Tag Archives: SMM

Hyundai Elantra Limited

Car Dealerships – Lack of Value On Social Media Is Inexcusable

This weekend the New England International Auto Show in Boston came to town, which offers great opportunities for consumers and social media marketers in the automotive industry. For sales representatives, walking around car brands and listening to what consumers are attracted to and the features they like can be used to the sale rep’s advantage in the showroom. When it comes to social media, the same listening tactics can be applied and the manager of the dealership’s accounts can begin creating content that attracts the attention of consumers. On my second day of the auto show, I stumbled upon the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited, and what I learned about the car in five minutes can easily be translated into content to generate sales.

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited starts just under $23k. Getting 29 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway, this compact sedan offers great fuel economy for consumers who are looking to save at the pump. In terms of safety features, the Elantra offers lane departure warning systems, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot detection, and smart cruise control. For entertainment, you get a navigation system and an 8-speaker premium sound system to name a couple of features. While the particular model I sat in didn’t have powered seats, the little Elantra offered much more than I had expected.

After taking a look at the car, it dawned on me that no Hyundai dealership in my area brought any awareness to the fact that the Elantra Limited offered a long list of features, both for entertainment and safety. Instead of enticing and drawing interest into the vehicle, dealerships are complacent enough with their boring social media content that consists of links to Car Driver, local news websites, and even topics that have nothing to do with the cars they’re selling.

To be frank, this is inexcusable and downright laziness by dealerships because these vehicles are available according to the inventory websites. The content that can be created for the Hyundai Elantra Limited alone is limitless, and with a little creativity, the content that is being promoted can be interactive and fun for customers. A walk around video that takes the consumer on a virtual tour is one way to promote Hyundai’s strides in making the Elantra affordable, while also being technologically advanced. High quality photos of the interior, dashboard, and the navigation system will draw interest from your social media followers. Your follower’s engagement will further expand the reach of your content, which in turn could lead more potential customers to visiting your showroom and scheduling a test drive.

For the past few weeks, I’ve noticed that Toyota commercials are boasting that they offer safety features standard, and really playing the safety card while also being affordable. Seeing as though that the Toyota Corolla is a direct competitor to the Hyundai Elantra, it would be wise to start drawing consumers’ attention away from Toyota, and focus on Hyundai, who is a worthy candidate to overthrow Toyota’s reign on reliability. Remember, you’re not creating content for the sake of it; your primary objective is to increase sales, and there’s no doubt your sales reps would like a piece of the action. Toyota is beating your brand on the corporate level, but you can have the upper hand by striking directly at the local market in your area.

At the end of the day, what’s disturbing is that the Elantra is just one car of dozens that are being overlooked because they’re not marketed properly. There might be a car out there that offers everything the average car buyer is looking for, but car dealerships aren’t using social media to their advantage. That car may be on your lot, and instead of that vehicle getting sold, it’c costing you money each day it sits on your property.

Get serious about social media marketing. This isn’t your own personal profile where statuses that get no engagement have no negative impact. With each passing day of boring content you’re losing the audience you spent money on building. Create digital media content that grabs people’s attentions and start getting sales. You’re the one who can provide the value the customers are looking for. It shouldn’t be the car magazine’s job to create content, as they’ll overlook the features that resonate most with your customer base.

Get serious, get committed, and be consistent. Your hard work will pay off.

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The Power of Digital Media – The Chain Reaction

In my previous articles I’ve talked about the importance of digital media, knowing your audience, finding cost efficient social media marketing strategies, and mapping out a game plan to tackle social media platforms. Now let’s talk about the most overlooked variable that comes with digital media when posted on Facebook; the chain reaction. To understand the effect of a chain reaction on Facebook, you need to pay attention to the analytics and see what form of content is receiving the most engagement and reach. More often than not, it’s digital media posted directly to your Facebook page, whether it’s native content or sharing someone else’s.

A like, comment, or share by one of your followers isn’t exclusively seen by you or that person who engaged with the content you shared, their Facebook friends did as well. Similar to how I discussed the ability to reach people by encouraging your customers to “check in” on Facebook when they do business with you, the engagement you’re receiving is also reaching others without spending money. This is why digital media is very important as high quality content has the tendency to go viral if it resonates with your audience, or in this case, customers.

