FUSS starts program to manage dealers' social media

Publish Date: 
Apr 25, 2011
By Arlo Redwine

Follow-Up Sales Systems (FUSS), a longtime service provider for dealers, has a new program in which it manages its clients’ social media campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

If you’re not familiar with the Arkansas City, Kan.-based company, that’s partly by design. FUSS takes pride in staying in the background while it helps about a thousand dealers follow up with their customers via personalized greeting cards, letters, coupons, surveys, and so on. The company can even send bags of cookies to customers. A husband-and-wife team founded FUSS back in 1979.

So why has the company taken on social media? Because in many ways it’s the digital version of personalized follow-up, says Mike Beauchamp, FUSS’ director of digital media. “They’re complementary services,” he says. “They’re both retention marketing and helping dealers get out there and generate repeat business.”

Just as websites became mandatory a few years ago, dealers of all sizes now must partake in social media, Beauchamp contends. “It’s good for transparency. It’s good for confidence: ‘Hey, I’m putting myself out here as a business. I have nothing to hide.’ Customers are expecting that more and more because of the big names who have already embraced social media. Every one of the major OEMs uses it.”

The basics
The bulk of the FUSS Social Media Marketing and Management program is the daily maintenance of a dealers’ Facebook fan page, Twitter account, YouTube channel and Flickr account. “It’s really just the nitty-gritty, the nuts and bolts that any dealer should be able to do on their own theoretically but don’t have the time, the patience or, for some of them, the know-how,” Beauchamp says.

The program is a monthly subscription service starting at $99. Four price plans offer different levels of service. Contact Beauchamp for a pricing sheet that clearly explains what each level provides. Dealers do not sign a long-term contract, and they can switch plans throughout the year, using a cheaper plan during the off-season. “The reason for that is twofold,” Beauchamp says. “No. 1, they have less money coming in to support the plan, but No. 2, they’ve got more time on their hands to take a more active role.”

To help FUSS write the Tweets and Facebook postings, dealers fill out a weekly form asking about the store’s current events and promotions. “There are weeks where they don’t send me anything, and I pull from what they sent previously,” Beauchamp explains. “You can take content and spread it out over a pretty good amount of time.”