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Business Success Through Social Networking

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Power Of The Collective Voice

On-line Social Networking[1] is a recent phenomenon that has exploded in popularity. One outcome of this new virtual community is a collection of shared consumer experiences. Participants are using these collective reviews of products and services to make informed buying decisions. Auto repair shop owners should be participating in these online communities to promote their businesses.

Friends talk about repair shop websites
Photo by Photo Mojo

Friends talk

People are participating on social networking websites by the millions. They're communicating with strangers, colleagues, friends - just about anyone. These online communities are helping people find great places to eat, shop, drink, relax and play. People are expressing their opinions about businesses and enabling consumers to decide which to deal with - and which to avoid. This is grassroots consumer empowerment in action. Powerful stuff! You must get involved.

Tell everyone what you think

Websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many more are bring together a massive number of people who ask questions, discuss, and share information about anything. Other websites like Yelp and Angie's List are focused on the informed opinions of a vibrant and active community of knowledgeable locals. BimmerShops and CarTalk are even more narrowly focused on a specific product. The common element of them all is the power of the collective voice.

No escaping reputation

Social networking websites are being used to build Social Proof[2] of reputation. Sure many businesses use testimonials but everyone assumes they are of suspect credibility. True social proof comes from third party websites where everyone has the freedom to express their opinion. This is the stuff consumers have been dreaming of.

Powerful advertising

If your looking for a new way to promote your business social networking websites are like no other form of advertising ever available. I strongly feel all auto service businesses should become active in these online opinion based communities. Greater numbers of consumers are relying on them to make decisions as to where to spend their money. Opinion is a very powerful tool to help attract new customers. Are you willing to be part of this fast growing opinion economy?

Social networking in action

Here is an example of a typical comment. This shop has a great business profile and I'm sure attracts a large amount of work from Yelp.

Chelsea Beth H., Seattle, WA

So I'm getting my oil changed at this ho-hum-found-a-coupon-for-a-cheap-oil-change place and I told them to keep any eye out for my alternator belts. They came back with a distressed look on their faces. My serpentine belt was shredded they said. One of the guys gave me a quote of $550! Ridiculous, I said. So I jumped on to trust ol' Yelp to see if I could find a better mechanic in town. Luckily, Yelp hasn't failed me yet. I went in today, they replaced my belts in a hour and a half (when the other place told me "a couple of days")!! To make the story even sweeter, they only charged me $146!!! I'm definitely referring everyone I know to this place. You won't find better service anywhere else in the city.[3]

Wouldn't you like to have 30+ reviews like this one! These guys do.

[1] Wikipedia. Social network service. Retrieved on 2009-06-28.
[2] Wikipedia. Social proof. Retrieved on 2009-06-28.
[3] Yelp.com 2009-03-13. Superior Auto Service review. Retrieved on 2009-06-28.

What's next: In the future I'll write some tips and strategies on the Seven Steps to Yelp Success. At the moment read my article on using social networking websites as a new approach to repair shop advertising or read all social media related blog articles.


About The Author

Doug Fentiman is an auto repair shop website marketing specialist and owner of Robert Maxim Website Solutions. He provides an inexpensive, easy to use, website based marketing system that is designed from the ground up for automotive repair shops. Doug helps shop owners build profitable businesses by attracting quality customers.

Copyright©2017 by Doug Fentiman. All rights reserved under USA, Canadian, and International law.