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Always Keep Your Eyes Open for Social Media Opportunities


“I sit down at the computer and think of things to post on social media.”

This is the problem. It’s the challenge that faces many dealers as they try to explore new ideas to post about on social media. They have “social media time” set aside, and while this is good to schedule and maintain, it also allows people to miss some of the best opportunities available in social media.

It’s what happens in the day to day affairs of a dealership, the things that come to us when we least expect it, that really makes for strong social media posts. Dealers all too often try to come up with their social media posts while they’re at their computer and fully in “social media mode”. This is a mistake.

Social media is a reflection of life. In business, it’s often what happens at the dealership every day that makes for the most interesting social media posts because it is during these times that the reflections of real life actually occur. Examples:

  • The happy customer who is really excited about their new car (beyond what we normally look to for testimonials)
  • The employee who’s going to be playing with their band this weekend at a local bar
  • A great coffee mug that an employee brought in
  • An interesting quote from someone at the store
  • A random thought that pops up in your head that is both relevant to your business and interesting enough to share

These all seem simple. They seem like they’re mundane aspects of life. They are. That’s a good thing. Find the little things that happen every day and make them interesting through creativity while in “social media mode”.

If you walked around the store or simply chatted with people throughout the day, both customers and employees, you’ll be shocked to find what kind of interesting things are happening at the dealership at that very moment. Take notes. It could be as simple as pulling out your smartphone and hitting the voice-recorder to get the ideas in a safe place for when it comes time to “do” social media. It could be recording a video at that very moment or shooting a picture of the scene. There are lots of choices available to us through the various technologies at our fingertips. Often, it’s just a matter of staying in “social media mode” at all times.

The best social media posts are natural. If you keep your eyes open for the opportunities, there will be nothing blocking you when it comes time to make the post itself.

* * *

Opportunities” image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Views: 326

Tags: Facebook, content, ideas, posting, social media


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Comment by J.D. Rucker on December 27, 2012 at 11:26pm

Yep, that's one of the easiest ways to increase the volume and quality of good content - get inspiration from others. Customers, employees, people in the industry, people in the local area - they're all goldmines of social media posting opportunity.

Comment by J. Michael Zak on December 27, 2012 at 12:26pm

Thanks for the reminder.  If I try to think of the "clever" message to relay it will probably sound canned and uninspiring compared to the "funniest think just happened" approach.  It just reminded me to reach out to every customer and understand their story, likes, and dislikes.

Comment by J.D. Rucker on December 27, 2012 at 10:21am

Thanks, Alexander. I have always hated the use of the word "engage" but the purest form isn't so bad.

AJ, some of my best posts came from random thoughts. The inspiration is there. You just have to listen to it.

Comment by Aj Maida on December 27, 2012 at 9:51am

J. D. - "A random thought that pops into your head..." My mother told me not to go into bad neighborhoods alone!!!!

Comment by Alexander Lau on December 27, 2012 at 9:27am

Great stuff, I agree I feel as if a lot of dealers struggle with this concept. Keep it local, but keep it interesting and informative. Not only will you engage (hate using that word) your friends and followers better, but the likelihood of them sharing that content is one part of of the social signal metric that Google measures and wants to see in place. It does make a difference to your SEO as well.

Comment by J.D. Rucker on December 27, 2012 at 8:49am

Similar situation - a service writer at a dealership played with his band every Saturday night at a local steakhouse. They would record one of the songs every weekend and post it on their YouTube channel, blog, and social media pages. Anyone who knew which song he sang the previous weekend got $5 off their service and a gift certificate for a free appetizer or dessert at the steakhouse. It's been a while but I assume it's still going strong. I need to give them a call to see how it's going.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on December 27, 2012 at 8:32am

JD, I have seen numerous examples on a daily basis of great stories to share... For example, at Sunset Chevrolet in Sumner, WA there is a salesperson who is a retired PRA Rodeo Champion.  We learned that ESPN still had several videos of his rides available. Using the stories of his various Rodeo engagements and embedding his ESPN videos was a dynamic combination for blog posting that led to PRA fans from all over the state of Washington seeking him out to buy their trucks from.

Comment by J.D. Rucker on December 27, 2012 at 7:50am

Dealers should definitely read Ralph's comment. This is exactly what I'm talking about and every dealership in the country has similar stories they can tell on social media. This is what it should be about. It takes a leap of faith to try to be so personal with your business, but those who do it right have seen the tremendous benefits.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on December 22, 2012 at 4:33pm

J.D. thanks for pointing out the reality of what is often the most effective aspect of social media marketing for dealerships... A few years ago I realized that just like most dealerships would make for a fairly interesting TV Sitcom setting, there are ample opportunities to use the daily intersection of dealership employees with the public to drive social media content that is not only interesting to the local automotive consumer, but also will cast a very positive branding halo on the dealership itself.  

I was working with the Ancira Auto Group in 2009 when I heard their Nissan dealership General Manager talk about a stray dog that had set up shop behind the dealership's service department.  She liked the dog because it chased away varmints like raccoon that would occasionally cause damage to customer vehicles parked behind service.  The whole story was perfect for social media and became an ongoing series of articles on their blog site.  The GM later told me that people were coming from all over to do business with Ancira Nissan because they had read about the dog.  

On another occasion  the receptionist at a Chevy dealership told me about how she had invited the local army base to send a couple recruits to her home for Thanksgiving dinner... The soldiers then sent her a couple of very nice hand-written thank you cards... We scanned the cards and wrote a blog about adopting young solders for a holiday dinner... It went viral and was picked up by local news channels.

Social media is a great way to share the many interesting stories that happen in and around car dealerships every day. 

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