Do you know your super-advocates? They know you. They are the ones who are following you, retweeting your tweets, sharing your online stories with their friends, and reposting updates from your dealership’s timeline. They are the customers you’ve impressed, the ones who’ve had great experiences, and the ones who will likely return to your lot time and again to make purchases. These are the people you want to recognize and build customer relationships with, because they support your business, and they boast about you to their friends, their colleagues, and their online acquaintances. They spread the word about what you’re doing throughout their networks—and their online reach is extensive.
Your advocates are the people who are most vocal about your dealership, and they share a few characteristics:
They buy. They have probably purchased from you in the past, and they’ve had a positive experience they want to share with others. They often participate in your extended warranty or maintenance plans, so you likely see them in your dealership often—and they are happy with their dealership experience overall.
They share. They may have purchased from you recently or visited your dealership for service. Whatever the purchase, they share their experiences with others via their social networks.
They reply. When you or others interact with them online, they are likely to respond, reply, and give feedback. They want you and others to know how they feel about your brand. They like the fact that their opinions are recognized and valued in the marketplace, and when you engage them and let them know their insights are important, they’ll continue to interact.
They return. They are likely to find brands they love and stick to them, and in turn, they will share those brands with their online social circles. When they find a dealership that offers them an unparalleled experience, they’ll continue to take their business there—and they’ll encourage their friends and family to do the same.
These shoppers want to be a part of your dealership and talk about the great experiences they’ve had. When you engage them online by offering meaningful dialogue, relevant content, and one-on-one connections, you’ll have advocates that are excited to spread the word about your dealership.
Brands are able to measure their success in the marketplace largely by looking at consumer interaction and engagement. Today’s shoppers want to be involved with the products and services they purchase, and when they feel they are able to reach you, connect with you, and have meaningful dialogue, you’ll have a better shot at earning their loyalty. Passive consumers are a thing of the past, and businesses that try to get by with placing ads that talk at consumers, rather than involve them, risk losing the interest of those who are eager to engage.
With the majority of customers visiting your dealership via mobile, desktop, and online social platforms before they ever set foot onto your lot, it’s important to focus on building advocacy for your brand via online channels. Your online influencers will be more than happy to engage with your dealership and spread the word about you when you consistently supply them with intriguing content and posts they are excited to share. By maintaining your online presence and encouraging your supporters to share your dealership’s information with their social circles, you’ll not only be maintaining your current customers, you’ll also be growing your potential future customer base.
In today’s online-centered world, consumers with brand feedback—either good or bad—tend to go directly to their social platforms. Your super-advocates often act as your voice on these platforms, the ones who are sharing their customer experiences with others and impacting the way your dealership is seen by online consumers. Because they are so active online and involved with the brands they choose to support, it’s important for businesses to maintain active relationships with these advocates in order to encourage their continued participation.
Your advocates are present when you can’t be. While you try to interact and engage your online audience as much as possible, it’s simply not feasible to be everywhere at once. And even if you were, consumers who are new to your dealership often want to hear from other shoppers who’ve had success dealing with you. Your super-advocates can help you out by giving online shoppers peace of mind regarding dealership experiences they’ve had. In fact, research has shown that 55% of consumers are actually willing to pay more if they are guaranteed a good experience, however rather than simply trusting businesses to guarantee good experiences, shoppers are likely to trust the opinions and viewpoints of consumers who have actually had interactions with businesses they’re considering. Additionally, 72% of consumers tell 6 or MORE people if they are happy with their experiences. Online, this becomes a domino effect, with word about your dealership spreading amongst potential shoppers and acquaintances on various platforms.
Your online influencers are eager to interact and be a part of your brand, so when you reach out, include them in your development, and encourage their loyalty, you’ll reap the benefits as a dealership. They’ll respond by enthusiastically participating in online conversations and sharing updates with their online followers, which will boost your dealership’s visibility across various platforms. The connections you form with your advocates are the ones that will ultimately bring customers back to your dealership for repeat purchases, as well as service and maintenance appointments; and they’re also the connections that will encourage new shoppers to give your dealership a try. Be sure to take the time to stay engaged with your super-advocates, because by sharing their experiences, they are marketing to a diverse audience of online shoppers on your behalf.