One of the major trends in the Automotive Industry right now is Social Media. In previous entries on this blog site by Terry Holbrook, he defined Social Media and listed some compelling evidence to get in on this trend. I agree wholeheartedly that dealers need to be properly involved in Social Media. I say ‘properly’ for several reasons. You must do it right. Social Media is an ever-evolving subject so there is no simple correct ‘right’ way to do it but there are many ‘wrong’ ways already known. You must also be actively engaged in both your own efforts as well as those of potential customers and competitors.

How can you be involved in the activities of customers and competitors? You must know what they are saying. You can spend hours promoting yourself and your business through Social Media and have it all be rendered worthless by a few bad comments by customers or competitors or competitors masquerading as customers.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” — Warren Buffett

In today’s Internet age, you must believe that every potential customer is an informed consumer. It is so easy to ‘Google’ a person or a business that for you to assume your customers are not doing this could be costing you business. What are others saying about you? Is there someone out there that was so offended by someone in your dealership, they went on a campaign to discredit your business? You need to know the answers to these questions and to do this; you need to implement a means to monitor Social Media.

By monitoring what is said about you, your dealership, and your brand, you will be able to quickly respond to any damaging statements. That disgruntled customer who blogged about their experience can receive a personal response along with an offer to correct their perceived affront. Not only does this turn a disgruntled customer into a happy one and keep them from continuing to bad-mouth you but it also shows anyone seeing their blog that you care. A ‘tweet’ about how quick your service department completed their work can be retweeted to increase its visibility. The point of actively monitoring Social Media is to give you the power to manage your online reputation – minimize damage from negative media and maximize benefits from positive media.

If you would like to know more about ways to implement an effective Social Media monitoring practice, please let us know.