Tyson Madliger's Posts (15)

What is ROI to You?

ROI or return on investments is one of the biggest hot-button issues in social media management relationships.  Some social media managers say that ROI can’t be a goal, while other claim their services offer immediate ROI.  So what’s the truth?  The truth is, ROI is a tricky subject.  No two companies are alike, and they aren’t going to measure the return on their investment in the same way.  For some businesses, ROI is all about clicks to the website, while for some, ROI is making actual money from a new customer obtained via their social media channels.  So how can it be measured when it isn’t the same for everyone?

Some social media customers simply want ROI; they’re not willing to look any further, and because of this, they’re not often willing to cooperate or stick around.  This type of client doesn’t understand that social media isn’t a sprint.  It’s not something that will turn around a failing business in a matter of weeks.  If your business is virtually unknown, your social media manager is going to have to get you some good and reliable exposure, while building a network for your business that focuses on trust and respect.  If people don’t know who you are, no social media manager is going to have you making money hand over fist in the first month, and if they say they can, RUN.

Other clients understand the process, but ROI is still, obviously, one of their goals.  Of course, a client is going to want to know they’re not just flushing money down the toilet with their social media efforts.  They want to know that it is actually doing something for them.  This type of client is often a lot more pleasant to deal with, because they tend to be realistic and are willing to wait for some return.  For these clients, as well, ROI isn’t as simple as dollars in their pockets.

One way to figure out what a client is looking for, is to ask them their goals, and ask them to give you concrete goals.  If those goals include ROI, ask the client to be more specific.  There is no way to accomplish ROI if you don’t understand the parameters of what ROI means to that specific business.  There are many different ways that a return on their investment can be accomplished.  In order to determine what their specific needs are, you’ll need to ask them what they would consider a proper return.

As I previously stated, for some businesses that return will be as simple as a click to their website from a link in their social media.  This means they’ve gotten some attention as a result of their efforts.  For other clients, ROI is going to a bit more complicated.  For the commercial real estate agent, it may mean a new client securing their services.  For a mom and pop shop in a small town, it may mean someone coming into their business and mentioning that they were seen on Facebook or Twitter.  Much like social media in general, ROI isn’t one size fits all.

You certainly can’t promise ROI for everyone, it’s just not realistic.  A new client needs to be made aware of your limitations immediately.  In a perfect world, social media would work perfectly for every client and they would get exactly what they want out of it and feel as though their investment was worth something.  However, there are too many variables when dealing with clients.  All too often, a client doesn’t want to listen to our advice and simply wants to go their own way, even though our way is tried and true.  For this client, there may never be a good sense of return on his investment.

There will also be the clients that listen to everything you say, never have corrections, and never have a negative comment.  Even for this type of client, things may not work out.  Of course, you’re doing everything you can for them, and they’re matching your efforts, but maybe their business doesn’t have a solid foundation, or they’ve got terrible customer service.  No amount of social is going to change these things, and you go into it fighting a losing battle.

When it comes to ROI, the definition is never concrete for each client.  I’ve experience clients that are a pleasure to work with that get new business within the first three months.  With others, it is like pulling teeth to get them to agree with anything we suggest, and they still see results.  Success in social media is such a relative term, and ROI isn’t easily definable, and for this reason, we need to make sure our future clients have realistic goals.  So in the wooing stage of obtaining a new client, if ROI is a topic of conversation, ask for a definition of what ROI means to them.  It will save you a lot of hassle in the long run.

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The bad part about social media has always been demonstrating ROI. Even with conversion pixels and proper UTM tracking through Google Analytics, it can be challenging for dealers to see the impact they can make through social media dark posts. Recent tests have shown that the value is clearly then when done right.

That brings up the second bad part about social media. Most aren't doing it right. Running dark posts on Facebook is easy and with a modest budget under $2500 a month a dealership can really move the needle on sales. The problem is that it requires daily maintenance, not an automated set-it-and-forget-it mentality. That's the thing that has hurt many who have tried it and watched it fail. Both vendors and even some dealers are pushing the easy button too quickly.

