Social selling is sweeping the automotive industry. A quick search for the terms ‘social selling’ will yield a bounty of articles, training offerings, and tips for salespeople leveraging social media to win business. All this social media mania is leaving dealerships wondering how to empower and control their employees who want to participate in this social realm.
The best strategy for this social movement is NOT to ignore the power of individual presence on social media or to prohibit salespeople from using social media to promote themselves. The best solution, for both dealerships and salespeople, is to create a social media presence where salespeople can participate under the umbrella of the dealership. This allows dealerships to benefit from any brand equity created by salespeople, but also contributes to a larger, more cohesive marketing effort. It’s both empowering and controlled.
Uploading Under the Umbrella
Executing on this strategy is relatively simple. For example, a dealership can encourage salespeople to upload personalized videos to the dealership’s YouTube page. Simple videos filmed by salespeople with a smartphone, highlighting the best features of a top-selling vehicle, or the changes to a recent redesign. This can provide great visibility for both the salesperson and the dealership. The uploads can be facilitated very simply by a marketing director or whoever is presently running the dealership’s social media sites.
Salespeople can also participate on the dealership’s Facebook page in a number of ways. An effective social media presence highlights the humans behind a brand, so featuring photos of salespeople and tagging them in these photos can be a powerful way to add a human component to a dealership presence and also become more visible to these salespeople’s connections. Another way salespeople could contribute on Facebook is by providing content to post to the dealership Facebook page, like interesting product or customer photos. Mining salespeople for Facebook updates could add incredible variety to posts and allow a dealership to show the faces behind the business.
There are a few big benefits to executing under this umbrella strategy:
- Increased visibility. Leveraging salespeople to create content, including automotive related photos or short videos, can boost activity on social channels and exponentially increase a dealership’s online reach. The more active a dealership can remain on social media the more prospective customers they’ll reach over time.
- A human component. The key to an effective social media presence is creating human connection. Consumers want to know the people, and the story, behind a brand. Incorporating content from salespeople and featuring them in posts adds a dynamic and human component to a dealership’s social channels.
- Improved search engine optimization. Increasing videos, posts, and activity on certain platforms can catapult the organic search engine optimization of a dealership’s channels. For example, salespeople uploading content to YouTube will boost the likelihood of those videos appearing on the first page results of a Google search.
This umbrella approach on social media will result in a more cohesive online presence for dealerships and dealership employees. Creating an environment where salespeople can contribute to the dealership’s social presence provides a fierce and powerful online visibility advantage in today’s competitive automotive space.