In a Powersports Business interview in the May 18 issue, our president and CEO, Roy W. Olivier, referred to “SoLoMo;” that made me wonder just how many dealers are familiar with the term.
SoLoMo is an acronym for the integration of social, local and mobile marketing efforts. It’s more than just a buzzword; it’s a path to building customer loyalty and brand engagement.
Today’s consumers look to online reviews and social networks for opinions on brands before they make their buying decisions. In fact, 62 percent of consumers read product-related comments from their friends on Facebook, and 75 percent of those individuals click through to the retailer’s website to purchase. Figures like that are hard to ignore. And, the likelihood of those percentages increasing is inevitable in today’s socially-focused culture. As a dealer, you should be engaging fans on your social media channels with relevant, fun, interesting content, while also soliciting your best customers to post online reviews of your products and services on Google+, Yelp and other online directories. Some dealers even offer an incentive to motivate their customers to take the time to write a testimonial, such as a small gift or discount in return for the positive feedback.
Smartphones have revolutionized the way we shop, empowering us to price check in real time. This mobility presents a new challenge for dealers: Should you provide free Wi-Fi service to allow customers to comparison shop while in your dealership? The verdict is still out, but retailers who do are already profiting. You can too, by embracing Wi-Fi in your dealership to:
- Show customers more information than they would normally have about products. Why not invest in tablets for your staff to utilize as a selling tool?
- See what shoppers connected to your dealership’s Wi-Fi network are searching for and utilize this new found intelligence to make inventory decisions and build value for customers.
Consumers are tuned into local information, offers and opportunities so they can shop in their own communities. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, smartphone owners utilizing location-based service grew nearly 35 percent in less than a year, to a whopping 74 percent in February 2012. You can take advantage of this fact by serving up special offers via your social media channels and using forms of marketing you may not have tried before. Here are a few ideas for you to consider:
- Create a “Facebook Fan” exclusive flash sale, available for only 12-24 hours to drive immediate foot traffic into your dealership.
- Utilize Twitter for giveaways on simple items such as branded hats, key chains or T-shirts.
- Promote an event via text marketing to immediately reach customers who are in the area and likely to swing by to check out what’s happening at your dealership.
The real value for you as a business owner is the ability to engage with your customers in a new way, a more personal way, which leads to brand loyalty. The best part about a SoLoMo campaign is when it is successful, it’s a win-win.
Doran Nurmi is product director of website platform for ARI, a leading provider of technology-enabled business solutions for dealers, distributors and manufacturers in the powersports, automotive tire and wheel, marine and outdoor power industries. Products and services include eCommerce-enabled websites, lead generation, lead management, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, and eCatalogs (parts, garments and accessories). Nurmi holds a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in business administration and Computer Science and is the recipient of five powersports industry awards for digital merchandising, enterprise product search and platform usability.