By Christina Wofford
December 2020, Volume 29, Number 12
Monitoring, but also actively managing your dealership’s online reputation, is an important piece of your brand image and what consumers will believe is the customer service you deliver. Like working out, whether you want to do it or not, it is a big part of the online health and wellbeing of your business. Online reviews and your responses to them give consumers an idea of what they’ll experience when working with you. Don’t let your online reputation lead people to believe your customer service is as enjoyable as a hot yoga class in the middle of August in Arizona.
Managing and optimizing your social media presence, surveying your customers to get feedback, generating reviews and working to get higher star ratings are all part of controlling your online reputation. It also shows you care about what your customers have to say online about your company, whether it’s positive or negative.
Skateboarding Pilates, goat yoga, trampolining and mermaid swimming classes. There’s always a new way to stay in shape – – physically and online. While your business must remember the basics, it’s important to up the ante and keep up with the newest ways to monitor and improve your online reputation. Putting a plan in place with your team is important to keep up with new trends or make sure you have a company skilled in social media and online reputation management to handle this for your company.
Here are our top 5 tips to look better online:
- Optimize your Google My Business page. Google is your online billboard. Your Google My Business page can be a lead generator without paying PPC. By optimizing your page, which appears on the right-hand side of the first page search results when someone searches for your business, you can showcase more clearly your hours, location and even your 5-star reviews, dealership specials, open positions and more. This is an easy way to stand out from the competition and optimize for “zero click” searches. You might not think of this as traditional SEO for your website, but this is a very important piece of dominating those first page search results.
- Connect with your customers on social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube use have all increased during the pandemic. Car buyers and service customers are spending more time online researching vehicles and dealerships. Use social media to communicate what your business is doing today to ensure the safety of customers and staff during COVID-19. Be sure to also showcase your dealership specials, show your customers how they can buy and service safely at your dealership, and explain how you’re supporting the community during the pandemic.
- Respond to all comments on social media. Social media is meant to be social. So, make sure you’re engaging with your followers and responding to all comments on your posts, ads and messages. When comments are negative, you should hide them instead of deleting them. By hiding the comment, it will only be visible to the person who posted it and not to your other followers.
- Survey your customers, get actionable feedback and generate reviews. Survey your day’s customers nightly to get actionable feedback, opportunities for improvement and kudos for your team. Make it easy for customers that respond positively to post their feedback on public review sites. Add to your in-store process the ability to request reviews. When you know a customer has had a great experience, send them a text message on-the-spot asking that they post about your dealership on Google, Facebook and other top review sites. Your star ratings impact which dealership a customer chooses and how high your business ranks in search results. Having positive reviews about your dealership makes it more likely to show up in the coveted local pack of results on Google.
- Respond to all online reviews, even the positive ones. If customers take the time to leave a great review, make sure you thank them for it. If a review is negative, address the customer’s issue and show you care about resolving it OFFLINE. Engaging in arguments online makes you and your dealership look bad. Respond quickly and professionally – – even if you know the complaint isn’t true. Simply thank the person for the time they took to leave the review and offer a high-level contact that can be reached by phone or email to resolve the issue. Don’t make offers of discounts or make-goods online as others may see posting a bad review as a way to get something free. Remember too that you can ask that the review be removed if it violates the site’s Terms & Conditions.
Whether it’s backwards running, dog yoga or kangaroo jumping (yes, it’s really a thing), it’s key to keep up with the new trends – – especially when it comes to what’s happening online about your business.
Ready to get your online presence in shape? Get a custom analysis of your Google listing, social media and online reputation with a free Intel Report from Digital Air Strike. We’ll also share quick tips to fix what we find. Visit www.digitalairstrike.com/intel-report to request one today.
Christina Wofford is the SVP, Marketing & Communication at Digital Air Strike, the award-winning social media, intelligent lead response and consumer engagement technology company. Learn more on how DAS can help your company with social media marketing and online reputation management.