Facebook has the data that we all want. They know who is in the market for each individual new car make and they are aware of who is in the market for any pre-owned vehicle. They offer the tools necessary to target them with the right message and then drive them to the dealership's website for conversion. All it takes is some time, effort, and a mild budget. When we see dealers spending tens of thousands of dollars on traditional media but they're unwilling to spend a small portion of that on social media, it hurts a bit. It's not that we take it personally, but it pains me to know that there are dealers who still don't believe that their customers use social media. They do.

If the idea is that you don't want to be on a medium where people don't like to see ads, then why be on television? Why would you use radio or television? Nobody goes to television to buy a car, but we know it works. On social media, the same thing holds true but it's even better because it's less expensive and more interactive. If they see something they like, they can go to your website.

The data shows that when more people are exposed to your dealership and vehicles, sales numbers go up. For the cost, it makes sense to make social media a prominent part of your marketing.

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One of the things that I do now more than ever is listen to other vendors pitch their products. I hope this post doesn't scare any of them from reaching out to us; don't worry, I'm not naming names. I'm focused on a particular practice, not the practitioners.

The practice I'm talking about has many faces. Some present it with fear by telling dealers that if they're not participating in the latest fad or growing trend that they're missing out on business. Others put on the face of trickiness and present their products as a way of getting around this system or that roadblock in a slick manner. The most common face they put on their product is one of simplicity as they demonstrate how their service magically gets them in front of billions of local car shoppers.

They're all talking about presence. Being present on a network, website, device type, ad platform, or vertical search property is great, but the one thing that I don't hear nearly enough is about how the dealership is portrayed. A dealer shouldn't strive to be present on any particular platform. They need to know how to stand out on these platforms.

The thing that's missing from the vast majority of products and services I see every week is representation. Don't just show me that a dealer is present. Show me how our dealers will be presented. The messaging is often more important than the presence itself.

We've seen this in its simplest form through search and social. I have seen dealers improve their performance for particular search terms without having to move up in the rankings (though moving up is obviously important as well). If the messaging is unique and speaks about the dealership to the searchers, they're much more likely to click the link even if they're not at the very top. The same holds true for social. Reaching more people is fine. Getting them to click to the website isn't a matter of mastering an algorithm or adjusting the ad spend as much as it's about putting the right message in front of the right people.

A dealership's web presence is, by its very nature, one that needs to be bigger, but don't let size be the primary focus. You can have the loudest bullhorn in the world but if your message isn't interesting, the audience will still ignore you.

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Why We Avoided Automotive PPC... Until Now

When we started our company in 2013, we had learned from companies big and small that there's one universal lesson in business if you want to achieve greatness: stay focused. In the car business, we've seen so many different vendors expand to the point that they lost their identity. Even the tiny agencies seem to have six or seven products available. How can you be great at anything if you're spread so thin?

We focused on content marketing and let that be the focus of our search engine optimization and social media services. The backbone of any strong SEO/social program is content and it's something that we feel we do better than anyone in the industry. If we could keep our company focused on being the very best at those two things by focusing on the singular discipline of content on and off of a dealer's website, we knew we could maintain dominance for our clients.

Things have shifted in the last couple of months, at least in our mentality. We are definitely striving to continue to be the best at our core services, but we started exploring the possibility that strong content can also help with other arenas such as pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, and other agency-style services that can center around content. The operative word in that last sentence is "can" because we are very well aware that nobody in the automotive industry is taking advantage of this fact. Content can be the focus point of many different advertising and marketing practices. Our goal became finding those components that we could apply our content expertise towards without taking away from our core.

We chose PPC as the first venue that we want to explore because it ties in so closely with our SEO services. A page built from a conversion perspective with proper SEO content at the core has the ability to also maintain a strong quality score from a pay-per-click perspective. It seems like the perfect marriage.

