Social Media Marketing: It’s Time (If You Have the Time)

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By Kathi Kruse

Suc­cess­ful Social Media mar­ket­ing IS a process. It should start with clear objec­tives and patience. You’re build­ing and nur­tur­ing sales rela­tion­ships. Even those who do it every­day say it’s a chal­lenge. It’s best to make sure you have time to par­tic­i­pate in engag­ing your fans/followers so here are 3 tips to help you spend your time wisely:

1. Set Clear Objec­tives. Why are you on Social Media? If it’s because you heard that’s where you should be, that’s not enough. For deal­ers and most other busi­nesses, there are spe­cific strate­gies to imple­ment, depend­ing on the plat­form. Ulti­mately, you need to cre­ate inter­est in your store and gen­er­ate leads. Never lose sight of your pur­pose. Every­thing you do, every result you get, should be tied back to your objectives.

2. Devise a Con­tent Strat­egy that Works for You and Your Audi­ence. Whether you pub­lish the con­tent your­self or share some­one else’s (hope­fully both), it needs to be rel­e­vant to your dealership’s brand and to your cus­tomer. I typ­i­cally sit with new clients and brain­storm on a “Brand Dis­cov­ery”. We iden­tify the sub­jects the audi­ence is inter­ested in and use that as a foun­da­tion in cre­at­ing or locat­ing con­tent. This cre­ative process is a main com­po­nent to your suc­cess and it takes revis­it­ing it reg­u­larly to be suc­cess­ful. Cre­ate a daily sched­ule (typ­i­cally 2–3 hours per day) to brain­storm, write, solicit (from staff) and edit content.

3. Use Tools to Max­i­mize Your Pro­duc­tiv­ity. Once you’ve got the con­tent you want to post, spend 30-minutes per day (or an hour so every few days) sched­ul­ing it out. The beauty of sched­ul­ing your con­tent is that you won’t have to remem­ber to post it in real-time. Save your real-time to inter­act with your fans/followers. Here are some tools to use:

• Hoot­suite: a free Social Media dash­board that will sched­ule posts on the major Social networks.

• Post­Plan­ner: a Face­book app ($15/month) that not only sched­ules con­tent inside Face­book but also brands your con­tent, gives you sta­tus update ideas and a wealth of con­tent to choose from.

• RSS Feed: tracks your favorite blogs, pod­casts, gurus, and search terms and deliv­ers them to Google Reader or the news­reader of your choice.

• Google Reader: aggre­gates all your media in one place. When a new arti­cle posts, you’ll see it with­out hav­ing to visit each and every site. It’s like your own per­sonal newspaper.

• Stum­ble­upon: a Social book­mark­ing sight. You can search for any sub­ject that they’ll give you con­tent on that sub­ject. Once you find a great blog that’s rel­e­vant, you can RSS feed it into Google Reader to keep track of it.

Where are you in the spec­trum of Social Media adop­tion? Are you an employee who’s using Social Media to pro­mote your­self while you wait for your boss to wel­come it?

Kathi Kruse is an Auto­mo­tive Social Media Mar­ket­ing Expert, Blog­ger, Author, Speaker and Founder of Kruse Con­trol Inc. Con­tact Kathi  via her website.

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