Come join me and Rockville Audi for cars and breakfast!
“This is the secret sauce to everything that comes before and after, and it’s so simple: Most social touchpoints your audience will have with your product or brand or whatever is not the bells and whistles campaigns you put together at great expense, but rather the day-to-day social management of all your channels. That’s how they meet you, and that’s where they come to thank you, and it’s where they are going to voice their discontent. So be there for them, take care of them, and give them what they came to you for in the first place.” ~ Andrew White
You know, for a person that doesn’t really blog, typing these things up starts to get a little strange. I should be reading instead of writing, but Tiffany Reisz’ book doesn’t come out for a couple more months and E.L. James probably won’t have anything until next year. Maybe.
So, what does this post mean? Think the title gives a bit away.
What happens when you go from being touted as one of the brands that best uses social media to one where hardcore fans and brand ambassadors aren’t engaged and one even stops participating? What happens when Twitter says your brand had the most successful Twitter campaign ever and the brand stops using the hashtag for that campaign?
Yes. Disappointment. Not in Audi USA or Audi AG as a company that makes cars that I’m absolutely head over heels in love with… but disappointment in what has happened with Audi’s social media. Some of you may remember my sadness about Audi’s change from M80 to HUGE and probably when I was a bit more than upset about the change when HUGE didn’t come out running on day one with anything to wow fans.
I feel as though it’s gotten worse. I want to be nice and have faith that they’re going to come around, but the last few weeks haven’t given me much to go on. Shall we cover a few of the reasons why?
- Fans, bloggers and dealers use #WantAnR8, but the current social media team doesn’t. Why? Are we at an end with the hashtag because based on Twitter searches for #WantAnR8, fans still want one.
- Engaging with hardcore fans… as in my Relationship Building and Social Media post, a brand’s fans are the ones that create more fans. Disappoint those hardcore fans and they start to walk away, what do you have left? Sure, we can’t really base ROI on the numbers, but what does it say when engagement goes from 200 per tweet down to 25 per tweet or fan sites get better quality engagement?
- Quality of what’s being pushed out. There used to be wit along with the maturity and feel of luxury that M80 used to bring to the voice of Audi. Yes, Andy White can’t be the voice of Audi anymore, but when you’ve got a brand that is supposed to be technologically advanced, flowing with luxury and beating the competition at the track, you can’t come across as immature or flirt with the teen that just got their license. Audi’s latest video shows they want to target women in my age group… if I’m turned off by what HUGE is posting for Audi, how many other women in the target group are turned off as well? Perhaps the one that has my answers to a Q&A would like to share my thoughts on engaging with the female car buyer.
- So much for @sbones comment that HUGE “spend a lot of time getting it right for for the individual brand and its channel audience” because with many hardcore fans disappointed, they haven’t done a very good job. Today, I feel as if they haven’t spent much time getting “it” let alone “getting it right”.
Do I still care about Audi? Would I really be able to come up with all of the words for this post if I didn’t?! My loyalties are with Rockville Audi and their amazing team in sales and service. They’ve gone above and beyond on everything I’ve asked for and even more for things I never considered. The team at Audi of America HQ have always been more than welcoming, engaging and kind.
I admit. I expect a lot from Audi’s social media team. It took time, but M80 grew the brand’s online presence into something worth looking forward to on a daily basis. When you have one agency leaving on such a high note, you have to expect the incoming agency would come in ready to go. But no… the last 12 weeks have felt like it’s been on-the-job training for them. I hope HUGE didn’t play all their cards when they did their presentation to bid and win the contract. Because if this is all they have to offer, is that crash silent because those that cared are no longer around to hear it?
Thinking about the 911 with the top down this morning and a little chit chat with Jim Collins on Twitter… making me remember about a Porsche 911 memory from a long time ago… can’t go into how long ago cause we all know I’m old already… no need to make everyone aware of how old. But this 911 adventure goes back to when I was 15 and going to drivers’ ed before getting my learner’s permit.
Must have been Spring since Maryland let’s you get your learner’s permit when you’re 15 years and 9 months. I remember the afternoon as being a sunny and warm day as I skipped the local bus and started to walk home from class. Things seemed to be safer back then. A 15 year-old girl walking home didn’t seem to be much of a risk. Or, perhaps it was risky and I was just oblivious.
I heard it as I looked up and saw it coming down Tuckerman Lane. The shade of blue made me think of the sky and soaring. Something about seeing it as he drove past made me wave. He smiled and waved back as I kept walking. Then, I heard the car coming up behind me. I stopped to look. He had turned around to stop me.
Not sure what it was. Could have been him, but I think it really was the car. Back then, I did seem to have a thing about the 911. Yes. Really. I wasn’t “Audi this” and “Audi that” 24×7 back then. Not that there wasn’t an Audi in my life, cause I rode around in one often during my high school years.
