Monthly Archives: January 2010

Social Matters

We’ve all seen the little link bars under blog posts and in forums asking people to Digg or Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, or StumbleUpon. Do you need to try to get links in places where social networking can happen? Yes. Alone those links may not have a lot of value, but Google is increasingly looking at the “active Web” in determining site authority. Now why is this important? If your dealership website is constantly participating and being active in online communities wouldn’t you agree that your virtual dealership will have a higher site authority than your competitor who may not be as active?

Another fun fact, the average number of links a single person can have attached to them is 231. But think of how virally devastating it can be for your dealership if some mentions a bad experience in your store think of those links for that person, but then what about the 200 plus friends they have and the links attached to them?

Getting active in social media is time consuming, but participating in forums and social sites and getting blog owners to run your articles with your linked anchor text included can be worth your time. But remember, relevance is a basic rule in online marketing consulting. Also don’t coin yourself into just the top well known social sites, because keep in mind there over 100 social sites with over 1 million members. If that’s too overwhelming for you then you may need to do some social outsourcing.

Cheers,

Your Diva

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And You Said Your Demographic Isn’t Online Shopping For Cars, HA!

It always would made me smile when an auto dealer who carries more of an older demographic brand says that their not targeting an internet shopper. Well what if that’s where more and more of them are shopping?

Baby boomers are avid Internet users. They make up 32.5% of the US adult population and 36% of the adult online population, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. On a typical day, boomers account for one-third of all Internet traffic, Pew found. According to Burst Media, nearly two-thirds (62.6%) of these users spent more than five hours a week online. Now how about that……

What You Can Learn From Consumer’s Digital Decade

This article was perfect moving into 2010, there is so much to take in from the beginning of the digital decade. So moving into the New Year decide how you’re going to engage your digital consumers, because there’s no smoke and mirrors on this one, this is just how it is!

What you can learn from consumers’ digital decade

by Josh Bernoff

As the decade I call the twenty-oh’s ends, think on what a transformational change we have just all witnessed. Our obsession with the latest product from Google or Apple often clouds our recognition of the long-term effects. We all know where we are. But I think many of us have forgotten where we were, and just how dramatically things have changed in ten short years.

Bill Gates in 2001 called this new decade “The Digital Decade.” Boy was he right.Consider:

  • When the last decade began, there were 2.6 million broadband households in the US, one out of every 40 homes. Now there are 80 million, or two thirds of the population. Broadband has gone from rare to ubiquitous.
  • Starting from zero, digital video recorders reached 31 million homes and HDTV reached 51 million in this decade. Together with online video and video on-demand, these gadgets have completely transformed the television experience.
  • Mobile phones subscriptions are now 270 million, out of 307 million US adults.(For a comparison, mobile phones were in 51 million households at the start of the decade, but back then having more than one phone per household was unusual.) Back in 1999 phones were phones. Now they are iPhones, Blackberries, and Androids — computers and internet access devices.
  • Portable digital music players have reached 76% of all US households. At the start of the decade, they were in practically none, because the iPod had yet to be introduced. Mark Mulligan calls it “The Decade That Music Forgot“.

And finally, it’s worth noting that Google just celebrated its tenth anniversary. In 1999, most of hadn’t heard of it yet. And forget social technologies — in 1999, most of the social activity online was in chat and discussion forums.

As I look back on all this from the perspective of media and marketing, it’s clear that consumer lead, media stumbles along behind, and marketers follow along behind.

2009’s consumers spend 34% of their media time online. As a result, digital marketing spending has gone from $6.2 billion in 1999 to $25.6 billion, or 12% of all marketing spending, in 2009. But marketers still spend most of their energy and dollars on television, newspapers, and radio.

Within those industries, the spend shifts slower than the behavior. Newspaper sites still bring in far less than ads in the paper. Video on-demand and online video ad models are still under construction.

But what you can learn from this decade is that consumers move quickly, models move slowly, and marketing moves conservatively. When you see a technology shifting, that’s the time to begin close observation of the models behind it. It will take years for those models to take hold, and in those years, you get the chance to learn. That’s when you need to experiment and figure out how things work, because that’s when it’s cheap and the competition is hanging back. The objective is not to make money right off, but to learn the ropes. Because when the transformation happens — and it will — then you will have the advantage of knowledge.

So if the Twenty-Oh’s was the Digital Decade for the Consumers then the Twenty-Teens is definitely the Digital Decade for the Marketers, so are you going to be the one to just sit back while your competition moves ahead of you and dominates your internet market? I just wouldn’t want to be “that guy” if you ask me!

Your Diva

Top 10 Reasons to Get Aggressive in Social Media

I wanted to pass this on from a post in:http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profiles/blogs/the-top10-chances-social-media

Social Networks aren’t going anywhere that’s obvious. But, the question is how can dealers get involved and do it effectively. Most,  importantly is why should you get involved. Below are top reasons you need to jump in and claim your space! Enjoy

1. Branding Opportunity: Here you have the opportunity to be consistent in the face with your logo, pictures, name; slogan etc. when you actively engage in one or more of these social networks – the good thing -it won’t cost you a dime.

