Conversation Marketing

Is your dealership’s social media strategy ready for conversation marketing?

We’ve all been there. Whether you are the customer or the salesperson, it’s awkward and tedious to be tied up in a boring rundown of features and dealership benefits. Nobody wants a salesperson who talks at them. This is the very reason why so many car shoppers today prefer an online experience to the showroom. They would rather look when it’s convenient for them (even on Sundays) and not have to deal with someone spewing facts and a pitch at them. The best salespeople engage in conversation with their customers in an effort to learn more about them, their needs, and their budget. It sounds simple, but not every dealership is ready for this approach on the digital side of their business. Here are a few statements to consider if you’re considering implementing conversation marketing in your dealership’s social media strategy.

Your dealership wants to be active or more active on social media.

Many dealerships have a social media presence and they’re OK with how they are performing on channels such as Twitter and Facebook. They are unwilling to make a change or leave all changes up to an outside agency that they keep on retainer. But, if you are just getting started with social media or want to improve social media performance metrics, adding conversation marketing to your strategy can make a significant impact on your social engagement metrics and bottomline.

You have dedicated staff managing your dealership’s social media.

Here’s the cold, hard truth: social media doesn’t work on it’s own and nobody knows your dealership better than your employees. A good social media strategy references a social media policy that all employees are held accountable to following. The person in charge of the policy and strategy should be directly involved in either the day-to-day management of social media channels or managing those who are doing the tactical work. This person or team of people should work directly with the Internet Sales Team and be a critical part of the dealership’s marketing and community engagement initiatives.

Your team works, even off the clock.

Just because the showroom lights are off doesn’t mean social media has shut down for the night. Even while you’re at home and sleeping, people in your area are looking for cars or service. Who will they talk to? It’s imperative that your social media manager or specialists are able to respond quickly and professionally to comments and questions, especially those from people in your community. This doesn’t mean that you should expect an employee to wake up from a dead sleep at 3:00am to respond to a question about a vehicle, but it does mean that as soon as your team is awake and online, they are actively engaging with potential customers.

You have goals.

No one starts a new initiative or strategy without having goals in mind. It’s imperative to review your goals for social media marketing and add a revised list that includes how you would like conversation marketing to impact your measurable objectives. Don’t engage in social media for the sake of “being there.” Have a purpose and an end goal.

While conversation marketing isn’t for everyone, it can make a real difference for dealerships that are ready to take the next step in their social media strategy. It is, very simply, engagement that matters.

Justin Marquardt

Co-Founder, CMO - Justin is the driving force behind ChatterUP’s sales and marketing efforts. With his 11 years in the automotive technology space and his experience running a social media business, Justin is uniquely positioned to drive change in the automotive social marketplace.