Yesterday I read a blog that stated, “Reputation is advertising.” I have to agree. And, like all advertising, one of the directives is to get the message out to a large number of people who may want or need your product. So, volume enters into the equation; volume of comments and reviews regarding your sales and service. In other words, buzz.
Bad buzz has a way of growing on its own. Good buzz can do that also, but since we want to encourage the growth of ‘good buzz’, we want to make calculated and concerted efforts to help it take on a life of its own and grow.
One way of making your reputation grow is to take advantage of all the people you see each day in your service department. There are platforms that exist (such as Presto Reviews) that allow a customer to write a review while at the dealership. Incentivizing the customer to offer their written comments is also a good way of growing the online buzz about your dealership.
Once you have a solid strategy for building your reputation (read: advertising), you need to address any negative press with both your written words and with your actions. Therefore, a sophisticated monitoring method should be diligently employed as part of a strong social media management program. It does not need to be expensive. I say this because there are management programs out there for dealerships and dealer groups that come in as high as $5,000 to $7,000 per month. Over a period of 10 months, getting $50k to $70k of value is not likely. Why? Social media, which help build reputation, are not by nature a targeted marketing mechanism. You can’t control what people say. Don’t look at social media as a conventional marketing avenue with conventional ROI’s.
Buzz can be accelerated by individuals who elect to comment or review your dealership. Find a management group or system that can put together a program with the proper tools at a reasonable cost. Look for clear milestones and flexibility as part of the program. Remember, some of the functions associated with reputation and social media management will absolutely have to be performed internally. So, look for a program that allows for certain functions to be delegated internally to your dealership.
Implement a strong social media management program as part of your overall advertising strategy – then sit back and feel that good buzz grow.