Building Brand via Social Media for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses | AIM EXPO | COLLIN AUSTIN
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Building Brand via Social Media for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses | AIM EXPO | COLLIN AUSTIN


(audience clapping) – All right, good afternoon, everybody, how are we feeling this afternoon? – [Man] Yeah! – All right, we got some
energy, is it nap time, everybody went to lunch, we’re good? I was just saying that I feel like we need like a hype man, we need like
a DJ up in here spinning, get that blood flowing. Well, as I said, my name is Collin Austin, I’m the founder of a company
called New Scooters 4 Less. It’s a dealership that
I started 15 years ago as a college students that was struggling to get to and from class. I also have a digital media
company called Repaint the Wall where we focus on social media,
video and personal branding, these are three things that have become super passions of mine
and it really all started with New Scooters 4 Less and recognizing opportunity and seizing
that opportunity last year. Also started a podcast which
is very Gainesville focused right now, but it’s
been growing quite a bit where we focus on entrepreneurship
telling the stories of the business leaders in our community. Guys, who had a MySpace account in 2003? MySpace accounts, raise your hand, yes. My username was Collinallthegirls. (audience laughing) Okay, the girlfriend did not like that, but it was a cool username, right. I’ve been on So that was the start of my
social media passion, right, that was my introduction to social media. Then this little company
started in February of 2004 called Facebook. Okay, everybody have a
Facebook account, yep? Everybody, who doesn’t
have a Facebook account? You don’t have a Facebook account? – [Man] Nope. – You’re like one of the like few people seriously holding out. – [Man] Dinosaur? – Dude, I respect it. I’m actually pretty surprised, I’m amazed. My uncle’s like the
second person in the world that doesn’t have it. But back in the day, back in
2004 you actually had to be a college student to even have
access to Facebook, right? The University of Florida
which is where I went to school was the 21st college to have Facebook, I had my Gatorz with a Z, [email protected] and that is how I accessed Facebook and I quickly realized
that this was something that was gonna be really big. My company started really
right at the same time, New Scooters 4 Less was
founded in March of 2004 and so I have really been on
Facebook since the beginning and just quickly realized
that this was going to be big, that there was gonna
be an opportunity here and I decided I was gonna
start using these platforms to connect with my customers
and build my business. Now, over the lifetime
of New Scooters 4 Less I kept asking myself
how are we going to go from being this local scooter dealership to becoming the scooter
capital of the world? My vision for my company
is really, really big, I know that sounds crazy, like
scooter capital of the world, like, dude, are you seeing Taiwan, are you seeing some of these other places? I get it, I’d don’t necessarily
think that Gainesville will have millions of
scooters, but what I wanted was when somebody heard the word scooter I wanted them to think
New Scooters 4 Less, I wanted them to think
the University of Florida, I wanted them to think
Gainesville, Florida. So I kept asking myself, all right, how are we going to do this? You know, how can we
break beyond the walls of Gainesville, Florida? And the answer was video, all right? That’s when NS4L.TV was
born, this was my idea, I was like this is what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna go hire a
full-time videographer, I’m gonna bring them into my dealership, I’m gonna start showing
everything that’s happening behind the scenes of my dealership. I mean everything. I can recall the time
we got a negative Tweet from a football player,
like football player jumped on Twitter, said
something really bad and I’m like, oh my gosh, what’s going on? My entire day was disrupted,
the entire schedule that I had laid out didn’t play out like I’d intended for the day. And here my leadership team and I, we’re going through trying to figure out what went wrong, where we messed up, what I can do to fix it, I’m
trying to put out this fire, right, as the owner, I’m
trying to put out this fire. And we’re recording this,
and we’re recording this. And it was interesting,
’cause here I was as a dealer ultimately I cared so much that I wanted to fix that problem. And yes, we put up the
episode and it shows us getting this problem resolved, shows us getting that problem resolved and ultimately it showed
a company that had values, that cared about its customer and we were transparent, we put it out, it’s one of the early
episodes of NS4L.TV, okay? And if you type that into your browser it’ll take you directly
to our YouTube channel and you’ll be able to
see a lot of the content that we’re creating and I’m
gonna get more into that in just a little bit. Then last year, 2018 I
decided I was gonna do an influencer campaign,
I had found a young lady, her name was Alison,
okay, she was on YouTube. And this is her YouTube channel right now. When I had found this young
lady she had 20,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel, she now has over a 122,000 subscribers now, this is only a year ago,
less than two years ago, this was early 2018 when
she had 20,000 subscribers. I reached out to her and I said, hey, I watch your vlog,
she’s basically vlogging about her college experience,
