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Eight questions to… Alex Hodgson, group social media manager, Stoneacre

Alex Hodgson, group social media manager, Stoneacre

What are the main responsibilities of your role?

I oversee social media for the whole of Stoneacre Motor Group, including posting to our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram channels, responding to incoming messages and comments and creating digital content.

Working alongside Charlotte Stevens, the group’s other social media manager, we also control the posts sent to our local branch Facebook pages, through Sprout Social management software. We have dedicated members of staff in each branch who send local branch content for us to approve, check the posts are compliant and on-brand, to be posted to their dealership Facebook page.


What are the most significant challenges ahead in your field of work?

The most significant challenge over the next 12 months is maintaining the massive growth that we have experienced over the past 12 months, and since we started the social media overhaul at Stoneacre at the start of 2018. If we can get anywhere close to this, I’ll be happy.

Some highlights of Q4 2019’s plan include beginning to utilise our Messenger Chatbot feature, Messenger Broadcasts, Instagram TV and more.

Negative comments are still a constant, as with any company the size of Stoneacre. We pride ourselves on dealing with these within minutes of receiving them, and doing our utmost to turn these reviews around to the best of our, and our complaints/compliance team’s, ability. In the Sprout Social software that we use, we can “task” major complaints and issues directly to that department, and others, so that the best-placed people to deal with the issues are actioning these within minutes.


How might these challenges be overcome?

The social media team at head office plan to overcome these challenges by creating, planning and distributing as much quality content as we can, as well as making sure our social media-trained staff in every branch are following our lead.

We are always researching new ways to reach and engage with potential customers, while tapping into all our audience demographics regularly, delivering different advert creatives to ensure our overall marketing efforts are as relatable to the audience segment as possible.


What attracted you to this area of expertise?

I had never worked in the motor industry before. I’m glad I moved into this sector, as it seems to move just as quickly as social media itself, with new cars and new designs. It gives me plenty to work on.

Social media is imperative to any brand’s marketing efforts. For us, keeping the Stoneacre name in front of customers and potential customers on a daily basis, by feeding them helpful, informative and engaging content, is crucial to our other marketing messages, especially when we are pushing more direct “sell” messages to our audience. The value you can get from social media marketing can be unrivalled if used correctly.

Making sure as many of our 1,500+ staff are aware of our social media efforts as a group and the benefits it brings to the company has been an arduous but rewarding task, but it is always on-going.

Dealers have always been slightly behind the times with social media, but this is changing faster each year.


What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your education/career, and how have you made use of it in your current role?

To always be ready and accepting of change – in such a fast-paced working environment, it is essential. 


What drives you?

Constantly growing our audience and keeping them engaged with the content we create.


What’s your favourite app?

Twitter – it lets you see news, events, TV shows and football being discussed in real time.


How do you relax?

TV, football, socialising and music. I run a record label and DJ in my spare time – I curated an album that made the Top 10 of the iTunes Dance Chart.


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