June 13, 2011
Members of KainAutomotive on Vendor Best Practices
In March, Outsell Marketing Associate, Amanda Meuwissen, began a discussion on KainAutomotive about “Vendor Saturation”. The responses were opinionated and sometimes heated, bringing up some important points in looking at what dealers really want from their vendors.
The original prompt for the discussion was as follows:
The automotive industry is not short on vendors for dealership needs, everything from website creation and support to mobile marketing campaigns are readily offered. Most vendors focus on one area, maybe a couple, and offer those services only, meaning a dealership has to go to several different places to get everything they want.
Would you prefer a single vendor for your dealership that offers everything (chat, email marketing, video, website, mobile, great reporting and analytics, etc.) or do you prefer utilizing multiple vendors to get the best out of each individual service?
If you are using multiple vendors, even if one company might offer, for example, website building and online chat, but you only use them for the website and have a different company run your chat program, what is it about a particular service that makes it better than another and worth paying an additional vender for even if the first vendor offers multiple products?
At first the responses that came in seemed fairly clean-cut. Jason Manning, Desk Manager for O’Donnell Chevrolet Buick, pointed out that more vendors mean more competition, which leads to better pricing and better products. His opinion was that companies with specializations in a single product would normally do a better job because they could focus all of their attention and innovation on that single product.
Steve Stauning, Founder of pladoogle, LLC, added to the point, “The do-it-all companies I’ve seen in automotive are a lot like the first Fax-Printer-Scanner-Copiers that came out on the market ten years ago: They could not do any of these things well!”
Those first responders to the discussion seemed to agree that larger companies trying to do it all had trouble offering any one good thing, and should focus on improving the products they already offer rather than adding anything new.
Later additions to the discussion disagreed.
June 6, 2011
What Makes A Good Facebook Fan Page?
The Audi USA Facebook fan page has been called one of the best on the web. A recent study found their fans to be even more engaged than that of world famous teenage heartthrob and pop star Justin Bieber.
Among pages with more than 100,000 fans, Audi had the highest number of “Likes” for any given status update. Usually, brands that have a higher number of fans have lower engagement on what they post from day to day. Some think their high scores could be the result of recent Like-gating, when people have to “Like” the brand in order to participate in special offers, but that only accounts for overall fans, not “Likes” on individual posts.
While Audi was not listed among the 35 Creative Facebook Fan Page Photo Strips from Social Fresh, many other automotive brands were, with very similar looks and feels to the Audi page. Among those listed were GMC, Buick, and Lexus.
So what makes those pages successful? What makes them visually appealing and ripe for consumer engagement?
Simple steps like having a clever and eye-catching photo strip (the line of five photos across the top of the Wall page) can help intrigue potential fans, and keep current fans interested in updates. Most fan pages start on the Wall page, so the photo strip is the first thing a browser sees when they click your page. Other successful Facebook pages differentiate themselves by having a Welcome page instead of going straight to the Wall.
Using Audi as the example, one thing they do right is content. They supply Livestream video, product information, and even an interactive app looking at stories of the Audi Quattro from real customers. This allows for them as a brand to interact with customers almost as personally as a dealer does.
Another tactic for maintaining a great Facebook fan page is to make use of the Discussion app. Get your customers talking about you. Get them talking with each other. What does Audi and other popular automotive industry Facebook fan pages have in common? Their usage of unique apps, as well as creative use of the apps Facebook offers naturally, like a regularly updated Wall with status updates customers are compelled to “Like”.
This can be done with interesting news as well as offers, so keep your posts fresh. At the end of the day the reason for Facebook fan page success is the same no matter the tactic you choose.