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6 Social Media Updates Your Dealership Should Know About

It’s been a busy month for social media.

With what seems like weekly updates and launches from big social sites like Facebook and Twitter, we thought it would be helpful to compile their latest changes right here for you.

How can these changes affect your digital marketing strategies? Take a look:

FACEBOOK

Atlas Re-Launch

Facebook is in the midst of re-launching a new and improved version of Atlas, a “people-based marketing” tool that allows marketers to reach consumers across devices, platforms and publishers. The social media site is straying from cookie data for ad tracking and measurement in hopes of finding a better way to track mobile data.

Why you should care:

In a nutshell, advertisers will now be able to tell if someone saw their ad on one device and then made a purchase from another -- and that has the potential to rock digital marketing’s world by proving the real impact of these campaigns on new sales.

Trending Topics

If you’ve been on Facebook lately, chances are you’ve probably already noticed this update. Facebook has gone Twitter on their users by showing timely and trending posts sooner and higher on the feed.

Why you should care:

The timeliness and popularity of your posts will be a deciding factor in whether or not your followers see them. So if you post about a hot topic at the right time, you increase your odds of being seen.

TWITTER

Analytics for everyone

Remember when Twitter launched its analytics dashboard in July? If you don’t, that was probably because it was only open to advertisers and verified users -- a very exclusive club.

However, towards the end of August, Twitter opened up its dashboard to everyone. Now you too can obsess over the success and engagement of every tweet!

Why you should care:

Free data. You can now measure your impressions, link clicks, retweets, replies, and favorites in one nifty location complete with graphs. You can even see where most of your followers are located, what their interests are, and even their gender. Plus, if you’ve considered using Twitter Cards, there’s analytics for them too!

Buy Button

Twitter is now giving consumers a way to make purchases without having to leave their site by adding a new BUY button option. This new feature will give sellers the opportunity to make a direct sale after engaging with their shoppers on Twitter.

Why you should care:

Let’s face it -- the automotive industry hasn’t reached the point where consumers are buying their cars online yet. However, there are other moneymaking departments that can benefit greatly from a BUY button.

Dealerships can use the BUY button to advertise and sell car services, parts, and even car accessories. Not to mention that this feature opens up new opportunities for creative marketers to find other uses for the button.

INSTAGRAM

Business Tools

A month ago, Instagram announced 3 new tools that would give businesses more insight into their marketing and advertising efforts on the site.

Account Insights is an analytics page (similar to Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics) that will allow you to see impressions, reach, and engagement. Ad Insights and Ad Stagingwill allow advertisers to organize and monitor the success of their campaigns.

Why you should care:

While Instagram may not be an important lead source for car dealerships as of now, it’s still a FREE, easy way to engage with consumers. Having useful analytics tools will help streamline your dealership’s digital marketing strategies.

As for advertising on this platform, we’re still on the fence about its usability at the dealership -- but all it takes is one groundbreaking idea to change this. If you’re currently advertising on Instagram, share your success in the comments below!

Hyperlapse

Last month, Instagram launched an app that will allow users to capture time-lapse videos in real-time with the use of stabilization technology (for those shaky phone hands).

Why you should care:

Oh the possibilities. Dealers can use this app to reach a visually-driven generation with creative videos. Share your dealership’s story, introduce your team, showcase your inventory in action, etc.

DISCLAIMER: Currently, the app is only available for iPhone. Sorry, Android.

Need some inspiration? Check out popular brands like BMW already using Hyperlapse for marketing purposes.


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For some fresh ways to engage your online customers using social media, check out: “The Ultimate Social Media eBook for Auto Dealers”

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Tags: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, dealer, media, social, updates

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Comment by Alexander Lau on October 7, 2014 at 1:03pm

@Michael, are you referring to a tool like http://www.needtagger.com, which has been around for nearly 2.5 years and has an automotive segment? Been doing that for some time and it works. Contact us for Advanced Automotive Social Media Management.

