In my experience, very few SMB’s (small and medium businesses) really understand the power of Social Media Marketing.
But Brian Harris Chevrolet does. Big time.
A couple of weeks ago, @GeauxChevy started following me on Twitter, presumably because I had used a few #GoBR and #BatonRouge hashtags in my Twitter posts (and also, no doubt, because a very smart social media strategist knows exactly what she’s doing.).
They ran a little promotion, offering a free baseball hat to anyone that ‘liked’ their Baton Rouge Chevrolet Facebook page, and I took the bait. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not using the word ‘bait’ in any kind of negative sense. On the contrary, they extended to me what basically amounts to a ‘free offer‘ in the traditional marketing sense, an incentive that encourages me to ‘check them out’ without obligation. And it all worked according to strategy. They gave me something useful in exchange for my attention. And ‘attention‘ these days is very valuable currency! We both won on this deal.
Actually, Brian Harris Chevy might come out ahead on this deal. But that’s the whole point of measuring social media marketing ROI, right?
Why are they coming out ahead, marketing-wise, just for sending me a silly baseball hat?
- Well, At some point this blog may become popular, and if a user does a Google search for “Car dealers Baton Rouge“, this site may end up ranking in the top-ten. And why is this important? Well, if this site ranks for a valuable key phrase, that means that one of their competitors was just bumped to number eleven…and who ever looks at the second page when doing a search? Not a lot.
- I Tweeted about the experience (with photo and tags) to my 800+ followers. So now over 800 new people now have the ‘Brian Harris’ brand name etched into their brains (at least for a little while).
- I ‘Facebooked’ it with a photo of me wearing the hat. Now 700+ of my friends have the logo etched in their brains (at least for a little while).
- I linked to their corporate site and Facebook page with descriptive anchor text, helping to raise their search engine rankings (The term ‘link economy’ came into being because of the value that search engines like Google put on the links from your page to another page. Outbound links from a ‘good’ website (like this one!) helps to improve ‘PageRank’ reputation of the other, hence they will most likely secure higher rankings in the search results pages as a result.).
- Oh, and I blogged about it, too.
Will this marketing effort make me switch from being a loyal Subaru owner?
Will it it get me in the door to test-drive the new Chevy Hybrids when my wife’s 2003 Toyota Camry is due for an upgrade this year?
Definitely! Like I said, they ‘get’ it. So they deserve my business.
UPDATE: Because of Caroline’s Social Media efforts, I did end up visiting Brian Harris Automotive when I was in the market for a new car (a year later). And I did end up buying a BMW 328i from them. Social Media Marketing works, apparently.