Being a social media manager for automotive related Facebook pages, I’ve noticed that third party links to articles and YouTube videos that require an additional click to view receive very poor engagement rates. This happens because you’ve sent traffic to another site, and even though the content was relevant, if they share the link, it won’t be going back to your Facebook page. That’s why it disappoints me to see dealerships use links that don’t send traffic to their websites or social media accounts because they missed an opportunity to further expand their reach. If the content was posted natively, all forms of engagement by followers would then be seen by their friends, leading all traffic and further reach back to the dealership’s Facebook page.

Here are some examples of why digital media (even non-native) will always outperform third party links. As a side note, one dealership actively promotes and advertises while the other is complacent with endlessly posting boring content where the link doesn’t lead back to the dealership’s website or social media pages.

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    The difference in engagement is overwhelming. The Audi dealership shared a video that was posted directly to their Facebook page, and low and behold they got 24k views, 623 shares, and 116 comments. The reach on this one post was clearly in the thousands, possibly 100,000 or more as they have over 300,000 likes on their Facebook page. Digital media, along with ad promotions, brought awareness of the dealership’s brand to many people who probably never heard of the company. That’s the power of social media. Content can go viral.

    In contrast, the Hyundai dealership who has a following of over 8,000 received very little engagement. In fact after doing some digging, the only people who commented or liked were company employees or relatives of people who work at the dealership. The very minimal reach along with lackluster content had absolutely no effect as engagement was unacceptably low, especially with a following nearing 10,000.

    The argument can be made that the stark difference in number of followers can play a factor in overall reach. However, what can’t be denied is the fact that digital media garners a higher level of engagement. In terms of social media analytics, video and picture content provides more information on it’s effectiveness. With that being said, managers for these social media accounts can learn a lot from their customers and followers. From there, they can create a content system where digital media surrounding the vehicles the dealerships sells are the main focal point.

    To be successful on social media, you need an audience. Whether grown through ad campaigns or cost efficient marketing strategies where organic reach is of no expense, the content you share, native or third party, will fall on deaf ears and the message you’re trying to promote will be essentially invisible. Use digital media to your advantage, but also be smart by taking advantage of the tools Facebook and other social media platforms have to offer. You can achieve sales and results through social media, you just have to know your audience, understand what gets them to engage, and what will motivate them to walk through your showroom’s doors.

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The Days Of A Generalized Approach to Social Media Marketing Are Over

A week into the new year, many marketers have written articles, posted tweets, and have created videos talking as if social media is cheating them out of reaching consumers. Non business related YouTubers have even taken a break to “reassess” how they can navigate the new algorithms that YouTube has implemented. Unfortunately for these YouTubers and social media marketers, they’ve become the first victims of a new era in social media. The days of being a generalist, promoting generic content, and not differentiating themselves from the competition are over, and what new algorithms have effectively done is weed out the weak marketers and content creators.

To succeed in 2017 on social media platforms, you’ll have to think differently, communicate with your customers, provide valuable content in digital form, and go further than anyone else in your industry. What we’re witnessing is the localization of marketing, along with social media marketers’ waning dependency on holistic advertising strategies. There was once a time where marketing and advertising was very straightforward and could be applied to all industries. The creation of slogans, television commercials, radio and newspaper ads were the blueprints to old school marketing. Today in 2017, what works for a marketer whose clients provide services, may not work for someone in retail.

As a result of the changes that social media platforms made in 2016, there’s now older marketers who jumped on the social media bandwagon, made money, and are now facing adversity. They didn’t innovate or pay attention to the direction the market was heading and instead of fixing the problem, they’re now trying to influence and promote the idea that social media marketing doesn’t work. In fact, an article came up on my newsfeed advocating for email marketing. I witnessed the downfall of email marketing gurus in 2012-2013, and because they failed to change they’re now irrelevant and no longer posting content.

Traditional advertising was great prior to technology, and now that social media platforms are growing, there now has to be new approaches to tackle those changes. There’s no need to look back when the answers to the problems are right in front of us. The truth is that social media marketers all have to choose a niche market and become experts in that field, as opposed to being experts at social media. So if Sarah is an expert at automotive social media marketing, and John is a master of marketing for the house/remodeling industry, they’ll see better results than a generalist who tries taking on both industries.

