News

Tweet and Conquer

By Brittany Richter

We’ve been hearing an awful lot of buzz around conquest strategies within the automotive digital marketing industry lately. And it’s no wonder, considering Google’s ThinkAuto research reported that only 20% of purchasers started their research with the brand they ended up buying. Paid search, display advertising, blog content, video walk arounds, but what about social media?

To help use your blog and video conquest content to its full potential, share it on Twitter- using hashtags. Yes, I hashtagssaid hashtags – known by some as that scary seven-letter h-word.

Twitter is a news source, an information hub, a knowledge-sharing platform. It is a social platform that has the ability to help you generate qualified website traffic and target people in your market looking for your products and services. You can use your blog and YouTube links and share them to get them in front of shoppers in your PMA who are looking for your brand AND your brands’ competitors. Yes, people do research on Twitter.

When deciding on a car, it is likely that people are doing research on Twitter to find information about what they’re looking for and to see what people have to say about it. So being there to share positive thoughts and helpful information about your brands, models and dealership is essential.

In 2011 it was reported that 3,000 tweets were tweeted per second. There’s a lot of noise on Twitter, so you need something in your tweets that will help you stand out, and stand out to those who you want to pay attention (hint: potential customers). This is where hashtags come in. They help you classify your tweets, tag them, if you will. The concept is similar to SEO in that you want to use keywords that people are using. Rather than using what users are typing in to search engines, use keywords that people are using on Twitter. When it comes to conquest, the brands, models, and your location or nearby metros are your keywords.

Here’s How To Make It Happen:

  • Create a strategy: Use Twitter’s advanced search to search within a reasonable radius from your location to see what people are saying about your brand(s), model(s) and your competitors. Pick a few that are generating buzz. Add your location or nearby metros. This is your “hashtag strategy.”
  • Create conquest content about these makes and models on your blog, videos on YouTube, all of the above. For example, write blog posts or film short videos comparing your latest models to their other-brand counterparts. Compare latest features, MPG and price points. This is your conquest content.
  • Share this content on Twitter with a link back to your website, or a link to your YouTube channel (make sure your video descriptions are optimized and start with a link back to your website).
  • Include a hashtag or two in your tweet to help draw attention to your account and your content.

Twitter is an information hub, and for some of its 140 million members, it is a primary source during their ZMOT research. Take advantage of people who are researching their purchase by targeting not just your own brands, but similar competitor brands.

If your audience is on Twitter, show them that you’re there too by using hashtags for them to find you.

A New Revelation For Automotive SEO

PCG has a number of microsites optimized for the automotive industry on popular terms like “Automotive SEO“, “Automotive Advertising“, as well as “Automotive Social Media“.  I periodically check search results based on a list of key search phrases I want to target via our own SEO strategies.  We always want to practice what we preach!

What happened today created one of those “Ah Ha” moments that I wanted to share with car dealers and our industry.

You first have to know that Google changes the search engine results page (SERP) if you are logged into your Google account. While logged in, Google records your past activity with the goal of making sure that it can display the best search results for your online behavior.

So, with this in mind, have you asked what happens when you click on the +1 button next to a website you like, or own. :)

Automotive Social Media Searches

Here is the SERP for the search phrase “Automotive Social Media” when I am logged out of my Google Account:

Automotive Social Media Website

Notice that TK Carsites website located at AutomotiveSocialMedia.com is ranking in position #1 over the PCG website at www.AutomotiveSocialMedia.org.   To clarify this screen capture, notice there are no “+1″ buttons or thumbnails of my friends since I am logged out of my Google account.

Now look at the same search result while I am logged into my Google Account:

Car Dealer Social Media

Notice a few things.  First, Google PULLED from Page Two our Automotive Marketing Boot Camp website which has content optimized for “Automotive Social Media” into first position.  Secondly, it placed our microsite AutomotiveSocialMedia.org into position #2,  It also pushed up websites that I visited frequently or +1′d which in effect pushed the TK Carsites website into position #5.

