September 19, 2011
Why Ban Potential Selling Tools?The point of restricting access to any website is to ensure your employees are spending their time wisely and getting work done. Why waste the effort of watching each employee’s every move if they aren’t having issues of productivity, especially when the most often restricted sites can be valuable tools?
“Today's Facebook and Twitter and Youtube, these things are just modern-day smoke breaks. No one cared about letting people take a smoke break for 15 minutes 10 years ago, so why does everyone care about someone going to Facebook here and there, or Twitter here and there, or Youtube here and there? Those aren't the real problems in the office.” -Jason Fried: Why work doesn't happen at work READ MORE or WATCH the videoDealerRefresh has a very interesting blog article and following discussion around “Does Your Dealer Block Social Media” and why for most people in the automotive industry blocking social media is not the answer to productivity issues. If employees are going to get work done, they will. If not, they won’t. Moreover, blocking social media sites could be blocking potential avenues for additional sales and connections with consumers. There is, however, a need for a social media policy, whether those sites are banned or not, because the legal issues coming up in court for employees and employers are in part due to lack of understanding of what is allowed and why. The need for such a policy has come up on several automotive community sites in recent months, including KainAutomotive, and the type of trouble a dealership can get into if social media is not used responsibly. But to ban social media sites altogether is not the answer. Employees that are not allowed to check their regular social sites will simply turn to their phones, or look for a way around the ban, which often takes more time away from their work than if they were simply allowed their occasional 15 minute social media smoke break. One way to better utilize employee time on Facebook for business purposes is to include in your social media policy that they make a point of posting to your dealership fan page and keep those conversations going. Paul Potratz mentioned some important social media policy tips at the Automotive Digital Marketing community, and also how interacting with customers on social media enables your employees to better connect with consumers on a personal level. Dealerships should have a social media policy to address important concerns and legal issues, but don’t go so far as to entirely ban all of those sites. You could be actually lowering productivity, and will most certainly be cutting yourselves off from important leads and ups that you won’t find anywhere else.
May 9, 2011
Engagement Over Eyeballs
Companies often have difficulties with social media because it is about having a conversation, and it is easier for individuals to engage in conversation than businesses. Companies need to remember that they still have individuals within them and individual parts, and need to engage in social media like an individual as well.
Think of a consumer, whether Dave down the street, or Dave’s Diner, the business down the street. The consumer doesn’t only get messages from one aspect of a company trying to reach them, they get separate communications from different departments, for different features and specials, and occasionally from individuals too, creating a din of noise around every consumer that is almost impossible to sift through. That type of interaction needs to change.
Regardless of who your desired customers are, you want to talk with them, not at them, to successfully engage in the social media sphere. Getting them to talk with each other about your company and products is even better, because it solidifies and enhances that engagement.