 18-24 set, to 57% for the 45-54 group, and back down to 37% for the 55+ set.
  • Slightly more respondents believe that a company should respond to them if they make a negative remark about the company in an online post than if they make a positive remark about a company in an online post.

About the Data: J.D. Power and Associates, in association with NetBase, conducted a survey in December 2012 of 1,062 U.S. consumers ages 18–55+.

Data Source: Marketingcharts.com/millennials-to-brands-respond-when-youre-being-…

eBook Source: info.netbase.com/SocialListeningeBook.html

Download the Social Listening and Big Brother eBook by NetBase and J.D. Power and Associates:  NetBase JDPower Listening and Privacy eBook.pdf 

  

BONUS CONTENT:

How Does a Car Dealership Create a Structured Response Process? 

In regards to the process around a dealership monitoring and then responding to online blogs, comments, posts and discussions where the dealership is brought up or mentioned, I started developing a process and work flow while launching the ADP Social Media Reputation Management Team in 2009 and 2010.  The work flow process chart shown below is based on something I saw published by the US Military in regards to how the Air Force responds to online comments and blog posts. 

When I left ADP and went to work for Tier10 Marketing at the beginning of 2011, we revised and upgraded the work flow planning for better results and more production efficiency. The chart below reflects the Tier10 Marketing version of what we recommended:

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

How To Create Your Dealership’s First LinkedIn Advertising Campaign

How To Create Your Dealership’s First LinkedIn Advertising Campaign

Getting Started with LinkedIn Advertising for Your Dealership

Most people working in management position at dealerships and dealer groups have figured out that LinkedIn is a remarkably effective tool for networking with business owners and auto industry professionals that may be a good fit for open positions at your dealership. But what about using LinkedIn for marketing your dealership’s new and used vehicles, service department, parts and accessories? More and more automotive marketers are turning to LinkedIn to promote their dealership’s products, services, and published content.

You and your car dealership have more power at your disposal with LinkedIn than you might realize. LinkedIn has a powerful advertising campaign creation and management platform. If you’re using Google Adwords or any PPC advertising to power your dealership’s presence on Facebook, Twitter and Google Search, consider adding LinkedIn to that list, too. If you’re new to the LinkedIn advertising app, you can reference thisADM blog post, which walks you through each of the app’s required steps to set up your dealership’s own user targeted LinkedIn advertising campaign.

I also want to thank the great social marketing professionals at Hubspot for the primary substance of this post which was originally published on the Hubspot Blog by Amanda Sibley. Hubspot also offers a highly informative eBook which provides a great resource for the how’s and why’s of advertising on LinkedIn. I recommend that all ADM Professionals download this eBook, print it out and keep as a useful reference document.

How To Set Up Your Dealership’s LinkedIn Ad Campaign

Step 1: Create a New Ad Campaign

To start creating a LinkedIn ad campaign, go to https://www.linkedin.com/ads/. Once in the ads platform, select New Ad Campaign and Start New.

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You will want to choose a name for your ad campaign that ‘s unique and relates to the campaign you’re running, for easier identification if you start running multiple ad campaigns. 

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These are only visible internally, so the more informative the name is, the better.  For example, if I was doing a test to determine what demographic targeting was the best for a particular vehicle model line, I may call one campaign:

“Ford Edge Ad Test-North America -24 to 48-female”

When I look at this name, I know exactly who I am targeting, without having to click into this campaign. A bad name for this campaign, however, would be:

“Ford Edge test 1”

By calling it “Test 1” I have no way of knowing who I am targeting by just looking at the name of the campaigns.

Step 2: Select Your Language

You can now choose what language you want your ad to be in. LinkedIn will not translate your ad into other languages, but it can be written in any of the languages LinkedIn supports, including Spanish, French, and German.

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Step 3: Choose Your Media Type

Next, choose between LinkedIn’s two media types, which include a basic text ad, and a video ad. Keep in mind videos must be 30 seconds or less.