I think “I love your car” and “I want to go for a ride” passed my lips. Yes. Thinking this through now, I realize that I could have gotten into a lot of trouble or worse. But I’m still here, which means I had one of the best car rides ever!
So… what crazy things have you done because of a car?
A little slow in writing this up!
I only took a handful of photos…
Kyle was kind enough to pose in the R8 for me. Think it’s his most popular photo on Facebook!
Thankfully, everyone else took care of photos! Here are a few links from friends!
Fellow Audi Drivers!
Please don’t be *THAT* distracted driver that makes the rest of us look bad.
Put the phone down. There’s bluetooth and Audi Connect for a reason. There are apps that will automatically reply to an incoming text message that you’re driving and taking safety seriously. Whatever notification you got from Facebook or Twitter can wait.
Put the newspaper down. There is no reason you need to read the news when your eyes should be on the road and aware of what’s going on around you. The Washington Post can wait. Heck, you could try listening to WTOP for the latest news information.
And to the guy in the A7 this morning, yes, we were in bumper to bumper traffic, but you were part of the problem.
- Reading the newspaper meant that drivers around you were watching you and keeping their distance as your eyes were looking down instead of ahead
- Having the newspaper spread across the dash meant that it was blocking your view
- Your lack of attention to the road meant that everyone behind you was waiting for you to move
- Pulling down the visor, checking & popping your pimples was disgusting
Remember, folks! Just cause you’re in your car, other people can still see you. When your eyes keep looking down or you’re checking out your latest battle with acne, other people can see you!
Keeping my hands on the wheel,
A few things happened over the past couple of days that has gotten the chatty part of me thinking.
A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is it is what consumers tell each other it is. – Scott Cook, Founder of Intuit
March 1… a new agency took over the social media reigns for @Audi of America. A change a few of us weren’t so happy about. Some Audi fans noted on Twitter that the new agency hadn’t taken the opportunity to bridge the gap and come in on their first day swinging. We waited. Nothing.
Today, I visited @Rockville_Audi to catch up on a few details for Cars, Cars & Cars and sort out paperwork for my A4. We talked about Kundenbegeisterung and how current and longtime Audi fans are creating new Audi fans. The discussion turned to why the new social media agency needed to make sure they connected with existing fans.
Recently, Kevin Shively wrote What Can Audi Teach You About Your Twitter Metrics. I’ve shared it a few times, but there’s a key point regarding a brand’s most engaged followers:
These people are brand ambassadors. Keep them engaged, happy and feeling included. This will help them promote your content in a way you couldn’t do on your own. – Kevin Shively
Well, they haven’t connected leaving a few of us wondering if they will and do we have to start all over with getting them to listen. Isn’t relationship building through social media about engagement: listening to your fans and making them part of the story?
About two years ago, I tweeted Audi about #WantAnR8 almost daily. The previous social media team would reply with a few zingers that encouraged me to keep tweeting and friends began tweeting to Audi for me. What happened after that became the most successful Twitter campaign – ever. Why? Because Audi made me part of their story.
It would be disappointing to see all the hard work Andrew White and Paul Meyers put into building Audi’s successful presence online go to waste. With the Kundenbegeisterung mission, I have faith that Audi believes that doing business is based on relationships. Yet, I feel the new social media team missed out on a huge opportunity this weekend. Failing to address brand ambassadors and completely missing the first day on the job makes me wonder what lies ahead.
If I actually took the time to blog, I think next week, there could be a post titled “What happens when your new social media team disappoints your fans?” Brands need their fans, right? I mean, what brand doesn’t need someone that loves their product and talks highly of their product and doesn’t have to pay them?! Change hasn’t happened yet, but we are just a few days away. I sense that I could easily find the words to make a post next week. Heck, I’m finding a few words now to even type this.
Sure, change is something we generally have to accept. We need change to move forward, but what if change is happening at what feels like the wrong time? If you haven’t guessed, I’m talking about Audi and their social media team. M80 (which means @white & @thepaulmeyers) part ways with @Audi at the end of the month. After a few years of building a strong social presence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, Audi of America has elected to give the contract to another agency. I have no idea why, but I’m guessing creating one of the most successful Twitter campaigns ever and having one of the top tweets during the Super Bowl blackout wasn’t taken into consideration.
So, aside from being upset about the change, what else has me typing all of this? A tweet directed at me and one that I reshared with additional comment. Can you guess which one?
Generic tweet in reply to my tweet about the new agency coming in. What’s wrong with it? Not so much, except you won’t find it online anymore. Deleted. Poof. Gone. Why delete it? I don’t know. But if it’s any indication of what’s to come, I’m already disappointed.
The new agency has some big shoes to fill. The M80 team has been the voice of Audi online and have accomplished much. Part of me feels like March 1st comes along and that’s the first day the new agency decides to punch in and go to work. May be good for those that think social is 9 to 5 or even those that think it’s just another account… but not good enough if you’re trying to find new ways to wow your fans.