Social Media? We don’t need no Social Media!

So you think your dealership or shop doesn’t need to participate in the social media craze and your current customer base is spreading enough word of mouth to keep you going.  For some that may be true, but for most you are missing out on a large part of your market.  There are over one million users on Facebook and over half a million registered on Twitter, all of which are potential customers for your business.

“Well my shop is in California, how can you say someone in Maine is a potential customer?”

I’ve had customers drive 10 hours in order to purchase a machine from us, simply because of how we market ourselves.  Not only do we do our best to provide the best customer service we can to everyone who calls in, we also ensure that we answer any and all questions to the best of our ability.  Sometimes this means spending a little more time with a customer who has a technical question, and other times it means having the customer come in so we can go over things in person.  The same goes for our social media pages; we are constantly answering questions and responding to direct messages via social media about our parts, services, or sales departments.

That’s great, but I still don’t get why I need social Media.

Easy, you need social media because that is how most people are interacting these days.  The  power sports market covers different generations, not only do you have the 20 year old buying his first sport bike, you also have the 50 year old farmer who needs another side by side for his farm.  No matter the age, approximately three quarters of consumers do their research on a business and/or product online before making a purchase.  Your social media is your meet and greet outfit, you always want to put your best foot forward and social media is the way to make it happen.  If the only information you have out there is your business website and whatever reviews customers have left on various websites, potential customers are not going to find out who you really are as a business.

So I opened my social media accounts, how do they impact me?

As I already mentioned, more and more people are researching businesses and products online before they buy, this means if you as a business are putting out quality content, potential customers will see that and the chances that you will gain a new customer increases.  Quality social media marketing can also lead to the increase in brand awareness, brand loyalty, decreases in marketing costs, and increases in website traffic.

So I have all of these followers through social media, now what?

Now is the time you start building relationships with the customers through engaging content.  This means answering questions in the public sector for customers, allowing others to see your customer service level for themselves.  Using that engaging content is also giving you an opportunity to find out what your customers really like and want.  Maybe someone has seen an aftermarket accessory that you don’t carry but they’re interested in, there could be others interested in this same accessory and social media can help you find this out.

Ultimately social media marketing is about your customer’s experience.  Not only can it help you gain brand awareness and loyalty, it can give you insight into what makes your customers tick.  The expanded reach that social media provides will allow you access to customers all over the country, gaining potential sales of both parts and units.  Your quality posts and blogs will give customers insight to who you are as a dealership and let them know that not only do you care about their business, but you care about their interests, wants, and opinions as well.

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8 thoughts on “Social Media? We don’t need no Social Media!

  1. Hi,

    I really enjoyed your post on the importance of social media and why companies need to use it. The bold questions you gave answers to are questions that my dad, who is a business owner, asked himself. He owns a construction company and also has a drilling and blasting team as well. When no longer using equipment, parts, and other accessories he looks to sell the products elsewhere. He also needs to find drilling and blasting work in order to keep the business going. He questioned the fast expansion of social media and how he could incorporate it into his company to better his brand. After quickly learning to sell products online and promote the business via Facebook, he has done a good job of expanding his customer base. He also realized that people will drive the extra distance to do business with someone they trust and has a high brand name like my dad. He has had clients drive miles or buy equipment from far away locations, just because he makes a positive image on the Internet. He has taken to the Internet to build strong relationships, which is what keeps his consumers coming back. Great post, definitely relatable!

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  2. Great job on your post. You present a very good argument that is clear and descriptive. I know many companies who have those concerns. It’s hard trying to convince well established organizations or even small business owners who are set in their ways to utilize social media. They don’t understand the need. Your post puts it all into prospective. Nicely done.

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  3. Jennifer,
    I appreciated your blog post this week as it seemed in line with the current course and objective outcomes of our discussion posts. This week we dove into CRM and how utilizing such technology affords businesses the opportunity to engage current and potential customers in a whole new way. You speak to this in your blog where you outline the effects of increased brand awareness which potentially results in brand loyalty, decreases in marketing costs and an increase in consumer website traffic. This and several other of your points were well written and supported.

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  4. Saying you do not need social media is like saying you do not need relationships. Schroeder (2013) says that relationship building is the critical factor in business success. Academic researchers have studied social capital and have done social network analysis to provide empirical and theoretical evidence of the value generated by relationships (Schroder, 2013). Business relationship building is definitely evolving due to the increased use of the internet and social media (Schroeder, 2013).

    It can be a challenge to maintain meaningful contact with a large number of individuals (Schroeder, 2013) and that is where CRM systems come into play. Social CRM is a strategy that is supported by tools and technologies where engagement and interaction is first and transactions are a byproduct (Morgan, 2010). It is important that companies who are integrating social media into their communication strategy are properly managing their data so that they can make more informed business (marketing) decisions.

    References

    Morgan, J. (2010). What Is Social CRM? : Social Media Examiner. Socialmediaexaminer.com. Retrieved from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/what-is-social-crm/
    Schroeder, H. (2013). The art of business relationships through social media. Iveybusinessjournal.com. Retrieved from http://iveybusinessjournal.com/publication/the-art-of-business-relationships-through-social-media/

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  5. Jennifer,

    It is truly amazing how people are communicating in ways that just ten years ago no one would have believed, as with any relationship knowing how to communicate is the key to a long term and healthy interaction. Not only that, as you say, social media is re-drawing the boundaries of business, people from across the world are buying and selling things through markets that simply did not exist before. This is the new face of business and it is important to understand this new world in order to be successful.

    Great article!

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  6. Hi,

    I fully enjoyed reading you blog. You really hit the nail on the head and explaining the importance of social media and how it can affect even the smallest of companies. I know for a fact that before I make any purchase, I spend countless hours trying to find all the details and comparing it to other similar products. It took me almost a month to pull the trigger on a watch I have been wanting. My issue was that once I saw the watch I wanted, I saw other watches that were just as nice that appeared in the recommendations tab.

    Being a small business can only get you so far as you said. People will rely on what is on your website and the reviews on Yelp. Even so, I have found the reviews on many Yelp pages to be incorrect and just an upset customer going off. In my opinion, most people do not review a product or service unless something went wrong or the customer was just demanding too much. It is extremely important to set up social media page just to have the potential customers get to know who slightly better. I tend to think that social media and texting is causing the downfall of human interaction in our society. However, in this case I feel that it would be extremely beneficial, especially for the customers just start their search for a product online.

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  7. I really enjoyed your blog on social media! It’s funny, because my father is one who will never accept social media is a “real thing,” but it just …..it just is! I have found from being a social media coordinator for companies, that in my opinion, social media may be great for some companies for all the reasons you listed, but I also feel like it can take away the professionalism from some organizations like law enforcement, hospitals, and banks. Social media marketing is so new still, that it is going to take time for the kinks to be worked out I am sure.

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  8. Jennifer, first let me say I truly like your mountains. I am basically an ocean person but if you throw in mountains with the ocean, then I am in seventh heaven.
    Anyway, You Q&A format is cool. Darn good way of getting across you reasoning. It appears that you are letting the consumer take control and of course that is what everyone is saying we should do now. What is really the best part is that you are addressing the concerns that I am sure every business taking a look at SM for the first time are in fact pondering these very things. Great job.

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