I understand that this whole Social Media thing has got to be difficult for a car salesman to wrap his noggin around. After all, a car salesman, as the title implies…..sells! In fact, they are notoriously skilled at selling. Introduce Social Media, the current buzz in Internet marketing, and the salesman is told to get on board, to engage, to build relationships, to listen, but at all costs, DO NOT SELL!

The fundamental concept of soliciting business is not bad, in fact, we depend on it to fuel our economy. It is when it is done in excess, as a one-sided sales message blared through a megaphone that it becomes annoying. There is a difference between the one-sided, self-promoting aspect of social networking and the successful strategic utilization of social networking platforms to build and market your brand.

It is all about what you bring to the table. Bring value and you and your brand will be followed. You cannot ask consumers to “Follow Me” and to “Like Us” and then throw sales messages and all of your inventory at them. Write insightful, interesting blog posts and helpful, educational auto-related tips. Post humorous, memorable videos and pictures. Include up-to-the-minute auto-industry news and current community activities and events. Offer some incomparable deals and valuable coupons. When anyone comments, respond promptly, and listen, listen, listen to them. The result brings value to your audience, without a hard sell and self-promotion, and brings the consumers to you, which is exactly where you want them.

Make sure you and your dealership are not “that guy”. You all know him, that guy at the ________ (you fill in the blank with office, party, dry cleaners, post office…) that corners you and yammers on and on about everything and nothing having to do with him. You have to hear about his Cheerios and dry toast, his commute, his kids, his car, his haircut, his bunions…the endless commentary about the trivialities of his day from the time his eyes opened that morning up until this very moment when you are standing there with your eyes glazed over, head aching, and mind focused on only one thing, HOW TO ESCAPE the droning on of this frustratingly self-absorbed ______ (again, you fill in the blank)!

“That guy” offers absolutely no value. In fact, not only would no one “follow” him or “like” him, they would run like hell at break-neck speed in the opposite direction at the mere sight of him!

Think about your social networking strategy, and don’t give your potential customers any reason to run!