Consumer Generated Content Based Strategies for Car Dealers
There are tools. Tools are great if used properly. The biggest challenge with tools is that they can be turned into a crutch that actually takes away from the exposure of the post. In other words, you can "tool yourself out of the message" by overusing them or by using them improperly.
Today's webinar was about tools and we discuss many of them, but I think the big takeaway for dealers is the portion around the middle where I go through the actual posting process. Here's what I do, step by step:
First and foremost, you don't have to post cats. I know that there is a strategy that involves posting funny pictures and trying to be entertaining, but the internet is loaded with many people and businesses more entertaining than you or your social media provider. It was a semi-effective strategy a couple of years ago. Today, it simply isn't necessary.
People want experts. You're probably not an expert on shaved dogs or hipster fashion. You're an expert on cars. Post cars. Lots of them. Old cars. New cars. Concept cars. Take what you know as a car dealer and apply it to your social media.
With that said, finding the right content can be easy. You probably have something really cool on your lot right now. Nissan dealers, for example, have a huge advantage if they have a GT-R on their lot. Social media LOVES the GT-R, particularly Tumblr and Pinterest. This translates nicely on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter as well. Instagram can go crazy over it.
Use what you have, but you don't have to stop there. Services like Shutterstock are excellent for finding images of particular vehicles, skylines of your metro, or interesting events in the local area. Taking pictures is best, but if you are constrained on time (who isn't?) then the good ol' stock photo works just fine, particularly if you have some interesting information to go along with it.
Once you have your content, get it up on Facebook and Google+. Try not to use a posting tool whenever possible - Facebook gives preferential treatment to posts from Facebook.com itself and Google+ tools like Hootsuite post the images as links, not images. If you've already posted or it's not the ideal time and you have to schedule it, that's fine, but avoid whenever possible.
If you don't have a tumblog yet, you should. It's super easy to post to Tumblr and we've covered it in past automotive webinars.
Get the image up on Tumblr as an image; too often I see businesses posting as links or text and adding the image which doesn't get the same amount of coverage. You have an option to include a click-thru link. If the image is on your website, you can plug that page in. You can also plug in your Google+ post. Neither is required but it's a benefit to do so.
Go to the post itself (not your Tumblr homepage) and Pin it onto your Pinterest board. While pinning, be sure to select the "Post to Twitter" option so that it goes onto Twitter as well.
That's it. Four minutes. Quality post created and shared. Time to get back to other business. Here's the full webinar...