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Step 4: Write Your Ad Copy

Now you’re ready to start writing the copy for your ad! First, decide where you want people to be directed after clicking on your ad. You can send people to a specific external web page, such as a landing page for an offer on your dealership’s website, or you can send them to a page on LinkedIn about your dealership, such as your business page or a group discussion about your dealership, specific models or events.

 describe the image

Ad Headline: The headline of your ad cannot be more than 25 characters.

Ad Body: The body of a LinkedIn ad can be up to 75 characters long. The copy of your ad should be relevant both to the person viewing the ad, and the offer or page to which you’re sending them. For best results, create a different ad for each buyer persona you have, and tweak the copy accordingly. For example, when promoting a book to college professors, putting the words “College Professor’s Guide to …” may generate a higher clickthrough rate (CTR) than generic, untargeted copy. I mean, that copy certainly wouldn’t perform as well if it was viewed by elementary school teachers, right?

Call-to-Action (CTA): Having an actionable CTA within your ad copy will also help you improve your ad’s clickthrough rate. Tell people to “Download your ebook now!” or “Click now for free samples!” instead of writing compelling ad copy (great!) devoid of actionable copy that tells the reader what to do next (not so great).

Value: Incorporate your value proposition into your ad copy, making people more likely to click on your offer. If you tell them, “20% off your first purchase,” or “Clearance sale ends today, shop now!” you’re letting people know what specifically they can gain from clicking on your ad right now.

Don’t be afraid to test our your ad copy, either. You can create up to 15 variations of your ad in each campaign, and all variations of your ads within one campaign will be seen by the same people. These variations allow you to test different images and copy within your ads to find what works best for your audience.

Step 5: Target Your Ad

Targeting who sees your ad to a very specific and relevant group of LinkedIn users can help increase conversions — more relevant, more clicks. LinkedIn lets you target by location, company, job title, school, skills, group, gender, and age.

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Location: You must select as least one location for your ads. Depending on your dealership’s franchises, more specific targeting may be helpful. You can select a location as broad as North America, and as specific as the San Francisco Bay Area. So if you’re trying to grow used vehicle sales in Hartford Connecticut, showing your ad to people in Los Angeles, California would be a waste of money. You can also take advantage of this targeting option to conquest sales outside of your traditional markets close to the dealership. You can also tailor your ad copy to specific locations. For instance, Ford dealerships may do well advertising specialty vehicles such as a Shelby GT500 Cobra Mustang to the entire Northeastern part of the United States, but should create ads that seek to sell the more commonly available Fusion to LinkedIn users in their local metro market.

Company: If your target audience works at a specific company, you’re able to target them directly — even by name. You don’t need to have specific names in mind, though; LinkedIn allows you to also target companies based on categories, like Legal, Non-Profit, or Finance.

Job Title: If your model line being promoted or service department offers are best for Presidents, VP’s, General Managers and CFOs, targeting only people that have “CFO”, “President”, etc. in their title will increase your conversions, and ultimately save money for your advertising budget. You can choose specific job titles, or chose from job functions and seniority. From the CEO of manufacturing companies, to the entry level associates at an accounting firm, you can target a specific group of people for your LinkedIn ads.

School: If you are looking to target people who have a particular educational background, you can target your ads based on schools. If you know a lot of your prospects and customers come from a certain school, try reaching out to them through LinkedIn ads.

Skills: Your target audience may have a certain skill set — email marketing, financial planning, risk management — think about what your target audience is good at, and try targeting people on LinkedIn with similar skills.

Group: One of LinkedIn’s best attributes is the groups that like-minded professionals join to discuss industry trends and topics. If your audience is very vocal on a topic, or you’re trying to gain thought leadership in a certain area, this advertising type may be a good option for you.

Gender and Age: If your audience is heavily skewed toward one gender and/or age group, target your advertising toward them.

