social selling with employee advocacy

Employee advocacy for social selling is still a developing idea. So, the auto dealerships that get in right now will have a tremendous edge for the coming future. However, as you start scanning the social media landscape, you will find that social selling and employee advocacy have become needs.

The marketing expenses, competition, and noise on social media are costs you have to add up. And as you do, the plain vanilla world of social media, influencer marketing, and paid ads start to lose its sweet taste. In this post, we will walk you through the often ignored but rising costs of social media. And once we have explored them, we will look into a potential solution that can change your marketing results.

The Rising Costs of Conventional Social Media

1. Rising Social CPM

Cost Per Mile or CPM is usually a great way to measure social media marketing costs. CPM checks the cost of 1,000 impressions. And this makes it the perfect metric for scale.

Adage quoted a StitcherAds report stating CPM rates on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Snapchat grew by 47% in March 2021. Many auto dealers rely on these social media platforms. They are often the go-to choice for local brand awareness.

Now that the costs have gone up by almost half of what they used to be just a few months ago, marketing budgets are up for disruption.

2. Influencer Marketing Fraud

If your marketing agency has told you about the falling concerns around influencer fraud – you should trust them but fire them. One of the most prominent studies on the matter highlights the issue in a better light.

Influencer Marketing Hub surveyed 5,000 agencies in the United States. And the concerns for influencer fraud had reduced from 68% last year to 67% in 2021. That is theoretically a decrease. But the concerns for influencer fraud (fake followers, exaggerated performance, etc.) are still a headache for over two-thirds of agencies.

So, if you trust your social media agency, you should talk to them about alternatives like social media employee advocacy. Good agencies understand the potential and will help you understand the role of employee advocacy in your marketing strategy. If your agency is not talking about it, you can forward them our eBook The Value of Employee Advocacy. It’s free.

3. Changing Social Media Platform Policies

Let’s assume you do not have a dedicated social media agency. Your marketing team can take care of the Instagram posts and the Snaps. In that case, how do you ensure that your marketing strategy is optimized for the updated social media policies on the platforms you use?

The head of Instagram recently said that it is no longer a photo-sharing app. The platform’s focus is on replacing TikTok. If you have not been following, here is a great post on how Facebook has changed its layout policies. Despite all the research, there is no guarantee that the same rules will apply next year.

So, unless you have thousands of dollars to spend on an agency retainer, good luck tracking the social media policies of each platform you use.

4. Agency Costs

You might be paying about $2,350 per month to your agency to be active on four social media platforms. On top of that, you are spending another $400 to $800 per boosted post. Moreover, most agencies will charge you extra for monitoring the comments on your posts. Let’s assume you boost just 5 posts in a month. That brings your agency costs to approximately $30,000 per year.

For some dealerships, that would be a small percentage of their annual marketing budget. But, slice the same number and compare it with per unit sales to see a different reality. Assuming a selling price of $40,000 per car, your dealership might be netting $800 per sale. And that should put things in perspective.

The Performance Gap

Some agencies do great work and are happy to transparently report the results. However, that applies only to a few agencies. Besides accountability, you have to deal with these problems if you ignore having an employee advocacy program.

1.Fraudulent Traffic

The influencer marketing frauds existed for such a long time because the industry was complicit. There are a handful of tools to check whether the traffic on your posts and website is coming from bots or not. But if you have to spend extra money to verify your agency’s results and its influencers, your real issue is the lack of accountability in this relationship.

2.Lack of Conversions

Let’s go beyond the quality of traffic debate. Even if the traffic comes from bots, what is the real issue? The problem is – you will not get the conversions. Bots do not buy cars. People do. 100 genuine people with a 1% conversion rate would mean one sale. 10,000 bots would still guarantee zero sales. On the contrary, bot traffic increased your hosting costs.

3.Scaling Issues

Let’s assume – you are getting genuine traffic that converts with paid ads. To what point can you scale this? If you have to pay out $100 to earn $110, your ROI is trailing the industry – even if you are making profits.

4. Focused Campaign Goals

Whether it is search engines or social media, you generally set campaign goals – lead generation or brand awareness. Other important goals like ORM, customer intelligence, and competition research often go unaddressed.

5. Social Media Fatigue

Let’s take another step and picture the ultimate dream. You have converting traffic and controllable costs. But what about social media fatigue around your channels? If your posts on LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram look the same – imagine what your followers common across all the three channels go through every time you post.

employee advocacy program

Employee Advocacy for Social Selling

Now that we have addressed the core problems in the advertising – agency – social media complex let’s shift gears and find a solution. An employee advocacy tool can help in social selling. Here is how you can get started.

1. What is Employee Advocacy?

If you have just started exploring employee advocacy, you should read our free eBook on The Value of Employee Advocacy. It will give you a solid primer on the subject and bring you up to speed.