Social media and the internet has altered our entire lives. From how we communicate, to where we shop, our daily lives and what businesses thrive are now coming down to localization. The small stores down the street have a chance to compete with corporations, and people can talk with others who have the same interests that live in their area and from there, build a community. Social media platforms are just a small part of what changed in 2016, and now that we’re beginning to see it with our own eyes, there are old school thinkers who can’t handle the direction the business world, and even socialization itself has gone in.

Whether you’re a social media marketer, a business owner, or manager, specialized exerts in social media marketing is the future. Colleges still teach generalized marketing, and as a result, there’s a lack of professionals who’ve become experts in a niche market. If you want to see results and sales in 2017, you need to find talent that knows your market. Generalized marketing is slowly beginning to die, and the rise of marketers who understand the target consumer audience they’re selling to are becoming more successful on all platforms.

Are you going to be remembered as social media’s casualties in 2017, or you going to follow the direction the market is heading in, and separate yourself from the old school way of thinking?

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Facebook’s “Check In” – An Untapped Social Media Marketing Tool

In the past few articles, we’ve established that many businesses, predominantly in the automotive industry, misuse social media by not taking advantage of the tools that are available to them. Factors include lack of commitment and involvement, but most importantly, an unwillingness to be creative and think outside the box. As demonstrated with car dealerships, staying confined to irrelevant content and refusing to use digital media are just a few examples of staying within lines and parameters that dealers have put themselves in. With that being said, social media marketing is so much more than ads and posting content, it can actually be beneficial in how you target audiences both through traditional forms of advertising, and on social media.

Facebook allows their users to “check in” whenever they eat at a restaurant, visit a tourist attraction, when they go to the gym, attend a sporting event, etc. As a consumer yourself, have you ever “checked in”, telling your friends where you are, or what experiences you’re having? That one Facebook post that says you’re dining at the Italian restaurant in town, unintentionally promoted the restaurant’s brand to all your friends. Potentially, that’s an additional 500 to a few thousand people that were reached at no expense for that restaurant, which is free advertisement. This modern form of “word of mouth” can have the same effect for your dealership. Here’s how.

When a customer buys a vehicle, or comes in for maintenance, encourage them to “check in”. Most dealerships offer online prices that can range from a few hundred to $2000 off the listed price. For these prices to carry any marketing weight, urge the buyer to “check in” to lock in the deal by posting a status. This post serves the purpose of free advertisement and promotion, while also giving the customer reassurance that they made the right decision by purchasing the vehicle that was on your lot.

If your dealership has a service department; during the time of year when customers bring in their vehicles to be winterized, once again encourage the owner to “check in”. Usually dealerships have coupons or other incentives, such as 10% off an oil change or tire rotation, and to fully take advantage of the offers you’re promoting, having the customers lock in their coupon by posting a status of them at your dealership, you’re maximizing your social media marketing on a fixed budget

Facebook “check in” is more than just further promoting your brand and being very cost efficient with marketing, it’s actually a social media form of analytics. When a customer “checks in”, your Facebook page gets notified. You know who bought a car or brought their vehicle in for maintenance, and now you have the basis of a customer database. This database will help you advertise and promote your dealership on social media with more accuracy and precision. You’ll know the demographics of your customers, a general idea of their age, gender, and where they live, thanks to how much information Facebook users publicly display on their profiles.

These statistics can then be applied when you advertise on Facebook. Since Facebook ads allow you to target audiences, you’re now marketing with 20/20 vision, as apposed to promoting your page and statuses blind with no idea what your customers’ demographics are. This will allow you to get the most out of your marketing budget when you create ad campaigns.

Dealerships, or any businesses for that matter, can be very conservative when it comes to spending on social media. Facebook “check in” is not only cost efficient due to the free promotion by statuses from your customers, but you’re documenting who is buying from your dealership which will make your ad campaigns much more effective. Content, even at it’s best, needs an audience to receive engagement. Instead of committing a lot of money when you don’t know who you’re targeting, use the tools that social media platforms have to offer. It’s not only beneficial in terms of retaining the marketing budget you’ve been given, but you’re also receiving valuable insight in who your customers and clients are.

