We are excited to have attended Jim Ziegler’s Internet Battle Plan in Atlanta Georgia. An industry renowned conference, Internet Battle Plan promised to give dealerships a step-by-step “Battle Plan” that will “dramatically increase you sales and profits… Immediately” according to the conference’s website. This year marked the fifteenth year of the conference and it was replete with industry thought leaders such as Sean Bradley, Paul Potratz and Rachel Haro—just to name a few. For those who were unable to attend, we have covered the top three insights covered by speakers in Internet Battle Plan as well as some key tweets. If you are interested, you can also follow #InternetBattlePlan on twitter for real time updates.
— Ed Parkinson (@EdAutomotive) January 15, 2014
Social Media is a Must
While this goes without saying, social media has become a powerful media which, if utilized correctly, can increase interactions with potential buyers, increase brand visibility and add a personal touch in the digital age. It is no longer enough to maintain a Facebook page with a couple hundred likes. Dealers around the nation are now on any social media platform you can think of. Dealers can use Twitter for customer support but also create a hashtag for their dealership where dealers can track their twitter engagement while bettering their ad exposure. Our very own Larry Craig tweets:
Jim Ziegler—or “Alpha Dawg” as he refers to himself—the coordinator of the conference is a 67 year old industry leader that maintains an aggressive and effective social media presence.
— Nicholas Africano (@N_AFRICANO) January 16, 2014
Speakers at the conference stressed the importance of being omnipresent in the social media world. Repeated exposure builds brand recognition and can translate to more sales!
— Samantha Cunningham (@samantha_jean) January 14, 2014
The 2014 Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas (CES) highlighted new products that they predict will be popular in 2014. Many of these products are wearable devices, such as wearable fitness trackers, Smart Watches and Smart Glasses (Google Glass, among others) will revolutionize social media engagement and, consequently, offers a unique opportunities for dealers to be proactive with upcoming trends in social media engagement. This year, SocialMediaToday predicts, will be marked by “new social media platforms [that] will emerge that cater to users of wearable devices.”
2014 as a Year of Constant Improvement
Internet Battle Plan also emphasized setting goals and constant improvement—a nice coincidence that the conference was in the beginning half of January. Because of the hyper-competitive nature of selling cars, dealers must set specific goals and work tirelessly to achieve those goals; this still holds true if your benchmark is beating last year’s performance.
The responsibility of setting goals for each dealership falls on management and Internet Battle Plan had some advice to offer: a manager’s role isn’t limited to “managing.” Managers should also be leaders and coaches.
Good Website Features can Mean More Leads and Sales
The importance of a good website it obvious. However, there are particular features that can significantly generate more contacts from potential customers. One specific feature discussed was a “meet the staff page” which speakers said lead up to a 350% increase in contact after visiting a website. This is a simple feature dealers can add or modify to SIGNIFICANTLY increase client interaction.
Website themselves can make a big difference. When was the last time you fully updated your website? Do you feel you are giving one of your most important mediums of communication to your clients enough funding or attention? Chances are there is at least something to improve. Update your content and start a blog to create value, a form of inbound marketing.
One popular tool car dealers have been using is video to introduce salesman. This adds a more personal feel to a website and can go a long way in offering that something “extra” over your competitors.
— Larry Craig (@LarryCraig) January 16, 2014
— Cory Mosley (@corymosley) January 15, 2014
— Jamie Welch (@AutoProfessor) January 14, 2014
— Larry Craig (@LarryCraig) January 14, 2014
— Kevin Campbell (@goodwithwords21) January 16, 2014