06 October 2011

Customer Retention vis Social Networking

* This was originally posted on another blog in November of 2009. It's here for archive purposes.

The current trend of Social Media is reaching out to customers.  I’m not sure if dealers are reaching out to whomever, or their actual customers.  Here in Indianapolis it’s still so new.  The most success seems to involve current customers. 

A few examples, O’Brien Automotive is using both Facebook and Twitter to communicate things like Service Specials.  We know these are the profitable customers, and by getting customers in Service and in the Finance office to follow you on Twitter and Facebook just increase your chances of bringing them back. 

This leads us to the point of why are your customers going to follow or fan you?  I’m a firm believer that you need to provide an additional level of content or information.  You can share service updates all day long, you can feed into Twitter a constant feed of your inventory.  After a brief amount of time, who’s going to be reading it?  They will skip over your Tweets and Hide your updates from their feed in Facebook.  However, if you can become a source for additional information, they will pay attention.

I think you need to include relative news stories; most news sites have a Share function that will let you Tweet and Facebook stories.  I’m not suggesting hard core stories, but community pieces of interest.  News stories related to your make, off road articles if you’re a Jeep dealer, perhaps NARCAR links if you’re selling Toyota, Chevy, Ford, or Dodge.  Just a variety of things that can tie into your product line.

I highly suggest following other dealers, not just here in Indianapolis, but the dealers that are out there being successful.  Suzuki of Wichita and Fowler Dodge are great examples of a Social Media Progressive dealers. 

The biggest factor to all of Social Media is to remember it’s new, it’s still now mainstream, but it’s getting there.  Make it a point to watch, interact and learn from those who are doing it now, and then be progressive in thought to run with that trend setting pack.

Next up: Web 2.0 meets Web 1.0 and they CAN work together.

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