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With Social Media’s Existence, Are Email Subscriptions Even Necessary?

2017 is the start of a new beginning for many, including business owners, bloggers, influencers, and people who have a desire to further their physical development. In the technological and business realm, the ways in which we acquire customers changes with the new year as new and innovative ideas moves markets into a different direction for the better. Almost 20 years into the new millennium there are still businesses and old school entrepreneurs who try acquiring customers the old fashioned way, and email subscriptions could very well be the next causality of the social media age that many who live in the past still use today.

First, let’s understand why email subscriptions were so effective in the 90’s and early 2000’s. When the Internet was relatively young, email was the Facebook of it’s time. You could contact friends and family and companies that had your email from past purchases could promote coupons and sale events that you’d be interested in. Since email was the most widely used way of communication on the Internet, email click rates were very high for small businesses and large corporations because that’s where their customers were.

For the early day bloggers and influencers who were constantly writing articles, an email subscription list was very beneficial. Not only could subscribers get the latest updates sent straight to their email accounts, but the administrator of the website that was sharing content could also promote webinars or selling some form of software that his or her subscribers would have interest in viewing or purchasing.

Fast forward to a decade and a half later and social media is now the most used form of communication, whether it be for personal or business use. Social media’s emergence was the death of email marketing and subscriptions for many reasons, with the most obvious one being that customers’ attentions were no longer on email and the click rates reflected that. Myspace and Facebook made communication with friends and family more convenient, Twitter changed how we get news, consume content, interact with businesses, sports teams, and other people who share our interests, and Instagram gave people the ability to communicate their lives through pictures.

The end of email’s dominance was inevitable, and now email subscriptions face the same fate. If you look at marketers who made a living off email subscription lists and compare them back then to where they are now, most if not all who stressed the importance of email marketing are irrelevant at best. They failed to transition to social media, and as a result they were left behind.

As a small business owner and someone who created accounts and websites for hobbies I really enjoy, email subscriptions wasn’t even an option. When my content, whether it be on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook reaches my current and future customers, there’s no point in emphasizing email marketing. Click through rates are high, and 99% of traffic on all the websites I manage, including my business, come through social media, there’s no reason to explore abandoned avenues that consumers left behind many years ago.

Having followers is the modern day replacement for an email subscription list, especially with the use of direct and private messaging. Many customers of mine contacted my business through direct message before purchasing, and it’s that depth of connecting on a personal level that makes social media much more effective than email.

We’re living through a technological and marketing revolution. There’s no telling exactly where we’ll be in terms of business and reaching customers 3-5 years down the road, but one thing is for sure, with each passing day another old and decaying form of marketing is dying. It’s up to all of us to keep up with the times and our customers, or we’ll all be left behind wondering what could have been had we paid attention to where our customers were spending the most time.

FedEx-UPS Reversion

Social Media: You’re Personal Branding Every Minute Of Everyday

What if I told you that at this very minute your personal brand and future career is being shaped? That every tweet, every status, every Instagram photo, and Snapchat picture you post today has an effect on how others perceive you tomorrow. I’m not just talking about your peers, but also employers, bosses, CEO’s, innovators, and big-time influencers. Your tweets are reaching someone, no matter how informative or silly they are, someone is reading them, and they’re not one of your followers. This is what at times is very hard for the mind to rap around, but social media can be your greatest asset, or the tool that gets you fired from your job, and possibly destroys your career.

Most of you have probably heard or read of someone getting fired for what they’ve said online. Last month, a teenage girl was fired from a job she hadn’t even started working at yet because she tweeted her disgust about working at the pizza shop. What you say can have dire consequences, which is why social media in most cases should be used with discretion and a sense of professionalism in mind. We’re living in a time in which everything we say on the Internet is documented and held under a microscope, and it’s time we start using social media the way it was intended.

Because trolls and childish commenters don’t deserve the light of day on a professional matter such as personal branding, I’m going to focus on how it’s essential to post mature and valuable content that will be worth reading and responding to. If you’re someone who takes professionalism and your career seriously, you’re going to prosper on social media because very few millennials are taking advantage of such a powerful tool that could change their lives around.