Also see how the thumbnail effect colorized the SERP and reminds me that my friends ALSO liked certain pages or companies.

Identifying The Googlized Consumer

Now, think about what this means.  If your dealership is implementing a proactive reputation management process in your dealership which uses 3G iPads or iPhones to get “Googlized Consumers” to post a review from inside the store using the Google Places App, why stop there?

When they are done with their 60 second review posting using the Google Places App, why not setup a boomark on your browser for a search that shows your key website pages one the iPad?

Hand the iPad back to the consumer and ask the consumer to click on the +1 buttons next to your key pages or at least just your home page.  Here is what a Google search using the site command does, which in some cases is all you need to show for your dealership:

Automotive SEO and Plus One

In this case, many key pages are displayed like the home page, service page, parts page, and used car pages.  So if this page was bookmarked, it would be a breeze to touch the +1 button next to the pages that the customer chooses to +1.

If your website has the +1 button on each page, most do not today, then you could also have them go to the page directly and click the button.

Now the bonus.  Since they are logged into their Google account, their +1 activity is recorded.

Since they are logged into their Google account, their +1 activity is recorded.  This means that when they search for car dealers in your area in the future from their home or mobile device, your website assets will get priority placement.

In this example, my +1 activity significantly changed my top SERP placements.  If you liked this article, please click on the +1 button on the top of this page and also share it with your network om Facebook.

Mmmmmm the benefits of connecting with your Googlized customers are getting better by the day.  If your dealership needs assistance with a comprehensive IRM, SEM, and SEO strategy, give us a call.
Brian

Brian Pasch CEO of PCG

 

Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Digital Marketing
Text PCGedu to 75674 get information on our upcoming conferences

Automotive Social Media Management Tools at NADA

One observation from the NADA Convention was the number of website vendors that were integrating social media monitoring and reputation management tracking tools into their client dashboard.  Two such companies I had a demo with were @utoRevenue and Dealer.com.

The shift  to integrate social media tracking and reputation management alerts will eventually limit the business upside of stand alone reputation management software companies and social media syndication tools.  I predict that these stand alone tools will be seen as a silo applications in the near future.  These companies will be either purchased by larger website providers or they will fade away.

Dealer.com Social Relationship Manager

Social Relationship ManagerThe Dealer.com Social Relationship Manager which was unveiled at the  2011 NADA Convention was impressive. Customers of Dealer.com that are engaging in social media and use third party reputation management tools should get a demonstration.  This is one slick application!

After seeing the integration of social media signals as well as content aggregation, dealers on the Dealer.com platform will be pleased with this timely feature set.  I would say that car dealers are finally waking up to the fact that consumers are influenced by the reviews that they find online.

@utoRevenue Reputation Management Tools

autorevenue reputation management@utoRevenue which focuses on client retention processes for the automotive industry has added an IRM dashboard into their product line.

According to their press release: “The 360-degree reputation management solution provides dealers with an innovative approach to tracking, managing, and influencing their online reputation. Going beyond the traditional solicitation techniques employed by most in the industry, customers engage at key points in the retention cycle, when positive experiences are most likely to be captured and negative experiences can be quickly addressed.”

It makes sense to me that the service provider that is already responsible to email clients, produce newsletters, and keep client’s engaged with the dealership via coupons, offers, and education should leverage that same channel for reputation management.  I know that consumers do NOT want extra calls and email from car dealers.

If you are a current customer of @utoRevenue, I would call and get a demo of this new product offering.

Check With Your Platform Provider

Other major website vendors will be rolling out integrated reputation management alerts, escalation processes, and review progress monitoring in the upcoming months.  So before you go out an purchase a stand alone product, talk to your website vendor and see what they have in the pipeline.

Data integration will become increasing important in the years ahead, Integrating your IRM data and social engagement stream into your main CRM system will be a wise choice.  The opportunities for data mining will only increase when all contact data and outside content are combined in one data warehouse.

 

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