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There’s never been such a paradigm shift in how we interact with customers then the introduction of social media. In the three decades I’ve worked with marketing, customer service and the internet, nothing has come close.

For almost 5 years I was a marketing manager for the northeasts largest automotive group. When I started in 2009, I was shocked to learn that none of their fifty dealerships even had a Facebook page! And when I created one for the specific dealership I was working at, it created a ripple within the company. Fast forward a few months and, after working with corporate to hash out a company wide policy, we now had all fifty dealerships on Facebook and Twitter.

Unfortunately, since I was a marketing manager at just one of the dealerships (which turned into managing three by the time I left), I didn’t have much say in the direction the company was headed with their social strategy. And that direction was the same direction the automotive industry has pointed for decades: push, push, push.

Social media doesn’t work that way. It’s there for community building and listening, not pushing sales or growing “Likes”. It’s there to help you easily bring value to your customers so they will be with you for a lifetime, not for just one sales event to get them in the door. Long story short, I did not agree with the direction the company was headed so I pretty much just gave up on trying to change minds that have been so entrenched in the same car sales mindset for decades.

After leaving the dealership (and buying and building a successful franchise), I found myself sometimes thinking back and wondering what I could have done. One area I would often think about was some of the awesome salespeople I worked with.

I know most people don’t think of car salespeople as “awesome”, but I worked with some who deeply and truly cared about their customers and worked hard to give them the best experience with buying their car. I felt bad that these good salespeople were stuck at a dealership that wasn’t using a huge customer service tool like social media correctly to try and get the best customers for their sales team.

And then it hit me.

Why do individual salespeople need to rely on their dealership’s flawed social strategy in the first place? Why couldn’t they create one of their own? After all, they are pretty much their own brand. And let me tell you, I’ve worked with some characters and I could see them absolutely crushing it if they were in charge of their own brand. Their current and future customers would love it.

So that’s when I decided to create Driving Brand You. I’m here to help you find your own brand and ignite it with the power of social media to create a community of loyal customers that will follow you anywhere.

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