One might ask how we are well aware that nobody's doing it already. We've looked. Over the last three months, we've done an exhaustive study of the PPC companies that serve the automotive industry in an effort to find the right partner. The results were both discouraging and encouraging at the same time. It was discouraging because we realized that nobody was doing it the way that we envisioned. They are all following the standard playbook of bidding and keyword selection rather than building incredible landing pages that can make the PPC perform better. It was encouraging because we realized that if we can find the right partner that can take advantage of the pages we build within their PPC system, we can achieve the primary goal of our company from the start: delivering the best-in-class with everything we offer.

Over the coming weeks, we will be narrowing down our selections to find the right PPC delivery system. Building the right pages is the hard part and we have that covered. Now, we need to PPC provider that can take what we give them and drive the highest quality and volume of local car shoppers to them. We've seen presentations from over a dozen services so far and others are scheduled. If you're a vendor that offers PPC or a dealer that has a service worth recommending, please reach out to me.

The gap between good and bad PPC in the automotive industry is narrow, but with the right strategy we are certain that dealers can be differentiated in ways that they never knew were possible through paid search.

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This is surprisingly hard for me to accept. I've known it for a while, but my origins in the car business were very different from the way that I run my company. Ours is an industry that is loaded with technology, emotion, competition, and a visionary's mentality, but at the end of the day it comes down to the people.

I came into the industry as an outsider. Nearly two decades ago, I started with an automotive vendor and I've never looked back. Some of the best people I've worked with over the years have been non-car-people, so it took some adjusting to get me to where I am today, which is the exact opposite side of the spectrum.

Now, we hire car people. I won't say that we won't hire from outside of the industry; one upcoming hire is bringing talent from the jewelry business, of all places. However, I've learned in recent years that the hotbed of talent that can truly change the industry the way we envision lies within the dealership ranks themselves. Those who have been in the trenches selling, financing, and servicing vehicles have the right perspective that my company needs in order to make the biggest impact for our clients.

We can train a car person the ins and outs of digital marketing much more easily than we can train a digital marketer the ins and outs of the car business. This is a relatively recent development. A decade ago, most working at dealerships had very little experience and understanding when it came to search, social, video, and content marketing. Today, the scales have shifted in the opposite direction. In fact, I would say that eCommerce Directors, BDC Managers, and Internet Managers at car dealerships could go into other industries very easily and revolutionize the way they operate online.

It is with great pleasure that I announce that Christine Robertson has joined our team. She is the latest in a line of hires that we've recruited from the dealership world, including Subi, Willis, Ray, and even my partner and co-founder JD.

People make this business great. Car people will make our business great. This is truly an industry where the cream rises to the top.

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We've had some discussions internally about the idea that dealers should have social media coverage 7-days per week. It has been our opinion since the beginning that social media doesn't sleep. It doesn't take weekends off. Is this a necessity in the automotive industry?

Posting on the weekend is easy. Even if people are off on the weekends, scheduling on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ is easy both through native Facebook as well as through tools for the other networks. We also know that people are checking social media, posting, and interacting with dealers more on weekends than any time during the week. Lastly, we know that many dealerships are selling cars on weekends. For some, the weekends are the best days of the week for sales.

Now that we have that established, we've also found that the types of posts you put out on weekends can be different. They can be more fun when that's appropriate. They can be focused on sales when there is something special going on such as sales events. Perhaps the most important difference is that there's often enough going on within the community to give dealers plenty of content from which to pull. There are festivals, shows, sporting events, and charitable activities happening in the community and the weekend is a great time to highlight it all.

Here's the problem. Most dealers that we watch (and it's a lot of them) tend to not post at all on the weekends. Sometimes it's the dealers themselves who are doing the posting. At other times, we see that it's a company who handles social media throughout the week for dealers, only to leave the hole on the weekends.

The data and common sense tell us that we're doing it the right way, but we take pride in pulling opinions from those in and outside of the automotive industry. It is the foundation of our company to be open-minded when appropriate and to innovate at a faster rate than the various platforms (and our competitors) can, so this is why I pose the question.

