Brand advocates are one of the most influential parts of dealership advertising and one of the best ways to gain positive attention from consumers and increase car sales. For starters, content that’s shared by other people receives 10 times more engagement than content shared by your brand. It’s important to utilize customers around your brand that have an online presence and are willing to support your dealership.
Online users are more and more inclined to share their experiences with brands and businesses on social media. An advocate is a customer voice that basically markets and promotes your brand, but without the yearly salary.
Creating brand advocates can benefit your dealership for several reasons.
There are several outlets and ideas that will allow you to find, reach, and interact with your advocates.
Social Media. Each of your social media platforms has a huge impact on your current relationship with your advocates or influences the relationships you’re working to create with advocates. On social media platforms, advocates are 83% more likely to share information about a product than a general user, 50% more likely to influence a purchase, and twice as likely to use social media in expanding their own social networks—giving you an even greater reach:
Bloggers. In the general social media environment, bloggers are a large part of influencing and advocating for brands and businesses. They generally have hundreds or thousands of followers and promote throughout all of their social media platforms. They often cover a wide variety of topics—some bloggers are journalists, car enthusiasts, parenthood bloggers, and others cover fashion, etc.—and this is a smart way for a dealership to cover all its bases. According to Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report, bloggers are the third most powerful social influencers of purchase decisions. Take advantage and connect with influential bloggers in your area.
Video. Consumers constantly look to interact online, and lately, one of the most popular ways people are following brands, interacting with advocates, or just finding out information in general is through video. YouTube is always a classic way to post a video, and vlogs (video blogs) have become more and more popular, as well. Most recently, Snapchat and Periscope are an alternative, clever, and fun way to present fun and even live video content people want to view and interact with. Video is a personable and trendy way to get your name in front of consumers.
Engage. Acknowledge consumers who advocate for your brand and dealership. Offering up fun incentives or free events for advocates to attend and promote, although not necessary, can be so beneficial in acknowledging and thanking your advocates who play such a large part in influencing consumers toward your business. Even a quick reply, share on a social media platform, or shout out is a good way to engage and acknowledge your advocates and nurture your relationships with them.
Many businesses often overlook some of their most valuable advocates: employees. Employee advocates are 2x more trusted than a CEO, according to Edelman Trust Barometer 2014. Plus, employees generally have 10x more social connections than a brand does. So, it’s important to utilize your employee advocates for your dealerships, as well. And if you need more convincing as to why employees as advocates are key, here are some statistics that show just how helpful they can be.
Make sure to communicate with your employees, highlight the benefits of professional sharing, and let them know professional sharing is encouraged and allowed. 44% of employees are unsure about what they’re allowed to share on social media platforms, so involve, acknowledge, educate, and engage employees.
Both customers and employees as advocates are extremely beneficial to building your company’s brand recognition, business, and overall consumer opinion. It’s shown over and over again that advocates get more attention, more likes, and in the end, more purchases for your dealership. Take advantage of the advocates you have, engage with your customers to gain more, and acknowledge those who are talking about your dealership often.