she’s talking about, hey, I’m at the University of Florida, I’m taking you through my day at school, just vlogging about her experience. I reached out to her, saw that she rode this really cute bicycle everywhere. I said, hey, I know that
you ride this bicycle, but it’s just interesting,
have you ever thought about a scooter? I don’t know if you’d be interested, but scooters have had a large impact on the University of Florida. If you’re willing and it
won’t mess up your brand, I don’t want you to speak on something that isn’t authentic to you, I said, if you’re willing I would
love for you to come in, try a scooter, drive it around campus, film it, talk about it on your vlog, maybe talk about how
scooters have impacted the University of Florida in Gainesville. And let me know, how much
could I pay you to do that. She’s like calling, “Yes,
all my friends have scooters, “I love scooters, I don’t have one myself, “but I would absolutely love to try it “and do something with you”. Guys, it was like $495, I
had this young lady come in, she made a vlog about our dealership, she also posted on our
Instagram stories a couple times where she had 1000s of followers as well. She made a couple posts on
her Instagram a couple times and she did it for like $495
bucks and it’s still there. When people go, you think about it, think about a college
student who is about to go to the University of
Florida, they go to Google, they type life at the
University of Florida and they come across
her video talking about how New Scooters 4 Less is
the dealer in Gainesville and that scooter culture
is such a huge thing in Gainesville, this is influencer
marketing at its finest. And it cost me 500 bucks and that money, I gotta sell one scooter. I’m gonna sell this scooter 10
times, 20 times, a 100 times and the thing is I don’t
know and what’s really funny is that a lot of people are like, “Oh, but what’s the ROI,
how do you measure that, “what’s the ROI”. I gotta sell one scooter, I don’t know. That video’s gonna be up there forever, all I need is one student to see the video and it’s covered. She came in, we put her on a
little Genuine Buddy scooter. This was actually a clip from her vlog. She’s like, “I could do this
all day, it’s really fun.” this is her at the dealership, so just a couple
screenshots from her vlog. Now, what was really
interesting about this was we had already had
our video team, right, we had our video team
who was filming NS4L.TV. So I asked Alison, I said, hey, I don’t know if you would care, but would you mind if I
actually sent my video crew out and we would just like to
film some of our own content while you’re filming your vlog. She was like, “Yeah,
no problem, please do”. So we sent out our video crew and we ended up making
our own video promo, because we were the number
one Genuine Scooter dealer in the country in 2017, we decided, hey, let’s make a highlight video
showing New Scooters 4 Less, showing this cute college
girl on a scooter, showing our plaques number
one Genuine dealer, right? And I’m like, all right, this is good, what I’m gonna do is I’m
gonna take this video and I’m gonna run it against
college students in the fall and I’m gonna say, hey
don’t come buy your scooter from the number one
dealership in the city, come buy your scooter from the number one
dealership in the country. I took that promo video and we
did exactly that in the fall. But what was unique about it or what, it was kind of an accidental
thing that I just did, that I came up with was, all right, I told my team, I was like this
video is really good, guys, let’s cut out New Scooters 4 Less, let’s make a second version of this video, let’s cut out New Scooters 4 Less, let’s insert Genuine Scooter company which is our distributor and let’s show, let’s basically make a
version of this video that’s for them, that has nothing to do with New Scooters 4 Less. That way we can just give it to them and they can give it to all the dealers to post on social media, to
post in their dealerships on their screens for
their in-house marketing. And we did exactly that. Genuine got the video, they’re like, “Oh my gosh, this is awesome”. How much would it cost to have you do this for every scooter model that we sell? And then the next day we
ended up doing a contract with Genuine Scooters making videos for all of their scooters. And that’s how our media company
Repaint the Wall started. So now we do this for other dealerships, we do this for the distributors, we do this for businesses
inside of Gainesville, a lot of them and I do
this for personal brands, like my passion is personal branding, so I work with some CEOs
like in New York city and Chicago who are building
their personal brand. That’s a completely different subject, but something I can absolutely
talk about in a Q and A. But I want to get to all the
points that are very relevant to your business. This is the thing, guys, most dealership social media strategy is below average at best. And so there is still opportunity for you. If you haven’t taken
advantage of social media yet there is still time. So today I wanna show you the opportunities that you’re missing and the mistakes that you’re making. So let’s go, that’s why
I put the Lego there. Lego, number one, stop selling. Okay, that’s Kanye West
kissing Kanye West. It’s not all about you, okay? It’s not all about you, guys,
one of the biggest things that I see in social media
is that we get on there and we promote, promote, promote, promote, sale, sale, sale, sale. This is so commonplace,
it’s not all about you, you gotta start focusing on creating some value driven content. All right, we put out
content all the time, but we’re not trying to shove our sale down people’s throats, what we’re trying to do
is provide them value. That way w 500 Internal Server Error

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