2. Specialist Opportunity: What an opportunity to get your advice, your particular Unique Selling Proposition in front of your potential customers. Example: You’ve a collision center attached to your dealership and all certified mechanics received highest OEM certification scores – then talk about it.

3. Human Capital Opportunity: When you still have real human beings running your dealership then see that you put their names and face out there. People are still buying from people. So why not having your key sales and service advisor people having their own Business related fan pages at Facebook?

4. Transparency Opportunity: This tip connects with the prior idea. Ever wondered why service customers are suspicious about charges and time their spent during their service visit? May be giving them (customers) an opportunity to learn more about the work performed on their car. I hear about dealerships having initialized a YouTube Channel dedicated to routine maintenance jobs only to help the customers to understand, what kind of work and time really goes into it. Check this company here out (YouTube Video), which specializes in Car Stereo, gives their potential customers installation tips, and believe me, when you see how much work this really is, you possible end up to bring it to them, because they know how to do it.

5. Reputation Opportunity: Are you known as a family dealership with an extensive record of loyal customers coming back year after year? Then please engage with these loyal customers and friends directly and ask them to do you a favor and to leave a “raving fan” review “how perfect the whole car buying process” at your dealership was. Guide them with links directly to sites like yelp.com, dealerrater.com and others.

6. The “Good Guy” Opportunity: Planning a promotion or an event for a Good Cause? Distribute your Event message to these Social channels. People love to be engaged in being a part of a Good Cause. Let them know what you have planned in particular. For BMW dealership as an example, the year by year occurring Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation – DRIVE FOR THE CURE is this kind of an opportunity to show your community that you indeed care. Each Mile driven throughout the Nation’s BMW franchises will be honored by BMW North America with $1/per mile driven. Year after Year, Millions of Dollars finding their way to the research laboratories to get closer to defeat this terrible disease.

7. Huge SEO Opportunity: Thinking about writing a dealership blog, a journal, dedicated to your cars and service you are selling. If so, and you show all theses nice pictures of new upcoming models, include some spy photos you gathered from other online communities and car enthusiast sites – please – DO NOT FORGET to link particular keywords, pictures and even phrases to 3rd party sites and of course here and there to your inventory pages. Because a new blog post is a relevant “news article” in the eyes of the search engines, clever linked words or images will raise far much faster and further up than just your “static” dealership website.

8. Business Intelligence Opportunity: What is my competition doing? Are they doing anything? What are they talking about? Well, Internet Managers are pretty familiar with this candor due to their (hopefully) contingent routine to “mystery shop” the competition. Now with several Social Media tools and Google Alerts you have a vaster array of opportunities to find out when, what, how, who and where things “are cooking” and you may have the chance to react even faster on their moves.

9. One Hit Wonder Opportunity: It always comes to my mind when I think about how dealers I have had worked for in the past suddenly need to have their clerks printing out hundreds of pages of the dealership’s Lease Returns lists. Did we miss here something in the past? Did we forget about the customer, who got her new car from us 36 months ago? Why did we not do a better job in winning her as a new “fan” at the time she was leaving the lot? Here is our chance to make these “one hit wonders” to a “record platinum album”, as soon the customer leaves the lot we need to a) send out an email as a thank you note in combination with the question to have them send you a picture of them and their new ride in front of their drive-way”. When you get a response and hopefully a picture, post it on your dealers/sales person’s Facebook, and then again share it with the customer, who had just helped you to create content. Invite them to be part of the “happy xyz dealership owners club”, which comes automatically with the benefits of free car washes at each service visit and special seasonal offers on maintenance. Throughout your constant engagement and follow-up with this former “one hit wonder” clientele, you earn over the period of time to ask for referrals, which I know will come easy after you pampered your new fan.

10. Fishing Opportunity: One of my heroes’ – Chris Brogan, author and renowned “Trust Agent” is talking about “Fish where the Fish are”. I remember times when our sales manager sent out his cohort of sales people to the close by mall and hand out Business Cards, with the catchy lines of “Hi, I am Peter, and I am a Car Sales Guy. When you and somebody you know is in need for a new car…here is my card.” Wow – how crazy is that? Sounds to me like going dynamite fishing on the Hudson River. The fish which will show up after the detonation was already dead due to pollution. Instead try to fish a little bit smarter. With Twitter, and/or other car enthusiasts forums you’ll be able to follow conversation, which are taking place near to you and your city, b) where people are speaking about your Make and Models you sell and c) where “tweeple” (the citizens of Twitter) actually starting to follow you! Yes you, the only thing what you need to do is to engage in their conversation. It doesn’t matter if you comment on their posted car photo, answer a question about car specs or just contribute with a worthwhile news article link about the new Hybrid path your OEM is willing to take.

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