Social media is a way to connect with and develop a community around both the brand of the dealership, and the personal brand of the people that make up the dealership. It’s important to note that the biggest difference between traditional marketing and social marketing is that traditional marketing is all about marketing of the business, but social marketing is all about marketing the people OF the business.
I want you to keep that in mind, that social media is all about the marketing of people. It’s about building relationships and influencing word of mouth. It’s about caring for your customers in such a way that they feel the desire to spread your good word. Social media is all about connecting the people of your community, to the people of the dealership. The true power of social media lies in the bond created between dealership employees and the community.
Success in social media boils down to 3 different ideals, and they are:
- The Development Of Relationships,
- The Creation Of High Touch, Emotion Based Connections, and
- Customer Enchantment (think customer service to the Nth degree).
The Development Of Relationships
In a recent study conducted by the Journal Of Consumer Research it was found that consumers don’t buy into the idea that they are in “relationships” with sales people, at least not the same kind of relationship they share with family and friends. The study goes on to say that buyers slip into the normal script of trying to behave as if the sellers interactions are real relationships just to be polite, when in fact, it can have a negative effect if the seller tries too hard to build a real relationship, during the sale.
In part three of the Three Ideals For Social Marketing Success we will talk about replacing relationship building tactics, during the selling process, with customer enchantment techniques. After all, the whole idea behind social marketing is to create brand loyalty and influence word-of-mouth and THAT starts at the point of sale.
Building relationships through the genuine use of social networks will go a long way to building a lasting interpersonal relationship with your customers, thus influencing both brand loyalty and influencing word-of-mouth.
Engagement Is A Precursor For Brand Advocacy
In order to create brand advocacy you must first engage your community, in other words, converse with people, if you ever hope to influence word-of-mouth. Big, national brands, have the ability to create communities around the power of their brand alone but local businesses have something even more powerful… the community.
Up until very recently sociologists thought race was the strongest predictor of whether two people will socialize, but in a recent study it was found that where you live and your social class prove to be stronger proponents of lasting friendship. Why is that important? It tells us that because we live in the same geographical area, we have a strong precursor for the development of relationships. So, in order to create relationships with your community, and satisfy the first ideal of social marketing success, it’s important to note that you must keep things local. Talk about local news and sporting events, charities that help the local community and any awards that local people may have won. In other words, show that you are part of the community, by engaging the community surrounding local happenings. Consider searching out a social cause, something that the community is passionate about and connect around that, the ideas really are endless.
Connecting On A Personal Level
Be you, not a brick and mortar business. Each one of us are special in our own unique way and if you ever hope to build the kind of relationship with your community that creates brand advocacy then you must be personal. I’m not talking about bringing up sexual orientation, religion, or politics but I am talking about sharing what you and your family did over the weekend or your thoughts on the popular movie that just opened. You can even give your opinions on who will win the big game or the outfit Jessica Alba wore on the red carpet, again, the ideas are endless. Get real, be real, and connect on the same level you do with your real friends.