7 Ways of Leveraging Social Media for Businesses

By Brett Rush

Leverage your social media accounts when you’re not familiar with the process can be intimidating. I broke this post out from a more in-depth look at 9 Ways to Clean Up Your Online Presence.

If you’re not typically on social media, do you have an employee that is? One you can trust with your brand? Social media is about connecting with people, not just pushing your products. If you feel “out of the loop” when it comes to social media, possibly have a manager or trustworthy employee manage it while you oversee it.

  1. Create social business accounts on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
  2. Create check-in accounts on Yelp and Foursquare.
  3. Going back to Start With Why, people need to know why they should follow you. You sell interesting things? You chat with followers, ask questions or start conversations? Have you ever wanted to know “what the people want” but didn’t know how to poll your customers? This would be a great way to do it.
  4. If you post a link to an eBay item for sale, hashtag the brand, style or activity so people can find your item but don’t go crazy hash tagging every word. Be selective and don’t make every post about the items you sell.
    Example: “We have a limited supply of #Garmin Forerunner #Running Watches ebay.com/itm/291078046532
  5. Offer discounts only available when someone sees it on a social page. Let customers know that discounts come from following on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.  “Knock off 10% of our commission when you bring in your items during April! Mention #AprilCommission when you bring your items in.”
  6. Try out the check-in services by offering a percentage off when checking in:  Foursquare, Yelp, Facebook and Google+. Use the business links above to setup discounts when people check-in. Take it a step further and add these businesses stickers to your windows to advertise checking in. After signing up, they’ll probably send you the stickers in the mail.
    “Why use these services?”
    When someone checks into your business, that person is advertising to their friends that they use your services – without verbally saying it.
  7. Getting the hang of social media? Take it even another step to start a blog. Setup your website with WordPress choose your own personal look with a template and set it up to show your expertise and WHY people should use your services.
    “What am I going to blog about?”
    You’re an expert in your division, share some information about certain products that you’ve learned. While selling on consignment, I found out the hard way that certain dolls have their maker’s stamp on their lower back! Never would I have thought I needed to undress a doll to take a photo of the brand. Blogging this experience makes you that much more of an expert in the division of dolls, and can potentially bring more business doing doll consignment…if you want to do that.
  8. Take the link of your blog post and post it on all your social media outlets. Do an email campaign every once in awhile showcasing the blog posts you’ve written up. You want to keep your current customers, customers. Show them your expertise and don’t let them forget about your services.

Feel free to leave me a comment below on what you’ve found helpful! Contact Brett if you want one-on-one consultation.

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SellerVantage got featured on eCommerceBytes.com

SellerVantage Simplifies Life for Consigning Sellers

Brett Rush, our long-time manager for SellerVantage, got interviewed for a recent article written by Julia Wilkinson of EcommerceBytes.com which was featured on their site. Julia talks with Brett about how SellerVantage software has many features to help sellers, and how it works with the four platforms : eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, and a seller’s own standalone website. It also goes into further detail about how SellerVantage got started. If you would like to see the full article click here.

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9 Ways to Clean up your Online Presence

By Brett Rush

Rules change over time when it comes to presenting your business online. It’s important to boost your store’s online presence in order to maximize your visibility on the internet. If you’re doing business “the way you’ve always done it” and haven’t made any changes to your advertising routine, you might be left in the dark as the world of online sales takes on a different shape. Simply listing items for sale and having a website from 2004 won’t do the trick anymore.

Spring brings a clean slate to your online presence!

 Fresh New Start

  1. Take a few great photos of your store that you want to use to show your business. We’re going to go through the steps of creating a uniform listing on all online avenues. Take photos of your building, inside the store, your staff, a few items, whatever you want to portray as your business.
    When taking these photos, think of what would make YOU want to come visit you and use your services.
  2. Write up an elevator pitch of WHY people should use your services, not just WHAT you do.
    (excellent read on this principle: Start With Why)
  3. Buy a domain name for $15 per year. A quick fix would be to redirect people who visit your new .com will go to your eBay Store page. This way you have a URL to put on business cards, social media and advertising sites. yourname@yourbusiness.com looks more legit than kittykat1957@netscape.com…
  4. Best practice for setting up an email is to have your URL as your gmail email address. Visit this page to set it up
  5. eBay recently launched a social commerce platform as a result of ending their About Me pages. Use our guide from January to fix up your page.
  6. Create social business accounts on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
  7. Focus on Local Advertising :: see our 10 ways to advertise your online business locally.
  8. Build your Social Media presence :: This cannot be ignored for your business because this is the way people are finding out about your services. No one flips through the big Yellow Pages book anymore!
  9. Next Step Marketing :: After doing 1-7, this will take you down the path of tracking where your online traffic is coming from, creating a blog and how to properly link back to your blog from social media accounts.

