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The Nanny Nine: Walser Automotive Group

If you’re a regular attendee of Minnesota non-profit events you’ve probably noticed the name Walser Foundation as a sponsor.  To be honest, this is what first sparked my interest in them, and I soon followed up with finding them on Facebook & Twitter.  The Walser Foundation is supported by 5% of pre-tax profits from the Walser Automotive Group.  Walser Automotive Group is made up of nine New Car dealerships (12 different car brands), two Used Car dealerships, Rental Car service, Commercial Services division, and a Collision and Glass location as well.

The driving force behind the Walser Automotive Group’s Social Media is Andrea Kopfmann, Walser Foundation Director.  Andrea has a great understanding of Social Media, and quickly adapts to new changes that are made.  Her fun and poised personality is perfect for her position!  She and her team do a great job at managing information to post from the multiple locations, and also for the Foundation.  It’s a good mix of posts for car enthusiasts, local happenings and events that the Walser Foundation is involved in or supports, plus general conversation that appeals to their Fans and Followers.

 

1. How long have you been using Social Networking for your business?

Four years

2. Is your business using Facebook &/or Twitter?

Both

3. Facebook vs Twitter – do you like one better? If yes, why?

That’s a tough one. I don’t necessarily prefer one over the other. I personally like Twitter because it’s easier to post. But we get more reaction to our postings on Facebook.

4. Do you post daily?

No.

5. What is your favorite thing about Social Networking?

It’s tough to keep up on. I always am learning new things and it’s a challenge.

6. What do you think is the biggest benefit of Social Networking?

If you’re smart, you have a huge opportunity to set yourself apart from the crowd and create awareness.

7. How do you measure Social Networking, and explain:

ROR – Return on Relationship I like to be able to reach out to people who are in our service aisle or on our sales floor and just say hello and ask if there’s anything further we can do for them. It surprises them and they usually thank us for it. It creates a stronger bond and they know we are listening and there for them.

ROE – Return on Engagement I enjoy engaging with people on a different level. We talk about all kinds of things on social media. Everything from service discounts to our nonprofit partners.

ROK – Return on Knowledge I think this is best for us to learn from. We encourage people to write reviews on our Facebook page. It’s great to read them, both good and bad. We can learn from these and share with sales staff and managers.

8. What is the best moment you’ve had on a Social Networking site?

Three years ago, we donated $1 to Open Arms of MN for every new Fan (yes, you became a fan back then) of our Walser Foundation page. We ran the campaign the last week of the year. It was HUGE! Over Christmas when everyone was sharing photos of the gifts they received, they also shared our message about our commitment to Open Arms. It was easy for people to talk about and they knew it was a small step they could take to help an organization that they loved. It also allowed people who had never heard of Open Arms to learn more. We received lots of activity and donated $1,000 to Open Arms on January 1st.

9. What is your best piece of advice to other businesses about Social Networking?

Just have fun but be smart. Give a business a personality and think about how you can stand out from the crowd. If you receive a complaint online, just think about how you would normally respond. Put thought into it, but in my opinion, response time is more important than anything.

Walser Automotive Group

Facebook: Walser Automotive Group and Walser Foundation

Twitter: @WalserAutoGroup

The Nanny Nine brought to you by the Social Networking Nanny

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