Josh Chiles, President, Engaged Social Media Firm — With all the talk about social media, most businesses are confused and overwhelmed. They quickly set up a profile on Facebook, not knowing the difference between a personal profile and a business page. Create a Twitter account without a clue what a hash tag is. They even post for a week or two and then, stop. Leaving their social profiles hanging overboard in the cold, brutal water. Talk about being “up a river without a paddle." Let’s save your online reputation and start at the beginning with the fundamentals of social media.
What is Social Media? Social Media uses Web-based technologies (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.) to turn communication into interactive dialogues. Interactive dialogues you say? Yes! Social media is about building relationships. The same way you build a relationship with the customers that walk into your dealership. The same way you have been doing it for years. You are just using a different medium to build that relationship. Think of your Facebook page as an extension of your brick and mortar location, your dealership.
Dealership: Customers drive up and park
Facebook: Customers sign-in and go to your URL
Dealership: Customers walk-in and look at your inventory
Facebook: Customers click on links to view pictures and descriptions of your inventory
Dealership: Customers talk to your staff
Facebook: Customers click on “chat” to talk to your representative
Dealership: Customers call or visit their friends and family to tell them about your great service and that perfect boat
Facebook: Customers click on “share” to tell their friends and family about your great service and that perfect boat
Do you see the similarities? How about the differences? One of the biggest differences is that your content can spread much faster. Your customers on Facebook can share your content in one click of the mouse. Taking the picture and description of that perfect boat and putting it in front of hundreds of potential customers. Not only does your content reach potential customers, but it’s coming from a trusted friend or family member. Now that’s powerful! Okay, you're now super-excited about using social media to reach hundreds of potential customers. Hold on. Wait a minute. Before you go making the same mistakes we talked about at the beginning of this post. Ask yourself these two questions:
1) What do I want to achieve by using social media?
2) How do I achieve my goal(s)?
When you answer those two questions, you will be on your way to social media success. Need help answering either question? Send me an e-mail or look for future posts about Social Media and the Marine Industry.