Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Better Social Media Marketing comes from Personalized Social Media Strategy

If you think it’s the software, you’re mistaken. Social media marketing is unlike many other types of digital marketing because it is much less reliant on specialized software and more empowered by creativity and personalized strategy. I understand why agencies rely on software, but it’s not something that we would never recommend.

In our industry, the car business, we believe in learning what we can about a dealership and customizing their social media to fit their market, personality, brands, selling style, and community involvement. One does not simply pull out a generic set of deliverables and start checking off the boxes. True automotive social media strategy requires diving in and building a strategy around the dealership.

Perhaps the most important factor in designing a strategy is to keep it fluid to adapt to changes in the local market. A perfect example popped up late last week. A dealership had been doing very well with their campaigns but saw a challenge from other brands popping up. They were selling a popular brand but the data was showing that less popular brands nationally were selling more cars in their area than they were.

Social media has many purposes. Sometimes, it’s all about driving targeted traffic to the dealer’s website. That’s the core of what we do, but there are times when the need arises to pull a play out of the old social media playbook – excitement and buzz. While we believe that buzz is something that’s a side effect of a strong social media campaign rather than a focus, we knew that in this particular situation, we had to focus a bit on making people aware that they should consider this particular brand.

Under normal situations, we find that “sizzle” happens in the standard course of building campaigns, but their situation required that we turn up the heat. We adjusted a couple of their campaigns and redirected some budget to get the word out that this particular brand was hot and needed to be at the top of mind.

Personalization requires that you toss out preconceived ideas. That’s not to say that you don’t follow best practices, but they don’t always fit into a particular situation. For example, it’s a best practice to get the word out about reviews. Most review sites get very little traffic. They’re great for letting people know that it’s good to do business with you through the star-ratings present in Google, but most of the people who read through these review sites skip passed the 5-star reviews and search for the bad ones. They’re looking for dirt. Social media is ideal for getting the actual words of positive reviews out in front of people.

This best practice works for many, but not all. Some are having reputation challenges and the last thing you want to do is to highlight your reputation if it’s bad. Just because something is a best practice doesn’t mean it’s best for everyone.

Social media is a wonderful way to drive traffic and interact with the community. The way to maximize it is to rely on real solutions and strategies rather than software and bulk posting.

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Matthew 22:37 – ‘love the Lord thy God’

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.Matthew 22:37 (KJV)

We’ve all heard this verse, but have we really contemplated it? This is a verse that sits in the middle of many different things happening. The Pharisees and Sadducees were questioning Him. His answers were profound and defining.

This important portion of this message is echoed three times: all. Love thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they mind. This is the most important Commandment according to Yeshua.

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Purpose Driven Lie

A few years ago before I had truly been born again, I picked up a copy of The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. Thankfully, I didn’t read it all. Something kept me from making it through the book; as far as I can recall, I’ve never started a book that I didn’t finish other than this one.

At the time, I didn’t recognize that the doctrines of the book and Warren were heresies. I simply felt compelled to stop. It seemed like a good book. It seemed to have a good message. It did not and I thank the Lord for leading me away from it.

The emergence of the lukewarm church that keeps people focused on this life and this world is a huge threat to people who feel they are living right but who are being deceived into believing a lie. There is only one way.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.John 14:6 (KJV)

This is a verse that is often quoted and usually misunderstood. He is the way. He is the only way. The doctrine of inclusion and happy unification is absolutely incorrect. He is the truth. He is the only truth. There are no other truths from other religions that share in on the truth of Yeshua as our Lord and Savior. He is the life. He is the only life. All other concepts, teachings, and doctrines lead to death.

That’s all there is to it. You can’t be a good person and make it into Heaven with Him. You cannot believe in God and not make it into Heaven without Him. Yeshua is the only path and the teachings of The Purpose Driven Lie are simply not correct.

A better way to understand this is to watch this hour-long teaching by Jacob Prasch:

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Should US military be worried about ISIS list?