Companies and businesses are constantly searching on Twitter for content to respond to, retweet, and acquire clients and customers. Are you one of those tweeters who continues to write good and valuable content? Well keep it up because you will get noticed eventually. Take advantage of the voice social media has given to you and show the world (literally) what you know. Your tweets are reaching people across the country and in your own back yard.

When it comes to Facebook, are you engaging with your favorite fan page when they post content? Are you offering any valuable advice in the comment section, or giving a worthy response with your opinion that could change other’s perceptions? If not, start now. You can become an influencer just by consistently engaging on these pages, and who knows, maybe the social media department of these magazines or companies will take notice. Great content is never overshadowed because people will read it. Sometimes the responses aren’t aligned with your opinions, but you’re creating buzz and traffic for that fan page, and that’s important. Engagement and traffic is just as good as money for these social media pages, and if you’re bringing that in the right way, you have no idea where that might lead you.

There was once a time in which you had to apply for a job, seek out openings, and hope you offered more than the other applicants. Today, it’s the opposite. Companies and businesses seek you out. They want talent and young professionals who are ready for the work force. Admirable characteristics have become a lost art these days, but for those who still carry themselves like the people and professionals who came before them, they will find jobs and attract businesses and influencers to them and in essence, they also become influencers themselves.

It’s 2015. Millennials need to understand that every tweet, status, or blog post is their personal brand. We’re not Generation X or the Baby Boomers, our personal brand isn’t created the minute we step into the work force, it’s being built right now.

Twitter is an extremely powerful platform that could make anything we say go viral or reach people of importance. That’s why I recommend making accounts private if you have no regard for your own image and brand. The things I see people my age sharing on Twitter is outrageous and downright embarrassing. On the flip side, I see many people who are gifted with great talent and ability, but never use Twitter to their advantage or completely misuse it.

Social media, if used right, can propel your career to levels that people our age 20 years ago could only dream of experiencing. Our career’s fate could be sealed by one tweet or status, and that’s why Twitter should be used with discretion and professionalism.

Valuable Original Content

Lack Of Value Given In Blog Posts By Companies Is Absolutely Shocking

Blogging was once used exclusively by many people to get their voices heard and to give their 2 cents on any subject, business, product or sports team. Today with the continuous evolution of social media and the Internet, businesses of all sorts have hopped online to start distributing content of their own to either reach out to customers or inform them about the company, product, or industry news. What’s surprising is that 15 years into the new millennium, businesses of all shapes and sizes are still not putting out content that adds value to the consumer, nor does it draw them into buying the product they’re selling.

On numerous occasions I’ve seen company’s blogs either being used as a voice for an individual who works for the company, or they use blogs as a platform to distribute content that would have once been in a magazine that no one ever read. I might be coming across as harsh, but this is business, and without valuable and informative content that draws interest from consumers, there are no sales.

It’s shocking to see content being posted that is completely irrelevant to the current product these companies are selling. One article could have easily been written by an independent blogger, but I highly doubt they would have wasted the time to put out content that wouldn’t drive any sales, views, or subscribers. That’s what is so dangerous about lackluster content from all platforms by these companies. As a consumer, I see no value, and therefore I skim over it and continue scrolling down my Twitter or Facebook timeline.

Most people think it’s just Facebook ads, Google Adwords, or throwing money into some other Internet marketing tool that drives sales. In today’s economy people want something with substance, information they can believe in and trust, that assures them that they are making the right decision. It’s amazing to see that the leaders who oversee the distribution of content by these companies don’t see that. Independent bloggers who are close to the product, the company, or have a passion for the industry the business is in, are more likely to post quality content that brings value, than if these companies found somebody in-house. They may also know more about the product in some cases.

Whether it’s Facebook statuses, tweets, or blog posts, businesses and stores need to start putting out better content. Most are doing a great job, but in some industries there aren’t many who are outshining the competition. It would also be wise for these companies to start following and building some form of a relationship with the bloggers who are in someway driving sales and traffic to their websites. These bloggers have an extensive knowledge of these products, and their reviews and content that go along with that knowledge is invaluable.

Also in the age of social media, blogs and the influence that they have on their followers could lead to sales directly to the company because they’ve built trust. Businesses have a harder time building that trust, whereas content from fellow consumers is easier to believe and sympathize with.

It’s 2015. It’s time to start marketing and distributing content like the year we’re living in.