Automotive News Archives | Outsell
November 7, 2011

100 Years of Chevrolet!

Chevrolet hit a huge milestone last week, turning 100 on November 3rd, truly history in the making for one of America’s oldest success stories. Automotive News celebrated Chevrolet’s anniversary with a commemorative publication over 100 pages long, detailing the history of Chevrolet, many previous milestones, and well-wishes from other companies, some who have worked with Chevrolet since nearly the beginning, some admirers, and even a few competitors, like Ford, Toyota, Kia, Honda, and Hyundai. Included at the end of the publication is a supplement called “My Chevy Story”, telling “real Chevy stories from real Chevy fans”, along with pictures, video, and some truly amazing tales of Chevrolet over its 100 years. Chevrolet’s official “Then and Now” video is a great homage to a truly remarkable brand. The Chevrolet Mission Statement from 1916, highlighted in the Automotive News publication, says it all:
“The idea that we will reach a point where it will be impossible to sell a vehicle which furnishes quick and economical transportation, either in its present or some modified form, is ridiculous. People will buy motor cars just as they buy stoves, refrigerators, sewing machines, pianos, watches, clocks, furniture, clothing, boats and shoes. And motor cars will be supplied as required, by people who know how.”
Congratulations on 100 years, Chevrolet, and many more to come!
As one of the most rapidly growing automotive brands for social media presence, Nissan sees the increased use of Facebook from its customers for sending complaints and praise as a sign of the times. AutoTrader and Automotive News reported on the shift Nissan has been experiencing from questions posed to their 1-800 number to their Facebook page. The widespread growth in consumer reviews moving to social media rather than just specific review sites may be part of the issue, but regardless of customer motivation, as Facebook use grows, call centers may shrink in favor of larger social media teams.
"People are less inclined to pick up a telephone and call you for information. They don't want to wait. They don't want to be told that an operator will be with you shortly," said Erich Marx, Nissan's director of marketing communications, responsible for social media. "They just want to send you an e-mail. Or they send you a text, or they post something on Facebook." READ MORE
This revolution of social media for customer interaction and customer service, as well as reputation management, is why many brands are turning to software solutions to help manage their customer service needs on these broader levels. All Facebook offers some advice for increasing success with Facebook customer service. For instance, always reply, whether to thank praises or resolve complaints. Always respond to customers on your own page rather than theirs. Monitor your page regularly, as the attention you give customers on social media should be equal to what you give calls and emails. And be sure to add some personality to your responses so that customers understand they are dealing with a person and not an automated response. Facebook and other social media sites could very well replace or at least highly compete with the amount of calls coming into call centers for customer service. Are you ready with your social media team?
March 21, 2011

Crisis in Japan

Japan and Automotive Industry Forever Changed?

The events of the March 11 quake and resulting tsunami in Japan have been the hot topic for the automotive industry and the world. Aftermath repercussions from the devastation are still being discovered and long-term effects are difficult to predict.

National Geographic reported:

“The magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck Japan [March 11] was powerful enough to shorten Earth’s day by 1.8 microseconds and throw an extra 6.7 inches (17 centimeters) into the planet’s wobble, scientists say.”

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Japan itself was permanently moved 8 feet by the events. There are some benefits to the data that was recorded, however. A better standard for predicting future quakes is possible if precursors to the March 11 quake can be identified.

Damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant raises additional concerns that have yet to be officially or completely kept under control.

While the cumulative consequences of the quake and tsunami have affected all of Japan, those in the automotive industry turn their attention to the damage and ramifications the disaster will have on production and shipments. Toyota, Nissan, and Honda all put many of their plants on hold.

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Leading the Conversation

Social Media and Online Marketing can mean something entirely different to different marketers as well as different industries, but for most the goal is the same, to drive more traffic to the company’s main website and potentially gain more customers and closer relationships with current customers.

The largest areas this is done regularly and successfully is through blogging, Facebook, and Twitter, but what are the best ways to use those tools?

The key elements that come up again and again from professionals using social media is to have a plan, make sure the different aspects you are using are integrated, and listen to your customers.

Blogging as a company is different than running a personal blog. It can’t be about the hit count or the amount of comments on posts, if any, but about the content you are putting out there being relevant and important to the consumers who find their way to your site. What to write for a blog post is as important as who you are trying to reach. Customers aren’t interested in only hearing about how wonderful your dealership is, what specials are going on, or that great testimonial or customer experience.

Those things are great spaced out with other content, but people are fickle. They want variety. Too much of the blogosphere, Facebook, and Twitter, are filled with more of the same. Stay current on automotive news, trends, and interesting facts as well.

And please, don’t take the route so many other budding social media savvy dealerships have taken and fill your tweets with superfluous ‘What’s your favorite color?’ and ‘Tell us what you did this weekend?’ questions. That tactic isn’t original or relevant.

Do make your posts and comments fun, however. Social Media is supposed to be fun, that’s why people spend so much time there. Tracy Gold in her article, “What I Learned About Social Media from Angry Birds,” said it best:

“Sure, people read articles to learn what’s going on in their field, and they watch how-to videos. But no one is going to remember your brands’ boring breakdown of how to install WordPress. They’re going to remember the posts that made them laugh, and the tweets they think are clever. So if you’re just churning out the same-old, same-old content, stop it! Think about how you can make sure that you’re keeping social media the way it’s supposed to be: fun.”

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