Dear reader, what do you think about social media on the weekends? Is it something that we should continue doing or is there a valid reason to stop?

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Process AND Leads Should be the Focus

Twice in the last year, we've heard debates at conferences about which to do first, develop a proper process or generate more leads. It always comes down to the process people talking about burning through leads and the lead people saying that more opportunities can supersede bad processes. My question: why not both?

To me, it's a matter of building on both simultaneously and continuously. The best dealers out there who are finding the most success are always pushing, always improving, and never settling for the results they're getting from either their sales/lead process or their marketing. It's a simple concept, but one that I hope will put to rest the various concepts we've been hearing about lately.

For the sales/lead processes, dealers often need to seek outside help. There are plenty of process trainers out there such as Sean V. Bradley, Joe Webb, and David Kain who implement success into the way that leads are handled as well as improving the company culture itself. For the lead-generating needs, dealers can either do it themselves or seek outside help. SEO, PPC, social media, Craigslist - all of these are valid traffic- and lead-driving practices that don't necessarily require outside help, especially if a dealership is willing to put in the time and effort (and budget) towards making it happen on their own.

It's a short post, but some things don't require a ton of words to make the point. I hope this point was made appropriately.

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Pricing strategy is one of the most important aspects that a dealer has at their disposal. I've seen both strategies employed by successful dealers and they usually swear by their stance.

Some like MSRP on their digital marketing. When people view their inventory on the classified sites or their own website, they see the manufacturer's price listed with a button or some other call to action alerting the customer to contact them for their "ePrice" or special sale pricing of some sort. The idea is that this gives them a reason to fill out a lead form or call the dealership.

Others like putting the sale price up. They will often include some or all potential discounts available with the goal of having their vehicles priced lower than their competitors for identical or similar options and features. The idea here is that by undercutting the competition, a customer is more likely to contact them or simply come into the dealership.

Note on Discounts: With the FTC starting to crack down on advertised pricing, we strongly recommend using services like Automark to position transparent pricing and incentive displays to reveal the path that a dealer used to get to a sale price.

Which way is better? We'd love to hear from you about what's working or not working at your dealership. A proper pricing strategy is so important, and while we understand that dealers don't necessarily want their competitors to know their strategy, we can assume that a discussion on this particular little forum likely won't be seen by many. Your answers are pretty safe here.

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The internet killed the car business. Then, it built it right back up. We live in a world of retail transparency, shopping from the couch, and uber-competitiveness. Shoppers have the ability to get great deals every time they shop for a car and that has translated into a major shift in the way they're sold.

That's not to say that there are no dealers or salespeople out there who still try to mislead people into paying too much or buying the wrong car, but the paradigm that gave the car business a bad name in the 70s and 80s has been shifted to one where the majority of dealers believe in creating an incredible buying experience rather than an aggressive one.

The modern sales process at car dealerships has evolved to assume that the customers are well-prepared with information about the vehicles, their pricing, and the values of their trades. They often come in with an idea of what rate to expect, what discounts are available, and how hot a particular vehicle is. This is important to both the consumer and the dealership because it can streamline the process and make it easier for the transaction itself to go more smoothly.

It isn't just the abundance of information that has shifted the way that cars are sold. Word of mouth has always been important in the industry, but the rise of review sites, social media, and the ability that people have to communicate with the local masses has allowed car dealers to adopt a more favorable stance. They don't just want to sell more cars. They want their customers to be happy with their purchase. The manufacturers are paying more attention to customer satisfaction and they often use these statistics to grade the dealership as a whole. These grades can determine a dealership's standing in their market and can have an effect on their bottom line through favorable allocations and increased profit potential on the back end.

If anyone is getting a "raw deal" in the can business, it's usually the dealership itself. As consumers, we don't blink an eye when buying a couch or a shirt that brings in 50% or more profit to the retailer, but car dealers often struggle to make 4% off of a vehicle sold. I'm not suggesting that they don't make money, but it's not the easiest business to operate in America today.

