Author BJ Mendleson and T. Neidorf, of US firm Ross Direct Digital, exposed some of the myths around social media intentions at the recent US NADA convention, collated by BDO.
Mendleson warned of the hype and lack of substance to the buzzwords the marketplace is full of.
In particular so called 'influencers' do not exist the way social marketers portray them; going viral rarely happens organically – you often have to pay; beware of claims for numbers Twitter followers – they are useless unless they are your customers and actually followers can be purchased cheaply on Ebay (25,000 for c$250).
"Big data is currently everyone’s favourite buzzword, but just to have it is pointless and 'engagement' is really hard to define and measure, but everyone uses the word," he said.
Mendleson drew attention to a number of social media “truths”:
• Walmart, Nordstrom, Gap and a number of others closed their Facebook stores due to lack of business
• Core YouTube views are between 11-17 years old
• 67% of active social media users do not follow a company
• You have better chance of winning the lottery than your video going viral
• 71% of tweets are unnoticed
• Asia Pacific dominates in web traffic and social media users, so beware of claims of UK market potential
However, being anti-social is not about abandoning the medium, it is about sifting through what it is, which is a place where people want to gather to exchange ideas, thoughts, opinions, videos, photos and events in their lives. So, be realistic of what you will get from social media: interaction and equity.
The presentation then concluded with five steps to effectively execute social media at the dealership:
1. Hire your own internet marketer to produce relevant content that is attractive to your visitors, then test, measure and tweak your activity.
2. Really find out who your customer is and where they socialise. Make use of surveys and small focus groups to get inside their heads
3. With your Twitter content, get customers investment in you and use Twitter to make press contacts (who love the medium) to spread your words
4. Test and verify your websites and marketing collateral. Ask people what they think and then test again
5. Measure and adjust
a. click throughs to website
b. amount of pages viewed
c. time spent on site (most important)