The growth of Facebook has led to some clever ideas in marketing for car dealers. Having a strong Facebook strategy includes gathering the data available to page owners from Facebook Insights, using testimonials to reveal interests, relationships, and learning the intent of users.
Facebook is filled with games, applications and other activities that make it a destination site. Members can engage in apps which involve their friends, tapping into the natural human tendency to compete and socialize about these activities and sharing in the experience.
The potential of Facebook in terms of building relationships with your customers, and others who may one day become a customer is huge. This isn’t anything like traditional advertising. The younger generation has less time for things that are unrelated to their interests, not because the ads aren’t compelling, but because all of the free stuff available that is of interest – traditional media gets tuned out completely.
Regardless of the games and other activities that destinations like Facebook provide, there are still buying decisions that must be made and this is where having a strategy becomes crucial.
Basics of a Facebook Dealer Strategy
The first and most important step in Facebook is ensuring that your branding message will be recognized in your market, so it’s just a matter of getting their attention with a quick message.
Then be hyper-proactive with your interaction from the moment a customer, fan, friend, etc. expresses a need – to the response that indicates a desire to help fulfill this need.
Selecting A Facebook Rockstar
1. Identify either one person specifically at your dealership or build a team that will be tasked with inbound and outbound communication via Facebook. If they can get a bunch of people active in your market then you’ll be off to a strong start.
2. Ensure that this person has a complete understanding of how the various forms of messaging work from sending private messages, responding to a live chat, responding in your discussion forum, responding on your wall, or in a comment that was posted on your wall.
3. Create instant notifications via email, text and whatever device that they have on their person at all times. This will send an alert when these messages come in so they are not missed.
4. Discuss the expectations on when the person should be available for this type of communication. If it’s after business hours, how will you respond so your audience becomes familiar with your policy. A good community will speak up on your behalf at times where you may be unavailable, so this is reason to ensure that they have accurate information.
5. Become aware and informed about the role of community managers and how they are able to build a solid group of core users who effectively become your brand evangelists. Decide on how you will reward them in non-monetary ways. They are not motivated by money, so be creative and think of ways the rewards are very personal and recognizable amongst the community.
Once the basics have been established and roles delegated, you can begin to discuss your marketing message and means of differentiation. The importance of having a solid strategy for your brand identity, and following up with consistent messaging will build confidence and increase loyalty amongst your fans. You can consider all kinds of things like Facebook SEO, a prime opportunity to get quick exposure.
Be aware of the fact that even if you’ve been in business for 100 years, you’re still brand new when it comes to these new platforms so it will take some time to re-establish that core message that every customer who’s walked through your doors over the past 100 years knows about you. That is exactly the type of consistency you want your online presence to have. So consider digging out old newspapers, or other media that may help tell a story about the founders. This is how dealers can build an online brand identitythat your customers are listening to and interacting with.
These are some suggestions for the early stages of building a solid marketing strategy for Facebook. Other additional aspects of this will need to be discussed in future posts such as how to transition from one community manager to the next in cases where employees change roles due to promotion or other opportunities. Policy on how to react to negative or inappropriate comments when your community is small and new vs. when it grows to several thousand members. The defining milestones that indicate the need for additional resources, such as an upcoming Facebook campaign you’re planning and the staff needed at various stages.