By Kathi Kruse, Founder, Kruse Control Inc.
Social media marketing is a delicate balance of well-conceived content, interaction with your intended audience, clear objectives, and careful measurement, all of which ultimately produce leads for your dealership.
Yin-Yang is a fundamental concept in Chinese philosophy where seemingly opposite or contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent. These forces give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. The interaction between Yin and Yang establishes harmony and gives birth to things.
Dealership Social Media Marketing Flow
Those of you who know me know I’ve practiced yoga for many years. I view Yin-Yang philosophy as “flow” – dance of forces. Yin and Yang are complementary, not opposing, forces that interact to form a whole greater than either separate part; in effect, a dynamic system.
Mastering social media marketing depends very greatly on your ability to understand and capitalize on the power of these two forces in all that you do.
Certain components lend themselves to one or the other but without each one working in tandem, your Social marketing will fail, one way or the other.
- Yin is female in nature, and Yang is male in nature and they fit together as two parts of a whole.
- The male principle is equated with the sun: active, bright, and shining. Linear, logical, even technological.
- The female principle corresponds to the moon: passive, shaded, and reflective. Intuitive, devoted, and infinite.
- Male “toughness” is balanced by female “gentleness”; male action and initiative are balanced by female endurance and the need for completion.
Yin-yang is everything we see, touch, hear, smell, and feel – unstable and ever-changing. Today’s divisive social and cultural state, and the unprecedented times we are experiencing right now, have caused a lot of us to sit up and take notice of what’s right and not-so-right in our lives. There’s a lot of movement happening right now, and social media was born of that movement.
The Yin of social media marketing is:
- Relationship building
- Sharing and engaging
- Content-driven leads and sales
- Non-Linear (one whose output is not directly proportional to its input)
The Yang of social media marketing is:
- Metrics or number-driven leads and sales
- Linear (“If you do this, then you get that.”)
Sales and marketing have always been a practice entrenched in Yin-Yang, even though most dealership marketers aren’t aware of it. Keeping a good balance produces the best results you need. Too much of one or the other impedes flow and fosters failure.
Nothing in the universe is exclusively Yin or Yang. Yin contains seeds of Yang and vice versa. Too much of one can weaken and consume the other. Your social media marketing energy should be spent on making sure you have a nice balance, too!
As you read this, you’re probably thinking about the Yin-Yang balance of your social media marketing.
- What am I doing right?
- What am I doing that isn’t getting the job done?
- Is there a balance?
- Am I getting all I can out of social media?
Reflecting on these points is a good monthly practice, and it’s even more important to take the actions you need to get to your business goals.
Here are four examples of a Yin-Yang imbalance in your social media marketing and what you can do to bring things into balance.
1. “Megaphoning” Sales Messages
There are still many, many dealers who believe that blasting sales content via social media is a good tactic. If you’re doing this, please stop and consider what this says to users. It instills a negative perception of your store that’s often permanent.
Shouting messages about your products/services represents too much Yang (male principle). Add a strategy of engagement and concentrate on building relationships using your content. Evoking emotions is the key to successful marketing. Practice active listening and engage with users whenever you can.
Pro Tip: Reserve your sales content for Facebook ads. A well-placed ad, combined with superior profile content, will be much more successful than a barrage of unwanted messages.
2. Lack of Content Strategy
Large or small, every dealership needs a written content strategy. Posting uninteresting or non-strategic content with no focus on your store’s brand or intended audience signals an abundance of Yin (female principle).
Add some “conscious creativity” to the mix to balance things out. Design a content strategy that increases engagement, leads, and sales. Ground your “digital reputation” in a content strategy – it won’t steer you wrong.
Here are the key components of a successful written content strategy:
- Determine what your store stands for and why people choose you over your competitors.
- Identify your ideal customers (because social media allows you to laser-target those most likely to buy).
- Describe your competitors and what you do better than anyone else.
- Outline the types of content you want to create (written, images, video, etc.) and the purpose or goal for each.
- Determine how often you’ll publish content and run ads. Resolve the budget you’ll need for content, including ads.
- Establish who will create your content and how it will be published.
- Ascertain who will be responsible for the results and who will do the reporting.
- Pinpoint your measurement, analysis, and reporting process, including the frequency needed to make informed decisions.
3. Focusing Solely on Tools, Technology, and Algorithms
Believe it or not, some spend hours in tiny rooms hyper-focused on these three components of social media marketing and believe that they are marketing. Of course, these elements are crucial to any marketing endeavor but where’s the human-ness?
Every sale begins with a conversation. If you’re not participating in conversations, you’re not selling. And conversations don’t have to be face-to-face or in real-time. The customer just wants to know that you care and that communication with them matters.
By all means, pay attention to the metrics but add human interactions into your social media marketing.
Here are a few ways to do it:
- Reply to comments and ask questions
- Tag users
- Use hashtags to foster engagement
- Always respond to online reviews
- Are they ready to buy? Ask them to chat via Facebook Messenger, text, or email.
4. Not Calculating Your Return on Investment (ROI)
One of the best parts of social media marketing is that it’s measurable. I’m always surprised to hear from business leaders who don’t match their objectives with metrics so they can track social media ROI (Return on Investment).
Social media is much more than just posting Facebook updates, tweets, or Instagram images and videos. You must have clear objectives and take time to measure your results. When you can tie your results back to your objectives, you have established ROI.
- Content with no direction = scales tipped too far towards Yin (female principle).
- Spending the bulk of your time on tools and technology = scales tipped too far towards Yang (male principle).
Now that social media is an integral part of people’s lives, and dealers are spending a larger portion of their marketing/advertising expense on it, it’s never been more important to get a return for your investment.
The Yin-Yang Balance in Social Media Marketing
In work, life, and social media, imbalance causes disease. Your body tells you when you’re out of balance by signaling pain or discomfort. Your customers tell you your marketing is out of balance by choosing your competitor.
Spend time getting right with Yin-Yang by examining your efforts and then take action to improve. Yin-Yang is a proven system that’s thousands of years old. No reason to try to reinvent the wheel when nature can step in to help.
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This article was published in the August 2020 Issue of Dealer Magazine. You can view the August 2020 Issue here.
About the Author
Kathi Kruse is an automotive social media marketing expert, blogger, speaker, coach, author, and founder of Kruse Control Inc. Born in the heart of Los Angeles to a family of “car people,” Kathi’s passion for the car business spans a 30-year career managing successful dealerships in Southern California. Kathi is the author of “Automotive Social Business – How to Captivate Your Customers, Sell More Cars & Be Generally Remarkable on Social Media.”