When speaking to traditional car people they make analogies of the Internet being a pesty animal that crawled in through the back door when nobody was looking. The funny part about this critter was that it didn’t come alone. It didn’t just walk in through the back door either. It came through every crevice in your house on the back of every individual on this planet! To continue calling it a creepy little pest is just sad. If you’re one of these people I feel sorry for you.
To make matters even worse, you’ve lost control of everyone because of the Internet. Your customers are free to say what they want to hundreds if not thousands of people in as little as 140 characters. Your employees are friends with all of your customers while displaying photos of themselves smoking a cuban cigar and drinking rum on a vacation in Costa Rica. What a Public Relations nightmare!
How do you get everyone back to the good old days? You don’t.
Without control we’re scared little business people, but we’re missing the bigger picture. It is a new world where the rules still have not been defined. Sure, we can write company policies that prohibit employees from using facebook at work or stopping them from participating on blogs, but what does that really gain? People are always going to find a way to do what they want. I say nurture it!
Instead of throwing the Fourth Reich at people, why not implement the Second Declaration of Independence. Teach your staff the best way to communicate online. Help your happy customers find the review sites and facebook pages that best let them tell their great story about you.
We are very fortunate in the automotive business to have sites like DealerRefresh and companies like GOSO, DealerRater, Pasch Consulting, and many others who will help us find the best way to nurture people into advertising machines for our business.
If you think you’ve lost control, this is how you get some of that control back.