A group claiming to be affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS) has posted a list of 100 United States military personnel who were alleged participants in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, urging supporters to target these people for assassination. Should the soldiers be worried?

Precautions are reportedly being taken. The threat is unverified, but there are reports that the list accurately details personal information, including addresses, of American troops. This could mean that a government site has been hacked as claimed by the “Islamic State Hacking Division.”

Whether there is real danger remains to be seen, but one opinion piece makes the assumption that this was more of a testing volley rather than something that the group hopes will succeed. If they can get American citizens to attempt to kill American troops, the repercussions could be severe and the response from the American public could result in panic. However, the likely scenario is that this is an attempt to bolster the radicalization of supporters in the United States by questioning their resolve and ridiculing their lack of dedication to the caliphate.

As of the time of this report, there have been no attempted attacks against anyone on the list.

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Can Ted Cruz do more than disrupt the GOP primaries?

Conservative Republican Ted Cruz is expected to be the first major candidate to officially declare his candidacy for President on Monday. Most are saying that he’s too new, too conservative, and too polarizing to win and that he’ll be more of a disruptor like Newt Gingrich in the last presidential election cycle. Does he actually have a chance.

Tea Party and conservative republicans certainly hope so. The lineup seems to be more mainstream than in previous years with few truly conservative candidates showing interest in running. No Michele Bachmann. No Rick Santorum. No Gingrich. Middle-leaning candidates are the ones who are making their intentions most obvious.

Some on the left would love to see Cruz as the candidate. They feel that his radical nature and staunchly conservative ideology will be too much for independents to stomach. The loss of the Senate last year is still stinging and democrats are hoping to retain the presidency while regaining congress. Popular thoughts would say that a moderate republican would have a better chance, but recent history points away from that.

Those of the GOP who have lost have been moderate. Mitt Romney, Bob Dole, and George H.W. Bush all lost. George W. Bush won, though mostly on a conservative platform despite being fiscally liberal. His father did win one election while riding the coattails of Ronald Reagan, but his liberal tendencies were exposed in his term. Reagan was a conservative, though one who was likeable by the left.

Cruz may or may not be a contender, but it’s probably way too early to tell. This early in the election cycle, anything can happen.

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When we saw this one, we simply couldn’t help ourselves. Here, you see Hugh Jackman, the actor who has become synonymous with the Marvel Comics character Wolverine, standing at the zoo in front of, you guessed it, wolverines.

There are too many jokes that can be made from this image. We’ll just let it sit as it is.

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A Dodge Charger in Texas

In Texas where “all things are bigger” many of the residents own and drive trucks of a variety of sizes and shapes. Some do drive cars, mostly the sedans we see every day heading to work, making the commute on a daily basis and giving the driver (hopefully) a place to decompress after a long day at work. For a select few who have chosen to take care of a few high powered sports cars for many years there is an appreciation of the climate and the surroundings of being in Texas. The dry climate helps vehicles avoid the problems that can come from rusting and time.

One such vehicle that has withstood the test of time is a 1970 Dodge Charger R/T Hemi 426 which is now the only one of its kind in existence. This car has been meticulously maintained by its owner for a the life of the car so far, and it’s a testament to a car that was rare in the 1970s and gives us a look at beauty from yesteryear by being kept completely in its original form, where many of its kind found themselves on the chopping block to be gutted and upgraded when used for street racing.

This 1970 Dodge Charger features a vinyl roof, which certainly went out of popularity shortly after this year, a perfectly maintained vinyl interior with faux-wood accents, the large spoke steering wheel of the time and gauges that give the feedback needed to know what is going on under the hood. This model of the Charger only had a run of 116 models with the Hemi engine making it one of the most rare, and fewer that that were four-speed, of which, this is one, making this a truly one of a kind ride.

At the time this Charger was built, car insurance rates were starting to skyrocket and this was the last year of this particular model. The massive power of the Hemi engine with the 426 horsepower was to end its run and be replaced by more “sensible” models to satisfy the need of car insurance companies who were hell bent on taking away the fun of the American Muscle Car driver and replace it with more boring and tired cars that did not pack the same punch.

