The evolution of social media over the years has been interesting to watch, particularly in the automotive industry. As a business tool, there have been more strategies that have come and gone than ones that have stood the test of time.
Believe it or not, social media is around a decade old in its current form. One can argue that earlier types of social media were around in the 90s, but the modern variation of social media really started with sites like MySpace that gained popularity in 2004 and started really making an impact in 2005 and 2006.
For car dealers, the first signs of mass adoption hit in 2008 when the first round of industry bloggers and thought-leaders started discussing sites like Facebook and Twitter. YouTube had already become a common tool for dealers, but the social interaction component hit most dealers' radar around 5 or 6 years ago.
We've seen strategies that included "caption this" image posts, questions about what movies people were going to watch this weekend, and even internet "memes" that had very little to do with the car business and even less to do with the local area that the dealership was targeting. We've seen services that sell fans and followers, schemes to try to generate engagement through contests, and even fake accounts built to comment on dealers' posts.
As we approach 2015, we can finally say as an industry that we've made social media work. It's not universal, but most dealers have eliminated the poor strategies that gurus and vendors were promoting to them. Most dealers realize that they need a strong social media presence, but they also realize that the ROI on social media is hard to achieve even with a lot of effort put into it.
This is where focus comes into play. There are two important components to staying focused that we'd like to cover here.
Focus on the Right Networks
It may sound strange, but there are still companies out there promoting the idea of being active on 50 or more social media sites. This sounds great in a pitch. In practice, it's not only worthless but can actually be damaging. Who actually uses dozens of social media sites? If you have a company build them for you and you fire the company later, who will take them over? Will they just sit there lingering with your dealership's name on them?
We look to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to be able to cover the vast majority of the social media business needs for dealerships.
Focus on the Right Content
The days of posting irrelevant content are behind this industry. More dealers are realizing that there's no benefit to posting content that has nothing to do with the local area.
Our social media tool is customized to post the content that you want posted without having to spend time every day finding it. With it, your Facebook page and Twitter profile will have a steady stream of articles, videos, and blog content. You select the sources. Our tool does the posting.
It also adds links to live inventory into the mix. This is important from a business perspective, but it cannot be your only focus. If all you post is inventory, your fans and followers will grow fatigued. Our tool allows for the proper mix of interesting content and inventory posts to keep people engaged while still making it useful for business.
Focus is an amazing thing, particularly when it follows a proper strategy. With LotVantage's social media, you'll have a tool that has all of the proper focus points to allow you to focus on what's important at the dealership.