Social Media: Repeat Business in Disguise
Car dealers are forever hearing how they should harness the power of the Internet to boost consumer and search engine awareness. ‘Be everywhere’ is what the online marketeers tell us: ‘be everywhere or get ready to be nowhere’.
There’s a range of reactions to this pan banging. Some throw themselves into Twitter feeds, Youtube channels and Facebook pages. Others get online to avoid a fuddy duddy reputation: setting up the front ends but putting little emphasis on a media plan. Others pooh-pooh the online world as impersonal compared to sealing a deal with a handshake.
To the uninitiated, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube may seem like an online common room, but the truth is that these powerhouses of social interaction are perfect for business. Your business.
Everyone knows that the best business in the world is repeat: happy customers sharing their stories with friends and family, selling your services free of charge. They liked you so much, they want to point their entire network, both business and personal, at your door and help you to make more people happy.
Social media is a salesman’s wet dream come to life: all those loved-up clients with Facebook pages and Twitter feeds watching your Facebook pages and Twitter feeds and sharing them with their own networks. Not just once, but however many times you post something they like. Forever.
Consider the numbers. An active Facebooker might have 200 or more ‘friends’. The same is true of Twitter followers. One person posting a link to their network of contacts, which then gets reposted into other networks a few times over can quickly reach three or four thousand people in a day. Anyone in sales who shuns this free and easy access to customers’ social networks wants their head examined.
The only real question is what to post. The obvious answer is ‘be yourself’. Your customers recommend you because you are you. This is who you should be online.
I look after social media for a number of motor traders. Our best results always come from true stories about simple events: everything from celebrity encounters at trade shows to crazy part-exchanges. The main thing is to keep it real, keep it regular and engage with those who engage with you. Your customers like you and their friends will too – they just haven’t met you yet!