At the Helm: Embracing the social

Jonathan Sweet

You want to be where your customers are — that’s a pretty basic tenet of advertising and marketing. Putting your message in front of those most likely to buy isn’t exactly rocket science.

So embracing social media makes more and more sense everyday. The Pew Center’s Social Media Update 2014, released in January 2015, only reinforces that: Social media users are more likely to be college educated, more likely to be female, younger and, oh yeah, they make good money.

The good news is that most smart dealers and manufacturers have figured that out, although we still hear “My customers aren’t on social media” a little too often. (For the record, if your average customer is over 75, male, not college educated and makes less than $50,000 a year, I’ll concede your point.)

Facebook is still king, with 71 percent of Internet users using it. Its largest growth has come in the 50-plus age groups this year, with 63 percent of those 50 to 64 and even 56 percent of those 65-plus being regular users. Other services are well behind but continue to grow, especially Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. (To see the full report, go to

If you’ve been paying attention, you already know a lot of this. The question becomes what do you do about it. It’s not 2010 anymore – simply making the occasional Facebook post or Tweet isn’t enough to get by today.

So this month, our associate editor Nicholas Upton took a deep dive into “Social media that sells” and talked to some leading experts on how to make the most of your social media efforts.

You can see the full article by clicking here, but here are some key takeaways:
• Make an engagement plan and stick with it
• Don’t be the used car guy – tone down the sales pitch
• Take advantage of Google Plus’s search engine optimization
• Use video. We’ve got a visually pleasing industry – make the most of it
• Content is King. Share information people want to read – tips and trends, for instance

In other words, engage. Be part of the conversation. Embrace the “social” in social media. It’s where your customers are today and tomorrow.


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