Comment by Michael on October 7, 2014 at 12:54pm

Who has discovered automotive reach out success when pulling Local tweets with car buying, servicing or collision 'need/want' shout-out? Mission accomplished using geo-fenced metro areas @ www.AutoSocialLeads.com  Process patented after 3 years development

Comment by Alexander Lau on October 1, 2014 at 12:01pm

Social media companies that have made loads off of posting organically, thinking it still matters (besides "branding"), are just angry. Groups just have to adjust their processes. Agreed with Tim, pay to play is much better. Much more visibility control.

I say to them:


Influencer
Comment by Lisandra Ramos on October 1, 2014 at 11:57am

Haha, true Alexander. BTW, great headstone! I missed it earlier.

Comment by Alexander Lau on October 1, 2014 at 11:54am

You're preaching to the choir Lisandra, we've been over this many times, but thanks.


Influencer
Comment by Lisandra Ramos on October 1, 2014 at 11:53am

Erin, thanks for commenting! You bring up a great point -- trending topics are not necessarily relevant to a dealership's audience. I've seen a few good examples of "newsjacking" however that could present an opportunity if done right.

Also, Facebook is now also factoring the rate at which consumers engage with a dealership's post (sorry, failed to mention this!). For dealership's using their business page to engage with shoppers, this will be a defining factor on whether or not their efforts are worth it. 

While I do agree with the importance of ROI and a dealership's bottom line on social media, there's value in ALSO using social media in a way that is consumer-driven (here's an interesting article on the topic: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/5-ways-brands-can-influence-cons...). 

Comment by Alexander Lau on October 1, 2014 at 11:13am

Automotive marketing agencies need qualified developers with the ability to utilize social media application APIs, in order to support their client's needs.

Bottom line, utilizing the basic tools FB, Twitter, G+ (eventually, going clean up in this field), Pinterest provide isn't enough. I can't stress this enough.


Influencer
Comment by Erin Ryan on October 1, 2014 at 11:00am

Hi Lisandra!

Regarding the recent Algorithm change on Facebook, we need to keep in mind that Dealerships should be focused on their Industry and local community as opposed to what is "Trending". Sure, you are correct in saying that posting about a "Hot Topic" can get your brand seen farther...but to whom?

It is often forgotten that using Social Media as a Marketing tool needs to be addressed to the proper demographic and audience. This means that a Dealerships Facebook page should always remain relevant to their Industry and Community...not what is "Viral" or "Hot Right Now" as it does not provide true value to the brand of the Dealership or to the appropriate audience a Dealership should be targeting.

In terms of Twitter providing a "Buy Button" - That is directed towards e-commerce sites and let's face it, a Dealers website is not one and unless they can buy from the website and have it shipped to them, it is pointless for a Dealership to attempt.

Overall, I think you wrote a wonderful article regarding the latest updates on popular social sites, I'm just unsure of how relevant it is to car dealerships, as the best use of social sites are the ones you can obtain ROI from.


Influencer
Comment by Lisandra Ramos on October 1, 2014 at 10:45am

Thanks for commenting, Amanda. Great food for thought! I agree -- although Instagram has engagement potential, it has yet to prove its value in terms of increasing traffic and sales. It would be GREAT if Instagram allowed for links, and in seeing how big social sites are moving towards more business-friendly platforms, it's a possibility! I think their analytics tools are just the beginning, so it's good to be in-the-know in regards to what they're developing now. 

In regards to Twitter, I think there's potential there. As of now, I see many dealerships using it for reputation management, self-promotion, and engagement. But I remember reading about a car sale on Twitter a while back that surprised me. Here's the link: http://sproutsocial.com/insights/car-dealerships-using-twitter/

While this isn't the norm, it proves that there's a way to reach this audience -- we might just have to find better ways to do so. I'm excited to see how marketers will tweak these tools to the industry's advantage. 

Call me optimistic, LOL

Comment by Alexander Lau on October 1, 2014 at 10:45am

Ha, sooooo true Timothy. I'm so sick and tired of these social media companies, trying to pick off the automotive industry, when they clearly misunderstand it. Agreed.

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