Jack of all social networking sites, master of none

karin_webLast month Facebook surpassed 200 million users – that’s more than half of our country’s population. With social networking sites exploding faster than their creators can keep up with them, businesses are diving in head first with no real goals or objectives, except to be part of the craze. Companies are creating profiles to attract consumers’ attention, but many are not as competitive because of their unfamiliarity with the sites. Yes, social networking sites can make reaching a broader audience easier, but as with anything else in business, you have to have a goal and a plan to reach that goal.

While the differences between Facebook and Myspace or YouTube and Motionbox may seem minimal, the variations can treat the friendliest business with the most followers or leave it out of touch with an overly connected population. To avoid the black hole, the first step is to do your research. See what sites best cater to your business’ goals and the tenancies of your customers. If you want to promote a particular motorcycle at your dealership, does it make sense to set up a Twitter account? Once a new bike comes along, you’ll be left with nothing else to tweet about, leaving your followers hanging. It would be better to post the motorcycle on a dealership’s Facebook page where other content can hold a viewer’s attention long after that bike is old news. Once a business is able to manipulate a site to its advantage, it becomes a valuable marketing tool.

Take a step back. Breathe. Remember your business’ values and use these social networking sites as tools to obtain and surpass your business’ goals. If used correctly, this colossal shift in marketing can be your biggest advocate.

One comment

  1. Miss Gelschus,

    You bring up several great points in your article “Jack of all social networking sites, master of none”.

    At this point in time dealers, manufacturers, and everyone else is jumping onto social networking hoping that they can increase sales or at least not be the one that is not using social networking.

    However, many of them do not understand the negative impacts that social networking can bring. I have already seen dealers create Twitter or Facebook sites thinking this is the best way to communicate with customers and new prospects, but then lack the use and functions of the site, let them slide and in the end actually losing a customer because of the lack of communication that the customer expected.

    I warn everyone who asks me about these sites to be careful how and where you post. As you stated, use it incorrectly, and you are wasting your time and people will not take you seriously. Use it correctly, but don’t respond promptly, as a customer expects, then you lose the customer as they think this is a reflection on the person’s customer service.

    We are all talking about, many of us are using, every recreational industry is trying to promote it, but no one has described written recommendations on what site is better for selling motorcycles, dealership specials, open houses, sales promotions, etc. We as industry leaders need to do a better job of assisting people who do not understand these networks how to effectively use them.

    As an OEM, it is our responsibility to assist dealers, instruct dealers and guide dealers on how to effectively use them. To tell a dealer that they should have a dedicated internet person, when they do not even know what Twitter is, is like banging your head against the wall. More than ever, I am telling dealers to hire an intern, who understand how the social network operates and is cheap or even free labor. I can expand on this topic if you would like. I am pushing all of my dealers and consulting clients on how to effectively use each site, how each is important and how it can help their business grow.

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