Feel free to leave me a comment below on what you’ve found helpful! Contact me if you want one-on-one consultation.

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Craigslist Marketing Continues to Grow Up

Craigslist Marketing Continues to Grow Up

Since the onset of the $5 charge on Craigslist, dealerships have taken on a multitude of approaches on how they not only understand this marketplace, but more importantly utilize this marketplace to attract customers to visit their dealerships.

The most important thing that we have learned is that dealerships not posting inventory are losing opportunities to gain qualified prospects and sell more vehicles.  Here are the results from dealerships posting in our software:

Ads Posted to Craigslist vs. Leads per Ad

*March estimated through month end

Leads per ad continue to grow on a month over month basis, proving the importance of dealerships to leverage Craigslist as a market to advertise their pre-owned inventory.  If you have not budgeted for Craigslist ads and a software provider to post through, do so immediately!

Things to Consider

Other important factors to look at are your Craigslist ads.  Today, 50% of traffic on Craigslist is found on a mobile phone.  Are your ads and Vehicle Display Pages mobile ready?  Titles and content are searchable.  Ensuring your ads have a strong title, price, pictures and content is critical. Are you taking advantage of all 24 photos with photo overlay calls-to-action? How many ways are you connecting to your customers?  Having multiple calls-to-action, including phone number, email, and copy and paste links to VDPs only increase your chances of selling the vehicle.

We may all believe we know what sells on Craigslist and have our own theories, but only a select few can take years of past data and tell you which vehicles will generate the most leads and are priced closest to the market price.  Utilizing a partner that offers this level of sophistication will only help you achieve a higher percentage of leads per ad, increasing your ROI, and ultimately selling more cars.

Now for a Little Math

Let’s assume you want to start with a $1000 monthly budget including $300 for a software provider.  This will allow for $700 in Craigslist posts.  This will get you 140 posts on Craigslist.  Considering an ad is good for 30 days, this should give you the ability to post most dealers inventory at least once per month.  Using the stats above, this will generate 154 leads for the month!  That is an average cost of $6.49 per lead.  If you can close 5% of your leads (a little below average), this equates to almost 8 vehicles sold.  Averaging $1200 on the front end, a $1000 budget will generate $8400 in profit!

Is Craigslist the only marketing site a dealership should use?  Absolutely not!  I feel that it’s a strong compliment and a necessity for all dealerships with any size budget to market their inventory.

If you are interested in learning more, send me a message.

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It’s Here! New Website Announcement – LotVantage

New LotVantage site annoucementLotVantage is excited to announce the launch of its new and improved website, which is now live at the same address: www.lotvantage.com. I’m proud of my marketing team for the time and effort that went into creating and designing the new site.

The site’s homepage welcomes customers with bold colors, a clean uncluttered design, with featured content focused on the company’s mission to provide customers the most accurate product information, strengthen partner relations and share LotVantage’s knowledge and expertise in the Classified Marketing Space.

Current and prospective customers will find detailed information about LotVantage’s classified marketing products and our reseller opportunities.

The new site was designed with a fresh new look, user-friendly navigation, cool social sharing features, and is updated with all the latest information on all things LotVantage!  You’ll find everything you’re looking for in a few easy clicks.  Take a look around and have fun! Visit www.LotVantage.com today. Let me know what you think.

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Maximizing your Advertising Budget on Craigslist

Maximizing your Advertising Budget on CraigslistWith the advent of $5 ads on Craigslist, what are you doing to ensure you are maximizing your Craigslist advertising budget for your dealership?  There are multiple software providers and ways for dealerships to post ads, but not all services are equal.  Now, that you are paying for each ad it is not just about the ad, but more importantly on capturing the lead.

We feel there are three key elements to Maximizing your Advertising Budget on Craigslist.

  1. Turning an Ad into a Lead
  2. Posting the Right Car at the Right times
  3. Mobile Strategy

Capturing Leads

Utilizing a software provider that creates visually rich Craigslist ads is just the first step.  How many different calls-to-action does the ad provide?  Is the ad providing the consumer with enough information, yet leaving them wanting more so they will call or go to your Vehicle Specific Landing Page (VSLP)?  Once the consumer lands on the VSLP, it is important not to overwhelm them, but provide the information they are looking for as well as offer several opportunities to inquire so that you can capture their information tactfully.

