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Unleash your power in social media

March 17, 2011
By Jonathan Lucenay
 
Why would anyone “follow” a car dealer on Facebook or Twitter? Sure, people are passionate about their cars and they may love the dealership, but they don’t want to open up their news feed and find the wall covered with used-car inventory.
           
People go to Facebook for social networking—to follow their friends, family, and passions. This can be a powerful tool if you know your target market and can take advantage of that information. So what do you need to know to turn a “follow” into a relationship?
           
Generally, people will give you the opportunity to advertise to them for free via social media for one of three reasons:
 
1. They are passionate about your product and your posts fuel that passion.
2. They have a customer service issue.
3. They get something, such as special online-only deals or online prize giveaways.
 
Ask yourself, are Tuesdays a slow day in service? Why not drive business with a Tuesday-only Facebook special? What are you doing with those extra tickets to the ball game? Why not give them away to your Facebook fans?
           
The question is: What do you need to know in order to engage your customers on social media? This is where the power comes into play. Knowledge is power, and you have to know your customers. At a minimum you should know the following about your customers:
           
• Age
• Marital status
• Number of children
• Income
• Lifestyle pursuits such as sports, NASCAR, video games, etc.
 
To make the most of your Facebook page, you need to know who your customers are. Knowing your customers enables you to post relevant information for them, which makes your Facebook site a valuable resource and helps build a fan base that is similar to your customer base. This is where you can leverage your current marketing investment.
           
Your marketing company should have data insights on the demographic and behavioral attributes of your customers, and should be able to tie that to the customers following you on Facebook. You can start with the five key attributes above, and then get more detailed as you work with better analytics and insights. As you get more specific, you will understand whether you should talk about the wine club event, the humane society, or the NASCAR race.
           
The bottom line is, a dealer who doesn’t have a good profile of his larger database will spend all his free marketing on a very small group of people. But if he uses a broader profile he will increase the likelihood that more people will follow him online.
           
Social media is where your customers are, so you should be there as well. Facebook can feel like a nebulous space, but with the right marketing analytics and insights, it can be a very targeted and engaging space for the people “following” you—and help you to turn fans into clients.
 
Jonathan Lucenay is founder and CEO of Summit Resources, LLC, an Atlanta-based marketing company that provides “guaranteed sales” for auto dealers.
 

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