You have your social media communities in place and are starting to see people join. You see the number of members begin to climb and think that it is a success. If you are only looking at numbers, you are not measuring the success of your community properly.
Numbers do not mean as much as engagement when it comes to building a social media community. Like all communities, there are going to be people who come and go. Members get bored, move away or lose interest in you, but do not delete their membership.
Facebook 'Likes' are no measure of community. Twitter followers are no measure of community. The most important metric of your dealership’s community is not numbers; it is interactions.
In order to get a true picture of your dealership’s community health, you have to look at the engagement of the members of your community.
Why it is Important to Measure
The success of your community will affect your business in a number of ways. When you have a growing and exciting community, you can expect to see the following happen:
An increase in happy, repeat customers
The absence of conflict
A rise in your customer satisfaction index
Less return complaints
More word-of-mouth referrals
If you are not measuring how your community is thriving, then you run the risk of seeing a decline in the group. That can affect your overall dealership reputation.
In order to determine the overall health of your community, you need to measure growth, experience and activity.
As mentioned, an increase in numbers is not growth, but an increase in community input and interaction is.
A member is not a member until they interact with something. Keeping them engaged makes them a vital part of the community and it spurs others to become engaged as well. Of course, it depends on what you are building your community around as to how much engagement you are going to get.
A community built around fans of your brand will be more engaged than a community whose purpose is to see photos of your vehicle inventory.
By measuring the sense of community experience in your group, you get an idea of how healthy your community really is.
Here are a few elements that make up a healthy community:
Do members feel special?
What is the common bond in the community?
How much influence do they feel they have?
Are they emotionally rewarded?
There must be some sort of reward in order for someone to join and remain in a social media community. This is why showing them photos of your vehicle inventory is not going to work.
However, building a community around the latest accessories for your cars or trucks can work. If you have a community built around customizing cars, you can showcase the latest wheels, aftermarket accessories for your brand and even touch on safety equipment. This helps people engage in conversations about what wheels are the best or how a new spoiler can help reduce drag. The point is to make it about them and not you.
Community members can be rewarded by seeing the latest accessories and talking to others that have customized their car. Someone from the community may even emerge as an expert on one of the accessories. That raises their self-worth.
Instead of measuring how many people are in your community, look at how many are making posts or commenting on the threads that you have started. You can even look at post likes or comments to help you gauge interaction. Other activities like those who start posts by asking questions are indications that the community is healthy.
A community that does not communicate is not a community.
Experts have put together a number of formulas that can help you drill down to real numbers, but if you start out right and engage people, you can get a good idea of your community's health.
If you would like to enhance your dealership’s automotive marketing by learning how to increase the engagement of your community members, don’t hesitate to reach out to Turbo Marketing Solutions’ automotive marketing community experts by calling 1-800-262-0081
Lucie Gauvreau is the CEO of Turbo Marketing Solutions. You can contact her by email here or reach her by phone every weekday at Turbo Marketing’s head office.