Heather Yaxley, Motor Industry Public Affairs Association director spoke to attendees about how to understand and engage with the ‘connected generation’ – Generation C – and the importance for dealers of cutting through the volume of online content.
Members of Generation C live online and are providing immense amounts of information about themselves, she said. All of this is free. Dealers just need to pay attention.
“Start on the road to becoming a social business – the generation coming through is going to be more connected than ever. Any kid under eight thinks that everything swooshes,” she said.
When members of the connected generation pick up a new car, they don’t want a bunch of flowers, they want to share with their ‘network’ that they’ve bought a new car, she said. Dealers can take a picture of them picking up their car on their phone – a customer sharing this on social media will expand a dealership’s reach, firstly to their followers and if they favourite or retweet, this engagement grows again.
“Facebook is old now. It’s a bit like going to a disco dancing like a dad, it’s better to be avoided than to be seen using tech that is ‘yesterday’,” Yaxley said. Dealers need to research what is popular, paying particular attention to Twitter and Instagram.
Not outsourcing social media will ensure that there is always a link between a business and the consumer.
Yaxley’s key online strategies to deal with members of Generation C are to; watch, research and follow before engaging. They are happily broadcasting for free information that dealers previously paid marketing and research companies for. Businesses are and should be taking advantage of this.