We define employee advocacy as the process of converting your employees into your authentic brand ambassadors on social media. Let’s break that down into smaller pieces:

  1. Process: Making a video about your dealership where your employees speak about the culture without employee advocacy. It has to be consistent, scaled, and frequent for it to be called an employee advocacy program.
  2. Converting: You cannot make it mandatory for your employees to promote you on social media. You will know why in the next point. Our research shows that over 70% of your employees would be glad to associate with your employee advocacy program when nudged the right way.
  3. Authentic Brand Ambassadors: The authenticity comes from collaboration – you give your employees the content category and post it on social media. Right after this, they engage with customers, comments, and other messages.

2. How to Use Inrelay for Social Media Employee Advocacy?

Inrelay is designed to help you launch and scale your employee advocacy program. Want to learn more about how the platform works? Get a 14 day free trial with Inrelay or get a free demo with Inrelay. Here is how Inrelay delivers value:

  1. Employee Advocacy Program Invites, Analytics, and Monitoring: Inrelay lets you send organized messages to dozens of employees. These messages will lay out the employee advocacy program, incentives, and an invite. As employees start accepting your request, you will get notified. Eventually, you will have the acceptance rate and the exact employee accounts that accepted your request.
  2. Content Category Management: Once you have launched your employee advocacy program, you will realize – all the employees cannot push all the content all the time. Instead, you can create custom content categories and allocate specific content to each employee. This helps you maintain authenticity while still developing a process.
  3. Social Media Scheduling: Besides the request, Inrelay comes with an in-built social media scheduler. This way, you can schedule your posts across different social media platforms and release them without missing any dates! Your employee advocacy program can be aligned with each of these accounts.
  4. Creative & Strategy Services: The Inrelay Ultimate subscription lets you access our creative and strategy services every month. This is to help you further lower your marketing costs and keep everything in one place. At the right scale, this will lower your cost per acquisition without compromising on your marketing goals.

free demo with inrelay

3. How Does Inrelay Bridge the Social Media Gap?

Inrelay has started helping auto dealerships get better, more profitable, and faster results at scale. When you get your 14-day free trial or a free demo, you will experience the Inrelay difference. Here’s how the platform helps your business:

  1. Exponentially Scaling Results: Assuming you have 50-60 employees and 70% of them accepting your employee advocacy program invite, you will immediately have 35 to 42 dedicated influencers on social media. This is where the results start showing up
  2. Brand Awareness, Lead Generation, ORM, and Market Intelligence: Since you have a dedicated team of influencers now, you can use Inrelay content categories and drive your program for different goals. Talk about your brand and create more awareness. Or let a few employees focus on lead generation and online reputation management. With more brains, eyes, and ears active on social media, it is easier to understand the market demands and adjust your offerings to them.
  3. Baseline Performance Guarantee: With 35 to 42 dedicated influencers, your baseline performance is guaranteed. Even if each influencer only brings a reach of only 50 views, your social media posts will start getting 1,750 to 2,100 views. To put that in context, some professional influencers get about 4,000 views on their posts after years of practice and professional production quality.
  4. Increased Employee Engagement Rates: Employee advocacy is simply a channel for bringing your employees into your marketing initiatives. While your brand starts scoring leads, you are also giving more ‘ownership’ to your employees. They can be on social media and openly talk about their employer. This can stand out in a time where several auto dealerships refrain their employees from using social media.
  5. High Brand Equity: Employee advocacy, at scale, delivers much more than brand awareness – you generate brand equity. You can command a premium on your products and services because you have a known brand in the local community. With an employee advocacy program, you will also become the employer with the most known faces in the community. This can be a great support system for your inbound sales.
  6. Consistent Brand Experience Across Social Media Touchpoints: Why are auto dealerships not using every single social media platform out there? Because it is challenging to maintain the same messaging across every platform. We don’t want you to bombard each platform with the same message. But, with Inrelay, you can easily maintain the brand voice using scheduler and content categories.
  7. One Tool for Invites, Analytics, Scheduling, and More: Inrelay’s built-in features simplify your marketing process. Instead of a dozen tools, agency, email, and spreadsheets – you can use Inrelay. This helps your marketing team focus on what matters the most and stay productive. The simplicity of tools also helps you to get more visibility in the results. Imagine it this way – if you had to work with industrial-grade wires, what would you prefer – a simple untangled wire or a web of tangled ones? That is what Inrelay brings to the table – simplicity with uncompromised effectiveness.

In Conclusion

Employee advocacy for social selling might be a new concept for many dealerships. But, it gives you more control over your marketing spends. Instead of paying agencies, influencers, and other platforms thousands of dollars with average industry results, change the game. Focus on the ‘private army’ of influencers in your office. If that sounds exciting to you, click here and Get a Free Demo for Inrelay. Simplify your marketing process and amplify your marketing results.

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July 2024