POWER of Social Media….This Moment Thanks To Bonnie :)


Contest Winner, Bonnie Grabbish & Myself Share a Moment.

Where do I begin?! On September 26, 2013 I had one of the best moments in my life. I got the opportunity to give a car away to a family that truly needs it. Zender Ford where I am the Marketing & Internet Director and myself decided we would like to create a Facebook contest. Now as always, I wanted this to be a unique and different kind of contest. Something that I have felt very personal about is that many people/families in the world have a rough time and simply do not get the platform where they can truly share their story. Booom! #ShareYourStory was born. Basically in a nutshell, people would go onto the Zender Ford facebook page www.facebook.com/zenderford and write a story about them self or someone that they know. At that point, they could have their friends, family or co workers go onto the story and vote one time per day. This contest would last for 4 months.

How would the stories be selected?

image-10At the end of the voting deadline, September 1, 2013, we would take the top 10 stories with the most votes and subject them to a panel and shortlist to 5 stories that we felt were deserving. Apart of the selection process was a phone interview and background check that consisted of references and a credit check. I wanted to make sure that A. The people were legit and deserving of the vehicle and B. Everyone who had entered into the contest had a totally equal chance of being selected. Votes did not play a deciding factor, the content of the story was really what would make the difference, hense “Share Your Story”.

Did anyone see these stories?

Yes! Below is the numbers:

  • 500,000 Impressions on Facebook
  • 20,000 Votes
  • 80 Stories submitted
  • The Day that brought “The Moment”

    image-9Wow! So on September 26, 2013 we had our Grand Re Opening at Zender Ford and the night started out amazing! The evening invited in one of the nicest sunsets that I had ever seen. I knew this was going to be an amazing night. I was asked to be the MC by the Zender family which was truly an honour. We executed the evening agenda and finallly! The moment of truth. I asked the Top 5 Share Your Story contestants to come up to the stage and select a key. Once they had selected their keys, the car slowly entered inside the showroom.

    Then what?

    image-14I explained the rules to the contestants and got the show rolling. The first key, no start, second key, no start, third key, no start, fourth key, no start……..the fifth key belonged to a lady by the name of Bonnie Grabbish. She could barely stand as she was in pure shock, to be honest, so was I. I looked into her eyes and seen a lady who had been through some of life’s most deepest and intimate struggles. Her son Darren had been in and out of hospitals and needed a liver transplant. He got one and lived to be an exceptional young man from what I could tell.

    Finished yet?

    image-1No! This moment gets better, Bonnie had spent a significant amount of time in a place that I call Heaven on Earth, The Ronald McDonald house. I was first introduced to this very loving place by a angel named Kristi Hammond. Wow, thank you! Kristi accompanied Bonnie to our Grand Re Opening as Bonnie felt a little out of place and was overall nervous about the event. Anyhow, that FIFTH key which belonged to Bonnie started up the car! It was offcial, the higher power of this world had spoken. A women, saint, angel,mother and friend had received a gift that would change her life forever!

    Congrats Bonnie! I am your number one fan! Many blessings to you and your family.

    If you would like to know more about what Ronald McDonald House North does then click here.

    Automotive News Article | Ditch The Pitch to Make a Social Media Plan Click

    Ryan Holtz featured in the Automotive News

    I had the pleasure of being featured in The Automotive News, the auto industry’s most trusted and leading publication recently. I covered the finer points of bringing social media to the forefront of your business objective. With social media being such an imperative part of the business world today, I made it clear that it is not just about a business pitch anymore. It is important to make a name for yourself in social media. To read the entire article online please click here

    #GroveTweetUpYeg Support Local Event


    Event was a “support local” success generating:

    • 440,000 Views on Twitter
    • 160,000 Twitter accounts reached
    • 264 businesses acknowledged
    • almost $5,000 in donations and door prizes

    I have chosen to organize this event to showcase local businesses in and around the Edmonton area including sturgeon, strathcona and parkland county. So far we have had great support. Please go to www.supportlocalyegtweetup.eventbrite.com for more information. This idea has gathered a lot of attention and we I am truly humbled. Thanks to EVERYONE!”

    My Interview With Asif Premji, General Manager of Okotoks Honda

    Click to Listen to my Interview with Asif Premji, General Manager, Okotoks Honda located in Okotoks, Alberta

    Another awesome interview with a seasoned and innovative Automotive Professional. Asif Premji, General Manager of Okotoks Honda located in Okotoks, Alberta, Canada has over 10 years of experience in the automotive industry. His family has owned the dealership for 15 years.

    This interview was truly a pleasure and has tons of useful content both for the customer and other dealer priciples, general managers, sales managers and automotive marketing professionals. I am going to go over our conversation briefly, but as always, all the nuts and bolts are in the interview itself, so be sure to take the 18 minutes and 53 seconds to give it a listen. I guarantee you will learn a few things from one of the best!

    Three C’s: Connect, Create & Cultivate is the culture inside of the dealership that Asif and his family live by, breathe and demonstrate. In a world where digital has literally changed how we communicate, do business and live, it is so important that we use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram to communicate. Currently about 10% of Auto Dealers have adopted digital which is shocking! If you flip the script, 90% of car buyers are starting do their home work (Online) 3-6 months prior to stepping foot in the showroom and when they do, likely they have already chosen the vehicle, it is just a matter of who THEY select to help them in the process. This is where relationship, transparency and trust are soooo important, hense the online new age of communicating. My opinion is if dealers do not wake up and realize that taking out an ad on the back of a newspaper is just not good enough then……yikes.

    Now I know that adopting Social Media, Online Marketing and Digital inside of the dealership as a culture can be challenging at best but it is so crucial in moving forward to stay in touch with the customer. Some of the techniques that Asif has used are explaining the “why” to his staff and seeking out professionals to come in and teach his staff some of the new age digital techniques. Education is the big thing here.

    I asked Asif if he was a customer walking into a dealership what kind of tips he would give them. Here is what he suggested:

    -Start the homework online
    -Visit automotive websites like Dealer Rater
    -Look at automotive dealers website pictures, if they have snow and it is summer then that means they have been sitting on that vehicle for awhile (Better negotiating power for customer.)
    -Look for dealers that offer education tips “How to’s”
    -Check them out on google and look for reviews

    I will wrap this post up by saying this was an awesome interview with so many good tips for both the customer and fellow dealer. Below is a summary of what you will find in the interview, so as I said previously, take some time out and listen. If you like this interview or found value then please share with your networks. If you would like to reach out to Asif, you can do so here or on Twitter @asifpremji

    Interview Summary:

  • The 3 C’s: Connecting. Creating. Cultivating.
  • Car Buyers are researching 3-6 months prior to purchasing
  • Consumer Buying Tips from The Dealer Himself
  • How to Get Your Dealership Staff To “Buy In” to the Digital Game
  • We Need to Make The Automotive Industry More Transparent for both The Buyer & Peers
  • Build Realtionships with Customers, Don’t Sell
  • Over and Out.