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A friend of mine from way back in the Cyber Car days asked me on Facebook for a very basic set of instructions to get started on Facebook... He went on to say that he just didn't get it as far as all the hoopla about using Facebook to sell cars and was at a loss to explain to his dealer principal how he was going to use Facebook to market the dealership's business... He is the General Manager of a dealership in Atlanta.  the following is what i sent back to him via FB messages, so i know he at least has a Facebook profile!  Please let me know what you think about this 8 step action plan i gave him, and any additional "Beginner Action items" of value would be greatly appreciated.

 

Here we go:

 

  1. Create FB user Profiles for each manager in the dealership using their official dealership email address (revoked if they leave). www.facebook.com  
  2.  Create a FB "Fan Pages" for New Car sales for each franchise, used car sales, service, parts and accessories (minimum of 5) use http://www.facebook.com/pages/
  3.  Get the employees of the dealership to "Like" each of the FB Fan Pages for each department so that you get at least 25 fans for each page.
  4.  Make each department manager an "Admin" for each relevant page (you and GM for all 5).  each page can have as many admins as you want... Make the Parts Mgr responsible for the Parts page, etc.
  5.  Go to facebook.com/username and secure a facebook custom domain for each profile and each page. Use the manager's names for their profiles, but use the dealership's name and department for each Fan Page's URL. ie; http://facebook.com/RPaglia , http://facebook.com/ChevyDealers , etc. Make each URL as short as possible... 
  6. Make sure you flush out all the FB Fan Pages with Logos, videos, photos, links to each section of the dealership eCommerce site; such as New Inventory, Used Inventory, Credit Apps, Payment Calculators, etc.
  7. Create special offers and event marketing promotions on each department's Facebook Fan Page...
  8. Create a paid advertising campaign for each FB Fan Page using the Facebook Advertising application... It is Pay-Per-Click and highly targetable so your promotional campaigns on FB convert into "Fans' which are like leads at a much higher rate than Google Adwords.

Those first 8 steps are sort of like VERY BASIC Social Media marketing, but a great way to get your toes dipped into the water... Good luck in 2011!

 

Ralph Paglia  

 

Tags: Car Dealers, Facebook, Marketing

Views: 116

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Great information Ralph. Just last week a buddy of mine sent over a PDF about how to get started in Social Media for bike shops. It almost all transfers over to car dealerships great. Check it out HERE.

Great starting point Ralph! This discussion could go on forever as there are a TON of things that a dealership can do on Facebook to increase their reputation, build relationships and influence word of mouth.

 

I feel that it all starts with the correct dealership mindset, because from there everything is a piece of cake. I've said it before, the less you pitch the more you sell and if a dealership looks at Facebook as a way to build relationships with people, instead of selling them cars, then they are on the right track. From there it's a matter of engaging your "friends" and building the type of relationship that influences top of mind and word of mouth.

 

To better understand the development of the dealership community and how we go from people just"liking" a fan page to creating brand ambassadors it's important to understand the different types of people that make up a dealer community. 


Consumers/Lurkers

The consumer is a user, all they do is lurk around consuming your information but they never comment, like or otherwise engage with the dealership in anyway whatsoever. The consumer is influenced by the things that are going on but they aren't influencers themselves. This type of "personality" makes up about 95% of thetotal online community and is the reason why, in the beginning, it is tough to get things moving in the right direction.

 

Engagers

Engagers will make comments on your posts, they add to the conversation on your social networks but aren't influencers directly. They do help the community to look robust but they don't tell others to come join them on your network, they don't tell others about thedealership, in other words they don't spread your good word, they are active on your Facebook page but they don't say anything about the dealership on theirs. This type of "personality" makes up about 2% of the people in the community.

 

Influencers

Influencers are a lot like engagers but they will share your posts, videos and blogs on other social networks. They will invite people to join your network and join in the"fun." This type of "personality" makes up about 2% of the people in the community.

 

Brand Ambassadors

Much like influencers brand ambassadors will influence others to join your community but they go to an even deeper level by creating content based around doing business with your dealership. They have a larger social graph than other personality types and will actively tell people to do business with you both online and off. This type of personality comprises only 1% of the total number of people in your community and should be treated like gold. Spend extra time doing stuff for them, sharing their information and referring people to them because they will send you a ton of business!

 

 

This is useful info Ralph.  And setting up a Facebook profile should just be the beginning for Auto Dealers, they should also create a Facebook Places page and consider "check-in" deals. In fact, I bet Dealers could offer an automatic $100 off a car's lot price when customers "check-in" on Facebook. What do you think?

 

And have you thought about merging your Facebook Fan page with your Place page?

 

We've written a couple blogs about Facebook that this community might find useful, you can check them out here: http://www.chatmeter.com/blog/

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