Just about anywhere you go, TV commercials for local car dealerships are a joke. The low production values, the cheesy jingles, the guy in the gorilla suit — it’s impossible to take them seriously. Social media for local dealers, however, could be a completely different story. All the things that hold local businesses back in traditional media are no longer a factor online. Businesses can be as creative and engaging as they like. So why isn’t every local business jumping at the chance?
The answer may have something to do with attitudes back at national headquarters. JD Rucker argues that social media has the power to bring American cars back from the brink, by creating a new standard for customer service at the dealer level. But most manufacturers are more interested in creating viral videos and other advertisements that grab attention but don’t build engagement. These companies need to realize that while they’ve got the tools and the training, their local affiliates are the ones with the skills that build customer relationships. Franchise owners across America can attest to that. Small businesses, affiliates and franchisees all need to take control of their social profiles — and their parent companies either need to provide backup, or at least get out of the way.
Should local businesses have separate social media efforts from the mother brand? How should local social campaigns differ from global ones? Anyone got a favorite local business that does social media especially well?
Image credit, Terraxplorer, via iStock