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How Do You Take Advantage of Viral Social Media Trends?

reverson

Jr. Refresher
Mar 21, 2012
287
315
93
First Name
Ryan
Social media tends to have a lot of posts and "challenges" that go viral? How do you take advantage of them at your dealership?

Here are some examples we've done in the past:
  • Pokemon
  • Blue & Black or White & Gold Dress
  • Bird Box Challenge
  • How Hard Did You Age Challenge
Being able to piggy back on these viral trends quickly can help humanize your dealership and get your message out - whether it is a newly released model or a great deal on a new car.

age post.JPG
 

Alexander Lau

Sr. Refresher
Feb 11, 2015
2,149
585
113
First Name
Alex
https://www.verticalrail.com/kb/what-does-going-viral-mean/

While “going viral” is a relatively simple concept, defining the threshold or benchmark for when something has actually “gone viral” is complicated. There are a number of controversial factors to consider, including: number of views/shares/links, how many unique users the content has reached, the rate at which the content is consumed, and the lifetime of the content.

Some video data analysts argue the benchmark of 100,000 views, since 53% on YouTube videos have fewer than 500 views, with less than 1% having more than 1 million views. On the other hand, some analysts argue that it’s not the number of views or shares a piece of content receives; it’s purely the rate at which the content is consumed. If it receives 40,000 hits in 4 hours, but then dwindles, it could still be considered “viral”.

Facebook defines virality as “the number of people who have created a story from your post as a percentage of the number of people who have seen it.” In other words, the virality of your post is measured by how many people have taken action after they've seen it. If, for example, one thousand people have seen the new video you uploaded but only two liked or shared it, that video isn't viral even though it's been seen by large number of people. If, however, half of those one thousand people liked or shared the video, its virality percentage is much higher.

The bottom line is that the threshold for content having “gone viral” is relative. Regardless, in this day and age, we tend to know something has “gone viral” when we see it.

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Although those benchmarks might be slightly dated it's something to consider. I've posted quite a few dealership posts (what I would consider interesting, shareable content) in my time, but very few live up to the aforementioned "viral" benchmark or similar benchmarks that I've seen. Very few organic (dealership) social media posts have gone truly "viral," IMO. Seems a bit too subjective.

The fact is that you cannot make something go viral. There is no magic formula; no perfect script or step-by-step guide.

I posted some best practices a few years ago here. I don't know if all of them are still relevant and frankly are tactics like this going to go "viral", maybe...? That depends on the content and audience.
If there’s a local or community event important to the dealership, focus on it. That’s a major part of social media strategy, IMO. Dealership don’t need to remind their social followers that they have cars for sale, they already know that. When choosing what to post, you shouldn’t act like a dealership, but still remember that you are a dealership. Don’t be pitchy. Don’t feed into stereotypes. Don’t be too “sales-oriented.” Instead, be brand, community, fun, and familial in orientation.

Truth is, to be successful on social media as a dealership, they have to stop thinking about yourself as a dealership, but instead, think of yourself as a company that helps out the local community. Giving people a social media smorgasbord of posts to review makes you more well-rounded. Like any delectable sampling of food does.

(In no particular order)
  • Philanthropy and Charitable involvements
  • Photos of new customers with their vehicles
  • “Caption This” pictures
  • Contests
  • Partnerships with local sports teams, like http://www.baierl.com/blog/2015/04/pirates-announce-new-partnership-with-baierl-automotive.cfm (dead now)
  • Video customer testimonials
  • Random pics of humor, quotes, or thought-provoking imagery
  • Questions to engage (think Trivial Pursuit, 1st date-style questions, Family Feud, or hypothetical in orientation)
  • Reviews/Ratings from happy customers
  • Service Discounts, Coupons – Not ‘sales-related’ content. (No “3.9% on Chevy’s until month’s end”- style posts)
  • Upcoming community events (and their involvement in them)
  • Nearby school events (and a mention of current employees from there)
  • Good staff bios
  • Job openings
  • Very odd vehicles taken in on trade (a 2006 Chevy Malibu isn’t a worthy vehicle to share on your wall regardless of the “low miles”, but a DeLorean would be).
  • Interesting facts based on that date in history
  • Service How-To Videos
  • Very high profile OEM/Dealership updates that are actually in the news (with your dealership’s response to it)
That said, I would definitely find out if your dealerships has a paid social media advertising budget, because organic reach isn't anywhere as effective, if it's effective at all. There's plenty of evidence suggesting weak organic performance.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ewanspence/2014/06/06/facebook-puts-everyone-on-notice-about-the-death-of-organic-reach/#41836b2f7885
https://www.facebook.com/business/news/Organic-Reach-on-Facebook
http://marketingland.com/facebook-kills-organic-reach-108160

If I were you, I'd look into Custom Audience targeting through Facebook / Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, etc.

For example: https://www.facebook.com/business/a/custom-audiences

Previously, Facebook advertising had been too generic / broad, which probably suited Zuckerberg just fine in that they were still making a lot money, but at the same time wasting the efforts of their advertising customers. Lack of being able to drill down to a current customer and universe attack level.

It was a matter of time before they integrated a better advertising mechanism into their system. Basically, Power Editor is a matching tool, which they have always had (a weak predecessor), but previously was not built on a CRM integration level (importation of CRM dB's for use in customer matching). Having to match up customers or potential customer manually was a painstaking experience. I'll be interested in seeing how dealerships cope with this new requirement and what CRM's actively support them.

Custom audience targeted ads will be much more relevant than ads just targeted to a business fan’s or some biographical demographic. They can reach people who a business is sure purchased its products before, or that haven’t thanks to exclusionary targeting. Yes, businesses could just email these existing customers for free. However, Facebook can help them hone in on certain demographic segments of their customers by overlaying additional targeting parameters, and reach them vividly through the news feed instead of their dry inbox.

An automotive rooftop with E-mail addresses of its customers could target “buy a new SUV” ads to people who bought an SUV 5+ years ago, while targeting “Find nearby charging stations” to those who recently bought an electric vehicle.

IMO, it's a ploy by Facebook to sell more ads through customization techniques, which is smarter than what they were doing. It should have better results for dealerships, especially since most of them have a CRM of some type that exports out CSV and/or XML for importation into the Facebook Power Editor.
 
Last edited:

ryan.leslie

Sr. Refresher
Apr 20, 2009
577
494
93
First Name
Ryan
Social media tends to have a lot of posts and "challenges" that go viral? How do you take advantage of them at your dealership?

Here are some examples we've done in the past:
  • Pokemon
  • Blue & Black or White & Gold Dress
  • Bird Box Challenge
  • How Hard Did You Age Challenge
Being able to piggy back on these viral trends quickly can help humanize your dealership and get your message out - whether it is a newly released model or a great deal on a new car.

View attachment 4020
Awesome work on the "aging" challenge material @reverson!