Here are just a few ways you can engage them:

  • Apply for Finance with an easy to use Video Credit App
  • Schedule a Test Drive Inquiry
  • Value their Trade Inquiry
  • Contact the dealership

The more consumer information that gets captured, the higher the probability of closing the lead. How does your Craigslist advertising provider share this information with you?  A quality Craigslist partner not only captures all consumer traffic information from the advertisement, they also record every phone call and export all the information to your CRM to ensure proper follow up.

Knowing What and When to Post is Key

Another key Craigslist marketing factor is understanding which vehicles in your inventory will be top performers and the best time to post those vehicles on Craigslist in your local marketplace.  To accomplish this, you will need to partner with a provider large enough to utilize their years of data and experience to help eliminate the guesswork from the process.  Automating this process hands-free and connecting it to your monthly budget can give you and your team the opportunity to continue to sell cars and not worry about posting vehicles to Craigslist.

Going Mobile

Did you know that internet usage on a mobile device exceeded desktop usage in 2013?  What are you doing to ensure your dealership is capturing this critical portion of the market?  Mobile responsive landing pages help ensure consumers have the ability to easily respond with their inquiry, trade in form, credit application, as well as easily view your entire inventory.   Have you ever tried to fill out a credit application from a smart phone on a site that was not designed to handle the mobile device?  It can be an extremely frustrating process.  If you are not equipped for the mobile traffic on Craigslist your lead conversion rates are suffering.

How Can I Help?

I welcome your feedback regarding your tips and experience converting Craigslist traffic. In addition, what reporting you feel is necessary to succeed on Craigslist?  Feel free to contact me anytime to learn more about the programs I use to help dealerships generate and convert leads.

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LotVantage announces eBay Classifieds as its newest posting portal!

LotVantage is proud to announce eBay Classifieds as its newest classified posting portal in the all-encompassing inventory marketing suite. eBay has created a FREE local online marketplace for dealers to market their vehicles. eBay Classifieds is an easy to use, clean and safe experience backed by eBay! eBay Motors has always been a great portal to let millions of buyers around the country see your listing, and now you can choose eBay ClassifieeBay Classifieds module for LotVantage is now availableds and focus your selling locally.

Why eBay Classifieds?

There are over 90,000 cars and vehicles listed on eBay Classifieds  which means close to thirty cars for every county in the U.S. It attracts millions of unique visitors every month with hundreds of thousands of live listings to choose from. In addition, it has generated more than 1 billion page views since launching, which equates to over three for every person living in the U.S. Lastly,  eBay Classifieds  users post over 150,000 ads every month.

Did we mention it’s FREE?

LotVantage’s eBay Classifieds module comes with the following features:

Functionality features:

  • Quickly post 25 Free ads per day
  • Ads stay live for 60 days
  • Saved eBay Classifieds username and password
  • Manage your ads under our “Manage Ads” tab

Ad features:

  • Clean, easy to read vehicle information
  • Each ad links directly to  your entire inventory
  • Ability for consumers to share vehicles via email, text, Facebook and Twitter
  • Easy 1 button click ability for consumer to print your ad! (great for those walk in customers)
  • Embedded calls-to-action to designed to generate and convert leads
    • Vehicle specific landing page URL (mobile and desktop)
    • Address with Map
    • Call tracking
    • Reply by email

A user-friendly website like eBay Classifieds  makes consumers searching for inventory, simple.  Are you ready to start listing your inventory with this new service? Click Here 

Watch our quick video below to see how easy it really is.

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LotVantage Announces Hands-Free Craigslist and Backpage Posting Solution!

Hands-free Craigslist posting solutionIt’s here! LotVantage is proud to announce the first fully compliant, Hands-Free, Craigslist and Backpage posting solution! Dealers everywhere have been looking for a Classified Ad posting software solution that allows them the freedom and flexibility to set it and forget it when it comes to posting their vehicle inventory online.  The time has come where that request has turned into a reality.

What we do

LotVantage helps dealers generate 8 times more leads per ad. Dealerships utilizing our software generate qualified leads at 50% less than the competition.

How it Works

Our web-based posting software guides users through a few initial settings and then you’re on your way to being hands-free. LotVantage is very excited about this new product and know you will be too!

