Auto Dealers: How to Differentiate Your Business on Social Media in 2013

by Kathi Kruse

What makes you choose one cloth­ing store, con­trac­tor or florist over anoth­er? Chances are it’s their suc­cess in iden­ti­fy­ing what makes them unique and broad­cast­ing that mes­sage to the mar­ket­place. Going into 2013, deal­ers and all busi­ness­es need to take a page from those mem­o­rable busi­ness’ play­book.

The way to com­mu­ni­cate that you’re bet­ter is by actu­al­ly fig­ur­ing out how you’re bet­ter. You can’t send an emp­ty “we are bet­ter” mes­sage any­more like we all used to do. Today, you have to dive deep into the facets of your brand.

1. Deter­mine what sets you apart from the pack. What are your core val­ues? What do you want to be known for? Be spe­cif­ic. Authen­tic­i­ty has a way of ris­ing to the top on Social Media. For instance, take the sub­ject of online reviews. Rat­ings plat­forms need to be opti­mized and man­aged inter­nal­ly. What Google or Yelp say about you is exact­ly what customer/prospects are bas­ing their pur­chase deci­sions on. When there are few reviews and one or two are neg­a­tive, that tells me your miss­ing an inter­nal proac­tive process to cap­ture and build your reviews. When your pro­file has a lot of reviews and a low score, that rep­re­sents a deep­er cul­tur­al issue that will take supe­ri­or lead­er­ship to rec­ti­fy.

A key ele­ment of Social Media mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy should involve the devel­op­ment of your brand val­ues and how you would like to be per­ceived.

2. Define your unique sell­ing propo­si­tion.What do you do bet­ter than any­one else? It’s some­thing that can’t be copied. Deliv­er a clear-cut, mar­ketable ben­e­fit to your cus­tomer. Give your­self a sig­nif­i­cant advan­tage over the oth­er play­ers.

In order to have a unique sell­ing propo­si­tion, you can’t attempt to be known for every­thing. You have to make a stand for some­thing. You have to choose what your busi­ness will stand for and what you’ll be known for. By mak­ing a stand and choos­ing some­thing that makes your busi­ness unique, you’ll become known for that unique qual­i­ty and stand out from the crowd.

3. Use pain to your advan­tage. Iden­ti­fy cus­tomer pain points and main frus­tra­tions with the auto indus­try. Devise a mar­ket­ing plan to address those con­cerns. Every per­son I talk to (who’s not in the car busi­ness) asks me for tips on buy­ing and sell­ing cars. What would hap­pen if you wrote a white paper on the “30 things you need to know before you buy your next car.”?  Use Social Media to pro­mote that white paper and give easy access to it via your web­site.  Peo­ple crave infor­ma­tion, espe­cial­ly when they have to make a deci­sion around “big-tick­et” items. Be help­ful. Be inter­est­ed. Be human.

4. Lever­age your employ­ees’ unique sell­ing propo­si­tion. Your front-line per­son­nel are the ones who talk to your cus­tomers every day. What are your employ­ees say­ing to your cus­tomer when you’re not look­ing? Iden­ti­fy each employee’s core val­ues and unique sell­ing propo­si­tion. Cap­i­tal­iz­ing on their strengths can mean the dif­fer­ence between clos­ing sales and not.

Con­tact Kathi Kruse, an Auto­mo­tive Social Media Mar­ket­ing Expert, Blog­ger, Author, Speak­er and Founder of Kruse Con­trol Inc




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