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In little less than a decade, social media has exploded from being a part-time diversion for students to a staple in everyday consumer life. Today, 73% of the U.S. population has a social media profile—a 6% increase from last year. This is a significant statistic that represents the sway social media has within the U.S. marketplace.
As your dealership processes the dramatic impact social media has on the consumers and the way they now shop and research goods and services, it’s important to focus on a game plan that will place you in a position to successfully grow your business. With a majority of the U.S. population leaning on social media to guide them when it comes to researching, purchasing, and receiving product feedback, how will your dealership stand out from the crowd?
All social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and any others you can name allow users to create a profile page, which is essentially a way for people to build their own unique landing pages—a place to outline whatever it is they want everyone using the site to know about them. The more completely you fill out your profile, the more people will know about you, and the easier it will be to find you when people are trying to filter you out of the masses of other users who also have online profiles.
Your profile page—whether it’s your personal profile or your company profile—is likely the first contact someone will have with you, so it deserves your focus, and it should contain the information you want to share with everyone. Remember when a firm handshake and eye contact were the way to make a good first impression? That’s still the case when meeting someone in person, but since many of our interactions now take place online, profile pages have become the new first impressions for many people and businesses. It’s your way of shaking hands with consumers and making eye contact. For individuals, it’s a way of getting to know each other. Since it’s likely a profile page will be the first impression given in the social media world, people are spending more time ensuring their pages contain the information they want to share—and that’s what your dealership should do, too.
You can be sure something BIG is going on when 73% of the population has social media profiles. As that number continues to increase, we’ll continue to see individuals focused on their profiles, and it’s for good reason: That’s where they’re spending a good portion of their time interacting, researching, shopping, and simply socializing. People have created their online hangouts, and it’s a way of saying social media isn’t going anywhere. If anything, the ways we use social media continue to expand and become even more innovative and integral to our everyday lives, so it’s more important than ever for your dealership to become an online presence and be active in the social media world.
A recent Pew Research Center study confirmed that not only are adults using the internet in increasing numbers, 52% say they use 2 or more social media sites, a number that increased by 10% in just 1 year. And if you think social media is only for millennials, think again. The same study tells us over half of adults age 65 and over who are online use Facebook. Additionally, it’s important to note that most Facebook users aren’t just glancing at posts and scrolling by; instead a majority say they share, comment, or post, showing that users are interacting and engaging instead of simply logging in to lurk.
John Muir said, “The mountains are calling and I must go.” I’m going to change that slightly—with apologies—for the purposes of this post and say:
Social Media Is Calling and You Must Go!
Even if you’ve been a lone wolf until now, fearlessly standing your ground and mailing old-school fliers as fast as you can stuff them into the corner mailbox, your time is up. It’s time to gird your loins and get ready for everything social media has to offer your dealership. Trust me; you won’t be disappointed.
Chances are, you already have a Facebook page. Probably a Twitter page and a blog, too. (If not, you need to get them.) Then it’s up to you to let everyone on the green earth—start with all your online friends and acquaintances—know you’ve decided to keep in touch with them and share valuable information and content via social media. And what will you get in return?
It doesn’t happen overnight, but the return on your investment in social media is huge. When you invest the time and commitment it takes to connect with your audience and provide meaningful content, word will spread that you are a thought leader in your industry. You already have an online audience, and when word spreads that you offer relevant, valuable content, you’ll gain brand recognition and loyalty, the opportunity to convert new leads, and more brand trust—and through it all you’ll lower your marketing costs and improve your bottom line. It’s a win on all fronts when you consider the expanded reach your brand is likely to achieve through your efforts. It’s time to get social!