When you're in the market for a car and you want to put up your defenses, remember that your best defense is information. They aren't out to get you. They just want to do business with you. It's better to go in armed with information and a good attitude rather than falling into the old style of being adversarial and skeptical. They aren't your enemy. You want to buy a vehicle and they want to sell one. Your goals are aligned.

Here's a video shared on social media by Jim Ziegler.

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It's really easy to say that dealers need to be "everywhere". It's an abstract phrase because "everywhere" means different things to different people. However, we do have the ability to make sure that "everywhere" for dealers is really about being in all of the right places online.

Let's start by making a semi-bold statement. Size doesn't matter, at least as a singular concept. In other words, being on the biggest places is not necessarily a good thing while being in small places is not necessarily a bad thing. The only way to understand how size plays into the mix is to look at the cost per shopper. Unfortunately, most websites do not properly quantify or report how often your vehicles are seen, so we're stuck with trying and deciphering the data accordingly.

In a future post, I will go into detail about how to manage, monitor, and hold accountable the various posting venues and services out there. In the meantime, I'm going to discuss it with generalities, but many of you will be able to take action accordingly as a result.

Cost Per Shopper

Most dealers are familiar with CPC (cost per click) and CPM (cost per thousand impressions). These are important numbers in their own right, but some websites simply don't play with those types of statistics. That doesn't make them bad. For example, AutoTrader has some nice overall statistics showing how often your inventory listings were seen and how often people actually clicked on them. They dismiss the lead-generation numbers simply because fewer people are actually filling out lead forms on 3rd party sites anymore. Their volume is high, but what's the cost per shopper? Is it worth paying thousands of dollars to be on the big boy in the arena? Would spending money on a bunch of smaller sites be more cost effective?

There's not direct answer to the question, at least not a general one. It comes down to a dealer-by-dealer basis. For some dealers, we've seen the numbers pan out very nicely for them with AutoTrader bringing a tremendous ROI. Other times, we've seen numbers that weren't so great. To know whether it's working for you, there needs to be a way for you to analyze the cost for each individual shopper that AutoTrader sends. Form leads, phone calls, and direct visits to the dealership are definitely considered "shoppers". Direct clicks to the dealer's websites are shoppers. Secondary clicks to the website should be considered influenced shoppers, though they did not click directly through from AutoTrader. These are the people that are tracked through analytics that visit your inventory on AutoTrader during one session and then visit your website on the same or a future session without clicking through from AutoTrader itself.

Should pure visitors to the AutoTrader page be considered shoppers? In most cases, yes. They weren't engaged shoppers, but at least they're looking for a vehicle (otherwise, why would they be on AutoTrader) and they looked at yours. How you break down the value of these impressions is up to you, but these types of page views should be seen as much higher value than other types of impressions such as search marketing impressions. Someone can see your ad on Google, but if they didn't click, that impression had very little value to you. There's a little value from a branding perspective, but they were hunting and they didn't click to look at your game, so it's not a ton of value. Page impressions of VDPs on AutoTrader are much more valuable.

Once you assign a value to each individual type of shopper, now you can divide it into the cost for the service. This will give you your cost per shopper.

All the Right Places

That was not an endorsement of AutoTrader. It was simply a description of how to judge them. Using the same methodology, take a look at the other venues to consider. Some of the most common ones to consider are Craigslist and eBay Motors. These and some of the other upper-tier posting venues have a lot of potential value to them, but it comes at a cost. In this case, it's not necessarily the cost to post (which is considerably less than some of the bigger sites out there) but rather the cost of time to make the posts. This is where we recommend LotVantage. For a few hundred dollars per month plus the cost of posting, dealers can put their inventory on some of the most popular automotive sites on the web.

There are those who believe that anything that can be done manually doesn't require paying a service to do it, but in the case of Craigslist and similar sites, the daily grind required to make them effective is totally worth the hundreds of dollars per month it takes to do it simply and easily.