Step 6: Choose Your Payment Method

After selecting your targeting options, you can set up the payment method that works best for you. The two options you have for any pay-per-click advertising are 1) cost per click (CPC), or 2) pay per 1,000 impressions (CPM). If you pay per click, you will be charged each time someone clicks on your ad. LinkedIn will suggest a bid range depending on your budget and the competition for your ads; the more advertisers bidding on a similar campaign, the higher your bid will need to be. This bid is the maximum you will be charged. If the current rate is lower than your max bid, you will only be charged the current rate. If you choose to pay per thousand impressions, you will be charged a certain amount each time your ad is shown to one thousand people on LinkedIn.

Deciding what form of payment to use and the best maximum bid can be tricky. When deciding between CPC and CPM, think first about your end goal. Are you trying to get as many people as possible to see your ad to help with, say, a branding campaign? If so, CPM may be the way to go. If you’re trying to get more people to click on your ads to drive traffic to your website, or generate new leads, CPC may be better for you.

When thinking about an optimal maximum bid, some trial and error is needed. LinkedIn will give you a suggested bid, which is a good place to start. Then, think about when your audience is most likely online. You may want to bid higher during this time to be sure that your ads are the ones being seen. There are also certain times of day, and days of the week, that have a higher average bid based on usage and industry. Play around with your bids and see when you get the most return for your dollars spent.

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Step 7: Set a Daily Budget

Set a daily budget for what works best for your company’s marketing budget. Before putting a lot of money into one campaign, first test out the success of each campaign and ad variation — you don’t want to put $1,000 into an ad that ends up not resonating with your target audience.

Let’s say you’re the VP of Marketing at floral shop. You assume the majority of your target market is brides, so you direct your ads on LinkedIn to bridal groups. After spending thousands of dollars, you only generated 10% of the leads you were hoping for. After doing some research, you found that the people near your store and on LinkedIn are actually looking for flowers for corporate events. Wouldn’t it have been nice to know that before spending a large amount of your budget on LinkedIn ads?

LinkedIn ads can be really successful for targeting niche markets. Because of their extensive targeting opportunities, almost any industry can find success on LinkedIn. Don’t be afraird to test things out. If something is going well, put a larger budget toward it, and watch the leads come in!

Step 8: Decide on Lead Collection

LinkedIn now provides you with the option to collect leads on your behalf. This new feature allows people to ask for more information or to be contacted by your company via a checkbox at the end of your ad. You will be notified by email when someone has asked for more information, allowing you to promptly respond and hopefully turn those leads into customers. Keep in mind, however, that the only way you can contact them is via LinkedIn InMail; you will not receive an email address or phone number with which to contact this person.

linkedin ad

Finally, you can choose if you want your campaign to be shown continuously, or until a certain date.

LinkedIn Ad Reporting

Now you’re ready to start your first LinkedIn ad campaign! You can track your progress in the LinkedIn ads platform home screen. Here you will be able to see a graph mapping your clicks, spend, CTR, and more over set periods of time. You can also see statistics and average CPC for each campaign to make educated decisions as to how to optimize each campaign. For all PPC ads, the CTR will be a very small number. On LinkedIn, a good benchmark for a CTR is around .03% or higher.

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If you have campaigns that are under-performing, there are several things you can do to optimize them. First, click into the campaign you want to look at so you can drill down into data on only one campaign. All ad variations of this campaign will appear, with separate data. 

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Look at the CTR of each ad. Is one variation performing better than another? If so, you may want to pause the less successful campaign. LinkedIn will begin to show your less successful campaigns less frequently, so putting more resources into your most successful ad variations and campaigns will help you reach your marketing goals.

Post-Click Reporting

Now that you have LinkedIn ads running that people are clicking on, it’s time to determine whether they’re actually driving qualified traffic to your website. That isn’t something LinkedIn can tell you — you need to do some closed-loop reporting on these campaigns to see who this traffic really “is.” After someone clicks on your ad and lands on your site’s web page, put the content you are offering behind a form. On this form, ask people important questions that help you qualify them as a good lead or not. This lead capture form should be connected to your customer relationship management (CRM) software so that once the lead’s information is in your CRM, your sales team can act upon these leads, and hopefully turn them into customers!