With the amazing cars that are offered on the market today, full of supercharging, aerodynamics, carbon fiber pieces and even a truck that now has an aluminum body; it’s nice to see some classic style that has been completely kept original and perfectly maintained. Is your next car one that will be a car we are talking about forty years from now? How are you going to protect your next great ride? Obviously living in the dry climate of Text helped keep this car in great shape, but there are cars that are loved and cared for this much all over the country and world, will yours be one of them? We will certainly watch and see whose cars are worth looking at in forty years as a testament to yesteryear.

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A concept more than six years in the making

A car that first debuted as a concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2011 will finally see production for the 2017 model year. This car is the all-new Kia GT which will finally go from concept to production and become the flagship of the Korean automaker, especially in the U.S. This four-seater car is meant to replace the K900 and the K700 with a bit of flair from each of them and provide some serious excitement for the GT that will be loaded with both power and luxury features as Kia takes it second stab at offering a luxury car with the outgoing K900 being the first attempt.

Ray Skillman shows us that some of the wonderful features expected on the GT when it hits the market include a great deal of carbon-fiber parts, the OLED glass-panel interior controls, shaved suicide doors, and many of the sills and fins that have been viewed on the concept model. Some of these features may prove impractical for a production model, but with an overall design that has taken some style cues from the Audi A7 and the Porsche Panamera, the GT will certainly be in great company as far as looks are concerned.

Of course we must talk engines and the one that will be inside the engine compartment of the GT will show up as a highly powerful 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 that offers 390 horsepower and 394 lb.-ft. of torque and set up to be a rear-wheel drive vehicle. This will be attached to an eight-speed automatic transmission (the same ones used in the Hyundai Equus and Genesis) to give the best gear changes possible. There may be a four-cylinder base engine for the GT’s base model, but that is yet to be determined as production is planned.

As a sport oriented luxury car, the GT does borrow some features from its sibling company, Hyundai, but has a look and feel all its own. The GT is a model that will be built to provide the “wow-factor” so many luxury car owners want, and having it in a sports car model puts the icing in this otherwise very enticing cake. As of yet the pricing structure for the GT has yet to be determined, but this car is certainly something to watch and enjoy as the process unfolds in the next two years.

Giving us a sports luxury sedan is certainly a bold move by Kia, but a great choice considering the low sales of the K900 and the lack of availability of the K700 in the United States. Unleashing the GT in the U.S. market in 2017 will provide Kia with almost instantaneous feedback to give an idea of the success this car will experience during its lifetime. Normally billed as an economy car automaker, this breaking into the luxury car segment has not gone the way Kia had desired so far, the GT could be the right car to change that outlook by giving power, performance and luxury features to attract the high end crowd.

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Acts 17:11 – ‘searched the scriptures daily’

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.Acts 17:11 (KJV)

We’ve talked before about doing daily Bible study, then we made sure to expand on what we were promoting by reminding people that Christianity itself should not be a task. Now, we’ll go to the source (as we should have done from the beginning) and point to scriptural backing that we are not only supposed to read the Bible, but to search it and use at as the ultimate reference.

This verse is often quoted out of contest. It points to the Bereans as true students of the Word. There are even ministries today who herald to the Bereans and continue in the works that were alluded to in this chapter. The reality is this: the Bereans were Jews who studied fervently and as a result they were easily converted to belief in Yeshua as the Messiah.

If there’s any one takeaway from this (other than the call to continuously study and find truth in the Bible by applying the teachings of the Bible itself), it’s that those who are the most steadfast in their studies, whether it’s of the Bible or of this world, are the ones who are easiest to bring to the truth. Christianity and all religions have gained an unfortunate label of being only for the “weak of mind” or gullible people. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s not necessarily about intelligence. It’s about discernment. Those who see the world through the lens of common sense and an unbiased intellect are the most likely to come to the faith. They simply need a little Biblical worldview prompting.

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