Below are all the features offered for only $200 per month and 50¢ per post:

  • Fully compliant Craigslist Posting App
  • Professional Templates
  • Backpage Posting App
  • Vehicle specific landing pages(VSLP) with every ad posted
  • Embedded Call Tracking number on every ad
  • Up to 24 photos
  • Easy Payment Processor
  • Budget Manager
  • Each ad links to YOUR other Craigslist ads
  • Craigslist listing fee reconciliation report
  • Detailed reporting analytics
  • Auto Export of Leads to your CRM
  • Auto Responders for all inquiries
  • Automatic SMS text lead notification
  • Hands-Free posting

* Only available for “Cars and Trucks” in the U.S. only
* $5 Craigslist fee still applies

What’s Next?

Competitors are leaving the market; the time is now to capitalize on this amazing opportunity to go hands-free.  Are you ready to get started? Click the button below now!Click to email us now

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LotVantage has a plan for dealers looking for growth opportunities in 2014

As we welcome in 2014, we can reflect on 2013. Our company learned a lot from some of LotVantage welcomes in 2014the challenges that we faced and also held a wealth of opportunities. Our concentrated effort around improving dealer marketing was very successful and has proven we will only continue to strengthen our relationships as a result. LotVantage was able to meet and exceed the demands of many new and longtime customers. Our focus as a company along with hard work and our highly skilled team, allowed us to continue our world class service introducing new features that help manage your inventory online. Most importantly, our dealers that remained active and are still posting to Craigslist have seen impressive results.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

Since December, Craigslist has seen over a 90% decrease in the total number of ads Get 8 times more leads with LotVantageposted. We did some serious number crunching with our 2000 plus customer base and saw our dealers are generating 8 times more leads from their ads because of it! This is opening up huge growth opportunities for those ready to take on the challenge.

What Does That Mean?

Now more than ever, dealers need to be strategic when posting ads. They will achieve this by utilizing our detailed reporting analytics. It’s key to know the correct vehicles to post, so you can maximize your marketing efforts. With the new budget manager in place, this will help identify critical areas to focus on like:

• Top selling vehicles
• Peak traffic times
• Conversion rates

You asked and we listened

Our dealers are telling us the value they are receiving by the consistent education and marketing material being provided to them by working with us. Resellers and dealers are now able to get their arms around the business critical data they have collected and understand more and more, how to apply the information on a daily basis, helping them drive more profits into their businesses.

Start it off right

These businesses are setting themselves up for a very fast start in 2014. LotVantage is using the powerful and robust reporting available to them to establish predictability and efficiency in their business. Using these tools and working with our sales and support staff will help translate your data and drive significant results every day. Education and training will continue to be a major part of our 2014 message.

Our Commitment

We will continue to make large investments into our client base, ensuring they have the right tools and are supported by the best possible people, systems and partners. 2013 also saw LotVantage making significant investments in our company talent, bringing in some of the top people in both this industry and the technology world. It is all about growth this year gang and LotVantage is looking forward to contributing to the present and future success of your businesses.

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LotVantage® Welcomes Jim Jabaay as the New Vice President of Sales and Marketing!

Press Release: New Hire Jim Jabaay
For Immediate Release

January 14, 2014, Tampa, FL – LotVantage is proud to announce that Jim Jabaay has joined the company as its Vice President of Sales and Marketing. In this role, Jabaay will be responsible for leading LotVantage’s efforts to increase sales revenues to resellers and dealers.Jim Jabaay

“As a company, we look for and recruit thought leaders that will help drive us forward with innovative ideas and set us apart from the rest of the pack.” Matthew Brown – President/CEO

Jabaay has grown up in the automotive industry through his family’s dealership in the Chicago suburbs and later joined Manheim. While at Manheim, Jabaay lead the sales team’s efforts across multiple locations. Prior to joining LotVantage, Jabaay was Manager of Trade Operations at Dealertrack.
“I am excited to join the LotVantage team and look forward to leading sales and marketing. We have made significant improvements to our apps and continue to develop new and exciting products that can help dealers succeed in retailing more vehicles. It’s exciting to work with a team that is passionate about their customers and delivers results,” says Jabaay.

About LotVantage
LotVantage is a SaaS Software company that provides a complete set of online inventory marketing applications for Auto, Powersports, Marine and RV dealers. From our simplified way to manage Craigslist ads, to our advanced lead tracking, and our auto-generated videos, we have it all. Our mission has always been to provide dealers of all types an easy to use, best-in-class product, which allows them to create, maintain and grow their brand, generate leads, and remain compliant with strict marketplace policies so that ads continue to stay active once they go live. Visit us at www.LotVantage.com.

For More information, please contact Jason Turner 813-549-6845, email jturner@thatsus.com or visit the LotVantage website at www.LotVantage.com.

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