After launching several ad campaigns on LinkedIn, look at the landing page form data in your CRM. Is the traffic to your website generated by LinkedIn ads qualified? Is it generating customers? If not, you may want to optimize your campaigns. For instance, if your LinkedIn ads are targeting people in companies sized 1-10, but you find that the majority of the closed deals in your company are from leads with company sized 100-200, stop targeting those smaller companies on LinkedIn! Because of awesome targeting capabilities on LinkedIn, you can target companies that have 100-200 employees, which may increase the number of closed sales from your LinkedIn ads campaign.

Image credit: clasesdeperiodismo

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by Ralph Paglia

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via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

LinkedIn Poll on 2013 Dealer Area Focus

LinkedIn Poll on 2013 Dealer Area Focus (Photo credit: DigitalRalph)

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)

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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Wall Clutter and Pushy Sales Efforts Discourage Customers from Liking Dealer Facebook Pages

English: Graph of social media activities

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

Wall Clutter and Pushy Sales Efforts Discourage Customers from Liking Dealer Facebook Pages

Excessive Frequency of Posts, Fear of Unwanted Contact by Sales People Discourage Car Dealership Likes On Facebook

Social media users who don’t like Car Dealers on Facebook are primarily deterred by newsfeed clutter (47%), while many don’t want to be contacted (36%) or are concerned about their privacy (30%), finds Lab42 in September 2012 survey results.

Irrelevant Content Clutter was also the culprit for unliking Dealer Facebook Pages: among the 73% who have done so, dealers posting too frequently was the top reason why. March 2012 survey results from Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) and Constanct Contact similarly found that over-communication was a leading turnoff for Facebook likers.

Dealership Discounts and Promotional Offers Drive Likes More Than Loyalty

Overall, the Lab42 study finds that 87% of the social media users surveyed like business pages on Facebook. When asked their biggest motivator for doing so, these respondents cited promotions and discounts most often (34%), followed by free giveaways (21%). Loyalty and business trust were cited by 14% and 11% respectively. 77% of respondents who liked businesses on Facebook reported having saved money as a result of their likes.

Still, 46% have liked a business from which they had no intention of buying. Asked why, 52% of this segment reported having liked the business for a free item, while 46% said they couldn’t afford the products, and 24% that they liked the business to help out a friend.

Even so, most social media users appear to truly wish to connect with car dealers and other businesses via Facebook. Of those who like a car dealership’s Facebook Page, 82% believe that Facebook is a good place to interact with those businesses. 3 in 4 feel more connected to the business on Facebook, and 35% feel that the car dealers and business owners listen to them on Facebook. This preference for engagement on Facebook is supported by the June 2012 results from an Allstate/National Journal survey, which found that 64% of social media users want to see an increase in companies using social media to respond to customer questions and c….

Embarrassment Does Not Discourage Car Dealer Facebook Likes

The Lab42 survey also finds that some product categories discourage likes. 22% of respondents reported having been too embarrassed to like a certain business or brand, most often in the categories of adult novelties, weight loss products and health and wellness products. Car Dealers were not found to be a source of embarrassment and this factor does not influence their Facebook Likes.

The overall results reveal that the leading ways by which car dealers can get non-likers to like them on Facebook are through more giveaways; posting less often; and letting consumers hide the fact that they like the business.

But, car dealers and other businesses may see little value from that engagement, particularly from young social network users. April 2012 survey results from a group of professors showed that almost 7 in 10 Millennials who like a business on Facebook rarely o…, while a February 2012 report from Ehrenberg-Bass Institute revealed that just 1% of Facebook users who like big brands such as Procter & Gamble or Coca-Cola actually engage with those brands.

About The Data: The Lab42 data is derived from a survey of 1000 social media users.

Data Source: www.marketingcharts.com

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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