What about the smaller sites? This is where we have to be a little self-serving and discuss LotLinx. Even if we weren't a partner, we would recommend it to dealers. They post your inventory to hundreds of sites across the web. There are plenty of services that do that, but LotLinx is different in that they charge per unique shopper who is sent from these sites to the inventory on your own website. This is huge. It makes it so much easier to quantify the benefits of the system because the fixed cost per visitor keeps everyone it tangible. There's no need to determine values, sift through impression reports, or send back duplicate, overpriced leads from other services. With LotLinx, the cost is flat and it's pretty darn cheap.

Lastly, let's discuss social media. It may surprise people to hear that as a social media company we do not recommend having an inventory tab on your Facebook page. Instead, you should be utilizing targeted ads to drive the right people to the inventory on your website. Just as you would with LotLinx or PPC, social media has the same abilities. There's no need to try to send people to an inventory tab. They are great if you're sending traffic to them, but that alone does not qualify them as a valid social media spend. Instead, you should be sending them to your website.

Taking the wide approach to inventory marketing is easy as long as you aren't wasting money (or time) on the wrong venues. It all comes down to value. Are you getting the most out of your posting?

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Top 5 Reasons We Adore Social Media Dark Posts

When we first formed Dealer Authority, our goal was to offer the highest possible level of products and services to a very select group of dealers. We wanted the aggressive ones, the dealers that wanted nothing short of total domination in their market.

We have progressed in both search and social to deliver this level of quality, but it's not enough. It's never enough. There's always room for more, which is one of the reasons that we adore dark post advertising on social media. Here are the top 5 reasons we love it so much:

  1. Domination. It's that simple. Dealers that want to dominate and who are sick of the weak social media programs that the vast majority of vendors offer need to take a closer look at dark post advertising. It's one of the most important keys to achieving market dominance.
  2. Not-So-New But Still Shiny. This isn't a new concept. Facebook has been offering it for a couple of years now. However, it's still very, very shiny like a car that has been sitting in a garage for a little while, getting polished but not taken out very often. Now, it's time to take it out.
  3. ROI. When you think social media, most dealers do not attach the medium to tangible ROI. That's because they're not doing dark posts. This is where the real social media ROI resides.
  4. Ahead of the Game. Despite the fact that it's been available for a while, so few dealers and but a handful of vendors are taking advantage of it. Those who do so now are way ahead of the game... just like us!
  5. Dark Isn't Bad. When most people hear about "dark" posts, they assume it's something that wears a black helmet and wields a light saber. As cool as that might be, it's far from that. In fact, it's what social media was supposed to be able to do all along.

A good chunk of our focus is on making dark posts work for our clients. If you're interested in learning more about them, feel free to reach out to me. I'm always available for questions from dealers.

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There are several things that have been accelerating in the world of vehicle advertising that should have many dealers alarmed. It's no longer just the car buyers and the consumer advocacy groups that need to concern you. It's also the US government that's coming down on dealers.

The FTC has started cracking down on dealers that use "deceptive advertising tactics". So far, they've started with the most egregious offenses like advertising low prices that didn't mention the price was after a substantial down payment or advertising low monthly payments without mentioning there was a large balloon payment at the end. Most dealers aren't doing these things, but there are other practices that a good number of dealers are doing that will eventually put them at risk.

As with most things that pertain to the FTC, they're starting at the top and working their way down. This is designed to get dealers and consumers used to the fines and penalties so that when they get to the "lesser" offenses, they will be expected. These lesser offenses include one that a good chunk of dealers across the country do today: price transparency violations.

If you post that you're selling a vehicle at a particular price, you must demonstrate how you got to that price. Discounts, rebates, and special offers must be detailed in everything that you advertise. So far, there have only been a handful of high-profile cases where this has been brought to light, but we can expect that it will only become more common as the top-tier offenders start thinning out.

Let's say you are applying a military discount to your advertised sale price on your website or a third party site. If you don't disclose that discount, you're in violation. This is the part of the Automark pricing solution that we like the most. It keeps dealers compliant.

