October '20

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68 • RV PRO • October 2020 rv-pro.com Social Media Management What companies need to know, Coleman says, is that maintaining and managing their social media presence needs to be a dedicated, ongoing busi- ness arm. He explains that companies may believe they are in the business of whatever product they specialize in – tow hitches, TPMS systems, or cleaning prod- ucts, etc., but ultimately, all companies are now "in the website business." "Ninety-nine percent of the people that are going to buy your product are going to visit you on the internet first, before they purchase it," he said in the presentation. Whether customers see a business on their standalone site or on social media, that will be the starting point to customers doing business with them. Treating social media management as a minor task that only gets 20 min- utes a day of attention from an employee who might already be filling another role can work against itself, according to Coleman. And frequently, a company's social media strategy won't be optimized, given that the person taking care of social media for the business might not be fully experienced in the field. Coleman says that being able to get all the right information on a company's products or services as swiftly as possible will be critical. "Once (customers) see a product, any product, that is of interest to them, they will seek out the advice of their peers," he says. "Having someone on a team who understands how to meander the delicate fabric of social networks for your company should be paramount in any business." This is especially true for the RV industry, Coleman says, where there are "so many social conversations on virtually every subject about it within these platforms." Thanks to the advent of remote workers worldwide, businesses can gen- erally find a social media manager even if they don't have the overhead to hire an in-house employee. Typically, these individuals are contractors who serve multiple clients, so they will be well- versed in the landscape. Once a business has found a good fit, its marketing department can manage the social media manager. It's an invest- ment worth making given that the money allotted can help pay dividends, Coleman argues. "A good social media manager is not an expensive personnel position to fill," Coleman says. "Budget between $1,000 to $2,000 per month. It will be the best money you ever spent on your business." To ensure they are hiring the right person for the job and helping them excel, Coleman offers a few guidelines: • Make sure they know as much about your product/service as possible. • Make sure they know even more about the people who purchase your product/service than the product itself. • Encourage them to do what they do and realize that they know much more about social media management than you ever will. In short, Coleman says, "Stay out of the way and let them do their job." • Do not micro-manage them and support them to acquire the tools they may need to be suc- cessful for you. The sooner RV industry companies can get involved in niche social media marketing, the better, Coleman con- tends. Staying relevant in the digital sphere requires a company to continually review their approach to ensure they're getting through to customers. Having the added strength of a social media manager can help them refine that approach and allow the business to continue focusing on other elements like in-house cus- tomer interactions, F&I, and inventory management. Coleman brings it back to the initial idea of making sure the right conversa- tions are happening about a company's services or products. "When people are talking among themselves about your product/service (not you talking about it to them), you will have achieved a great thing," he says. "That would be success in any- one's book." RVillage finds many ways to engage with users, and to bring consumers and RV businesses together.

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