Doug Fentiman, owner of Robert Maxim Website Solutions, was interviewed by Tire Business magazine for the May 10, 2011 issue of their Service Zone eNewsLetter. The article, titled "Experts: Make Facebook work for your service business", is about using social media to promote auto repair and service businesses.
Note: Sorry, but the article is not available to the public. Tire Business reorganized their website and placed the article in their 'subscriber only' section... So much for the SEO benefit of contributing to their publication...
The main take away from the article is that social media is not an end all for auto repair shop marketing. Social media is only one part of a much larger online marketing system that can be used to build long term relationships with customers. The interactivity of social media, combined with an information rich auto repair website that provides insight into the character of the business, and which are then both validated by consumer provided online reviews, can create a very powerful and effective form of auto repair marketing. Social media should be seen as part of a larger Relationship Marketing effort.
And social media is not a quick source of revenue - it will take time and effort. There is an momentum that needs to be build. However, once it is rolling a company's social media effort can gain a self-generating marketing sustainability with a relatively low cost.
I am not pleased with Tire Business and the writer of this article. First, the writer misrepresented the article as being about my view on the use of social media by auto repair shops. Not as part of a general article on social media where she would use myself and one of my competitors to add sensationalism to her article by showing us in opposition. I distinctly remember her excitement when I gave an example for poor social media practice (used out of context to highlight my competitor's social media work). Shame on her for using such a low tactic to bolster an otherwise weak article. She discredits the company she works for and the auto repair industry by doing this.
I have no need or desire to discredit my competitors. Everyone does their own work and it stands on its own merit. Danny Sanchez does a great job in what he does for the auto repair industry and using my example, out of context no less, to discredit him was inexcusable. Tire Business should be ashamed to have approved the publication of this article. Both they and the writer owe me, and especially Danny, an apology and retraction of this article. Here's hoping they see the wrong in their actions.