We have to be aggressive with the way we advertise our pricing in this industry. It's the right way to keep competition strong and push the boundaries on sales. As long as we keep the rules in mind and apply them accordingly, all should be fine. When we start down the slippery slope of hiding how we got to the price we advertise, we're risking our business altogether.

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Social media has been on a steady rise as a valid service in automotive since 2009. Old companies add social media services to their offerings. New companies that specialize in social media continue to pop up. Dealers do not lack choices in this important arena.

Reputation management has seen a similar growth pattern at a smaller scale over the last 3 years. Once OEMs started taking notice of online reviews, the mad rush to put out a service in hopes of getting co-op money and OEM endorsements spurred many new products to pop up.

These two events by themselves are not bad. The side-effect of them growing around the same time is definitely bad. For some reasons, companies started associating social media marketing and reputation management as if there was a connection between the two disciplines. That's a problem. They are not the same disciplines. They don't even have the same goals. The techniques and strategies are different. The only real connection is that some social sites like Google+ and Facebook have review portions to them and most review sites allow you to share on social media.

Having a team run social media and reputation management together is like having the same team working on buses and trains. The similarities do not change the fact that the dynamics, parts, and techniques are completely different. Keep in mind that we own a social media company and a reputation management company. It would be easy and cost-effective to combine them into a single unit, but that doesn't make sense for the dealers.

Perhaps a better way to look at it is through sports. Social media is an offensive play for the dealership with the goal of spreading the right marketing messages. Reputation management is a defensive play with the goal of protecting the dealership from being seen in a negative light. They require different actions to make them work properly. They require specialists.

As more dealers invest into both of these disciplines, it's important to understand that no single team can manage both well. We keep them separated, not because it's more profitable for us to do so. It isn't. We would make more money through consolidation, which is why nearly every social media company bundles in reputation management into their packages and within their operations. I've worked at a company that did that and I've seen the results that other companies offer. It's simply not as effective to put them together.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't buy your social media and reputation from the same company. I'm saying that you should investigate to see who handles each component and how the operations at the company work through them. There are times when consolidation of form and function make sense, such as with SEO and PPC or websites and CRM, but in the case of social media and reputation management, consolidation makes no sense at all.

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Twice a year, successful dealers and vendors who are "in the know" spend three days in automotive digital marketing educational euphoria at the Internet Sales 20 Group. What started as a nice regional event with a few dozen attendees has grown to become a national powerhouse with over 200 automotive professionals exchanging ideas and learning advanced tactics.

The upcoming event in Boston promises to be more of the same, only bigger - more dealers, more vendors, more education, and more networking. The secret to the IS20G has always been the proper format. Everyone stays in one room. This is different from the majority of automotive conferences that bounce around and force attendees to pick between multiple workshops. At the Internet Sales 20 Group, nothing gets missed. Nobody has to choose. They stay together and continue to network and grow throughout the event.

As someone who attends several conferences a year, a personal perk is that the event is not held in the same old venues over and over again. One can only take so much Vegas before it becomes a chore to bounce from casino to casino. That doesn't mean that entertainment is slim; the upcoming conference has a VIP party (yes, everyone who attends is a VIP) that is certain to be remembered. Everyone will hop on the Spirit of Boston Sunset Dinner Cruise that includes an open bar, live DJ, fully catered dinner, and a tour of the famous harbor.

We've attended every one of these and we strongly encourage dealers to do the same. There's nothing like the educational experience that you'll receive at the IS20Group. You'll take home actionable information that you can apply at your dealership immediately. Learn more on their website.

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The importance of landing pages on car dealer websites cannot be understated, yet we see that so many pages are not properly optimized to function on mobile devices. It's extremely important to take mobile into consideration with everything that has to do with digital marketing. In fact, if a dealership were to go to a mobile-only way of thinking, building out all of their digital marketing to fit appropriately on mobile devices, they would find that the strategy works incredibly well.

Most mobile-optimized pages translate well on desktops. The reverse is usually not the case.

In this infographic from our friends at String Automotive, they take a close look at mobile landing pages and offer some best practices regarding how to build them properly.

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